The Israeli Minister of Education has threatened that Israel will hit civilian facilities of Lebanon and send the country “back to the Middle Ages” if Hezbollah launches its missiles to the Israeli territory.
Instead of trying to isolate and liquidate Hezbollah units the Israeli Armed Forces will attack Lebanon’s infrastructure, including army’s and civilian strategic facilities, and send “Lebanon back to the Middle Ages,” the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday, citing the country’s Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett. The move is going to be considered in the case of usage missiles against Israel by Hezbollah.
“If Hezbollah fires missiles at the Israeli home front, this will mean sending Lebanon back to the Middle Ages,” Bennett said, noting that it is almost impossible to target rocket launchers during a war, as Hezbollah deploys them in a very sophisticated manner.
“The Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airport, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese Army bases – they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out,” Bennett said. “Life in Lebanon today is not bad – certainly compared to what’s going on in Syria. Lebanon’s civilians, including the Shia population, will understand that this is what lies in store for them,” he added.
According to the minister, targeting of civilian infrastructure will accelerate the campaign, as the international community will intervene in it faster. “That will lead them to stop it quickly – and we have an interest in the war being as short as possible,” he said.
At a recent meeting of the Knesset Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also said that in the case of a war, not only Hezbollah facilities will be attacked.
“We have become witnesses of bellicose statements made by Lebanese leaders, including President Michel Aoun,” the Walla information portal quoted his words. “The Lebanese security forces did not prevent attempts of riots on the border with Israel. From our point of view, the Lebanese and Hezbollah infrastructures represent a single whole.”
Earlier, in February, Israeli Minister of Transport and Intelligence Yisrael Katz also said that Tel Aviv can strike “all Lebanon” if the Shiite organization launches missiles on the territory of his country.
“If Nasrallah [Secretary General of Hezbollah] dares to bombard the Israeli home front or our national infrastructure, we will carry out a strike on all Lebanon,” the TASS news agency quoted the words of Katz.
According to Katz, Nasrallah “grovels before Iran and indulges it so much that he is ready to provoke a complete destruction of Lebanon for his master’s sake.” The minister also called to “apply severe sanctions against Hezbollah and put heavy pressure on Iran” in order to make the country “to stop to supply weapons to this organization and finance it.”
“It is necessary to destroy this axis of evil – Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Lebanon,” Katz said.
Last month, in a series of interviews with local media, Lebanese President Aoun ruled out a possibility of outside pressure to disarm Hezbollah, noting that the group’s operations “complement the actions of the army and do not contradict them.”
“They are a major part of Lebanon’s defense,” Aoun said. “As long as Israel occupies land and covets the natural resources of Lebanon, and as long as the Lebanese military lacks the power to stand up to Israel, [Hezbollah’s] arms are essential.”