Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun called on the military to be completely prepared on the country’s southern border to “confront Israeli threats and violations,” said the military in a post on its official Twitter account.
Aoun urged soldiers on the eve of Lebanon’s Independence Day to remain vigilant in the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701 in cooperation with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.
An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, deemed the Lebanese warning as “nonsense.”
Separately, the Israeli army said that it had been holding a drill near Israel's border with Syria since Sunday.
The army commander’s rare acknowledgment of the possibility of a conflict erupting with Israel comes at a time of a political crisis in Lebanon that was sparked by the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri on November 4.
In his address to the soldiers, Aoun said: “The extraordinary political circumstances that Lebanon is passing through demands that you display the greatest levels of diligence and awareness.”
“You must exert efforts to take the necessary measures to preserve security stability,” he added.
The last conflict involving Lebanon and Israel took place in 2006 when Tel Aviv waged a war against the Iranian-backed “Hezbollah” armed group.
Lebanon and Israel have been avoiding getting involved in a conflict ever since the end of that 33-day war.
Resolution 1701 helped end the conflict and the two sides brokered a ceasefire.