By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai
“I warn Hezbollah: don’t disturb the calm on the borders with Lebanon”, said the Israeli spy Chief Yossi Cohen at a high-tension moment between Israel and Hezbollah. This statement was provoked by the Israeli violation of Syrian sovereignty and its bombing of Damascus airport, where Hezbollah announced that one of its militants had been killed. The Israeli media are mainly concerned, not if Hezbollah will hit back, rather when and how– and whether the hit would lead to a general war.
The Israeli military command has moved the Golani brigade thirteen infantry to the command of the Galilea division (in the northern command for the front with Lebanon) as part of the measures to counter Hezbollah’s possible retaliation along the Lebanese border. However, in 2006 (when Israel was expecting similar action) these same measures helped very little: Hezbollah attacked and was able to abduct a number of Israeli soldiers.
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Israeli generals shared their analysis earlier this year confirming that Israel is no longer in a position to declare war on Hezbollah and win. Such a war would push Israel back dozens of years due to the inevitable level of destruction, together with results both unexpected and unforeseen. Israel has lost the preventive hit advantage that its leaders have adopted since 1948, and it has failed to impose its own rules and deterrence.
Hezbollah always considers the possibility of war and prepares its forces as if war could break out tomorrow. However, neither Hezbollah nor Israel wants to see a tit-for-tat knee-jerk response that moves everything towards a larger war. Israel needs to accept the hit, and understand that flying over Syria is no longer a holiday flight- and that killing Hezbollah militants will not go unpunished. In the old days, Israel used to set the rules of engagement and the direction of the game: those days are over.
Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B.
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