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Israeli army chief: Hezbollah poses greater threat than Hamas

'The threat facing Israel from Lebanon is much larger than that posed by Gaza,' Benny Gantz says

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Israel’s military chief of staff said in an interview this week Lebanon’s Hezbollah group poses a greater threat to Israel than Hamas and said the recent offensive against Gaza was successful.

“The threat facing Israel from Lebanon is much larger than that posed by Gaza,” Benny Gantz told Yedioth Ahronoth, asking rhetorically: “But does that mean I need to drive to Jerusalem to post haste and demand we attack Lebanon?”

In 2006, a military confrontation between Lebanon and Israel led to the death of more than 1,000 Lebanese. Although the rival sides agreed to a cessation of hostilities, the two are technically in a state of war.

Gantz also responded to critics that considered Israel’s recent offensive on Gaza a failure.

“A number of top-ranking army officials from different countries arrived here and told us: ‘Your professional conduct was unprecedented.’ We have raised the bar to the level they do not know what to do with,” he said.

More than 2,016 Palestinians were killed and 10,196 were wounded during Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” offensive on the Hamas-controlled Gaza in July. The rival sides signed a cease-fire on Aug. 26.