Israel will re-occupy southern Lebanon if Hezbollah doesn’t retreat: FM

Foreign Minister Israel Katz threatens Israeli takeover of Lebanese territory if Hezbollah refuses to retreat north of the Litani River.

By World Israel News Staff

A senior Israeli official said on Tuesday that the IDF will re-occupy southern Lebanon to ensure security for residents of Israel’s north, should the Hezbollah terror group refuse to retreat north of the Litani River, in accordance with a UN resolution.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz told his French counterpart Stephane Sejourne, who traveled to Jerusalem and Beirut as part of a de-escalation effort, that the current security situation in northern Israel is untenable.

“We will not accept quiet for quiet,” Katz told Sejourne, according to Hebrew-language media reports. “We are not going back to October 6th.”

The minister warned that “if Hezbollah does not withdraw [from the border region], we are heading to an all-out war. If that happens, Israel will act against Hezbollah in all of Lebanon and occupy a large area in southern Lebanon to create a security buffer zone, which will be controlled by the IDF and allow the residents of the north to return home safely.”

Sejourne reportedly offered that Israel participate in an international conference that would involve France, Lebanon, and the UN to broker a solution.

For nearly seven months, Hezbollah terrorists have fired rockets, missiles, and explosive drones at Israeli communities near Lebanon, occasionally targeting cities as far as 20 miles south of the border. Eleven Israeli army soldiers and nine civilians have been killed in the fighting.

Tens of thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes and have been living in temporary accommodations for months.

Though Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in fighting for months, the intensity and scale of the hostilities has so far been limited.

Hezbollah has claimed it will cease rocket fire against Israel should Jerusalem establish a truce with Hamas and end fighting in Gaza.