Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Saturday warned Iran-backed Hezbollah that launching a war would result in widespread destruction in Lebanon similar to that in Gaza, where Israel battled Hamas militants.
“If it (Hezbollah) makes this kind of mistake here, the ones who will pay the price will be first and foremost Lebanese citizens,” Gallant told soldiers on Israel’s northern border in remarks relayed by his office.
“What we’re doing in Gaza, we can also do in Beirut.”
The head of Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah said on Saturday that his armed group had used new types of weapons and struck new targets in Israel in recent days and pledged that the front in the south against its sworn enemy would remain active.
It was Hassan Nasrallah’s second speech since the war between Israel and Hamas began in October. In his first address earlier this month he said there was a possibility of fighting on the Lebanese front turning into a full-fledged war.
Nasrallah said on Saturday there had been “an upgrade” in Hezbollah’s operations along its front with Israel. “There has been a quantitative improvement in the number of operations, the size and the number of targets, as well as an increase in the type of weapons,” he said in a televised address.