Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday said Israel is not seeking a war on its northern borders with the Lebanese group Hezbollah.
Addressing a press conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron who is in Israel on a solidarity visit, Herzog said: “Hezbollah is playing with fire. I want to make clear that we are not looking for a confrontation on our northern border.”
“But if Hezbollah drags us into a war, it should be clear that Lebanon will pay the price,” Herzog warned.
Border clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces followed the conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment and a blockade since Oct. 7. The war began when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.
It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian death toll from ongoing Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip has climbed to 5,087, the Health Ministry in the blockaded enclave said. “The fatalities include 2,055 children, 1,119 women and 217 elders,” the ministry said, adding 15,273 people were also injured.