New Israel-Lebanon war on the horizon, says IDF commander

New Israel-Lebanon war on the horizon, says IDF commander
2 min read
06 October, 2016
IDF's chief of infantry and paratroopers anticipates a new conflict that will be spurred by events outside of Israel.
Israel and Lebanon are still officially at war [AFP]

Another Israel-Lebanon War is due to happen any time soon, a top IDF commander told Israeli national television on Tuesday.

Speaking to Israel's Channel 2, Brigadier General Rassan Alian said that while he expects the war to occur, it "won't necessarily begin in Israel; events on other fronts are liable to spur it".

Alian, who was recently appointed as chief of infantry and paratroopers, is one Israel's highest ranking Druze military officers.

His track record includes having led battles in Israel's catastrophic war in Gaza in 2014, in which over 2,000 Palestinians were killed.

Lebanon is still technically at war with Israel, with memories of Israeli atrocities fresh in the minds of many Lebanese people.

After the recent death of former Israeli prime minister and president Shimon Peres, Lebanon's Hizballah-affiliated television network al-Manar described the dead statesman as a "criminal," for many acts including his role in the 1996 Qana massacre.

Hizballah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, also said in August - during the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War -that his group could "strike anywhere in Israel" with rockets.

In August, the UN Security Council warned that violations of the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel could lead to a new conflict "that none of the parties or the region can afford."

The council's warning came in a resolution adopted unanimously on Tuesday extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force that monitors the truce until August 31, 2017. 

It urged all parties "to make every effort to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is sustained, exercise maximum calm and restraint and refrain from any action or rhetoric that could jeopardize the cessation of hostilities or destabilise the region."