IDF preparing for major offensive in Lebanon, IDF chief says
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi at a situational assessment on the northern border with Lebanon, May 1, 2024. Photo: IDF

Two Israelis were lightly wounded in the Upper Galilee when a Hezbollah anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon scored a direct hit on their vehicle.

JNS Staff Report
May 1, 2024

Israel Defense Forces troops in the north are actively preparing for a more extensive on the Hezbollah terror organization in Southern Lebanon, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said on Wednesday.

“You are doing an excellent job of operational defense in the north, and we are preparing for an offensive in the north,” Halevi told troops on the border following an operational assessment with Northern Command head Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin and other high-ranking military officers.

Two Israeli Arabs were lightly wounded in the Upper Galilee on Tuesday night when a Hezbollah anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon scored a direct hit on their vehicle, the IDF announced earlier on Wednesday.

The two civilians, residents of Shibli–Umm al-Ghanam at the foot of Mount Tabor and Arraba in the Lower Galilee, were driving a poultry truck near the border town of Moshav Ramot Naftali when air raid sirens warned of an incoming projectile from Lebanon.

The victims were able to leave the truck and seek shelter before the missile hit the vehicle.

They were admitted to the emergency room at Ziv Medical Center in Safed with light shrapnel wounds to their heads. They were released following a medical examination.

In a statement cited by Lebanon’s Al-Ahkbar daily, Hezbollah claimed it targeted an “Israeli military vehicle at the Yiftah-Ramot Naftali triangle.”

Avichay Adraee, head of the Arab Media Branch in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, responded in a post on X, saying that “there is a vast gap between Hezbollah’s statements and claims and the truth.”

Hezbollah is “a terrorist organization that creates pretexts and justifications to drag Lebanon into dangerous situations and target Israeli civilians. Hezbollah is the enemy of the Israelis and the Lebanese,” tweeted the Israeli military spokesman in Arabic.

In response to Tuesday night’s attack, Israeli Air Force jets struck Hezbollah terrorist targets in the areas of Al-Khyam, Kafr Kila, Odaisseh and Mis al-Jabal, all in Southern Lebanon.

On Wednesday morning, air-raid sirens were activated in the Israeli border communities of Fassuta, Elkosh, Mattat, Netu’a and Hurfeish, warning of incoming rocket and missile fire from Lebanon.

According to Hezbollah-affiliated media in Lebanon, Israeli forces responded by launching an airstrike on the terrorist group’s position in Tayr Harfa, as well as with artillery fire towards Rachaya Al Foukhar.

Hezbollah has carried out near-daily attacks on northern Israel from Southern Lebanon since joining the war against the Jewish state in support of Hamas a day after the latter’s Oct. 7 massacre.

Tehran’s terrorist proxy has killed nine civilians—Israelis and one foreign worker—and 11 IDF soldiers since it began its current round of attacks.

Israel has threatened a full-scale invasion of Southern Lebanon to push Hezbollah north of the Litani River—some 18 miles from the border—if a diplomatic solution is not found. Efforts to calm tensions, including those of the United States and France, have been unsuccessful.

On Saturday night, an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a rocket barrage fired by Hezbollah from Lebanon at the Galilee. The soldier was treated for his injuries overnight and released on Sunday morning.

Jerusalem has promised that the roughly 80,000 evacuated citizens who live within 5.5 miles of the northern border will not be asked to return home until the terrorist group is pushed back into Lebanon.

Over the weekend, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem threatened that a full-scale war with Israel would make the country’s northern region even more uninhabitable.

“[Israeli Defense Minister Yoav] Gallant threatens us that if we don’t stop the attacks, he will attack Lebanon to return the residents of the north to their homes,” he said.

“I say to Gallant that this war will not only cause the Zionists to not return to their homes but is likely to end their presence in the northern occupied territories once and for all,” Qassem said.

Leave a Reply