ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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No differentiating Lebanon from Hezbollah, Bennett warns

Following comments from the IDF chief of staff yesterday saying that Lebanon will be responsible for the next conflict with Hezbollah, Bennett tells his weekly faction meeting that Israel sees the two as one entity.

“Since 2006 we have made a differentiation between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. No more, I say from now that Israel’s policy is ‘Lebanon is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Lebanon,” the education minister says.

“Therefore, from now on, any fire, rockets from Lebanon should be considered a direct attack by Lebanon on Israel,” he says, adding that doing so will prevent a future war not cause one.

Israeli soldiers take part in a military training in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, near the Israel-Syria border on March 20, 2017. (AFP/JALAA MAREY)
Israeli soldiers take part in a military training in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, near the Israel-Syria border on March 20, 2017. (AFP/JALAA MAREY)

Hezbollah, a member of Lebanon’s government, is a powerful political and militant force in the country. Leaders in Beirut have backed arming the group, despite a UN resolution that calls for the terror group to be demilitarized as part of a 2006 ceasefire with Israel.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot warned Beirut Sunday that the army would continue to thwart terror group Hezbollah and said any future war with the Shiite group would take place on Lebanese territory, as tensions rose over airstrikes against the group in Syria.

On Friday, Israeli planes struck deep inside Lebanon to thwart an arms transfer to the terror group. On Sunday, another IDF strike was reported in the Syrian Golan against a fighter for a pro-regime militia with links to Hezbollah.

— Raoul Wootliff

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