Senior IDF officer: Ben-Gurion, Haifa port would be closed from day one of new Lebanon war
Yoav Zitun / Ynetnews/Published: 10.31.14,/ Israel News
High-ranking officer questions western alliance with Syria, Hezbollah against Islamic State, calls it a ‘serious mistake’ to join forces with Shi’ite extremists.
Ben-Gurion international airport and Haifa port would be closed on the first day of a third Lebanon war and Hezbollah officials would be viable targets for elimination, says a senior officer of the IDF General Staff, a conflict that the Israeli army envisions could well break out in the future.
The officer was speaking against the backdrop of a series of violent incidents targeting IDF troops on the Lebanese border over the past year, some of which have been claimed openly by Hezbollah in response to what it called IDF attacks on its positions or fighters in southern Lebanon.
“We continue to prepare for a state of widespread conflict in Lebanon, and it is foolish to think only that only identifying intelligence targets or bombing by the air force will induce the enemy to enter the fray,” said the officer.
“The IDF will have to operate at full strength in a third Lebanon war. If during Operation Protective Edge there was an outcry because Ben-Gurion airport was closed for two days due to rockets, then in the next war with Hezbollah, Ben-Gurion airport and Haifa port will be closed from day one.”
He said that in the next war it would not make sense to attack state infrastructure targets in southern Lebanon as the IDF did in the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
“Historically, this has not been proven to be useful and would not make Hezbollah say ‘I give up because of an attack on a power plant’,” said the officer. “It would also be correct to forcefully attack targets and activists and senior organization officials.”
The officer also warned that Hezbollah continues to grow stronger despite losing hundreds of fighters to the civil war in Syria.
And, for the first time since the start of Syrian civil war three years ago, and in view of the collapse of countries such as Iraq due to the growing power of the Islamic State, the officer came out firmly against US-led Western alliance fighting the Islamic State, which seeks to topple the Assad regime.
“It is not Israel that alarms Iran, but the possibility that Iraq will be eaten alive by the Islamic State and Syria will falls into its hands. I’m not excited about the coalition against the IS. The West makes a serious mistake in its support, led by the US, England, Canada, France and Australia, for Shi’ite radicals, on the side of Assad, Hezbollah and Iran. It does not make sense.”