Israel is ready for an “all-out war” in Lebanon and has approved plans for an offensive targeting Hezbollah, officials said.

Statements from Israel’s foreign minister and military on Tuesday night followed Hezbollah’s release of threatening drone footage. The growing tension contrasts with U.S. efforts to avoid escalation amid months of low-level hostilities along the Israel-Lebanon border.

The nine-minute drone footage of the Israeli port city of Haifa, filmed during the day, showed civilian and military areas, including shopping malls and residential neighborhoods, as well as a weapons manufacturing complex and missile defense batteries.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded strongly in a post on X, calling out Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah for boasting about filming the ports of Haifa, which are operated by foreign companies from China and India.

Translation: Nasrallah today boasts of having filmed the ports of Haifa, operated by international companies from China and India, and threatens to attack them. We are very close to the moment of decision to change the rules against Hezbollah and Lebanon. In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be badly hit. The State of Israel will pay a price on the front lines and at home, but with a strong and united nation, and with the full power of the IDF, we will restore security to the residents of the north.

“We are very close to the moment of deciding to change the rules against Hezbollah and Lebanon. In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely hit,” he wrote.

Later, the Israeli military said in a statement that Ori Gordin, head of Northern Command, which includes the front line with Hezbollah, approved plans to mount a ground offensive across Israel’s northern border.

“As part of the situational assessment, operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated, and decisions were made on continuing to increase the readiness of troops in the field,” he said.

Israel and Hezbollah have been engaged in cross-border fighting since shortly after the war in Gaza began following the October 7 attacks in Israel. The confrontation is increasingly expanding, with both sides saying they are ready for war.

Nasrallah is scheduled to give a speech on Wednesday afternoon. He has said in the past that Hezbollah will only stop its attacks if Israel ceases its invasion of Gaza, which has killed at least 37,000 Palestinians.

The Israeli military has regularly launched airstrikes in Lebanon since the start of the war. On Tuesday, it claimed to have hit military infrastructure in several areas in the south of the country.

On Monday, they said they killed a “core operator” in Hezbollah’s rocket division in a drone strike. A week earlier, they assassinated Taleb Abdullah, allegedly the commander of a Hezbollah division covering the western sector of the front line between the border with Israel and the Litani River.

Recently, Hezbollah said it has carried out more than 2,100 military operations against Israel since October 8, in what it says is an effort to support the Palestinians.

More than 400 people have been killed in Lebanon, including journalists and paramedics, in the past eight months, with 25 deaths in Israel. At least 90,000 people have been displaced in Lebanon, and more than 60,000 have been forced to leave their homes in northern Israel.

The U.S. is pressing diplomatically to avoid escalation, White House envoy Amos Hochstein said Tuesday during a trip to Lebanon.

“We have seen an escalation in recent weeks. And what President Biden wants to do is avoid further escalation into a broader war,” Hochstein told reporters in Beirut after meetings in Israel the day before.



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