Defense Minister Benny Gantz responds to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s speech yesterday in which he threatened to attack the Jewish state, saying the Israeli military is ready to strike forcefully in Lebanon if need be.
“We are ready as ever to protect Israeli citizens. If an attack comes from the north, Lebanon will tremble… the houses in which weapons and terrorist operatives are being hidden will become rubble. Our list of targets for Lebanon is bigger and more significant than the one for Gaza, and the bill is ready to be settled if necessary,” Gantz says in a speech marking the 39th anniversary of the 1982 First Lebanon War.
Regarding recent threats made by Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, following this month’s 11-day conflict between Israel and the terror group, Gantz says Israel hopes to see the enclave rebuilt, but won’t hesitate to again conduct a military campaign if there are more attacks from the Strip.
The defense minister adds that Israel won’t allow a full reconstruction of Gaza unless Hamas releases two Israeli civilians and the remains of two IDF soldiers from captivity.
“We hope that Gaza will be calm, that it will be reconstructed from the ruins with assistance from the world and the Palestinian Authority — on the condition that the [missing Israelis] are returned home — and that everyone enjoys the fruits of its growth. But if Hamas chooses to prevent the reconstructions for the residents of Gaza and to harm Israeli citizens — we will take action until we get the quiet that serves us all. There’s no other way,” he says.