What does Israel Seek to Gain From a War on Lebanon? – Robert Inlakesh 6/5/24

Source: TheLastAmericanVagabond.com

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is openly threatening a major attack on Lebanon, following a series of Hezbollah strikes that have embarrassed his government. However, the threats and plans to invade Lebanon did not start over the past days.

The stories that received the most attention in the international press lately, about the ongoing tit-for-tat battle between Israel and Lebanon, have been the recent fires caused in the northern Israeli border settlements and a major strike on an Israeli military site. In the first instance, some 96 fires were caused since Monday due to Hezbollah rocket fire, producing videos and images causing outrage over the extent of the damage caused, which doubled the amount of fire damage recorded during the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war. Despite this being undoubtably true, and Hezbollah has most certainly picked up the pace of its attacks in recent weeks, the corporate media is not providing sufficient context behind the armed group’s actions.

According to a recent report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the international rights group confirmed that Israel had used White Phosphorus munitions against at least 17 Lebanese municipalities, including the use of banned airburst White Phosphorus on 5 civilian populated municipalities since October. HRW stated noted that “under international humanitarian law, the use of airburst white phosphorus is unlawfully indiscriminate in populated areas and otherwise does not meet the legal requirement to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian harm.” These chemical weapons munitions were also used by the Israeli military to set fire to Lebanese farm lands.

In the case of the recent attack on an Israeli military position located in the Hurfeish settlement area, inflicting over 20 total casualties, it was carried out with a batch of loitering munitions (suicide drones). Israel, which has been covering up most of its military casualties in the north, was not able to hide this attack as the military site struck was situated right next to a public football field and main road. This, coming days after the Israeli public bore witness to videos of settlements like Kiryat Shmona engulfed in flames, it has stirred up a desire for revenge that the military and political establishment are not able to ignore.

Despite Hezbollah clearly having upped the quality of its targets, seeking to embarrass and punish Israel after its refusal to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza, it is also important to note that the recent drone attack came in response to deadly Israeli airstrikes that targeted the Lebanese town of Naqoura.

Also, the fighting between Lebanon and Israel did not just begin. On October 8, Hezbollah began launching attacks against Israeli military positions along the southern Lebanon border, primarily targeting surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment. This strategy, of escalating tensions in response to Israel’s aggression against Gaza, and later Lebanon, has created an 8-month-long tit-for-tat battle along the southern Lebanese border with occupied Palestine. During this time, Israel has murdered Lebanese journalists, medical workers, women, children and elderly citizens, in addition to hundreds of Hezbollah members. The total death toll in Lebanon is around 400, since October.

On the Israeli side, the official death toll figures are completely inaccurate as almost all its military casualties have been covered up or remain unannounced, however, we do know around 100,000 Israeli settlers have been displaced from their homes and the Israeli economy in the north remains paralyzed. In addition to this, the strategy of the Lebanese political party/armed group is to draw the Israeli military’s focus away from Gaza and onto Lebanon, and this has clearly worked and been costly to Tel Aviv.

Why War Now?

To begin with, Hezbollah and its regional allies appear to be in agreement that now is the time to escalate. Israel is actively avoiding concluding a ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal in the Gaza Strip, despite US pressure on them to do so. Instead the Israeli military is adamant on continuing its ground offensive in Gaza, which they say they won’t end until they complete a full-scale invasion of the coastal enclave’s southernmost city of Rafah, and beyond that, the complete destruction of Hamas.

The Secretary General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, originally set a single redline in the Gaza war, asserting that “Hamas will win” and that he wouldn’t let them lose in his first speech during the conflict. At this point, 8 months into one of the most destructive and deadly military campaigns ever carried out against civilian targets and urban areas, the viewpoint of Hezbollah seems to have shifted somewhat. In Nasrallah’s latest speech, he said the Israeli regime are like Nazi Germany and that the region cannot live with them.

It appears that Hezbollah are now seeking to draw the Israelis into a larger fight, after having dismantled a multi-billion dollar intelligence and monitoring defence network located in the northern Israeli settlements. As was demonstrated in Wednesday’s deadly attack on Israeli soldiers, during which the air defense systems didn’t detect the Hezbollah drones and the siren system wasn’t even triggered, Tel Aviv has lost its capability to stop most of the munitions being fired at it from Lebanese territory.

Despite the fact that Israel recently announced it would expand its reservist force capacity by 50,000, bringing the total number available to them 350,000, there is no indication that this move will help them achieve greater success in a conflict against Lebanon. Israeli military officials have explicitly stated that the move had nothing to do with Lebanon, but this is questionable to say the least. Right now, the Israelis are bogged down militarily and have failed to achieve any of their military goals in Gaza, while they also maintain a massive military presence in the West Bank. It suffices to say, Hezbollah is in a favorable position and appears to be leading the Israeli military into a trap.

On the Israeli side, their thinking is likely some variation of the following:…

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