By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai
The Israeli army was well able to hide its soldiers along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Hezbollah defeated the Israeli army without firing a shot by forcing the army to disappear and leave puppets behind in its military vehicles. That is to prevent any opportunity for Hezbollah to avenge the killing of its members in Syria, for sending booby-trapped drones to the southern suburb of Beirut and for attacking a Palestinian military officer in the Bekaa. Along the border with Lebanon, from the coastal city of Naqoura to the occupied town of the Shebaa Farms, for about 60 kilometres, Hezbollah is searching for Israeli military targets without finding any apparent soldier. That means Hezbollah would be obliged to target a non-visible object inland. Hezbollah’s bank of objectives is rich and selecting an Israeli target will not be very difficult. It is not forced to reveal the exact time of revenge, happy to keep Israel on its toes, spreading fear and continuous anxiety over the entire country.
Hezbollah is not in a hurry to close the account and may not really need to jump the gun. Striking a far-flung target would reveal Hezbollah’s capabilities: better to keep its special arsenal unrevealed for a more serious, wider military confrontation. Hezbollah is therefore in favour of using laser missiles, snipers or camouflaged booby-traps, or precision missiles and suicide drones that can inflict heavy casualties on Israeli soldiers as they gather together (if and when possible!).
For the first time since 2006 (the third war on Lebanon), a whole week has gone by without any Israeli ground violations. The number of these violations was up to five per week and about 167 per month (air, land and sea), rebuffing the UN Resolution 1701. Israel continues to violate Lebanese airspace every day, dozens of times a day.
Hezbollah succeeded in its psychological warfare, according to the Israeli press. Naturally, the Israelis are closely monitoring any movement on the border, any open source information or any intelligence material that could help thwart an attack. However, the theory that “Israel is an invincible army” has been ended : it was irrevocably subdued by a television threat from Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
The Israeli army is on high alert, it cancelled leave for a large number of combat units, and asked settlers not to approach any fields near the border. The commander of Israel’s northern front, General Amir Baram, paradoxically rejected the settlers’ request to open shelters so as not to make them even more nervous while waiting for the deadly response from Hezbollah.
For the first time it seems that Israeli soldiers along the border would even be pleased if three or four of their comrades were killed because it would mean that death had not knocked at their own door. Israeli soldiers would breathe a sigh of relief and return to their daily work with greater peace of mind once Hezbollah’s attack were concluded.
From Israeli military and political statements, it seems that the winds of war are far from blowing that strongly: that neither side favours a wider confrontation. But it is too early to speculate because will be up to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decide whether to really drag Israel into war or not.
Israel will not be able to hide for long behind the barricades and the IDF will not be able to remain in its hideouts for long. Time is getting short: closer and closer every day to the hit that Hezbollah promised. Then the pressure will be lifted but not on Netanyahu who knows that the psychological war has damaged him despite his public boasting about achievements in Syria and Iraq. But he certainly cannot boast of striking Lebanon or Hezbollah, precisely because he has already lost his first battle. Israel awakened the Shiite genie in the 1982 war when it invaded Lebanon and brought Sayyed Nasrallah to Hezbollah leadership in 1992 by assassinating Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi, the former Hezbollah leader. Israel apparently has once more failed to learn from history and from its previous mistakes.
Proofread by: Maurice Brasher.
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