Israeli troops will “very soon go into action” near the country’s northern border with Lebanon, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Monday, as tensions surge amid the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.
Gallant told troops near the border with the besieged Gaza Strip that others were being deployed to Israel’s north.
“They will very soon go into action… so the forces in the north are reinforced,” Gallant said.
“The forces close to you… are leaving the field and moving towards the north, and preparing for what comes next,” he said.
He added that reservists would be gradually released “to prepare and come ready” for future operations.
Since the outbreak of war between Hamas and Israel on October 7, the Lebanese-Israeli border has seen near-daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, a Hamas ally.
Hezbollah claimed responsibility Monday for at least 12 attacks on Israeli army positions near the border, using Iranian-made Falaq-1 and Burkan missiles.
Later on Monday, the Israeli army said it carried out air strikes on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.
“The targets included Hezbollah’s infrastructure and an observation post located in the southern Lebanese areas of Markaba, Taybeh, and Maroun al-Ras,” the army said in a statement.
The army also confirmed that several projectiles had been launched from Lebanon and said forces “responded by targeting the launch sites and other locations in Lebanon.”
Israel’s army chief Herzi Halevi said earlier this month that the likelihood of war on the northern border has become “much higher.”
“I don’t know when the war in the north is, I can tell you that the likelihood of it happening in the coming months is much higher than it was in the past,” Halevi said.
More than 200 people, most of them Hezbollah members, have been killed in south Lebanon by Israeli fire since October 7, according to an AFP tally.
On the Israeli side of the border, nine soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to Israeli officials.
Gallant said Monday that Gaza militants were running out of supplies and ammunition but that the war against Hamas “will take months.”