Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Israel will respond with actions, not words, in response to any escalation from Hezbollah at the northern border, CNN reported. His remarks come ahead of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s speech on Friday. It will be his first speech after Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7. It is unclear what Nasrallah may announce in his speech on Friday. Asked about the potential for escalation in light of Nasrallah’s speech, Hagari said Israel will respond with action, noting they are highly prepared, according to a CNN report.
On Friday, Israel Defence Forces in a statement on X stated, “The Iranian Imam Hossein militia, originally stationed in Syria, was deployed to southern Lebanon in an attempt to support Hezbollah. The militia is involved in confrontations with the IDF and terrorist activities against Israel, putting the lives of the Lebanese people at risk. The IDF is well-prepared to respond firmly to any threat in any arena.” The Israeli military on Thursday said it hit several Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in response to launches from the country toward Israel, according to a CNN report.
Taking to X, Israel Defence Forces stated, “Over the last hour, a number of launches from Lebanon toward Israeli territory were identified. In response, the IDF is currently striking a series of Hezbollah terrorist targets in Lebanon.” Earlier on Thursday, Hezbollah released a statement saying it struck an Israeli military barracks in the Shebaa Farms area with two attack drones. It claimed that they made “very direct hits inside the barracks.” Meanwhile, Israel Defence Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt General Herzi Halevi on Thursday said that troops are operating inside Gaza City and are surrounding it from several directions, The Times of Israel reported.
“We have advanced another significant stage in the war. The forces are in the heart of northern Gaza, operating in Gaza City, surrounding it, and deepening [the ground offensive] and achievements,” Halevi said in a statement from an Air Force base. “The forces are fighting in a dense and complex urban area that requires professional combat and courage,” he said. “We are fighting in the name of the sanctity of life against an enemy whose flag represents death and destruction. We fight as a powerful military with a sharp moral compass. We are fighting for the values of justice and morality upon which the country was established against a terrorist organisation that committed vile and horrific war crimes,” he added.
Halevi said this war has “a painful and difficult price,” with 18 soldiers being killed in the ground operation so far. “We lost the best of our sons in the war, we embrace their families… we will continue to win.” In response to a question about fuel supplies to Gaza, IDF Chief of Staff Lt General Herzi Halevi said fuel will be allowed for use in hospitals. “We have not brought fuel into this point,” he said. He further said, “We check the situation in the Strip every day. For over a week, they have told us that the fuel in the hospitals will run out, and it hasn’t. Fuel will be transferred, with oversight, to the hospitals, and we will do everything to ensure that it won’t serve Hamas’s military aims,” according to The Times of Israel report.