Israel issues ‚all-out‘ war threat as Middle East tensions hit fever pitch | World | News


Israel has issued a fresh threat to one of Iran’s closest proxies, fuelling fear a new all-out war may erupt in the Middle East.

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said a decision on an open conflict with Hezbollah would come soon, warning the militant group they would be wiped out if Jerusalem declared war against it.

The official wrote on X on June 18: „We are very close to the moment of decision to change the rules against Hezbollah and Lebanon. In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely hit.

„The State of Israel will pay a price on the front and home fronts, but with a strong and united nation, and the full power of the IDF, we will restore security to the residents of the north.“

In his message, Mr Katz referred to footage of Haifa, a city in northern Israel, filmed by a Hezbollah surveillance drone. Including images of sensitive sites such as ports, airports and civilian neighbourhoods, the broadcast of the nine-minute video by Hezbollah has been interpreted as a threat against the city.

The Lebanese group, militarily and economically backed by Iran, urged people to „watch and analyse“ the „important scenes“.

The Israeli official’s threat came before his country’s military announced that „operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated, and decisions were taken on the continuation of increasing the readiness of troops in the field“.

The IDF and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire since Hamas launched its unprecedented attack in southern Israel on October 7, which prompted the ongoing war in Gaza.

Over the months, Hezbollah has intensified its attacks on northern Israel. Last week alone, it launched hundreds of rockets and drones against the country.

Drones are proving a thorny issue for Jerusalem, as the current air defence appears to struggle to entirely counter the Hezbollah’s combination of tactics enforced to avoid its unmanned aerial vehicles from being detected – including flying low and using multiple channels to avoid jamming technology.

Aware of the risks of another all-out war in the Middle East, US envoy Amos Hochstein called for „urgent“ de-escalation on Tuesday during a visit to Lebanon.

He added: „We have seen an escalation over the last few weeks. And what President Biden wants to do is avoid a further escalation to a greater war.“

During a visit to Israel one day prior, the US envoy had reportedly warned the country’s officials that a wider confrontation with Hezbollah could lead to a „wide-scale Iranian attack“, according to the Haaretz newspaper.



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