Is War with Hezbollah Inevitable? // With tens of thousands evacuated, the north’s safety is in question

“That threat can be dealt with through diplomacy and does not require the launching of a new war.”
—US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, talking to reporters in Jerusalem about the threat that Hezbollah poses to northern Israeli communities

“We don’t want war, but we won’t hold it off for too long.”
—Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, speaking to Israeli troops on the northern border about the Hezbollah threat

Israel’s long war with Hamas may be far from over. But will the end of that war mean a new one with Hezbollah?
As of now, 28 Israeli communities, consisting of tens of thousands of people, have been evacuated from the northern border because of Hezbollah’s continued firing of missiles, drones, and artillery over the border. While Israel has fired back, the communities have not been able to return, as the war in Gaza—and the quieter war over the northern border—rages.
(There have been cross-border attacks almost every day since October 7. The attacks from Hezbollah have killed eight IDF soldiers and four civilians, while the IDF return fire has reportedly killed 94 Hezbollah terrorists and 17 civilians.)
In 2006, the UN Security Council passed a binding resolution, Resolution 1701, stating that Hezbollah needed to move all of its forces beyond the Litani River, which is about 18 miles from the Israeli border. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers and the supposed obligations of the Lebanese Army, that resolution was violated without any real response, and Hezbollah has moved itself and its danger to Israel right to the border.
With the latest round of hostilities, the Israeli government has tried to get a diplomatic response. The US and France have been negotiating with Lebanon to try to get Hezbollah to move back. But some Israeli officials have said that military action may be necessary. And with so many Israelis displaced from their homes because of aggression from the north, how long can Israel really wait for any action to take place?

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