Photo Credit: David Cohen / Flash 90
Israeli children and firefighters participate in a drill that simulates a fire in a kindergarten following a rocket that lands in the northern Israeli town of Amuka, April 2, 2024.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned this week during a civilian preparedness exercise in the Haifa district on Wednesday that the possibility for open war in the north is increasing, due to the need to return Israeli residents of the area to their homes.

“Following an IDF situational assessment, it was decided to increase personnel and draft reserve soldiers to the IDF Aerial Defense Array,” the IDF said in a statement Wednesday night. The IDF Aerial Defense Array includes the operation of the Iron Dome and Patriot in addition to other aerial defense systems.


The northern defense drill was held Tuesday to examine the readiness of the area’s civilian Home Front for war scenarios.

Multiple strategic sites are located in Haifa, including a local Mediterranean port, making the city a particularly attractive target. IDF bases in various communities likewise provide ample targets for terrorists across the northern borner.

As part of the exercise, the relationship between the local government, the government ministries and the security and rescue bodies was evaluated, the defense ministry said.

Gallant emphasized during the drill that the possibility is increasing that Israel will face a northern border war scenario due to the need to return the residents of the north to their homes.

“One of the issues that will come before us in the near future will be how we deal with the return of the residents to their homes,” Gallant said.

“We prefer the way of diplomatic settlement and agreement,” he said, but added that Israel “must prepare” for a confrontation and take into account that “the solution could be a war scenario.”

In a separate meeting, Gallant gave an operational briefing to the Knesset’s Security and Foreign Affairs Committee led by MK Yuli Edelstein.

‘We are currently in a multi-front war – we see evidence of this every day, including over the last few days,” Gallant said. “We operate everywhere, every day, in order to prevent our enemies from gaining strength and in order to make it clear to anyone who threatens us – all over the Middle East – that the price for such action will be a big one.”

”Israel is increasing preparedness, and at the same time also expanding operations against Hezbollah, and against the other bodies that threaten us,” he added.

Between 60,000 to 80,000 Israelis were evacuated from their communities along the northern border on October 8 in anticipation of attacks on northern Israel by Lebanon’s Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, which operates separately from Lebanon’s official army as a massive, well-equipped military force on its own.

The evacuations took place right after the Hamas terrorist organization launched its war — and horrific massacre — on October 7, 2023. Israelis from communities along the southern border were also temporarily relocated in order to keep them safe — but the war has stretched on, increasing the difficulties faced by more than 100,000 internally displaced Israeli refugees.

Hezbollah, IDF Attacks Slowly Escalate
Early Wednesday evening an Israeli aircraft attacked a launcher in Lebanon from which rockets are fired into Israeli territory. Those who launched the missiles were also targeted, as were Hezbollah military buildings and terrorist infrastructures.

The strikes came in response to multiple barrages of rockets and suicide drones fired from Lebanon at sites in northern Israel that stretched from Nahariya to Kiryat Shmona. No casualties were reported.

One of the positions attacked by Israeli fighter jets and aircraft targeted Hezbollah launching sites in the Kafr Hammam area, the IDF said.

One of the targeted military positions was used by Hezbollah operatives to launch missiles at the Mount Dov area earlier in the day. The quick IAF turnaround targeted the position and the operatives who carried out the launches.

Earlier today, IDF forces fired to remove a threat in the Eyta al-Sha’ab area by means of artillery.

On Tuesday night, military buildings and terrorist infrastructure of the organization were attacked in the areas of Leyda and Ainta.


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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.