In a series of defensive actions, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out targeted airstrikes on Hezbollah facilities in southern Lebanon, responding to a series of hostilities near Israel’s northern frontier. The IDF asserted that these strikes were a direct counter to the aggression from the group, supported by Iran, and aimed at military assets of Hezbollah orchestrating terror operations. Specifically, IDF forces engaged a militant unit that fired upon Dovev, causing civilian casualties, and countered mortar attacks by striking the responsible cells, including one near Yarin in southern Lebanon.
The military escalation saw Israel preemptively evacuate civilians from border towns, bracing for intensified conflict as it concurrently engages with Hamas in Gaza. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a stern warning to Hezbollah, stating that any escalation on their part would be a severe miscalculation leading to a broader conflict, implicating all of Lebanon.
מטוסי קרב של צה"ל תקפו מספר מטרות של ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה בשטח לבנון, בתגובה לירי מוקדם יותר היום. בין המטרות שהותקפו תשתיות צבאיות בהן פעלו מחבלי ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה להכוונת טרור.
כוחות צה"ל תקפו בשטח לבנון את חוליית השיגור שביצעה את הירי לעבר מרחב דובב בו נפגעו מספר אזרחים>> pic.twitter.com/pF6vgj64fM
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 12, 2023
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Gallant drew parallels with ongoing operations in Gaza, emphasizing the readiness and might of the Israeli Air Force, which he claimed had not yet leveraged its full capabilities. The U.S. has positioned two aircraft carrier strike groups in the eastern Mediterranean as a strategic deterrent, underlining the serious repercussions Hezbollah would face in case of a full-scale offensive against Israel.
This tense atmosphere has led many within the IDF to consider a conflict with Hezbollah unavoidable. Echoing these concerns, former Defense Minister Benny Gantz disclosed to Fox News the extensive rocket arsenal of Hezbollah, surpassing that of Hamas, and revealed Israeli intelligence efforts in preemptively identifying rocket locations across Lebanon. Additionally, Mossad officials thwarted planned Hezbollah attacks on Jewish targets in Brazil, a country recently witnessing a significant rise in anti-Semitic incidents.