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IDF chief: If needed, we will defeat Hezbollah in next confrontation

In letter marking 10 years since outbreak of Second Lebanon War, Eisenkot said: Our enemies to the north examine us all of the time; The IDF has changed in many ways since 2006.
The IDF will decisively defeat Hezbollah in the event of a future war in Lebanon, IDF Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, vowed on Sunday ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War.

Eisenkot made the remarks in a written statement that was published by the official website of the IDF Spokesperson ahead of the war's anniversary this Tuesday. The website released testimonies by commanders who took part in the war, images, maps, and a virtual tour of the battle zones.

Today, Eisenkot said, "Our enemies to the north examine us all of the time. I am sure that in the moment of truth, we will stand firm and prove that the IDF is a ready, powerful, and decisive military," he added.

Eisenkot, who was head of the military's Operations Branch in 2006, wrote that during the conflict, the IDF dealt a severe blow to Hezbollah, consolidated Israeli deterrence, and enforced a lengthy period of stable calm on the Lebanese border, which "serves civilians on both sides of the border."

He acknowledged, however, the many faults that came to light during the conflict in the military's performance. In the years that followed the war, "an in-depth lesson learning process" occurred, which led to a "significant improvement in the IDF's ability," Eisenkot wrote.

Today, the IDF is "prepared, trained and equipped. Readiness for emergency and war stands at the top of the IDF's priorities," he added.

A new emphasis on training conscripts and reserves dominates the agenda, the chief of staff said.

Additionally, the IDF's increased understanding of its enemy has led to to many insights and improvements, he added. "All of these will enable the IDF - if it is required - to win in the next confrontation," said the chief of staff.

The threat posed to Israel by Hezbollah in Lebanon continues to this day, and the IDF must prepare for "every scenario" that could develop, he warned.

IDF chief: If needed, we will defeat Hezbollah in next confrontation

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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