A senior commander in the israel Defense Forces told Haaretz Wednesday that as a consequence of “a stronger Hezbollah in Lebanese politics,” in future conflicts, israel would make no distinction between Lebanese forces and those of Hezbollah’s militia.
“The distinction we made between Hezbollah and Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War was a mistake,” said the official, who is the senior officer in the army’s Northern Command near the Lebanese border, about the 2006 conflict. “In the next war we will not make this distinction. We will hit Lebanon and any infrastructure that would contribute to the fighting.”
“If the choice is between pummeling Lebanon or making a distinction between Lebanon and Hezbollah, I’ll take pummeling Lebanon,” the officer added.
During the 2006 war in which Israel invaded southern Lebanon until it was halted and forced to withdraw by stubborn resistance by both Lebanese forces and Hezbollah fighters, over 1,200 people were killed, the vast majority of them civilians, due to Israeli bombardments and bombing. Human Rights Watch claimed the IDF used both cluster bombs and white phosphorus munitions on civilian urban areas, both of which are illegal to use in warfare, and most of which were deployed in the last 72 hours of the conflict, after the UN had already mediated a ceasefire. The war severely damaged Lebanese infrastructure and displaced 1 million Lebanese civilians.
The officer justified the position by claiming…