Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that Israel "would not hold back" in the face of renewed Hizbullah attacks on northern Israel. According to the prime minister, Hizbullah is arming itself with
weapons designed to target civilians. "The Homefront Command's job, in such a war, will be more critical to Israel than ever before."
During a visit to the IDF Homefront Command's headquarters, Olmert noted that Israel had "massive capabilities and tools during the Second Lebanon War that it refrained from using, because it was fighting a terror organization, not a state."
If Lebanon becomes a "land of Hizbullah", however, the rules of the game will apparently change. Olmert suspects that a Hizbullah-led Lebanon will lead to a war in which Israel will be under a comprehensive attack. "There will no longer be a situation of distant fighting, where major cities continue with life as usual. The war will reach the cities and homes of Israeli citizens and our enemy's objective will be to target the homefront," he elaborated.
At that point, "we will be forced to bring an end to hostilities quickly, at the smallest possible cost, using our comparative advantage," Olmert said.
At the same time, Olmert emphasized that "there is no need to frighten ourselves more than is necessary regarding the threats." He stated that during the 33 days of fighting in Lebanon, no one who had been staying inside a bunker had been hurt. He noted that in Kiryat Shmona, a town equipped to deal with barrages of rockets, 900 Katyushas hit the town but none of its residents were killed. "In the end, the threat as we perceive it in our minds is larger than the threat in reality."
In a recent speech marking the second anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Hassan Nasrallah made reference to the rumors of Hizbullah's new weaponry, but refused to announce whether the organization
had anti-aircraft missiles. He emphasized that keeping the group's arsenal a "secret" is part of its battle against Israel.
Mocking Israeli leadership, Nasrallah stated that "the results of the Second Lebanon War are evident even today, in both the military and political fields in Israel."
Claiming that Israel was hatching new "plans of assassination against members of the resistance" he nonetheless asserted: "We don't fear (the Zionists). Say whatever you want and do whatever you want... it will not make us retreat."