Is Israel planning to strike more Lebanese sites in next Hezbollah war? هل تخطط إسرائيل لإستهداف المزيد من المواقع اللبنانية في حربها المقبلة مع حزب الله
Yonah Jeremy Bob/Jerusalem Post/April 25/17
In rare remarks, IDF MAG hints that he would approve more targets than were approved in the 2006 Lebanon War in the event of a new conflict between Israel, Hezbollah.
The IDF Military Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Sharon Afek hinted strongly on Tuesday that he will approve a wider range of Lebanese targets than were approved in the 2006 Lebanon War in the event of a new war with Hezbollah.
Speaking at a Ramat Gan conference of military Judge Advocate General (JAG) officers from as many as 20 countries around the world, Afek said that “Hezbollah’s integration into state institutions raises questions of state responsibility.”
He continued saying, “Hezbollah’s location of its military assets in dense urban areas raise questions about how to implement the principle of proportionality.”
All of this is in the context in which Israel’s newer foes like Hezbollah “create operational and strategic challenges by the fact that they directly target civilian populations, act in urban environments and make ground operations necessary in order to locate their military assets,” said Afek.
While legal advisers like the MAG never completely share their hand in advance of a war of what targets they will approve, it is even rare for such advisers to publicly and specifically cite a potential targeting issue.
The statement was that much more unusual with an ongoing line of reports from the security establishment that in a future conflict with Hezbollah, the IDF would “take off the gloves” and attack wider Lebanese targets. In contrast, in the 2006 Lebanon War, the IDF overwhelmingly focused its attacks on Hezbollah controlled areas in order to avoid striking Lebanese-Sunni and Christian areas viewed as unaffiliated with Hezbollah’s military actions.
However, since 2006, Israeli officials have said that Hezbollah has taken deeper control of the state and that the Lebanese state is now more directly supporting even Hezbollah’s military efforts.