Defence Minister: Israel prefers agreement with Hezbollah but ready for war if needed

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Defence Minister: Israel prefers agreement with Hezbollah but ready for war if needed

Yoav Gallant's remarks came a day after Hezbollah said it would stop its daily attacks if Israel and Hamas reach a ceasefire

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. Credit: Shachar Yurman
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. Credit: Shachar Yurman

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel prefers an agreement with Hezbollah to solve the nine month long conflict on the northern border but that the IDF is ready for war if needed. 

The IDF “hits Hezbollah very hard every day,” Gallant said not long after an Israeli airstrike killed Muhammad Nimah Nasser, a senior commander of the Hezbollah’s regional division in southern Lebanon.

“This tank here that you are taking care of, once it leaves the battleground, knows how to reach the Litani (River) and we are determined to take this step in Lebanon if necessary,” Gallant said, referring to tanks next to him near the Gaza border.

“We will reach a state of full readiness to take whatever action is required in Lebanon, or reach an agreement from a position of strength. We prefer the agreement, but if reality forces us, we will know how to fight,” he added.

Gallant’s remarks came a day after Hezbollah’s second in command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said that Hezbollah would stop attacking Israel if Hamas and Israel reach a ceasefire.

“If there is a ceasefire in Gaza, we will stop without any discussion…. if the war stops, this military support will no longer exist. If what happens in Gaza is a mix between ceasefire and no ceasefire, war and no war, we can’t answer [how we will respond now) because we don’t know its shape, its results, its impacts,” Qassem continued.

“Israel can decide what it wants: limited war, total war, partial war. But it should expect that our response and our resistance will not be within a ceiling and rules of engagement set by Israel… If Israel wages the war, it means it doesn’t control its extent or who enters into it.”

Hezbollah has launched thousands of anti-tank missiles, drones and rockets at northern Israel since October 8 when the Lebanese group decided to “support” Hamas in its war against Israel.

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