Israeli forces failed, Hezbollah undeterred: Israeli 'Metula' chief
The head of the Israeli settlement of "Metula" says the Lebanese Resistance has deterred "Israel" and calls out its delusion regarding "deterring" the Resistance.
The head of the Israeli settlement of "Metula", David Azoulai called on the Israeli government and the Israeli occupation forces to "act militarily" in Lebanon, Israeli Channel 14 reported on Wednesday.
"We are still behaving in the lax policy of before October 7; we must showcase our strength," he said. "The whole world is watching, including the surrounding Arab states."
Azoulai underlined that he was constantly hearing that the Israeli occupation managed to deter the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon - Hezbollah, which he denied, by stressing that it was "Israel" instead that was deterred.
"It's important to understand this. Whoever wants to come and see how deterred the state of Israel is and how undeterred Hezbollah is can come to Metula," he said.
"We've been seeing them again on the borders for the past three days now," the Israeli official added.
According to Azoulai, he had a meeting with the Chief of Staff of the Israeli occupation forces and threw in his face the fact that the relationship of trust between settlers and the IOF was damaged.
"He talked about the sense of security - I don't want a sense of security; I want security," he underlined. Israeli settlers, he added, "deserve real security."
Those very Israeli settlers, he said, have already "changed the discourse", while politicians were yet to do so.
"All day long, I hear excuses like 'What will the Americans, Europeans, the Arab League, the Russians, the Syrians, and Hezbollah say?' I haven't heard anyone say 'What will the Israelis say?' Where is the interest of the Israelis?" he wondered, accusing the government of having abandoned the north.
Azoulai added that the settlers of "Metulla" "took the opportunity to return home", taking advantage of Hezbollah's decision to cease hostilities in the north in conjunction with the ceasefire in Gaza to go back.
For the first time, the Israelis "saw all the damage caused to the houses [...] It's disappointing to see the settlement like this as the situation is still the same as it was before October 7 on the other side," the settlement chief said.
Earlier in the day, Avichai Stern, the mayor of "Kiryat Shmona", urged Israeli settlers not to return to the settlement, Israeli media reported. Stern stressed, in a message to the settlers in northern occupied Palestine, that they should not come back as long as the situation on the borders with Lebanon remained unchanged.
The media pointed out that northern settlements have been emptied of Israeli settlers, noting that it is doubtful whether the settlers will be able to return to the area within a year or more.
Israeli media also reported that settlers in the north are angered by statements made by Israeli Security Minister Yoav Gallant, who mentioned transpiring what he called "military achievements" in the north into a situation that allows settlers to return to the area. The media also urged the Israeli government not to abandon the settlers.
According to Maariv newspaper, many council leaders and settlers in the north remain concerned that the ceasefire might end the war in the north but will not resolve what they refer to as the "permanent threat" of Hezbollah.
The newspaper cited a northern Israeli settler as saying that it would be a mistake to return settlers to the northern settlements when there is no strong deterrence against the constant threat from Hezbollah.
Another expressed that a day similar to October 7 would come with worse consequences than what was witnessed in the Gaza Envelope, urging the Israeli government to understand that returning settlers back to the north soon is simply abandoning them.
couple of days ago, the head of the "Alma" settlement committee in the occupied Upper al-Jalil, Orly Gerbi, said that "life has become a nightmare" in northern settlements due to the Israeli army shelling, sirens, and missile launches.
Gerbi directed her criticism at Benjamin Netanyahu's occupation government, asking, "Why is everyone evacuated around us, and we are left behind?"
Earlier, the head of the "Mateh Asher" Regional Council and chairman of the Confrontation Line Forum in northern occupied Palestine, Moshe Davidovich, said in an interview with Maariv that as long as Hezbollah remains in the north, it is unlikely for settlers to return to the area. He also rejected the idea of settlements potentially turning into military zones.
It is worth noting that the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon targeted Israeli occupation sites along the Lebanese-Palestinian borders throughout the past period since the start of Operation al-Aqsa Flood. They used appropriate weapons, including the Volcano "Burkan" missile, achieving direct hits in response to the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza and the continued attacks on the southern Lebanese villages.