JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured the country's northern border with Lebanon on Wednesday and said Israel was prepared for strong action in the north.

Israeli towns near the border, many of which have been evacuated, have been a frequent target of rocket and drone launches from Lebanese group Hezbollah. The rockets set off massive wild fires this week, burning swathes of land across northern Israel.

"Whoever thinks that they can harm us and we will sit idly by is making a big mistake. We are prepared for a very strong action in the north. In one way or another we will restore security to the north," Netanyahu said.

Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire for the past eight months in parallel with the Gaza war, raising concerns that an even wider conflict could break out between the heavily armed adversaries.

The hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah have been their worst since they waged war in 2006, and tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border have been forced to flee their homes.