Photo: Flash90

Gantz issues warning to Hezbollah

Israel’s Alternate Premier and Defense Minister Benny Gantz conducted a situational assessment and discussion with senior military staff during an inspection of the IDF 91st Division in the north.

The top military chief was accompanied by IDF Head of the Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate, Maj. Gen. Tal Kelman, and Minister of Civil and Social Affairs in the Ministry of Defense, Michael Biton.

Following his visit to “a division protecting what is currently Israel’s most sensitive border,” Minister Gantz issued a warning to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror organization based in Lebanon.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah levelled a direct threat to “Israel’s home front” during a televised speech last week, saying that “it will see things it has not yet seen since the establishment of Israel” if there was any confrontation with his group.

Nasrallah’s comments were made in apparent reference to several recent IDF drills. They included last week’s  “surprise” 4-day Vered Hagalil exercise by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in preparation for potential war on the northern frontier with Lebanon and Syria, simulating strikes on 3,000 Hezbollah targets within a 24-hour period with involvement of up to 85% of IAF personnel. The IAF also participated in the joint annual Juniper Falcon aerial defense exercise with the United States Air Force.

According to a statement obtained by TV7 from the Israeli Defense Ministry, Lt. Gen. (res) Gantz, who is the former IDF Chief of Staff, warned that “If Nasrallah and Hezbollah’s threats become actions, the outcome will be painful for Hezbollah and its leaders – and, unfortunately, for the Lebanese people, who are being used as human shields by Nasrallah, who is hiding weapons and missiles beneath their homes.”