Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni / Israel Ministry of Defense
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and OC Northern Command chief Major General Ori Gordin on Feb. 25, 2024

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says the IDF will step up strikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon in response to ongoing attacks on northern Israel from Lebanon’s Iranian proxy.

Gallant said on Sunday during a visit to the IDF Northern Command that the military is “planning to increase the firepower against Hezbollah,” after recent Israeli airstrikes that targeted and killed Hezbollah commanders.


” I came here to assess how we increase our firepower and prepare to operate against Hezbollah,” Gallant said in a statement.

“We are striking their [Hezbollah] operatives and commanders. They are looking for replacements [for their operatives], and I can tell you that I don’t see any volunteers – everyone is afraid. We will continue to strike them down,” he said.

“If anyone here thinks that when we reach an agreement to release hostages in the south and the fire stops [in Gaza] temporarily, this will make things easier here – they are mistaken,” Gallant warned.

“We will continue the fire and we will do so independently from the south, until we achieve our goals. The goal is simple – to withdraw Hezbollah to where it should be – either via a [diplomatic] agreement, or we will do it by force,” the minister emphasized.

Gallant’s remarks come amid reports that Israel is working on a temporary ceasefire with Hamas terrorists, brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States, in a bid to bring home the hostages still held captive in Gaza after they were abducted on October 7 by the terror group.

Some 80,000 northern Israelis have been displaced by Hezbollah rocket barrages since the start of the war launched by Hamas against Israel.

The defense minister emphasized Israel’s goal is to “push Hezbollah back to where it should be. Either by agreement, or we will do it by force,” referring to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 ceasefire agreement signed with Hezbollah to end the 2006 Second Lebanon War. The resolution mandates that southern Lebanon, up to the Litani River, remain free of armed groups other than the Lebanese national army, including and in particular, Hezbollah. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers were deployed to enforce the agreement following its passage, but have blatantly ignored the burgeoning growth of Hezbollah bases and arsenals in southern Lebanon along Israel’s northern border.

In a message to the UN Security Council, Israel warned that Iran is increasing its efforts to expand Hezbollah’s military capabilities, and asserted its right to defend itself. Israel called on the Security Council to compel Lebanon to fully implement UNSC resolutions, prevent Hezbollah attacks on Israel, and keep the area up to the Litani River free of Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, a report by Israel’s Channel 12 News revealed Israel informed the UNSC it will take military action if weapons smuggling to Hezbollah continues unchecked.

A senior Hezbollah leader recently vowed the group will remain deployed across Lebanon despite Israel’s demands.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.