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Israel Poised for “All-Out War” with Hezbollah Amid Rising Tensions

Israel has announced its readiness for an “all-out war” with Hezbollah, escalating tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border. The announcement follows the release of threatening drone footage by Hezbollah, which showed civilian and military areas of Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city. The footage included sensitive locations such as malls, residential quarters, a weapons manufacturing complex, and missile defense batteries.

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In a statement on social media, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for boasting about the footage, which was filmed over Haifa’s port operated by foreign companies from China and India. “We are very close to the moment of decision to change the rules against Hezbollah and Lebanon. In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed, and Lebanon will be severely hit,” Katz warned.

The Israeli military has also confirmed that plans for a ground offensive into Lebanon have been approved. Ori Gordin, head of Israel’s Northern Command, has validated operational plans and increased troop readiness along the northern border. “As part of the situational assessment, operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated,” the military stated.

The heightened tensions come amid ongoing border skirmishes between Israel and Hezbollah that have intensified since the outbreak of war in Gaza following the October 7 attacks on Israel. Hezbollah has vowed to continue its attacks unless Israel halts its invasion of Gaza, where more than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed. Israel, in turn, has been conducting regular airstrikes on Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, with recent strikes targeting military infrastructure and killing key operatives in Hezbollah’s rocket division.

Israeli military in the front-lines [Photo Courtesy AFP]

The situation is further complicated by diplomatic efforts from the United States, which is working to prevent an escalation into a larger conflict. White House envoy Amos Hochstein, on a trip to Lebanon, emphasized the urgency of de-escalation. “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 told reporters in Beirut.

Hochstein’s visit to Lebanon followed meetings with Israeli officials, where he reportedly warned that continued confrontation with Hezbollah could provoke a wide-scale Iranian attack. In Beirut, he met with Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a close ally of Hezbollah, to push for a diplomatic resolution. Hochstein called for adopting a Gaza ceasefire proposal to end hostilities across the Israel-Lebanon border, allowing displaced civilians to return home.

White House envoy Amos Hochstein, on a trip to Lebanon [Photo courtesy Joseph Eid]

Despite these diplomatic efforts, Hezbollah has maintained its aggressive stance, carrying out over 2,100 military operations against Israel since October 8 in support of Palestinians. The violence has resulted in significant casualties, with more than 400 people killed in Lebanon, including civilians, journalists, and paramedics. In Israel, at least 25 deaths have been reported, including 15 soldiers and 11 civilians.

The ongoing conflict has also led to significant displacement, with at least 90,000 people forced to flee their homes in Lebanon and over 60,000 displaced in northern Israel.

As both sides prepare for a potential full-scale war, the international community watches with bated breath, hoping for a resolution that will prevent further loss of life and stabilize the volatile region.

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