Israel “does not want war” but threatens to return Lebanon to “the stone age”

“We do not want war (…). But we have the capacity to bring Lebanon back to the Stone Age”

Yoav Gallant

Israeli Defense Minister

As tensions between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah reach their peak, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned on Wednesday, June 26, that the Israeli military was capable of taking Lebanon back “in the stone age” in the event of war with the pro-Iran militia, affirming however that his government favored a diplomatic solution on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

“We don’t want war, but we are preparing for all scenarios”Gallant said during his visit to Washington, where he met with US officials to discuss Gaza and Lebanon, reports the Times of Israel.

“Hezbollah understands very well that we can inflict massive damage on Lebanon if a war is started.”

Israel, Palestine, Lebanon
Israel, Palestine, Lebanon INTERNATIONAL MAIL

“The need to avoid war”

In the Lebanese press, these remarks were played down, with some newspapers seeing them as a verbal escalation after the bellicose speech given more than a week ago by the leader of Hezbollah..

For the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, close to Hezbollah, “all American officials (met by Gallant) stressed the need to avoid a war between Israel and Hezbollah (…) while the American Minister of Defense, Lloyd Austin, warned against a regional war which would have devastating repercussions on the Middle East.

“The media is full of analyses about whether war is imminent or inevitable, but this is not based, at this stage, on any objective parameter,” adds Al-Akhbaraccording to which Israel is not ready today to get bogged down in the Lebanese “quagmire”.

More than 350 Hezbollah fighters already killed

In the Israeli press, relativism also dominates. “No strategic consideration justifies our launching into total war,” underlines Eyal Zisser, an expert cited by The Jerusalem Post.

Since the start of the war in Gaza, the Israeli army and Hezbollah have exchanged fire regularly but within a certain red line.

“Both sides know that the choice of a destructive war would not fundamentally change the situation and would bring practically no results,” adds Eyal Zisser.

These clashes have already killed more than 350 members of the armed group and around ten Israeli soldiers, and displaced tens of thousands of civilians on both sides of the border.

Just yesterday evening, June 27, Hezbollah announced the deaths of three of its fighters, according to The Orient-The Day.

The last war between the Hebrew state and the “party of God” dates back to 2006. The thirty-three day conflict left more than 1,200 dead in Lebanon and 160 on the Israeli side.

Many Lebanese fear that a possible war would further bring their country, already in the grip of a historic political, economic and financial crisis since 2019, to its knees.

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