As the IDF continues to strengthen Israel’s northern border by completing 11 kilometers of a concrete barrier along the Lebanese border, a senior officer in the Northern Command has warned any Hezbollah militant who infiltrates into Israel will be killed.

“Anyone who crosses into Israel will not return to Lebanon,” the IDF senior officer told journalists on the Lebanese border on Wednesday, stressing that “in the next war Hezbollah’s Radwan unit will be eliminated.”

The border fence with Lebanon was originally built in the 1980s and while sections of it have been upgraded several times it is said to be in poor condition.

According to a senior officer, the Northern Command would not stop an infiltration by Hezbollah’s elite Radwan unit who, in the next war, is expected to attempt to capture an Israeli community or military outpost.

Due to the threat of infiltrations by Hezbollah, 22 Israeli communities along the border with Lebanon will be evacuated.

IDF introduces new technology to treat soldiers in the field, August 27, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson)

“We would want to carry out the evacuations as soon as possible. It will take several days and will not be simple,” he said.

Israel has never carried out a mandatory evacuation of any community since the founding of the state but, in addition to the threat posed by Hezbollah rocket barrages, the IDF is now concerned about the very real possibility of ground attacks by the terror group’s Radwan unit against Israeli civilian communities in border communities.

Israel began construction on a new barrier along the border with Lebanon several months ago and is expected to cost 1.7 billion NIS.

Currently under construction in the areas of the Sulam Ridge, Metula and Misgav Am to the south and east of the Blue Line by the engineering forces of the Northern Command and the 91st Division together with the “Gvulot VeTefar” administration, the barrier is expected to be completed in the coming months.

The project takes place entirely in Israeli territory and is fully coordinated with UNIFIL.

“This is a planned operation designed to maintain long-term stability on the frontier and is fully coordinated with UNIFIL forces,” the IDF said. “The interest in maintaining relative stability is clear and there is no reason that it should be affected by construction work.”

Similar to the “smart fence” which runs along Israel’s border with Gaza and Egypt and some 20 miles along the border with Jordan, the concrete, steel, and barbed wire fence will be nine-meters high, stretching for several kilometers, with sensors, cameras, information collection centers and warning systems.

The cameras along the fence are connected to a war room to alert troops to any possible infiltration. It will also have lifting devices for the safe and secure maintenance of the cameras to prevent any possible firing towards IDF troops.

According to the IDF, Israel’s intelligence capabilities have increased dramatically since the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and have five times the number of targets in the north if another war were to break out.

The IDF has carried out several large-scale drills simulating war with the Lebanese terror group in the past year, including one by the Paratroopers brigade which finished on Thursday, the fourth combined brigade exercise that took place in the past month as part of the IDF’s training exercises to improve the preparedness of troops.

Paratroopers' brigade participate in a drill simulating battle against Hezbollah (August 6, 2018)Paratroopers’ brigade participate in a drill simulating battle against Hezbollah (August 6, 2018)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot told members of the security cabinet and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this week that the military is ready for war under any scenario.

“The IDF is at a high level of preparedness and readiness for war with regard to any threat scenario,” Eisenkot wrote, adding that “as the person responsible for the army’s readiness for war, I declare that IDF is prepared for any mission required of it.”

Originally posted at Jerusalem Post.

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