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“Cave Dwelling”: Netanyahu’s Security Measure for Fugitive Settlers

17 Mar 2024 23:32

Islam Times - Hezbollah's missile strikes on occupied lands, without a clear path towards a political settlement, have placed the Netanyahu administration in a challenging predicament. To resolve this security dilemma, significant concessions are necessary, and constructing shelters for settlers won't spare him from the struggle.

Continuous attacks by Hezbollah on military installations and strategic sites of the Zionist regime, which are intensifying daily, have instilled fear in Tel Aviv. To safeguard the lives of settlers, new strategies are under consideration. Consequently, the "Home Front Command," associated with the Israeli army, has devised an urgent plan to establish shelters and secure zones in the northern occupied Palestinian territories for settlers residing in older, shelter-less buildings.

Reported by the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, old structures in northern settlements lack shelters, compelling residents to seek refuge in other areas during Hezbollah attacks. In places like Haifa, residents have an average of one minute from the alarm's activation to reach a shelter. The newspaper details a plan, formulated and budgeted over the past two months, identifying sites suitable for collective protection and relocation of residents without shelters.

The Israeli Home Front Command, tasked with security responsibilities, has initiated procurement of essential equipment and issued tenders to devise logistical solutions for swift implementation of this plan in the event of a conflict with Hezbollah. Discussions encompass services for maintaining hygiene in these complexes, along with provision of thousands of boxes of dry food, water, and other supplies. During wartime, the Home Front Command will oversee the transfer of settlers to these shelters.

Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet is making strategic moves amidst heightened tensions between the regime and Hezbollah, with concerns of a potential large-scale conflict escalating. Simultaneously, efforts to construct shelters for settlers are underway, as tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes in recent months due to fears of Hezbollah missile attacks.

According to Hebrew-language media reports on Tuesday, citing Tamir Hayman, a former commander of the Israeli Defense Forces, Hezbollah has successfully relocated over 80,000 settlers from northern areas during the recent period of tension. Hayman emphasized Hezbollah's significant presence in the north. Earlier, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's Secretary-General, had cautioned that in a conflict scenario, the displacement of settlers could exceed two million, warning about the repercussions for hardline Zionists.

Zionists in Caves

Netanyahu is endeavoring to bring back displaced settlers to their residences through the construction of shelters. However, they have expressed reluctance to return until the shadow of war disappears from the northern regions. The Netanyahu administration aims to offer reassurance to settlers facing the constant threat of rockets and bombs by building shelters. Nevertheless, the current circumstances in the occupied territories paint a grim picture, akin to the struggles of Stone Age cave dwellers, reliant on fire for survival. Ironically, Netanyahu and his allies promised to create similar conditions for the Lebanese. During the onset of the Gaza conflict, Zionists warned Hezbollah that involvement would result in Lebanon regressing to the Stone Age. Yet, as the sixth month of the conflict unfolds, the plight of displaced settlers highlights that the Stone Age has dawned upon Zionists themselves. Former Israeli officials concede that they have lost their ability to deter Hezbollah and are incapable of achieving success in a potential war.

Haaretz newspaper has provided a comprehensive depiction of the dire security conditions on the northern front. According to Haaretz, these communities are in a state of paralysis, with all essential services suspended in Kiryat Shmona and access to the city fraught with danger. Basic services like healthcare, banking, government, and postal services are non-operational, and even the few open shops lack essential supplies such as bread, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, with dry goods in short supply. Suppliers, distributors, and technicians avoid entering the city, and there is a lack of organized educational and social infrastructure. Streets, roads, and gates are sealed off. Additionally, the constant sounds of artillery and helicopters, accompanied by blaring danger alarms, have created extremely hazardous conditions for these settlements, with the army issuing daily warnings of potential ground and aerial invasions.

This intricate predicament has unfolded for northern settlements at a time when Hezbollah has predominantly targeted military installations and sensitive areas, refraining from attacking civilian zones. Despite this, displaced settlers choose to remain away from their homes. Presently, bordering settlements near Lebanon have become virtually deserted, rendering them vulnerable targets for Hezbollah.

Hezbollah's missile response to Tel Aviv's rhetoric

Zionist officials recently warned that if they fail to reach an agreement with Lebanon by Friday (March 15), they will expand the scope of war on the northern front. However, these threats not only failed to push Hezbollah back but also prompted stronger attacks on occupied territories. The firing of 100 missiles into occupied lands on Tuesday, the largest in terms of both quantity and size of missiles in the past five months, demonstrated that Lebanon's resistance is not deterred by such intimidations and will continue its operations in defense of the people of Gaza. Hebrew-language media described Hezbollah's recent attacks as unprecedented, causing significant damage to the regime.

Now, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has put Israel in a difficult position, as the return of residents to settlements will not be easy even after a political agreement or military operation, and this cannot guarantee the security of northern areas. This is because Hezbollah's offensive capabilities will persist, making conditions challenging for Zionists with attacks on the entire northern region and the depths of occupied territories.

Hezbollah's capability

After the assassination of resistance commanders, Hezbollah has embraced the principle of reciprocity to convey a message to the Zionists that the days of impunity are over. They warn that for every strike initiated by the Zionists, they will retaliate with twice the force.

In contrast to their leaders, settlers and former Zionist officials foresee dire consequences in a potential conflict with Hezbollah and have cautioned Tel Aviv about the aftermath. According to them, in a full-scale war with Hezbollah, all occupied territories would be targeted by resistance missiles, with an estimated 2,000 missiles launched daily from Lebanon towards these lands. The mayor of Haifa has even expressed concerns, stating that "settlers will encounter challenges in meeting their daily necessities, particularly food."

The Zionist apprehension of Hezbollah's military prowess stems from the movement's possession of precise and targeted missiles capable of striking all occupied territories if hostilities erupt. The recent missile attacks by Hezbollah on these territories represent only a fraction of their arsenal capability. Mohammad Raad, a Lebanese parliament representative for the resistance, emphasized in a recent address to Zionists that "the resistance has yet to unleash all its weaponry and has kept its main arsenal sealed." Sheikh Naim Qassem, the executive deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, also cautioned that Israeli recklessness would lead them to confront an upgraded version of the 33-day war.

Based on this military capability, the United States and France are attempting to convince Hezbollah to ease tensions on the northern front through dialogue. They are aware of Hezbollah's strength and its capacity to inflict significant damage on the Zionist regime. From a Western standpoint, the Zionist regime is deemed incapable of effectively fighting on multiple fronts. If a war erupts on the Lebanese border, the regime would likely suffer severe repercussions, as Hezbollah is considered much more compelling than Hamas. Prolonged conflict with Hezbollah would further deteriorate the security situation in the occupied territories.

Despite diplomatic efforts, these maneuvers have failed to yield results and cannot prevent the occupiers from facing the consequences of their actions. Hezbollah's leaders have consistently blamed Tel Aviv for instigating the crisis in the northern front. As long as the atrocities in Gaza persist, Hezbollah is unlikely to cease its operations.

With Hezbollah's persistent attacks on occupied territories, the Netanyahu government finds itself at a critical juncture. Escalating the conflict with Hezbollah would exacerbate the situation on the northern front, leading to the evacuation of settlements and the displacement of settlers, imposing additional costs on the government. Conversely, ending the Gaza war without significant achievements would tarnish Tel Aviv's reputation globally and potentially contribute to the collapse of the government. Therefore, Netanyahu has lost control of the situation and is trapped in a challenging dilemma with no easy way out.

Story Code: 1123269

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