Israel slams Lebanon for turning blind eye to Hezbollah

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis accused the Lebanese government and Lebanese army of ignoring Hezbollah’s activity.

By World Israel News Staff

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, lambasted the Lebanese leadership and the Lebanese army for closing their eyes to Hezbollah activity in the country, Israel’s Mako news site reports Monday. The IDF spokesman said Lebanon was in fact directly responsible for Hezbollah’s development to the north of Israel’s border.

Manelis’ remarks appeared in the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The continuation of this activity will lead to a deterioration in security and what will happen to Lebanon will be twice what happened in Dahieh in Beirut during the 2006 Lebanon War,” Manelis said, referring to the Shiite neighborhood in south Beirut which housed Hezbollah’s headquarters, destroyed by Israel in that war.

Manelis said that Israel is prepared to operate inside Lebanon and destroy whole areas, placing the responsibility not only on Hezbollah but also Lebanon’s leadership, its president, prime minister and chief of staff, according to Mako news. Manelis said they are shutting their eyes to the fact that Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, is sending order to Hezbollah from Tehran to act against Israel.

“Suleimani is sitting satisfied in Tehran, [Hezbollah’s Nassan] Nasrallah in Beirut and both are holding the Lebanese people hostage,” Manelis said, referring to the residents of southern Lebanon, where tunnels have been dug under their homes.

“Some of the official Lebanese forces are cooperating with Hezbollah and are considered partners in the activity. Everyone is responsible for any deterioration that could occur,” Mako quotes Manelis saying in the Arabic paper.

Manelis sent the message that Israel is prepared for any reaction from Hezbollah, noting that alongside Israel’s combat engineers who are working to uncover the tunnels were Israel’s air, sea and land forces ready for any eventuality.

“We have been through 12 years of quiet with Lebanon since the 2006 war, we want this quiet to last another 12 years, and more than that for 20 and 25 years, but we are determined to eliminate the security threat that poses a threat to us,” Manelis said.

The IDF spokesman said that Hezbollah’s threat to conquer Galilee would have been limited at best. They would have succeeded in conquering a village or threatening “a small section of Route 90,” he said, adding that Israel didn’t dismiss the threat either. “We prepared ourselves for a harsh, powerful and resounding response to any such attempt,” Manelis said.

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“The Iranians who do not find money to save millions of Iranians from the economic crisis, and Hezbollah, which does not find enough money to pay its wounded from the war in Syria, have spent tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars on building tunnels, which are considered to be central weapons in the war against Israel,” Manelis said, Mako reports.