Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, threatened Lebanon to pay a heavy price for building ammunition and missile depots inside residential compounds by Hezbollah militia.
In a speech during a ceremony commemorating the deaths of the “helicopter disaster,” Gants said that if a front will be opened in the north, Lebanon will pay the heavy price for weapons hidden in civilian gatherings.
“Three and a half years after the helicopter disaster, we had left Lebanon after it had been ravaged by the blood of our deaths. Since then, we have made it clear repeatedly that we will not allow Hezbollah and the Iranians to turn Lebanon into a State of terrorism,” the Israeli minister added.
He also stressed that his country is working and will continue to work on the border line and beyond, noting that the Israeli army will not hesitate to target the Iranian positioning near the Israeli border.
“Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah knows very well that his decision to build ammunition and missile depots, and to develop the organization’s capabilities, exposes to danger both the organization and Lebanese citizens,” he added.
The threats of Gantz come a few days after the threats of Aviv Kochavi, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, who called Lebanese residents to evacuate their places because they are “full of missiles, and it will be targeted by the Israeli attacks.” Whoever decides not to leave does so at his own risk, he pointed out. Kochavi statements came during his participation in the annual conference of the National Security Research Institute at Tel Aviv University,
He also indicated that Hezbollah is positioned in urban areas and in the heart of civilian populated areas in Lebanon.
During the past few days, he Lebanese-Israeli border has witnessed tensions. Last Tuesday explosions were heard in the villages of Hasbaya and al-Arqoub and the Shebaa farms in southern Lebanon, as a result of the military exercises that the Israeli army carried out and extended to the Golan Heights, where a reconnaissance aircraft flew over the Shebaa Farms.
This came after the Lebanese Hezbollah announced Monday Feb. 8, that it had shot down an Israeli drone that had penetrated to Lebanese airspace.
“An Israeli-modified (Matris-100) enemy aircraft, penetrated to the Lebanese airspace, crossing the blue line for a distance of 400 meters at 10:30 am on Monday. Fighters of the Islamic Resistance confronted it with appropriate weapons and dropped it in the Khirbet locality in the southern Lebanese border town of Blida” According to the Hezbollah statement.
In turn, the Israeli army spokesman, Avichay Adraee, said that the crash of the plane took place inside Lebanese territory during operations on the border, indicating that “there is no fear of leaking information about the plane.”