Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin. Wikimedia Commons

By Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com

Israeli troops carried out a logistics supply drill, with an eye launching “identical operations In the northern sector.” The drill signals part of what officials refer to as ongoing preparation for invading Lebanon.

Northern commander Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin spoke of the determination to allow displaced civilians to return to the Israeli north, declaring “we are constantly strengthening our readiness to launch an attack in Lebanon.”

Israel was quick to deny media reports about March 15 being the deadline for launching a “broad war” in Lebanon, insisting there is no date for going to war against Lebanon, although officials continue to emphasize readiness to do so.

The international community has been scrambling to get a border deal between Israel and Lebanon, and to forestall any potential war. Although these efforts continue, the reports have been that Israel put a deadline of March 15 on a deal. Talks are expected to pick up pace during Ramadan, which runs from March 10-April 9.

In the meantime, Israeli preparedness continues, with Army Chief Herzi Halevi reportedly ordering Brig. Gen. Chico Tamir, the former deputy commander of the northern corps, to prepare “several possible plans for a ground operation in Lebanon.”

It is not clear from the reports if the plans presume an ongoing ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, although a Gaza truce would both free up Israel to avoid fighting on multiple fronts and open up an opportunity for peace in Lebanon. Hezbollah has conditioned talks on a ceasefire.

Notably, while Maj. Gen. Gordin put the military goal of a Lebanon War as returning civilians to northern communities, he did not appear to mention the more widely talked about goal of displacing Hezbollah from the southern border region.


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Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.

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