Israeli Officials Signal Coming War in Lebanon

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained that an Israeli drawdown in Gaza would allow a buildup for war with Lebanon

Top Israeli officials have laid out plans to reduce military operations in Gaza to gear up for a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. US military officials have warned that Tel Aviv’s missile defense could be overwhelmed, and Iran may enter the war. Countries around the globe are instructing their citizens to avoid Lebanon.

On Sunday, Netanyahu explained to Israeli Channel 14 that, “After the intense phase is finished [in Gaza], we will have the possibility to move part of the forces north. And we will do this, first and foremost, for defensive purposes. And secondly, to bring our (evacuated) residents’ home.” He went on to tell the outlet “If we can, we will do this diplomatically. If not, we will do it another way. But we will bring (the residents) home.”

Netanyahu did not provide a timeline, only stating the intense operations in Gaza will soon come to a close. At the same time, the Israeli leader has ruled out ending the war in the Strip, stating he will not halt the onslaught until Hamas is eliminated and “Iran’s intentions to destroy us” have been naturalized.

US officials have been warning of a wider war in the region. The White House believes bringing the fighting to a close in Gaza can end the fighting on Israel’s northern border.

Netanyahu’s recent remarks suggest that a ceasefire in Gaza is unlikely anytime soon. While the US could leverage military support for Israel to force Tel Aviv to deescalate, Washington has pledged it would come to Israel’s aid should a larger conflict break out. However, US defense officials have warned that the Pentagon may be unable to provide some of the aid Tel Aviv would need, and Israel’s aid defenses could be overwhelmed.

While Netanyahu indicated that a diplomatic solution on the northern border was possible, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has said the “window of opportunity is closing.” He added that “Israel will not put up with… the situation where residents of the north can’t return to their homes.”

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown also said that Iran could come to Hezbollah’s aid should Israel invade southern Lebanon. Netanyahu claimed that Israel was ready to fight a multi-front war, declaring “We can fight on several fronts and we are prepared to do that.”

The global community is taking the risk of a wider conflict seriously. Canada is making plans to evacuate its 40,000 citizens from Lebanon, while a host of other states, including Kuwait, have instructed their citizens not to travel to the country.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin was “extremely concerned” about a potential war between Israel and Hezbollah, and vowed to visit Beirut on Tuesday in an effort to resolve the tensions.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.