Israel is considering launching a major military operation against Hezbollah after months of harassment and threats from the terror group, alarming some U.S. officials.
Hezbollah has threatened Israel on its northern border from Lebanon for months since Hamas terrorists invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, murdering roughly 1,200 people and taking hostage hundreds more. Warnings from Israel that it intends to put a stop to Hezbollah’s threats have alarmed the Biden administration, which fears a growing Middle East conflict, according to The Washington Post.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has warned in recent days that Israel’s patience for Hezbollah is wearing thin and that a major military operation may be launched soon. Since Hamas’ October 7 invasion, Israel has evacuated tens of thousands of Israelis from its northern border with Lebanon over the threat posed by Hezbollah.
“The priority isn’t to get into a war” with Hezbollah, Gallant told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday. “Eighty-thousand people need to be able to go back to their homes safely.”
“We are willing to sacrifice,” he continued. “They see what is happening in Gaza. They know we can copy-paste to Beirut,” the capital of Lebanon.
The Biden administration is reportedly warning Israel against taking significant action against Hezbollah, warning that a U.S. intelligence assessment found that if Israel were to expand its military operations to Lebanon as well as Gaza, success would be difficult for Israel to achieve.
Biden administration officials believe Israel’s signals against Hezbollah may be a result of political pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu may push military action against Hezbollah in order to recover politically from the fallout over a failure to prevent the invasion of October 7, according to Biden administration concerns shared with the Post.
Gallant has characterized October 7 as a turning point in Israeli national security and military policy.
“October 7 was the bloodiest day for Jewish people since 1945,” Gallant told WSJ. “The world needs to understand. This is different.”
According to the Israeli defense minister, Israel is facing more than Hamas. Israel is facing a network of militant terror groups backed by Iran, and the fight to secure Israel’s borders from terrorists may be much larger than Gaza and go on much longer than many expect.
“My basic view: We are fighting an axis, not a single enemy,” Gallant said. “Iran is building up military power around Israel in order to use it.”