TEL AVIV, December 7. /TASS/. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command and warned that the escalation of tensions on the border with Lebanon by Hezbollah could cause Beirut and South Lebanon to repeat the fate of the Gaza Strip.
"If Hezbollah decides to open an all-out war, then with its own hands it will turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, which are not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Yunis," he said on X (formerly Twitter).
The situation in the Middle East sharply escalated following an incursion of Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, accompanied by killings of residents of Israeli settlements near the border and taking more than 200 hostages, including children, women and elderly people. Hamas has cast the attack as a response to Israeli actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israel has declared a complete siege of the Gaza Strip and started a military operation there. Israel also strikes parts of Lebanon and Syria in retaliation for bombardments originating from these countries. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.
Tensions also remain on Israel's northern border, which regularly comes under shelling from Lebanese territory. Israel returns fire, targeting Hezbollah sites, according to the IDF. Israel announced the evacuation of residents from settlements located within 5 kilometers from the border with the neighboring country.