At a memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers, the head of the IDF Northern Command stated that “Hezbollah is deterred, very deterred, but is still intent on evil”
In a memorial ceremony yesterday for IDF soldiers, GOC Northern Command Major General Yair Golan warned against the growing capabilities of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization based in Southern Lebanon, but stressed that the IDF remains prepared to confront serious threats facing Israeli civilians in the north.
The ceremony, held at a memorial site in Israel’s north, honored IDF soldiers who lost their lives in the Second Lebanon War. Senior IDF leaders, including Deputy Chief of the General Staff Major General Gadi Eizenkot, attended the ceremony.
“With regard to the situation seven years ago, Hezbollah is better armed, better trained and more cautious,” Maj. Gen. Golan said. “It is facing internal challenges, fighting inside Syria, continues to be a central pillar in the axis of evil and continues to see Israel as a devil that but be exorcised from the world. Hezbollah is deterred, very deterred, but is still intent on evil.”
Since the 2006 Second Lebanon war, Hezbollah has dramatically expanded its weapons stockpile, building an arsenal of over 60,000 rockets and missiles near Israel’s northern border. Hezbollah’s upgraded stockpile can strike at any of Israel’s civilian centers, including its southernmost city of Eilat.
As he discussed Hezbollah’s capabilities, Maj. Gen. Golan explained Iran’s role in strengthening the terrorist organization. “Iran is also in the picture here – more present than it ever has been, and very much on our borders. In Lebanon it is building a force with unprecedented involvement. In the war in Syria, Iran is involved in everything – advising, arming, directing and influencing.”
Maj. Gen. Golan also noted that the IDF is witnessing a rise in the presence of Global Jihadist elements in the region and in the group’s presence in Syria, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.
Strength and calm in Israel’s north
Maj. Gen. Golan stressed that the IDF remains strong despite many of its challenges, describing its significant growth in the north since the 2006 war. “The Northern Command today is a strong command, trained and skilled,” he said. “We have learned the lessons of war and we’ve adjusted our training. I hope that we can continue in our task of improving and perfecting, that we will continue to become stronger and to deter.”
The Northern Command chief explained that the north is “in a situation of calm amid difficult regional changes,” adding that “we have been enjoying a prosperous and blooming north,” since the 2006 war.
Maj. Gen. Golan emphasized the central role of the fallen soldiers in creating lasting quiet. “It is impossible to ignore the role of the Second Lebanon War, and its contribution to achieving the quiet in Israel today, “ he said. “The quiet was achieved thanks to your children who are not with us today. This quiet was achieved thanks to their heroism and their lives. Today we are hurting and suffering from their loss. Today we are also proud of them, and in awe of their courage, determination, talent and willingness.”