Israel willing to kill civilians in fight against Hezbollah
Israel accused Hezbollah of establishing bases in residential areas and using civilians as “human shields,” vowing to destroy them in any conflict in the future.
Israeli air force chief Major-General Amir Eshel issued his threats in an attempt to prepare the world for high civilian casualties in case a new confrontation with Hezbollah erupted.
"We will have to deal aggressively with thousands of Hezbollah bases which threaten the State of Israel and mainly our interior," Eshel said in a speech at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, a think-tank near Tel Aviv.
The Israeli official pointed out that Beirut, the Bekaa valley and the South are among the targets.
Eshel said Hezbollah uses at times the entire storeys of a residential facility to be used in battles.
He accused the party of using civilians as “human shield.”
Eshel said that the Israeli forces are more powerful than Hezbollah with more capabilities than in 2006.
"Our ability today to attack targets on a large scale and with high precision is about 15 times greater than what we did in the (2006) war," he stressed.
According to estimates Hezbollah is in possession of some 5,000 long-range rockets that can hit greater Tel Aviv, carrying warheads of between 750 kilograms to a ton.
Israel fought a devastating war against Hezbollah in 2006 that cost the lives of 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
Tension has spiked on the border between the two countries since Lebanese troops shot dead an Israeli soldier driving near the frontier on December 16.
It was the most serious incident along the border since 2010, when one Israeli soldier and two Lebanese soldiers, and a journalist were killed.
Israel's border with Lebanon has been largely quiet since the 2006 war with Hezbollah.