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Middle East

Israeli Foreign Minister warns of imminent all-out war with Hezbollah

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warns of an imminent decision on an all-out war with Hezbollah.
  • Hezbollah's release of surveillance drone footage has heightened tensions and prompted increased military readiness in Israel.
  • Diplomatic efforts by the U.S. and France aim to de-escalate the situation, but the threat of a full-scale conflict remains high.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has issued a dire warning that a decision on an all-out war with Hezbollah is near. This announcement follows the release of a nine-minute and thirty-one-second video by Hezbollah, showcasing footage allegedly obtained from its reconnaissance aircraft. The video, which was shared on Hezbollah's Telegram channel, highlights significant locations in Israel, including Haifa's sea and air ports.

The footage appears to be part of Hezbollah's psychological warfare strategy, aiming to instill fear among Israeli residents and demonstrate the group's surveillance capabilities. Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav described the video as "psychological terror" and called for a robust defense plan for the city. The video has been geolocated to several sensitive areas around Haifa, including military installations and residential zones.

In response to the escalating threat, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have approved and validated operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon. The IDF has also increased the readiness of troops in the field, signaling Israel's preparedness for a potential large-scale conflict. "We are getting very close to the moment of deciding on changing the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon," Katz stated. "In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed, and Lebanon will be severely beaten."

The situation has been further complicated by the ongoing Gaza conflict, which has seen almost daily exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah. Since the beginning of the hostilities, Israeli airstrikes and shelling have killed over 340 Hezbollah members and dozens of civilians in southern Lebanon. In retaliation, Hezbollah has fired thousands of rockets, missiles, and drones at northern Israel, resulting in casualties and significant damage.

The United States has dispatched special envoy Amos Hochstein to the region in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. Hochstein has held talks with Israeli and Lebanese officials, emphasizing the need to avoid a wider regional war. "We have seen an escalation over the last few weeks. And what President Biden wants to do is avoid a further escalation to a greater war," Hochstein said.

Despite these diplomatic efforts, the prospect of an all-out war looms large. The IDF's recent approval of operational plans for an attack in Lebanon underscores the gravity of the situation. The Israeli military has also taken steps to enhance its air defense systems, including upgrading the Iron Dome to better handle slower-flying unmanned aircraft and reintroducing retired conventional anti-aircraft weapons.

The international community is closely monitoring the developments, with concerns that a full-scale conflict could destabilize the entire Middle East. The U.S. and France are engaged in diplomatic efforts to secure a negotiated end to the hostilities along Lebanon's border. However, the release of Hezbollah's drone footage and the subsequent military preparations by Israel indicate that the path to peace remains fraught with challenges.

As tensions continue to rise, the world watches anxiously, hoping for a resolution that will prevent further bloodshed and restore stability to the region.

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