Israel will respond to an attack from Hezbollah by striking Lebanese infrastructure, IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz was quoted as saying on Monday evening in a sharply worded warning to the Shiite group , according to a report by Israeli daily “Times of israel”.
“We will know how to act with Hezbollah and with Lebanon, including its infrastructure,” Gantz told the audience of the Herzliya Conference, a local policy convention. “Lebanon cannot claim sovereignty but not bear responsibility. If a conflagration erupts, I would rather be an Israeli citizen than a Lebanese.”
Gantz said that despite the semblance of security calm in Israel, not a week goes by without the IDF having to deal with threats “of strategic dimensions.”
In the past, Gantz said, Israel used to be able to address threats emanating from Lebanon by exerting pressure on Syria. But that is no longer the case.
“Syria has become an exceptionally dangerous place,” he said. The likelihood of a Syrian conventional attack against Israel has dramatically decreased, but has been replaced by a terrorist threat along the Israeli-Syrian border.
“We will be next in line after Assad,” Gantz said, referring to the day after the expected ouster of the Syrian president.
To counter the new threats facing Israel, the IDF is now going on the offensive, Gantz said, ramping up the readiness of intelligence, land and air forces.
“We will need to operate at a much higher intensity,” he claimed, adding that Israel will need to strike a delicate balance between the moral imperative to preserve human life and the obligation to ensure the safety of its own citizens. A future war will require an Israeli military presence on the ground, mostly in urban areas, he added.