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Israeli troops to ‘go into action’ soon at Lebanon border, says Israeli minister

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JERUSALEM: Israeli troops will “very soon go into action” near the country’s northern border with Lebanon, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Monday, as tensions surge amid the crisis in Gaza.

Gallant told troops near the border with the besieged Gaza Strip that others were being deployed to Israel’s north.

“They will very soon go into action […] so the forces in the north are reinforced,” Gallant said, according to video released by his office.

He added that reservists would be gradually released “to prepare and come ready” for future operations.

Since the Israeli invasion against Gaza on Oct 7, the Lebanese-Israeli border has seen near-daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, a Hamas ally.

Hezbollah on Monday claimed responsibility for 10 attacks on Israeli army positions near the border, using Iranian-made Falaq-1 rockets. Israel has not reported any strikes on military sites in the north.

Israel’s army chief Herzi Halevi said earlier this month that the likelihood of war on the northern border has become “much higher”.

“I don’t know when the war in the north is, I can tell you that the likelihood of it happening in the coming months is much higher than it was in the past,” Halevi said.

More than 200 people, most of them Hezbollah members, have been killed in south Lebanon by Israeli fire since October 7, according to a tally.

On the Israeli side of the border, nine soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to Israeli officials.

Gallant claimed that Gaza fighters were running out of supplies and ammunition, but the war against Hamas “will take months”.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2024


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