Israel shifts to offensive operations, warns Hezbollah amid escalating conflict

Israel shifts to offensive operations, warns Hezbollah amid escalating conflict

Shafaq News / The spokesperson for the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee, announced on Wednesday a shift from a defensive stance to an offensive one against the Hamas movement, while warning the Lebanese Hezbollah of a very violent response should they decide to engage in the conflict.

Adraee, in an interview with the Emirati network "Irem," stated, "The Israeli army has completed the initial phase, which involved cleansing the southern region of infiltrating Hamas elements within the country. All entry points for infiltrators were sealed within the first 24 hours, preventing any new infiltration attempts."

Regarding the sporadic clashes that occur within the Gaza Strip, Adraee clarified that they were with remnants of Hamas members who infiltrated on the first day. He emphasized that the southern borders are tightly closed, to the extent that even the remaining Hamas elements within Israel cannot return to Gaza.

The Israeli army spokesperson said, "What the country is currently experiencing is a series of continuous rocket attacks from Gaza," and he did not rule out the presence of infiltrators within the southern region.

He stressed that "the aggressive military operations by the Israeli army against Hamas and armed factions in Gaza will not cease until they reach the last strongholds of these factions, as a response to the massacres committed against civilians in the south."

He noted that "the army had established priorities from the beginning of the attack, beginning with the appointment of a military commander to manage the crisis in the field, followed by the defensive and cleansing operation, full control of the southern borders, and a subsequent shift to a stage of intense attack. This attack will be different and unprecedented, involving the targeting of specific areas, such as Beit Hanoun, Al-Rimal, and Jabalia, with missiles and hundreds of tons of explosives."

Adraee affirmed that all options are on the table for the next phase, including a ground invasion to reach and destroy Hamas positions.

Regarding the northern borders, he stated that the Israeli army had deployed its forces in anticipation of any response and attack on Hezbollah positions, if necessary. He said, "We know that Hezbollah's leaders are monitoring what is happening in the Gaza strip, and we have conveyed warning messages to all similar parties that the response will be very violent if any party engages in war against Israel."

Adraee described the situation along the northern borders with Lebanon as "skirmishes and frictions initiated by Palestinian factions."

As for the possibility of American forces participating in the war, the spokesperson for the Israeli army stated that President Joe Biden's statements have been clear from the beginning and directed messages to all parties interested in taking advantage of the current events.

He added, "The Americans support us with actions, not just words. This is the strongest alliance in the world for eliminating terrorist elements in the region," confirming the arrival of the first military aid from Washington to Israel on Tuesday.

Earlier today, Israeli media and sources close to Hezbollah reported that a swarm of drones originating from Lebanon had penetrated Israeli airspace. During this time, the city of Haifa witnessed its first-ever rocket attack.

Israeli media reported, "Two large swarms of drones entered the airspace of the northern region of Lebanon."

They advised the residents of the northern region to stay in safe areas until further notice. It was clarified that more than a million Israelis in the north are currently in shelters and safe places.

In this context, Al-Qassam Brigades announced that they had targeted the city of Haifa with an "R160" type missile.

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