Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed as “erroneous” a Wall Street Journal report that the IDF halted plans to preemptively attack Hezbollah in Lebanon in the first days after the start of the Gaza war in October. “I have seen erroneous reports to the effect that the US prevented, and is preventing, us from operational actions in the region; this is incorrect. Israel is a sovereign state,” Netanyahu said on Sunday. “Our decisions in the war are based on our operational considerations, and I will not expand further. They are not dictated by external pressure. The decision on how to use our forces is an independent decision of the IDF and nobody else,” he told the government at the start of its weekly meeting.
Netanyahu issued his statement in response to a Wall Street Journal article, still prominently displayed on its website, which quoted unnamed sources about a war cabinet debate about whether to attack Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border on October 11. Cross-border attacks had increased in 2023 and there was a fear following Hamas October 7 infiltration across Israel’s southern border, that Hezbollah would execute a similar style attack in the north.