Israeli officials visit the Lebanese border amid rising tensions with Hezbollah

Israeli media reported on Wednesday that additional troops would be sent to the northern border region. Netanyahu said in a television interview on Sunday that the war in Gaza was entering a new, less intense phase, allowing the military to turn more attention to Lebanon. “We may move part of our forces north,” he said.

On Wednesday, Herzl Halevi, the Israeli army's chief of staff, also visited the northern border with Lebanon and held a “situational assessment” with local commanders, according to an Israeli army statement.

Israeli troops in the north trained on Wednesday for what the military called “extreme scenarios,” including “combat in complex and mountainous terrain, live fire and urban warfare.” The exercise was conducted “as part of increased preparation in the northern arena,” the military said.

The Israeli military said on Wednesday that its fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military facility and targeted several other sites in southern Lebanon.

Isaac Herzog, president of Israel, addressed the leaders of northern Israel's communities during his two day visit to the region and said the international community should not be surprised if “the situation spirals out of control.” He accused Hezbollah in Lebanon of repeated violations of international treaties and agreements.

Last week, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, said the Lebanese militia did not want a wider conflict but was prepared for war. “We have prepared for the most difficult days,” Nasrallah said. He added: “If war is imposed, the resistance will fight without constraints, rules or limits.”

Both sides have tried to prevent the cycle of attacks and counterattacks from escalating, but the leaders' rhetoric and the frequency of attacks have increased in recent weeks. Civilians in Israel and Lebanon have been killed and more than 150,000 people have been forced to flee their homes along the border since the latest conflict between Israel and Hezbollah began.

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