Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis warned in a rare op-ed on a
Lebanese opposition website that a war with Israel could break out if
Iran develops precision missiles in the country.
has become - both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye
from many members of the international community - one large missile
factory,” Manelis wrote on the Ahewar website.
no longer a transfer of arms, funds or consultation. Iran has
de-facto opened a new branch, the 'Lebanon branch.' Iran is here,"
Lebanon, Hezbollah does not conceal its attempt to take control of
the state,” he continued, adding that “in the shadow of
Nasrallah’s bullying behavior” the terror group has built “terror
infrastructure and factories to manufacture weapons under the nose of
the Lebanese government.”
and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an
end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which called for
disarmament of Hezbollah, for withdrawal of the Israeli army from
Lebanon, for the deployment of the Lebanese army and an enlarged UN
force in the south.
past year (2017), like the 11 years that preceded it since the end of
the Second Lebanon War, was characterized by relative stability on
the Lebanese front. This quiet is for the benefit of residents on
both sides,” Manelis wrote. “The fact that northern Israel and
southern Lebanon have children who have not heard an alarm in their
lives is a significant achievement of the Second Lebanon War, and the
best proof of the stability of Israeli deterrence and the burning
memory among the Lebanese about the magnitude of Nasrallah's previous
according to IDF assessments, Hezbollah has since rebuilt its arsenal
with at least 100,000 short-range rockets and several thousand more
missiles that can reach central Israel. In addition to a massive
arsenal of rockets and missiles, Hezbollah is able to mobilize close
to 30,000 fighters and has flouted its tunnel system, complete with
ventilation, electricity, and rocket launchers.
has also increased its military capabilities due to its fighting in
Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad, and has spread its
troops across the entire Middle East.
past year has been further proof that Hezbollah serves as an
operational arm of Iran. In every place where there was instability,
we discovered the fingerprint of Iran and everywhere we discovered
Hezbollah's involvement,” Manelis wrote.
200 villages in south Lebanon have also been turned into “military
strongholds” from which Hezbollah militants are able to watch
Israeli soldiers at any moment.
ordinary citizen will be mistaken to think that this process turns
Lebanon into a fortress, it is nothing more than a barrel of
gunpowder on which he, his family and his property are sitting,”
Manelis said in his op-ed on Sunday.
in every three or four houses in southern Lebanon is a headquarters,
a post, a weapons depot or a Hezbollah hideout. We know these assets
and know how to attack them accurately if required.”
officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the smuggling of
sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and the growing Iranian presence
on its borders, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish
officials from Israel’s defense establishment have repeatedly
stated that while the chance of escalation on the border is low, the
smallest incident or a miscalculation by either side has the
possibility to lead to conflict.
future of Lebanese citizens is in the hands of a dictator who sits in
Tehran,” Manelis wrote, adding that “I think it is right to warn
the residents of Lebanon of the Iranian game in their security and in
September, Israel carried out its largest military exercise on the
northern border in 20 years with tens of thousands of soldiers from
all branches of the army simulating a war with Hezbollah.
past year has been used by the IDF to significantly improve
preparations for war on the northern front,” Manelis wrote. “If
our enemies understood how much we knew about them, they would be
deterred from entering into another conflict for many more years to