Today (August 04) at noon, three rockets were fired at Israeli territory. Two rockets landed in an open area near Kiryat Shmona and one rocket apparently landed in Lebanon. In our opinion, these were Grad rockets. At this stage, the identity of the shooters and the exact location from which the shooting took place are unknown.
The IDF responded by firing artillery at open areas along the border with Lebanon (92 shells altogether according to LAF). According to indications from Lebanon, IDF shells hit open country in both the western and eastern regions. In the western region, it appears that the IDF fired north of the town of Nakura in the Wadi Hamoul area. In the eastern region, the IDF fired at the Al-khiam plain and at the Al-Arkub area, which is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Hermon. IDF fire in this area was aimed at the area between the villages of Chebaa, Chouba, Habbariyeh, and Rashi al-Fahar.
Today’s events once again raise questions about the role of UNIFIL and the Lebanese army in the context of Resolution 1701. According to a single report, following the events, UNIFIL forces evacuated most of their observation posts on the border with Israel…
As of this writing, UNIFIL has stated that it intends to open an investigation into the circumstances of the shooting and called on both sides to maintain a ceasefire especially today on the anniversary of the explosion in Beirut. It was also noted that UNIFIL is working with the Lebanese army to reinforce security along the Blue Line.
In our estimation, the immediate suspicious area from which the rockets were fired is the AL Arkub area. Rockets have already been fired at Israel from this area during the escalation events in Gaza (“Guardians of the Walls”) in May 2021. In any case, the Lebanese army and UNIFIL may announce shortly that they have located the place where the launcher that fired the rockets was located.
Is the anniversary of the explosion in the port of Beirut the trigger for the shooting? Is it the events of the ‘Ashura’ holiday coming up? Or is it the implementation of the Iranian directive to maintain continuous terrorist activity against Israel? and as an alternative to maintaining a continuum of rocket fire at Israel, which Hamas is currently not interested in carrying out in the Gaza Strip?
In addition, it cannot be ruled out that this is a warning message from Hezbollah to Israel concerning internal intervention in Lebanon. Hezbollah tends to accuse Israel of encouraging Lebanese citizens to act against it (it may attribute recent Khaldeh events to this), or about Israeli attempts to influence the international or Iranian aid that will be given to Lebanon against the background of the political and economic crisis in which it finds itself. It was reported that Hezbollah was on alert near the border with Israel in light of an exercise carried out by the IDF in recent days.
It is unlikely that this shooting was in light of the anniversary of the explosion at the port or on the occasion of the Ashura events. The first possible scenario is that this is a Palestinian cell that shot the rockets with the knowledge and approval of Hezbollah and based on Iran’s policy of maintaining “operationally convenient terrorist acts” against Israel. Terrorism is carried out where it is convenient and currently it’s convenient to carry out shootings from Lebanon (as it is convenient to carry out terror attacks against ships related to Israel in the Persian Gulf).
Another scenario is the dangerous scenario in which Hezbollah – initiated firing. Either carried out by Hezbollah operatives or carried out by a Hezbollah proxy cell (maybe even Palestinians as a cover). The purpose of the shooting is, as noted above, to convey a message against internal intervention in Lebanon.
Is it possible that the shooting surprised Hezbollah and that Hezbollah did not know about it in advance? This possibility exists despite the widespread assumption that Hezbollah will approve and know of any military activity against Israel from southern Lebanon. It is possible that Iranian permission was given to carry out the shooting over Hezbollah’s head, It is also possible that independent activity was carried out by Palestinians with the help of local Sunni aides without Hezbollah’s knowledge (part of the Alarkov area is Sunni).