Israeli Military Chief Says Lebanon War Likely in Coming Months

Says Israel will apply lessons learned in Gaza offensive

Visiting troops near the northern border, head of Israel’s military, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, discussed the potential of war in Lebanon, saying the likelihood of a conflict in the coming months is “much higher” than it has been.

Lt. Gen Halevi said he believes Israel will be starting the war with more advantages than in the past, and that lessons learned in Gaza will be applied to the situation in Lebanon. Tens of thousands of troops are reportedly being readied for the new offensive.

The comments echo those of Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, the head of northern forces, who said earlier this week that he believes the troops are “ready” for the war in Lebanon, and could start “tonight, if necessary.”

Maj. Gen. Gordin’s comments came after an artillery and air strike attack on Wadi Saluki, a small village in southern Lebanon. He too was predicting tens of thousands of troops would be involved in this war.

Lt. Gen. Halevi was explicit about the goal, saying it is “very clear” that the military needs to allow Israeli citizens to return to their homes in the north, and this would be accomplished through a new conflict with Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has been attacking northern Israeli villages in tit-for-tat strikes for months now, and badly damaged an Israeli airbase in the process. They fired rockets into Israel after the Wadi Saluki strike, though reports denied there were any casualties, and most of the Israeli villages in the area were evacuated long ago.

Israel has estimated some 80,000 citizens have been displaced by the fighting in the north. They may hope to resolve this with a war, but if anything, the near-term points to Hezbollah retaliation likely widening the zone of displacement and forcing even more to flee deeper into central Israel.

The US warned Israel it would struggle fighting a second war at the same time as Gaza. Although some Israeli officials have downplayed this and argued the war in Gaza is coming to a close, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said it may well extend beyond this year into 2025.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.