Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni, courtesy the Defense Ministry
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman during maneuvers by the northern border.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told soldiers he was hosting in the ministry’s sukkah in Tel Aviv that “the Lebanese army has lost its independence and become an integral part of Hezbollah,” Ma’ariv reported Tuesday. According to Liberman, “this can happen from one moment to the next, and from today to tomorrow.”

“It does not matter where the next confrontation develops, in the north or in the south, it will immediately become a battle on two fronts,” Liberman warned. He was speaking to soldiers from the air defense system, the armored corps, and artillery. He also hosted volunteer soldiers with disabilities. He added that “there is no longer one campaign on one front, this is our fundamental assumption, that is what we are preparing the army for.”

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“Our entire effort is to prevent the next war, but in the ‘new’ Middle East, the assessments we have previously known, such as low probability [of an outbreak], have simply become irrelevant, our reality is fragile,” Liberman commented.

According to the Defense Minister, “everything is based on the fact that we must prepare for a serious maneuver, and there is no maneuver without overwhelming fire power, and our armor and artillery corps are expected to provide this powerful fire – just as the air defense is supposed to prevent a significant part of the damage to the State of Israel.”

Analyzing the northern front, Liberman determined that Syria and Lebanon had become a single military entity: “We are supposed to prepare for every possible scenario, and the new reality is setting up new challenges for us,” he said. “If we once talked about the Lebanese theater – then there is no such thing any longer. There is a northern theater.”

“In any development, there will be only one front,” Liberman reiterated, “Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime, and all the Assad regime’s collaborators. Likewise in the Lebanese sector we are no longer talking about Hezbollah alone. We are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese army, and unfortunately this is the reality.”

“The Lebanese army has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network, under its command. The Lebanese army has lost its independence and become an integral part of the Hezbollah network.”

The minister warned that his fundamental concept is, “He who wants peace must prepare for war,” adding, “And I hope that our enemies on the other side will think carefully about every step against the State of Israel, so that we will not have to demonstrate the full strength and capabilities of the IDF.”

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