Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

CRACK Israeli troops are in a stand-off with Iranian-backed terror groups amid fears the war with Hamas will expand across the region.

I saw tanks and infantry in position along the northern border with Lebanon — yards from where Hezbollah rocket teams engage in daily skirmishes.

Daily skirmishes take place in clear view of border villagesGetty

An Israeli commander in sight of the border told me: “This is where the real war will be.

“The war in Gaza’s nothing compared to what could happen here. This will be different and will go on much longer.

“Hezbollah are a real army — much bigger than Hamas, better trained and better equipped.”

We spoke in the hills above the Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona.

It has a clear view of border villages which Hezbollah fighters use as cover to launch rockets.

Just 48 hours after I visited the evacuated city, six rockets hit it, causing fire to break out.

The Israeli commander said his troops destroyed a Hezbollah rocket unit which had shelled his base ten times.

He said: “We took them out.”

Israel is using drones and jets against Hezbollah.

And Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stoked tension today by saying Israel’s attack on Gaza “crossed the red lines”.

He warned chillingly that it “may force everyone to take action”.

ISRAEL blasted 450 Hamas targets in 24 hours as the bombing of Gaza continued.

Intense firefights were taking place across the besieged enclave as more Israeli ground troops entered the Strip.

The Israel Defence Forces warned Gaza City residents that the area is now a battlefieldAFP via Getty

The Israel Defence Forces warned Gaza City ­residents that the area is now a ­battlefield, as it stepped up its air ­campaign against the ­terror group.

Fighter jets dropped leaflets reading: “Shelters in northern Gaza and Gaza governorate are not safe.”

One million civilians were urged to move south but hundreds of thousands are thought to remain.

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