Hezbollah “will be making the mistake of its life” if it enters the Israel-Hamas war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops stationed near the Lebanese border on Sunday. Netanyahu warned that Lebanon would be “devastated” in response.
“If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will long for the Second Lebanon War,” Netanyahu said, referring to the 2006 conflict in which Israel invaded southern Lebanon and pounded Beirut with airstrikes in response to Hezbollah raids into Israel. Some 165 Israelis and more than 1,000 Lebanese were killed in the month-long conflict.
“It will be making the mistake of its life,” Netanyahu continued, according to a transcript seen by Israeli media. “We will strike it with unimaginable strength and the significance to it and to the country of Lebanon will be devastating.”
Israeli and Hezbollah forces have engaged in tit-for-tat exchanges of rocket and artillery fire since the conflict with Hamas broke out two weeks ago. While the Lebanese paramilitary group has sent drones and a number of infiltrators across the border, no large-scale incursion has taken place, and Israel has thus far avoided opening a second front in the north.