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Israel preparing to go on ‘attack in the north,’ IDF chief warns amid French negotiation effort

Hezbollah carried out 236 separate attacks against Israel in April

Herzi Halevi meeting with IDF Israeli soldiers, May 1, 2024 (Photo: IDF).

Israel is preparing to go on the offensive against Hezbollah, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi warned on Wednesday as he toured the border with Lebanon.

“You are doing an excellent job of defending in an aggressive way, and we are preparing for an attack in the north,” Halevi told several high-ranking officers after an operational assessment.

The general also spoke to commanders of the Etzioni Brigade, a reserve unit that has been defending the Western Galilee against Hezbollah attacks over the past weeks. He thanked them for their service.

“We took the difficult event of the 7th of October, we came to our senses, then went forward strongly, and now we are making a very clear statement to the region about the presence here going forward. The reserve world took a significant part in this,” Halevi said.

As the French government renewed its efforts to reach a diplomatic solution to the quasi-war started by the Lebanese terror organization on Oct. 8, Hezbollah continued its near-daily attacks against Israel.

The Alma Research Center reported that during April, Hezbollah carried out 236 separate attacks, which is on par with the monthly average since October.

However, the terror group persisted in escalating its use of drone attacks, launching 42 unmanned aircraft against Israel in April alone, nearly double the number from March.

On Wednesday, two anti-tank missiles heavily damaged two homes in the town of Shtula in the Western Galilee without causing any casualties. In response, the IDF struck Hezbollah targets in several towns across southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the French government proposed that Israel host a meeting in its capital of Paris to discuss a possible long-term agreement with Lebanese government officials that would enable the tens of thousands of citizens in northern Israel and southern Lebanon to return to their homes.

"We are determined to continue our mediation efforts for calm in the north - and intend to offer every possible way, including opening negotiations through us,” a French official told Israel's Channel 13.

According to the report, Israeli officials maintain that a serious discussion on the matter would only be possible once a ceasefire was reached in the Gaza Strip, as Hezbollah has signaled it wouldn’t be ready to discuss a truce without a pause to the Gaza War.

A French proposal for an agreement includes three stages, the Lebanese news outlet MTV reported. First, a ceasefire and a withdrawal from the border by Hezbollah forces.

The second stage would see the return of Lebanese and Israelis to their homes, while negotiations about a long-term agreement would commence in a third step.

The French proposal also includes the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border, following the withdrawal of Hezbollah's troops from their positions in that area.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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