IDF Commander: Hezbollah Preparing For Third Lebanon War

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TEL AVIV – An IDF battalion commander stationed on Israel’s border with Lebanon said on Wednesday that the Hezbollah terror group’s recent activity was “reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War,” the Times of Israel reported.

Lt. Col. Eliav Elbaz told Israel’s Channel 2 that the Shi’ite Lebanese group was “obsessively” monitoring Israeli soldiers from across the border.

“The other side is obsessively gathering [information] about everything happening here, everything our security forces [are doing],” Elbaz said.

“Right now they’re up to their necks in the war in Syria, but we still see them walking around” and scouting the Israeli positions, he said. It’s “reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War,” he added.

The IDF officer said that, in the event of an attack, his soldiers were trained and ready.

“We are preparing for war. In the event of a war, they will have a lot more to lose,” he warned.

Hezbollah’s last war with Israel in 2006 left nearly 1,200 Lebanese dead, many of them Hezbollah fighters. 160 Israelis died as well.

According to the report, Hezbollah’s efforts in the Syrian civil war are restricting the terror group’s ability to attack Israel with any real impact.

However, the IDF’s deputy chief of staff Major General Yair Golan said that Hezbollah’s improving capabilities are of concern to Israel and could result in “full-scale war.”

“Comparing that to anything we’ve experienced before, no doubt, this is the most severe threat we’ve ever experienced before,” Golan said.

He added, “We’re not going to see small war in Lebanon. It’s going to be decisive. It’s going to be full-scale war.”

Sources in the Foreign Ministry have also expressed concern that the tactical experience Hezbollah gained in Syria has changed the group’s approach from defensive to offensive.