Gantz: We demanded Israel shift focus of war to Hezbollah in March

National Unity chair Benny Gantz says he demanded Israel’s military focus be shifted to Hezbollah on the northern border in March when he was still a minister in the government’s war cabinet.

“Operational efforts should have been shifted to the north in March, as we demanded,” he tells the Aaron Institute for Economic Policy’s annual conference in Herzliya, adding that a costly deal to return the hostages held in the Gaza Strip was necessary.

“Israel cannot afford the continuation of the clashes in the north, and the loss of another year,” he continues. “The time has come to exact a price on military targets and infrastructure in Lebanon, of which Hezbollah is a part, and it is necessary to demand [Lebanon] take responsibility.”

“Unfortunately, the prime minister is hesitating and refuses to add the return of northern residents to their homes on September 1 as a goal of the war, and we are paying the price, a heavy price,” he says, referring to the date that the school year begins, and a deadline that has been floated for ensuring evacuees can return.

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