Reuters, via Ynetnews
Israel warns Hizbullah war would invite destruction
IDF Northern Command chief says in any future war Israel would use '
disproportionate' force on Lebanese villages from which Hizbullah will
fire rockets at its cities. 'From our standpoint, these are not civilian
villages, they are military bases,' Maj.-Gen. Eisenkot tells Yedioth
Published: 10.03.08, 20:56 / Israel News
Israel would use "disproportionate" force to destroy Lebanese villages
from which Hizbullah guerrillas fired rockets at its cities in any
future war, an Israeli general said in remarks published on Friday.
"What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in
every village from which Israel is fired on," said Gadi Eisenkot, head
of the army's northern division.
Dahiya was a Hizbullah stronghold that Israel flattened in sustained air
raids during a 34-day war with the Shiite group two years ago.
"We will apply disproportionate force on it (village) and cause great
damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not
civilian villages, they are military bases," Eisenkot told the Yedioth
"This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been
approved," Eisenkot added.
Some 1,200 Lebanese and 159 Israelis were killed during the war, which
was sparked by a Hizbullah cross-border attack against an Israeli army
'Hizbullah building capabilities against us'
The army's failure to halt daily barrages of rockets against Israeli
cities during the war prompted a wave of criticism of military
commanders as well as calls on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign over
his handling of the conflict.
Israel accused Hizbullah of firing rockets from civilian homes in
southern Lebanon during the war, a claim echoed by human rights groups
who also accused Israel of using excessive force that claimed the lives
of innocent civilians.
Eisenkot said Hizbullah, backed by Iran and Syria, had significantly
improved its rocket fire capability since the end of the war two years ago.
He rejected accusations that Israel was violating a UN-brokered
ceasefire by sending aircraft on reconnaissance flights over Lebanon,
saying the aerial missions were necessary given that Iran and Syria
continue to arm Hizbullah in breach of the UN truce.
"Hizbullah is building capabilities against us that contravene the
agreement signed by the Lebanese government at the end of the war," said
Eisenkot. "Therefore there is legitimacy to continue the flights over
southern Lebanon and over Lebanon in general."