Israel threatens to put Lebanon ‘back to Stone Age’ as UN urges deescalation

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By Creative Media News

  • Israel warns of potential war with Lebanon
  • UN fears apocalyptic conflict, urges diplomacy
  • Ongoing border skirmishes heighten war risks

Israel has stated that it does not desire war in Lebanon but that it might send its neighbour “back to the Stone Age,” with the United Nations humanitarian affairs director warning that such a fight would be “potentially apocalyptic.

“We do not want war, but we are preparing for every scenario,” Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told reporters in Washington, DC on Wednesday. Hezbollah understands very well that we can inflict massive damage in Lebanon if a war is launched.

He stated that Israel was capable of returning Lebanon to the Stone Age but that they did not wish to do so.

Since the current confrontation in Gaza began on October 7, Israeli soldiers and Iran-aligned Lebanese organisation Hezbollah have exchanged fire daily along the border. Fears of a full-fledged war escalated this month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel was preparing for “a very tense operation” on the border with Lebanon.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has also promised a war with “no restraint, no rules, and no ceilings” in the event of an extensive Israeli invasion against Lebanon.

Gallant’s rhetoric is similar to that of Benny Gantz, a former general and leader of Israel’s National Unity party who just resigned from the war cabinet due to a failure to agree on a post-war strategy for Gaza.

In a series of campaign advertisements released ahead of the 2019 general elections, Gantz referred to throwing the Palestinian enclave “back to the Stone Age” during the 2014 Gaza war, which he commanded as army chief.

Meanwhile, UN humanitarian affairs chief Martin Griffiths described Lebanon as “the flashpoint beyond all flashpoints”.

“It cannot be planned. It’s potentially apocalyptic,” he warned reporters in Geneva, warning that a conflict in Lebanon would engulf Syria and other nations.

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On Tuesday, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Gallant that another battle with Hezbollah would have “terrible consequences for the Middle East” and advocated a diplomatic solution.

According to a US official, Washington is having “fairly intensive conversations” with Israel, Lebanon, and other actors, and no one wants a “major escalation.

On Wednesday, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported approximately ten Israeli attacks on regions along the border, including one that demolished a structure in Nabatiyeh and injured five people. In comparison, Hezbollah claimed six attacks against Israeli military posts in the border region.

Gallant also said he spoke with senior US officials about his “day after” suggestions for post-war governance in Gaza. He noted that the process, which would involve local Palestinians, regional partners, and the United States, would be “long and complex.

In May, Gallant, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, criticised the prime minister for failing to provide a post-war strategy for Gaza, echoing US concerns.

While Gallant’s journey to the United States was intended to shore up bipartisan support for Israel as tensions with Lebanon rose, some observers believe it was also a ploy to discredit Netanyahu a month before he visited Washington, DC, to address a joint session of Congress.

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