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Israel threatens to return Lebanon to the "Stone Age" in case of war with Hezbollah

Israel does not want a war against Hezbollah but has the capacity to do so. to bring Lebanon à "Stone Age" where applicable, warned his Defense Minister against a backdrop of UN fears of a "potentially apocalyptic" of conflict à Gaza.

“Hezbollah understands very well that we can inflict enormous damage on Lebanon if a war is launched,” Minister Yoav Gallant told the press after a several-day visit to Washington.

“We have the capacity to bring Lebanon back to the Stone Age, but we do not want to do it (…) We do not want a war”, said – he added, specifying that the Israeli government was “preparing for any scenario”.

The spread to Lebanon of the war that Israel is waging against Hamas in the Strip of Gaza would be “potentially apocalyptic”, the UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, had earlier warned from Geneva.

Israel threatens to return Lebanon to the "Stone Age" in case of war with Hezbollah

“I see this as the spark that will ignite the powder,” he stressed, estimating that a conflict involving Lebanon “will win Syria… will win the other” territories of the region, leading to consequences “unpredictable”.

During the night from Wednesday to Thursday, witnesses reported bombings in different sectors of the Gaza Strip, while in Lebanon, five people were injured in an Israeli airstrike on a building in Nabatiyeh (south), according to the official Lebanese agency Ani.

Israel threatens to return Lebanon to the "Stone Age" in case of war with Hezbollah

Photo taken in southern Lebanon of smoke rising from the Israeli town of Metulla, after cross-border rocket fire from Lebanon, June 26, 2024 © AFP – Rabih DAHER

In Syria, two people were killed in an Israeli strike shortly before midnight, the official Sana agency announced, citing a military source. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), the strike targeted a service center of a foundation affiliated with Lebanese Hezbollah and pro-Iranian groups, near the capital Damascus.

And in Yemen, the US Army Middle East Command said it had destroyed a “radar” of the Houthi rebels, allies of Hamas, who target international maritime traffic in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in ” solidarity” with the population of Gaza.

– Lebanon, after Gaza ? –

The war in Gaza has led to an outbreak of violence on the border between Israel and Lebanon, where exchanges of fire are almost daily between Lebanese Hezbollah, an ally of Palestinian Hamas, and the Israeli army.

Israel threatens to return Lebanon to the "Stone Age" in case of war with Hezbollah

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths at the opening of a forum in Doha on May 20, 2024 © AFP – KARIM JAAFAR

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that the “intense” phase of fighting was coming to an end in the Gaza Strip and said that afterward, Israel could “redeploy some forces to the north”, on the border with Lebanon, “for defensive purposes”.

“It seems that Israel, which devastated Gaza, is now setting its sights on Lebanon. We let's see that Western powers support Israel behind the scenes,” declared Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Netanyahu's plans to expand the war to the region will lead to great disaster,” he added. Like Canada, Germany followed suit by calling on its nationals to leave Lebanon on Wednesday.

– “Regional war” –

“A war between Israel and Hezbollah could easily become a regional war, with disastrous consequences for the Middle East”, also worried the American Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, while receiving M . Gallant in Washington.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned last week that “no place” in Israel would be spared by his movement if necessary. , the day after an announcement by the Israeli army that “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon” had been “validated”.

Israel threatens to return Lebanon to the "Stone Age" in case of war with Hezbollah

Palestinians carry the bodies of relatives killed during an Israeli bombardment near Gaza City on June 22, 2024. © AFP – Omar AL-QATTAA

Hezbollah opened the front with Israel in support of Hamas the day after the attack perpetrated on October 7 by the Palestinian Islamist movement in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to a count from AFP established from official Israeli data.

Of 251 people kidnapped during the attack, 116 are still held hostage in Gaza, of which 42 are dead, according to the army.

In retaliation, Israel launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip where more than 37,718 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed since the beginning of the war, according to the Hamas-led government's Health Ministry.

– “Need for water” –

Israel threatens to return Lebanon to the "Stone Age" in case of war with Hezbollah

Food crisis in Gaza © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Laurence SAUBADU, Sylvie HUSSON

The war has caused a humanitarian catastrophe in the territory of 2.4 million inhabitants besieged by Israel, where 495,000 people suffer from hunger at a “catastrophic” level, according to a report published Tuesday by the Integrated Food Security Classification Framework (IPC), on which UN agencies base themselves.

Water is also lacking in the middle of summer in the overpopulated territory , where residents crowd with cans when a truck loaded with tanks arrives.

The opening in March of a maritime corridor from Cyprus allowed the shipment to Gaza of 7,000 tons of humanitarian aid, of which 6,000 tons remain in storage due to looting and violence which prevent their distribution, American officials meeting in Cyprus said on Wednesday.

“I've never seen such a difficult or complex environment” for humanitarians, said Doug Stropes of USAID, the US development agency.

“The crisis worsened with the arrival of summer. People need water to drink and wash”, testifies Muhammad Bashir, who repairs dozens of tanks damaged or pierced by shrapnel in its workshop in Deir el-Balah, in central Gaza.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116