Northern council heads met Sunday with Northern Command Chief Gadi Eisenkot on the backdrop of this week's wide-scale home front command drill and
the heightened state of alert declared
and asked the Israel Defense Forces to convey a clear and calming message to the public during the days of the exercise.
"I hope this summer will be hot only in terms of its weather, and not in terms of war," said Hatzor Haglilit Mayor Shimon Swisa. Eisenkot, on his part, said that the IDF was prepared for an all-out war within hours.
Swisa added, "I feel the fear increasing among my public, so it's important to convey a calming message."
Aharon Valenci, head of the Upper Galilee Regional Council, said that "in order to prevent stress among residents living near the border who have developed very sharp instincts over the years, the IDF must update the residents and public figures in the area on a regular basis."
Major-General Eisenkot holds regular periodical meetings with the northern council heads. This time, he used the meeting for a detailed briefing on the home front command drill.
He told the council heads that "the Galilee has not seen such a calm period for many years, and we will continue to maintain this calm. Our greatest fear stems from Hezbollah's patterns of operation, which slightly resemble the cold war in Europe.
"The mutual deterrence pattern creates a lot of tension, and the question when the next incident will break out does not depend on one element, but on a variety of elements which don't all depend on us."
He added that he believed none of the parties had an interest to launch another conflict these days. "However," he said, "the IDF knows how to deal with a front in Syria
and at the same time in Gaza. The question is how we will deal with it as a people, as a public, and as a supportive home front.
"We can deter countries and organizations from operating, but we can't deter countries and organizations from growing stronger, and therefore we are prepared for an all-out war within several hours."