Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Full-Scale War With Hezbollah Would Be ‘A Catastrophe’: UN

UN Secretary-General has warned that a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah would be “a catastrophe.” However, for David Kamari, a resident of the frequently shelled Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona, such a conflict might be the only solution.

Last month, a Hezbollah rocket from Lebanon hit David’s front garden, severely damaging his home. Pointing to the gaping holes from shrapnel that narrowly missed him, David gestures towards the nearby hills where Hezbollah territory starts. “Every day, every night: bombs. [It’s a] problem,” he said. “And I was born here. If you live here one night, you go crazy.”

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Despite the ongoing danger, David remains in his damaged home, surrounded by the aftermath of the rocket attack, including his charred car. Most of Kiryat Shmona’s population was evacuated after the 7 October Hamas attacks, with Hezbollah launching rockets in solidarity with their Palestinian allies. David, however, refuses to leave. “I’ve lived here 71 years,” he stated. “I won’t go. I was in the army, I’m not afraid.”

His proposed solution is stark: “War with Hezbollah; kill Hezbollah,” he declares.

In response to Hezbollah’s attacks, Israel has launched significant retaliatory strikes, targeting senior commanders and positions within Lebanon. This escalation has seen Hezbollah increasing its missile and drone attacks, and both sides have amplified their threats. Recently, Hezbollah released drone footage of military and civilian sites in Haifa, indicating a potential escalation.

Historically, both sides have engaged in tough rhetoric as a deterrence strategy, avoiding full-scale war. However, with over 60,000 Israelis evacuated from northern areas and ongoing hostilities, there is growing support among Israelis and their leaders for a military offensive to push Hezbollah back from the border.

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While a ceasefire could deescalate northern tensions, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue both conflicts, under pressure from his far-right government allies to eliminate Hamas before ending the Gaza War.

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