Author: ANNA AHRONHEIM
Posted on February 22, 2017
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on Wednesday said he does not see a war on the northern front anytime soon, as Hezbollah is facing a morale crisis due to its fighting in Syria.
Speaking to lawmakers in a closed-door session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Eisenkot said that “even though Hezbollah forces are gaining significant operational experience through their actions in Syria, this activity has also brought on an economic and morale crisis for the group.
“[Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah’s recent comments were aimed at creating deterrence equivalency in order to maintain the status quo. On this front, as is the case on the Gaza front, I do not see the enemy initiating any actions against Israel,” he said.
Hezbollah on Wednesday denied reports that Israeli jets struck targets belonging to the group overnight and claimed that the IDF had planted spy devices in southern Lebanon.
The Iranian-backed Shi’ite terrorist group said IDF soldiers crossed the Blue Line border in the early hours of the morning and installed tracking devices, including cameras and solar-powered transmitters, to spy on the group.
“The Israeli enemy penetrated through the technological barrier surrounding the village of Meiss Ej Jabal, in the Qurum a-Shiqui region near the Blue Line, and planted spy gear in the area,” read a post on a Hezbollah-affiliated Twitter account, showing pictures of the alleged spy gear.
Hezbollah has accused Israel of breaching the border demarcation to install espionage devices in Lebanese territory several times in the past year, most recently in January.
Earlier Wednesday morning, Lebanese media reported that Israeli jets had carried out air strikes against a weapons shipment to Hezbollah near Damascus.
According to Lebanese media, the targets that were hit around 3 a.m. were affiliated with the Assad regime and belonged to the Syrian Army’s Third Division in the al-Katif suburbs of the capital, and Syrian media had reported witnesses hearing “sounds of loud explosions” in the early morning hours.
The report also claimed that the IDF struck from within Lebanon, circling the Bekaa Valley and Baalbek, so as not to be blocked by the Russian defense systems operating in the area.
A few hours later Hezbollah issued a statement denying the reports of an Israeli air strike, saying any reports of strikes against the group in Syria were incorrect.
The IDF declined to comment, as the army does not respond to foreign reports.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.