The Israel-Hezbollah Conflict Closer Than Ever

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The Israel-Hezbollah Conflict Closer Than Ever

The Israel-Hezbollah conflict is closer than ever.

The Israel-Hezbollah conflict is closer than ever. While it seems that the pressure to impose a ceasefire in the Gaza war is failing, Israel is getting ready to confront a more powerful enemy across the border in Lebanon, which could bring unprecedented destruction for both sides and prove that Netanyahu is still facing the biggest challenge.

The Israeli army has a long history of battling Hezbollah, a force that has been considered the strongest and most armed ally of Iran in the Middle East for years.

However, former Israeli officials warn that the current path towards war, escalating with fierce clashes and fiery rhetoric, could push the entire region towards a full-blown crisis with unknown dimensions.

Eran Etzion, who served as Deputy Head of the Israeli National Security Council in the last major Israel-Lebanon war in 2006 and later worked as a planner at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said regarding the danger of war with Hezbollah to Newsweek, ‘It’s very difficult to see how one could quickly or at all achieve victory in this war.’

He added, from my perspective, I think this war will be one that Israel will lose in the first 24 hours simply because of the images we will likely see of a full-scale massacre by Hezbollah in very sensitive areas in Israel on a scale we have never seen before.

Israel has not recovered from the unprecedented attack on October 7th by the Palestinian movement Hamas, which caught it off guard 8 months ago and turned into the longest and deadliest war in Gaza.

However, these days attention is increasingly shifting from Gaza to the escalation of the battle on the northern front between the Israeli army and Hezbollah, a force that has significantly replenished its arsenal since the last full-scale war 18 years ago in the 33-day war in the summer of 2006.

In that month-long war, which began after a deadly cross-border attack by the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, it was estimated that this group had about 10,000 missiles and various other munitions.

Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Israeli officials have told New York Times that Hezbollah now has around 200,000 missiles, drones, air-to-ground missiles, anti-tank missiles, and other weapons in their underground arsenals.

Former Head of the Arms Control Section of the Israeli Army’s Strategic Planning Department, Shmuel Mayer, told Newsweek that Iran has built a missile depot for Hezbollah for a strategic purpose of preemptive defense to deter Israel from attacking its nuclear facilities.

He added that Iran’s activities and senior officials’ frequent visits to Beirut explain to ensure that Hezbollah does not waste its missile arsenal like in the 2006 Lebanon war.

Many of these weapons have now found their way to the battlefield, as Hezbollah has launched a more complex border war. The group even claims to have destroyed one of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system launchers earlier this week, for the first time in history.

The Israeli army has not yet confirmed this attack, but images of Hezbollah’s missile hitting an Iron Dome system have been released by Hezbollah.

Additionally, Hezbollah has recently caused extensive fires in northern Israel with a group of suicide drones and missile barrages, in areas that have largely been evacuated since the October 7th attack.

Israeli authorities have told Newswik that around 80,000 people from the population living in the northern strip of Israel have been displaced since October 7th. Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has also reported that the number of war refugees from southern Lebanon is close to 93,000.

According to reports, at least dozens of civilians have been killed in sporadic clashes in the past 8 months on both sides of the border.

Israeli authorities stated that around 1,200 people have been killed in the October 7th Hamas attack in southern Israel, and nearly 300 Israeli soldiers have been killed in clashes in Gaza since then. Palestinian authorities in Gaza have estimated their casualties to be over 36,500, most of whom are women and children.

However, this figure does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.

Even with these staggering casualty numbers, which are unprecedented in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a new conflict between Israel and Hezbollah has the potential to surpass this figure given the level of firepower both sides are likely to employ.

A war that neither side can win due to the extensive mutual destruction capabilities of population centers is what Mir calls it.

He said that the extensive attack and invasion of the Israeli army on Lebanon, as some politicians demand, will lead to retaliatory Hezbollah missile attacks on Haifa and Tel Aviv.

However, the pressure Israel feels regarding the situation on its northern borders has added increasing costs to the already costly Gaza war expenses.

While Hezbollah demands an immediate halt to the Israeli army’s attack on Gaza, Israeli officials are calling for the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, obtained at the end of the 2006 war.

This resolution aimed to create a buffer zone that was first established along the border after Israel’s initial invasion in 1978, followed by the more extensive invasion in 1982 that marked the beginning of the first major Israel-Lebanon war.

This conflict began with repeated attacks by Palestinian paramilitaries against Israel, leading to the widespread occupation of southern Lebanon during the multi-sided civil war in the country, ultimately culminating in the emergence of Hezbollah as the most powerful anti-Israel force until Israel’s complete withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.

Nevertheless, tensions continued, with both sides accusing each other of violating UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

While tensions have been ongoing for years at the border between Lebanon and Israel, today’s intense verbal exchanges by the Israeli leadership regarding the prospect of a new attack have escalated the situation even further.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu promised to restore security to the area near the border city of Kiryat Shmona at an Israeli army base and emphasized that they are prepared for a very strong action in the north.

Netanyahu’s statements are in line with recent warnings from senior military officials such as General Herzi Halevi, the chief of staff of the Israeli army, who announced on Tuesday that they are approaching a point where decisions need to be made.

General Uri Gordin, the commander of the Northern Front of the Israeli army, also declared during a ceremony commemorating the 2006 war that Israeli forces are ready and when commanded, the enemy will face a strong and prepared army.

As Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials are now openly discussing the possibility of a new war with Hezbollah, the Lebanese group has downplayed these verbal threats and declared their readiness to respond to any threat.


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