Smotrich says Israeli army should occupy south Lebanon if Hezbollah doesn't withdraw


Israel should not shy away from launching a military takeover of southern Lebanon if Hezbollah does not withdraw from the border, far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said.

Speaking at a faction meeting of his far-right Religious Zionism party held, unusually, in northern Israel, Smotrich demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make a clear announcement of a plan to deal with Hezbollah’s threat, saying that if necessary, Hezbollah must be dealt with through military action.

“A public ultimatum must be issued to Hezbollah that they completely stop firing and withdraw all forces to beyond the Litani River,” said Smotrich.

Promoting a plan reminiscent of Israel’s security zone in southern Lebanon in the years following the 1982 invasion, Smotrich warned: “If the ultimatum is not fully met, the IDF (Israeli army) will launch an assault deep in Lebanese territory to defend the northern communities, including ground entry and Israeli military takeover of the southern Lebanese area.”

“The way to bring the (evacuated) residents home to the north is through a military decision with a devastating assault on Hezbollah, its infrastructure and the destruction of its power,” he said.

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war against Hamas there.

In response, Israel has threatened to go to war to force Hezbollah away from the border if it does not retreat and continues to threaten northern settlements, from where some 70,000 residents were evacuated to avoid the fighting.

International efforts including by France and the U.S. to resolve the matter through a diplomatic solution have so far failed, as Hezbollah has maintained it will not enter into any tangible discussions with Israel until there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

Comments 4
Thumb justice 20 May 2024, 16:55

Smotrich says Israeli army should occupy south Lebanon if Hezbollah doesn't withdraw

lol... just try... try if you dare pos!

Missing phillipo 21 May 2024, 12:49

So, who the heck does Smotrich think he is? He has no power whatsover to decide on military affairs within the Israeli government. He never even served in the Israeli Army, but managed to stay out because of his past as a member of the anti-democratic Boys of the Hills" illegal organisation.

Thumb chrisrushlau 20 May 2024, 23:59

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz says he has met with representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.

“I asked them to work with the [US] administration and Congress to take dramatic steps against the decision by the Prosecutor of the ICC to demand arrest warrants for PM Netanyahu and the Defense Minister,” Katz said on X.

Missing un520 21 May 2024, 01:42

Why occupy when you can take out whomever you like from the air..?