A member of parliament from the political arm of Lebanese terror group Hezbollah called for Israeli communities to be captured and civilians taken hostage in any future war with Israel.
Speaking on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, MP Walid Sukkarieh said that in addition to the group’s missile arsenal — said to number in the tens of thousands — an offensive to seize northern Israeli communities should be employed to prevent Israel from retaliating and implementing its “Dahiyeh Doctrine,” a military strategy that advocates the use of disproportionate force against a militant entity by destroying civilian infrastructure.
The strategy, named after a suburb of Beirut, was implemented in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 to level whole buildings in the Hezbollah stronghold using sustained airstrikes. The doctrine was first mentioned in 2008 by the then head of the IDF’s northern division and current IDF chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, who warned that Israel would reapply the strategy in every village in Lebanon from which Israel is attacked.
Israel is preparing to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 34-day war next month.
Sukkarieh said in his interview on June 18 that Israel could not implement the doctrine if Hezbollah holds Israelis hostage in another round of conflict.
“The Israeli people would be a prisoner in our hands. This would prevent Israel from targeting civilians on our side. It would not be able to implement the Dahiyeh strategy. They have threatened that in the next war, they will implement this strategy and destroy all of Lebanon. What will they destroy if we hold settlements hostage? We will have hostages. If they kill us, we will kill them,” he argued, according to a translation posted Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
The Hezbollah MP added that seizing Israeli lands would create a new balance of power in the region, one in favor of the Palestinian cause, and that no outside element would successfully force Hezbollah to withdraw.
“Under these circumstances, no resolution will be able to force you to withdraw to your previous positions, and to hand this land back to Israel. Even the Arab [regimes] would not be able to tolerate this. The worst Arab regimes would not be able to accept this. They would not be able to say: ‘Hezbollah managed to liberate a settlement in Palestine, but it must withdraw from it.’ A new situation will be forced upon the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel,[and] upon the Palestinian cause as a whole,” he said.
Last week, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz warned that Lebanon would be “ruined” in any future conflict between the IDF and Hezbollah, calling Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a “megalomaniac” with no concept of reality.
“Hezbollah continues to be the primary non-state threat, not only to Israel but also to Lebanon,” he told the Herzliya Conference, an annual seminar reviewing Israel’s security.
He added that a conflict with the group could be triggered by a minor incident due to “the megalomaniac character of the organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, a fanatical personality who lacks any conception of reality except, perhaps, anything to do with protecting his personal security.”
His remarks came a day after IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevy, speaking at the same conference, put particular emphasis on the threat from Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Hezbollah is believed to have an arsenal of more than 100,000 missiles and rockets, along with weapons systems “that they never had before,” Halevy said.
But Katz said that it is Israel’s northern neighbor and the Hezbollah leader who had the most to lose in a conflict with Israel.
“A war in Lebanon and an attack on the Israeli home front will bring about the ousting of Nasrallah and will bring ruin to Lebanon,” he predicted.