Israel says ready for Hezbollah attack

JERUSALEM, April 8 (UPI) -- Israeli military officers say the country's armed forces are preparing for a mass incursion into Lebanon if war breaks out with Hezbollah again.

Based on intelligence gathered by the military, the air force could take out targets such as training bases and rocket launching pads in a matter of days. However, officers say a ground offensive would be necessary due to Hezbollah's underground command posts and camouflaged launching pads.


Haaretz reported the Israeli military has made an effort to improve its skills since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Because civilians are expected to be caught in the crossfire in urban conflict situations, soldiers are being trained on the legal implications of killing civilians.

The military's Oketz canine unit is also training dogs to distinguish between civilians and armed insurgents, said an Israeli captain identified only as Sivan.

"It's not patrols or raids on Palestinians we're simulating here, but a full-fledged war," Sivan said.

Lt. Col. Sahar Abergil said the armed forces are very concerned with adhering to international law. "Everything that we've seen with the flotillas, Operation Cast Lead [the 2008-2009 Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip] and the implications in terms of national law have left a strong impression on us," he said.


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