Israel's Defence Minister has said that the next war waged on Israel's northern front will not only be against Hezbollah in Lebanon, but also Syria, and hostilities will also include the Gaza Strip. Avigdor Lieberman made his comments in a speech to army officers at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv on Monday on the eve of the Yom Kippur holiday.
"The next war in the north will not only be the Lebanese front, but rather a united front made up of Syria and Lebanon," Lieberman explained. "The Lebanese army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hezbollah." He added that Israel will not have a war on a single front. "The next war will be fought on both fronts [north and south]." This, obviously, implies that Gaza will again be a target for an Israeli military offensive.
"We are trying our best to prevent the next war," claimed the extreme right-wing minister, "but in this 'new' Middle East, it is no longer predicted that war is unlikely, like in the past." Such predictions, he suggested, do not reflect the sensitive reality in the region; war may occur from one moment to the next, or overnight.
"Everything suggests that we must plan for a serious ground invasion, and there is no invasion without strong fire. Our tanks must provide such strong fire, just as the air defence must prevent great losses for Israel."
The minister concluded that Israel must prepare for any potential scenario, as the new reality holds challenges for everyone.