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Jerusalem Rattles the Sabers: Israel’s Northern Command Chief Says Units are Ready for Ground War Against Hezbollah

IDF head of the Northern Command, Major General Ori Gordin (L), during a battalion exercise near the border with Lebanon. IDF
IDF head of the Northern Command, Major General Ori Gordin (L), during a battalion exercise near the border with Lebanon. IDF

Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, the head of the Israeli military’s Northern Command, said that his forces are prepared to take the fight straight to Hezbollah terrorists if lawmakers in Jerusalem give him the go-ahead.

Speaking at a commemoration ceremony marking the 2006 Lebanon War, Gordin told the audience that the IDF finished a major training exercise targeting the allies of the regime in Iran and assured those in attendance that “we are prepared and ready, and when given the command, the enemy will meet a strong and prepared army.”

“We have been doing this for eight months, with the understanding that this time too, like 18 years ago, we have no choice but to continue fighting together until the mission is completed,” he continued.

The general’s comments come as his region of responsibility has been enduring an almost daily occurrence of drone, missile, and rocket attacks from Hezbollah militants stationed across his country’s northern border.

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the IDF's Chief of Staff, informed Golani Brigade commanders on Tuesday that the Jewish state was close to reaching a decision on operational matters concerning a potential offensive into southern Lebanon.

Halevi’s statements were echoed by several government officials, including war cabinet member Benny Gantz, who decided that it was necessary to resolve the local security situation by September 1.

Any plans to directly confront Hezbollah are likely to face some pushback from Washington, as Axios reported on Thursday that there are concerns from the White House that any escalation could draw the Islamic Republic into the war.

Since the start of the conflict on October 8, at least 10 civilians and 15 soldiers have been killed in the area, including a reserve sergeant in a drone attack on the Druze town of Hurfeish the previous day.

Besides the casualties, the frequent bombardments have sparked numerous wildfires, consuming thousands of acres of land and leading to the closure of major roads.

The terror campaign has also resulted in the evacuation of around 60,000 residents to locations in central and southern Israel.

Hezbollah’s deputy leader, Naim Qassem, told Al Jazeera this week that any actions taken against them would be met “with devastation.”

Related Story: The Guns of June: Halevi Says Israel Nearing Decision on What to Do with Hezbollah

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