Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
As the conflict in Gaza continues, questions are being raised about possible Israeli military involvement in Lebanon and the potentiality of a second front. In Lebanon, as in many countries in the Middle East and the West, speculation is rife about the likelihood of Israel launching a war against Lebanon or of Hezbollah triggering a broader conflict that could plunge the entire Middle East region into a multi-front war. This could potentially draw regional and major global powers, dramatically escalating the situation. Alternatively, there’s the possibility that any conflict could remain confined within Lebanon’s borders, a region that Israel has previously threatened to damage and bring back to the “Stone Age” if provoked into war. Assessing these scenarios requires understanding the likelihood and timing of such a conflict and the potential to spill over into a broader war.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen recently stated that US and international pressure to halt military action in Gaza was mounting, suggesting a narrowing window of two to three weeks to achieve its military objectives. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed a desire to dismantle Hamas and fully occupy Gaza to change the post-Hamas status quo, which requires unlimited time.
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), deeply involved in the crisis in northern Gaza, are perceived to be on a time-sensitive mission. The aim appears to be to secure a significant part of the Gaza Strip in the north within a two-month timeframe to render it unliveable and create a buffer zone. This strategy unfolds against a backdrop of shifting international public opinion and criticism from Western countries, particularly over war crimes and civilian casualties in Gaza.
It’s essential to bear in mind that the resistance in Gaza has managed to maintain a stockpile of light weapons despite being in a geographically confined and long-besieged area. These weapons are predominantly locally manufactured, supplemented by a limited number of anti-tank weapons that have not yet been used in the conflict. Israel’s tight control over the Rafah border crossing, restricting the entry of goods and monitoring supplies to the UN team in Gaza, further complicates the scenario.
While Israel’s focus remains on Gaza, the potential for the conflict to spill over into Lebanon depends on several geopolitical, military and diplomatic factors. Decisions and actions taken in the coming weeks will determine the future course of the conflict in this volatile region.
However, in the context of a potential war with Lebanon, there are several key considerations:
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