Saturday 8 June 2024 - 08:46

Is Tel Aviv Really Preparing for War with Hezbollah?

Story Code : 1140423
Is Tel Aviv Really Preparing for War with Hezbollah?
As the Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has recently said that parts of Lebanon territory should be occupied for establishing a buffer zone with Lebanon, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to the border settlement of Qiryat Shemona confirmed that Tel Aviv is ready for a "very strong operation in the north."

Also, the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Herzi Halevi, held during his visit to the northern front that Tel Aviv is approaching a point with Hezbollah in which a decision must be made.

These angry statements by the Israeli officials came as since Sunday, towns and cities in the north of the occupied territories have witnessed huge fires as a result of rockets and explosive drones launched by Hezbollah from Lebanon.

Hezbollah announced that it targeted Al-Malikya site with artillery shells. The resistance movement said in a statement that its fighters attacked ambushing Israeli forces in the site directly with shells, killing and injuring them.

On Thursday, the Lebanese resistance movement in response to death of two of its fighters in an Israeli attack struck the Hermon 810 Division in Ma'ala post in the occupied Golan.

Though Hezbollah started its attacks in solidarity with Gaza since the beginning of the Israeli invasion of the coastal enclave, the new wave of Israeli cabinet' threats have driven media outlets and observers to warn about a new war shadow over the region.

Israeli cabinet under pressure from Hezbollah attacks

According to AFP statistics from Hezbollah statements and official Lebanese sources, since the beginning of the skirmishss on the northern front, at least 455 people have been killed in Lebanon, including 88 civilians and at least 295 Hezbollah fighters. And on the other side, despite severe media censorship and extensive concealment by the Israeli army and cabinet on the real casualties of the war, at least 14 soldiers and 11 settlers have been confirmed dead.

The unequality of the casualties, however, does never give Israel a battlefield supremacy in war with Hezbollah, and the threats by the political and military officials of Tel Aviv in dealing with the home criticism and pressures indicate the inefficiency of the security measures of the war cabinet for protection of the settlements and military facilities. 

Accordingly, the recent widespread fires in the occupied territories by Hezbollah's rocket attacks caused a great shock inside Israel and directed the sharp criticism against Netanyahu. For example, former Israeli military ombudsman Isaac Brick said that "those who seek the destruction of settlements in the north realize that Israel has no real defense against Hezbollah's missiles and drones." Also, Israel's Channel 12 aired footages of the depth of penetration of Hezbollah's missiles and drones in the attack on the positions of the Israeli army.

According to Aljazeera, more than 100,000 settlers have been displaced from the northern regions, and although the war cabinet has dispatched more than a third of the army forces to the northern borders to confront Hezbollah, the daily operations of the movement are still a big nightmare for Netanyahu who is seeing his cabinet on the brink of collapse due to the catastrophic Gaza war results. 

While the Israeli warnings cannot improve the tumultuous security conditions of the Israeli regime in the northern regions and cannot persuade the displaced settlers to return home, Hezbollah has been committed to the initial equation of intensification of the military operations proportionate to the war situation in Gaza. In other words, Hezbollah’s actions in recent days and weeks show that it is using new arms especially heavy ones, including surface-to-air missiles and drone-fired missiles, proportionate to the Israeli crimes in Rafah, the last shelter of 1.5 million displaced Palestinians. 

Confirming this issue, a report by Israel's Alma Research and Education Center from northern borders suggests that largest number of Hezbollah attacks, 325 attacks, were recorded in May, with about 10 attacks per day. 

In the same month, Hezbollah's use of anti-armor rockets and driones has surged. The firing of anti-tank missiles reached 95 cases in May from 50 in April. 

The center also reported that from October 8 to May 31, Hezbollah launched about 1964 attacks, 46 percent targeting the infrastructures and settlements. 

Why is not Israel capable of waging a war on Lebanon? 

As it was said, the Israeli threats in recent days are nothing new. Tel Aviv leaders sometime in the war even talked about returning Lebanon to the stone age. Meanwhile, what makes the current situation different than before is the deterioration of indications of the Israeli capability to wage a new war. 

In the first place, as it was observed in Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, the element of surprise is the most important one whose absence is felt in any Israeli military and war strategy. Even this gap made the heavily-armed Israeli military unable to achieve its most basic goals, namely liberation of Israeli prisoners from Hamas captivity in a war against a small and completely blockaded and encircled region that lacks a regular army and advanced weapons. Certainly, the loss of the element of surprise regarding Lebanon and the full readiness of Hezbollah present a far more difficult situation for the Israelis. In his recent interview with Aljazeera, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem asserted that "threats do not influence us, we do not want all-out war, but if it is imposed to us, we are ready for it and we will not leave the battleground." 

Another issue is the disappointing outlook the Israeli army has left behind in Gaza war. On the one hand, Israel is grappling with an extremely confused and critical situation at home and on the other hand, the lack of comprehensive planning for war has caused the army to lose the battle to Hamas, a group with a power way less than that of Hezbollah. Actually, the firepower the Israelis used in Gaza failed to deter Hezbollah, rather, it revealed the Israeli military's weak spots and vulnerability to Hezbollah. Gaza war showed that Israel is incapable of opening an all-out front with Lebanon. In fact, the Gaza war even represents a warning to the leaders of Tel Aviv and its Western supporters about the unpredictable costs that Hezbollah can impose on the occupied territories if it uses its entire advanced military arsenal. 

The third issue is the fear of Israelis that opening a front with Hezbollah will trigger new fronts from other branches of the Axis of Resistance. Haaretz wrote in an article on Thursday that Israeli military sources fear the possibility that an all-out war in Lebanon will lead to the opening of other fronts from Iran and Yemen and what Israel classifies as militias in Syria on a larger scale than what is happening now. 

This Israeli paper revealed that the army position in war runs counter to the remarks of the army chief Halavi who said during a visit to the northern borders with Lebanon that Israel was preparing to escalate against Hezbollah. 

Citing sources in the army, Haaretz reported that the fires that spread in Golan and Galilee in the past few days have stirred a shift in the army's position from an all-out war against Lebanon to a limited war. 

The fourth issue is the stances of the US administration as the most important economic, military, diplomatic, and propagandaistic backer of the Israeli regime in it genocidal war on Gaza. Many experts agree that if Washington withholds its backing for Tel Aviv even for a limited time, not only Israel would not be capable of continuing the war for a single day, but also its very existence will face challenges given the current anti-Israeli atmosphere dominating the world. 

Seeing prospects of Israeli victory dim and preparing for the presidential election, President Joe Biden's administration is pressing hardline Israeli cabinet to give a green light to Biden's recent ceasefire proposal. Certainly, given Israel's shaky position, a new war is unfavorable to the Democrats, having in mind that massive war against Lebanon will open Syrian, Iraqi, and Yemeni fronts, which will mean further damage to the US interests in the region. So, Israeli leaders rather than a war against Lebanon favor continuation of Gaza war slowly until the US elections and possible victory of Donald Trump whom they hope can get them out of this quagmire. Until then, nobody in the occupied territories wants to even dream of joining Netanyahu in playing with the fire of powerful Hezbollah . 
Source : Alwaght