Israel last week wrapped up nation-wide preparations for a future multi-front war that on the surface appeared to focus on how to protect the local population from the increasing capabilities of Israel’s foes.
But senior military officials said offensive exercises were also held in order to hash out the complex situation wherein Israel’s most dangerous enemies make widespread use of human shields.
This is particularly true in Gaza and southern Lebanon, where Hamas and Hezbollah, respectively, dig tunnels and bunkers under civilian population centers, and even store missiles in family homes.
Recent reports suggested that Israel’s retaliatory actions in the event of a future war with Hezbollah would result in thousands of civilian casualties. But military officials who spoke to The Jerusalem Post said Israel would do everything possible to avoid such a scenario, including the mass evacuation of southern Lebanon’s civilian population.
“If we have no choice, we have to evacuate 1 million, 1.5 million residents in Lebanon, and act,” one official told the newspaper. Doing so would free up the IDF to hit thousands of Hezbollah targets and cripple the military capabilities of the Lebanese terrorist militia.
Many in Israel don’t expect Hezbollah to start trouble any time soon given its entanglement in the ongoing Syrian civil war. But IDF officials note that Hezbollah is suffering some serious blows in Syria, and is in something of a panic mode. If that is true, the Hezbollah leadership, which cares little for the collateral damage its actions bring upon Lebanon, might very well provoke a war with Israel in order to again bolster its own image in the Muslim world.
Israel Today recently spoke to Israeli experts about the inevitability of another war with Hezbollah and what such a conflict would look like for both sides.