(Israel-Lebanon border) – A war of words has erupted between Hezbollah terrorist leaders and Israel’s most senior defense officials.
The big question: Will the threats and counter threats trigger an actual shooting war?
Today, the fear is that in the next Lebanon War Hezbollah could fire upwards of 4,000 missiles a day, overwhelming Israeli defenses and leading to catastrophic casualties and damage.
To get a better picture of the situation, I interviewed Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz last week.
Now, I’ve traveled with a crew from CBN News in Jerusalem to an IDF base in Rosh HaNikra, right on the Israel-Lebanon border.
We received a briefing from two intelligence officials on the spiking tensions.
We then traveled along the border, viewing Hezbollah outposts and interviewing Lt.-Colonel (res.) Sarit Zehavi.
Zehavi spent 15 years in IDF intelligence and is now the founder and director of Alma, a nonprofit and an independent research and education center specializing in Israel’s security challenges on its northern border.
In the first of my series of reports, I want to begin by briefing you on the war of words, and the timing of the escalated threats.
“After all the recent threats from Israel, no one can guarantee that it won’t lead to war. Israel will see things it hasn’t seen since its inception.”
“If the IDF bombs our military targets, we can also attack Israel’s military targets. If Israel bombs cities in Lebanon, we’ll bomb cities in Israel. And if it bombs villages in Lebanon, we’ll bomb Israeli settlements.”
“No one can guarantee that a few days of combat won’t lead to wider war.”
The occasion was Nasrallah’s annual “Martyrs Day” speech, commemorating the assassination of several revered Hezbollah commanders over the years, for which Nasrallah has previously vowed to retaliate against Israel.
That same day, the Israeli Air Force launched a massive and surprise war game exercise in which Hezbollah attacks Israel and the IDF responds with overwhelming forces.
As a senior IDF officer said: “We practiced attacking high-value targets in quantities and in a way that we never did before. It was 24 hours with more than 3,000 targets attacked, causing severe damage to the operations of the enemy.”