Israel prefers no escalation, but will attack Lebanon if necessary

Israel’s minister of intelligence stressed that Jerusalem has no interest in escalating tensions but will respond forcefully to any Hezbollah attack.

Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz fired back at Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, who on Saturday threatened an “appropriate response” against Israel regarding any violation of Lebanese sovereignty.

“If Hezbollah will attack population centers and national infrastructures in Israel, Israel will respond with great force, and this time, unlike the Second Lebanon War, it will not prevent damage to national infrastructure in Lebanon as a whole,” Katz warned.

“Those who do not want the ruin and destruction of Lebanon tomorrow, must restrain and weaken Hezbollah today as well as Iran which supports (Hezbollah).”

Although Hezbollah is currently distinct and separate from Lebanon’s army, Aoun last week conveyed to Egyptian TV network CBC his belief in a complementary military role for Hezbollah alongside the Lebanese army. Sigird Kaag, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, urged Aoun not to allow for the arming of Hezbollah in remarks on Twitter.

Katz made sure to emphasize that although such a response might be necessary, it would not be Israel’s preferred choice.

“No one has an interest in an escalation, but the Lebanese must understand that they will pay a heavy price,” Katz stressed.

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By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News