Israel has reportedly sent a message to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon threatening an armed confrontation if an outpost placed on the UN-monitored frontier are not removed.
Israel tells Hezbollah that the outpost, made up of a few tents, will be removed “even at the cost of days of fighting,” Channel 12 news reports, without a source.
The outpost was set up by the Iran-backed terror group in early April north of the border fence, but on the Israeli side of the internationally recognized Blue Line in the contested Mount Dov region, an area claimed by Israel, Lebanon, and Syria and also known as the Shebaa Farms. The UN and the Lebanese government have both since confirmed it sits south of the Blue Line.
Israeli officials have recently begun leaking details about the outpost and Israel’s attempts to have it removed by diplomatic means, broadcasting its threats to remove the tents by force if need be, but holding out hope for US or French mediation.
According to the station, some in the military preferred to deal with the tents militarily, but others feared an armed confrontation over the tents getting out of control.
Earlier in the day, Energy Minister Israel Katz told a radio station that Israel was trying to let diplomacy work, but “we’ll get rid of this breach one way or another.”
“Israel is not interested in war, the damage it and Lebanon will absorb will be of a severity nothing like the Second Lebanon War,” he said.
He notes that Hezbollah is being squeezed by Iran on one side and Israel on the other, but Israel will take care of what it needs to.
“The easiest thing is to hit the ‘war’ button. We’re not interested in going there, but we won’t allow our red lines to be crossed, and [Hezbollah head Hassan] Nasrallah should know that.”