Any Hezbollah retaliation to an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would prompt Israel to launch a war in Lebanon so ferocious that it would take a decade to rebuild the villages it destroys, a senior Israeli military officer tells the British Telegraph newspaper on Monday.
Israel Hayom Staff
Any Hezbollah retaliation to an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would prompt Israel to launch a war in Lebanon so ferocious that it would take a decade to rebuild the villages it destroys, a senior Israeli military officer told the British Telegraph newspaper on Monday.
Despite the inevitable international outcry, Israel would be left with no choice but to lay waste to swathes of southern Lebanon because Hezbollah has entrenched itself so deeply within the civilian population, the senior Northern Command officer told the Telegraph.
The officer urged the Lebanese people not to be drawn into a war for which they, rather than Iran, would bear the brunt of Israel's anger, the paper reported.
"The situation in Lebanon after this war will be horrible," the officer, a senior commander on Israel's northern border with Syria and Lebanon, said. "They will have to think about whether they want it or not. I hope that Iran will not push them into a war that Iran will not pay the price for but that Lebanon will."
But the officer, speaking to the Telegraph on condition of anonymity, suggested that Israel had taken "too cautious an approach in the conflict," leading to the deaths of dozens of Israeli soldiers during the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006. Some 1,200 Lebanese were killed during the 34-day conflict, including hundreds of Hezbollah terrorists. A total of 121 IDF soldiers were killed in the war.
"No such mistake would be made in the next conflict," the officer said, especially as Hezbollah had built military sites in the center of many villages and towns in southern Lebanon. Pointing to a satellite map of the town of Khiam, he identified a series of buildings that the movement had allegedly taken over for military purposes, the Telegraph reported.
"In these villages where Hezbollah has infrastructure I will guess that civilians will not have houses to come back to after the war," he said.
"The Lebanese government has to take this into consideration. Many of the villages in southern Lebanon will be destroyed. Unfortunate, but we will have no other solution. The day after [we attack] the village will be something that it will take 10 years to rebuild," he told the Telegraph.