Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant repeated his warnings against the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah during a tour of Israel’s northern border on Saturday, following an intense weekend of fighting that saw five IDF soldiers seriously injured.
“I have come here in order to conduct a situation assessment in light of Hezbollah’s aggression - it’s no longer just provocations,” Gallant emphasized.
Gaza’s citizens are fleeing south under white flags, Gallant said. “If [Hezbollah] will make such mistakes here, the first to pay the price will be the citizens [because of Hezbollah]. What we can do in Gaza, we can also do in Beirut.”
“We haven’t even used 10% of the Israeli Air Force's power in Gaza,” he added.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah again addressed his supporters in an incendiary speech held on Saturday, where he claimed that the last week “saw an improvement in operations” by his terror forces.
The almost daily routine of Hezbollah provocations and IDF retaliations that began almost immediately after the Hamas assault against Israel on Oct. 7, saw a worrying escalation this weekend.
On Friday, three Israeli soldiers were seriously wounded by an anti-tank missile fired from southern Lebanon at an IDF position near Kibbutz Manara, in the Upper Galilee region.
Two other soldiers were seriously and moderately wounded, respectively, when a Hezbollah suicide drone exploded at an IDF base.
Lebanese media reported on Saturday that the Israeli army retaliated by carrying out its deepest attack inside Lebanon so far, striking a truck in the village of al-Zahrani, just south of Sidon on the Lebanese coast, with a drone.
The IDF only confirmed it had carried out a strike against the source of missiles fired at Israeli drones, without providing an exact location.
In addition, the IDF said it carried out airstrikes against several Hezbollah targets and responded with tank and artillery fire each time Hezbollah forces opened fire.
Throughout Saturday, numerous anti-tank missiles, rockets, and grenades were fired at Israeli targets from Lebanon.
In the morning, a rocket with a heavy payload exploded near Margaliot, while three aerial targets, probably drones, were intercepted near Kabri.
The use of heavier rockets and suicide drones represents a serious escalation of Hezbollah’s attacks compared to its preferred weapons systems so far, a fact that Hezbollah leader Nasrallah bragged about in his speech on Saturday.
“Last week saw an improvement in operations, both quantitively and qualitatively. For instance, we deployed the Burkan missile carrying a payload between 300 kilograms and 500 kilograms. Imagine half a ton of explosives falling on the enemy’s head,” Nasrallah said.
“We also improved in terms of depth of reach, deploying drones and Katyusha rockets.”
The daily clashes between Israel and Hezbollah terrorists so far claimed the lives of six Israeli soldiers and two civilians.
More than 70 Hezbollah members were killed by Israeli strikes, in addition to eight Palestinian terrorists, at least one Reuters journalist, and several civilians.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.