Jerusalem, Jan 18: Israel's military chief Herzi Halevi has warned against the escalation of the prospects of a "full-fledged war" with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group and were now "much higher than before".
"I don't know when the war in the north will begin, but I can tell you that the likelihood of it taking place in the next few months is much higher than before," Xinhua news agency quoted Halevi as saying while he was visiting a reservists' exercise in northern Israel.
"When we will need to -- we will go forward at full strength," he added.
Halevi said that the drill aims to increase the preparedness of soldiers in the north in the wake of "many lessons learned from the fighting in Gaza".
The Lebanon-Israel border has witnessed escalating tension since October 8, 2023 after Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward the Jewish nation in support of the Hamas the previous day.
This prompted Israel to respond by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.
According to official Israeli figures, nine Israeli troops and six civilians have been killed due to fire from Lebanon.
Meanwhile, 222 people have died on the Lebanese side, including 159 Hezbollah militants and 37 civilians, according to security sources.