'Hezbollah Cannot Take the Galilee'

Despite IDF estimates, Israel's enemies are far weaker now than in 1967, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi opines.

Tova Dvorin ,

Hezbollah terrorists (file)
Hezbollah terrorists (file)

The threat level Hezbollah poses against Israel has been overhyped, former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi stated Wednesday - despite a recent IDF simulation predicting some 1,500 rockets on Israeli citizens per day. 

"Hamas cannot conquer the Negev and Hezbollah cannot take the Galilee," Ashkenazi stated at a ceremony for Kineret Academic College in Tel Aviv. 

Ashkenazi also opined that Israel's enemies are, if anything, weaker than they were in 1967. 

"Today, the IDF is faced with threats which have been diluted," he said. "It's not like the Syrian of Egyptian army." 

"I am not disparaging them [Hamas and Hezbollah]," he added, explaining that they are unpredictable. "Everything has changed." 

"It is clear to us where we fight, we know what are enemies are arming themselves with and we can gather intelligence on them," he continued, adding that "Gaza will not change and the North will not change." 

Speculation and rumor over Hezbollah preparing for another war has been rampant in recent weeks.

Earlier Wednesday, Army Radio stated that the IDF's "worst-case scenario" in another war with the terror group includes estimates that the number of missiles to hit northern Israel on a given day would be 1,000-1,500, and the number of people killed daily will be in double or even triple digits.

Last week, military experts stated to Walla! News that Hezbollah is close to declaring war, and that terrorists openly stroll along the Israel-Lebanon border. 

To prepare, sources said, the IDF is preparing a variety of scenarios - including the likelihood of Hezbollah's special forces, consisting of 100-200 terrorists, raiding communities near the Lebanese border fence and occupying them for short periods. 

Both statements follow persistent reports from northern Israelis that they have heard, or seen, evidence of terror tunnel digging along the borders; the IDF has repeatedly denied any evidence of a threat.