By Sarit Zehavi and Shadi Khalloul
Hezbollah has the intention and capability to create great destruction on Israeli civil society by using their 150,000 mortars, wide ranging rockets, more than 2000 drones and many more precision guided missiles. They have munitions in greater amounts than many European armies. Their budget is almost $1 billion USD annually and most of it comes from Iran. The Hezbollah terrorist army has about 30,000 fighters, and their Elite Radwan force make up about 2,500 well trained fighters. It is important to understand that this force is much more sophisticated and larger than Hamas. Hezbollah’s vast stockpile of weaponry should not be underestimated.
Human Shield: The world should know that Hamas and Hezbollah are using their people as human shields. They fire their rockets and missiles from schools and mosques as were caught in videos from October 8th in Kfar Shuba, south Lebanon.
In case they join the current war, then all of Israel’s territory will be covered by missile and drone threats. Collateral damage, huge amounts of casualties, and strategic infrastructure might be destroyed inside Israel. Hezbollah will also attack strategic gas rigs. Also, Haifa Ammonia tanks might be targeted which their explosion will create a catastrophic damage like it happened 3 years ago in Beirut port. Many more strategic locations like Haifa port and others in the Tel Aviv region will be targeted.
The Iron dome and other air defense systems will be able to intercept maybe 90% of the 4 to 6 thousand missiles fired daily by Hezbollah, but the amount of missiles that might hit communities would still be large and will create great damage and chaos. Both Hamas and Hezbollah intend to overwhelm the Iron Dome air defenses by launching thousands of missiles in the shortest time possible.
1 to 1.5 million people live in the Galilee and the rest of northern Israel. Jews and minorities are divided almost 50-50. Both live together peacefully and in coexistence.
Many people don’t have bomb shelters at home and community shelters are not enough to contain all of the people. Moreover, not all shelters are equipped and ready for long confrontation. Civilians in borders communities have already evacuated to the center of Israel. Many others which live a bit far from the border will be hard to evacuate such as larger communities. This creates an immediate threat for them from both rockets and terrorist armies infiltrating from Lebanon as we saw it lately in the south of Israel. Hamas actually implemented the Hezbollah plan of occupying the Galilee as they declared it by their Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah.
IDF discovered 6 infiltrating attack tunnels in Israeli-Lebanese borders. They were blocked but Hezbollah declares it has more tunnels that are not found yet by the IDF. This might be a part of their psychological warfare operations. Another threat is explosive tunnels dug below communities and military bases. Those tunnels are deep under the surface, not discovered and can be filled with explosives. At the right timing for them, they will explode, them followed by incursion attack, aiming to take civilian and soldier hostages. The explosion would be equivalent to an earthquake effect on that specific community or base.
As mentioned, the Hezbollah force is an Army of Islamic Shia terrorists who are well equipped and trained with 10 years of experience fighting in the Syrian civil war. Their mission and training are to occupy the Galilee in the next war with Israel – above or below the ground.
The Iranian involvement
Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas are all proxies of Iran and in coordination with each other. In the last 10 years, Iran has been building a ring of fire surrounding Israel. They also call it the “unification of fronts”. They support Hezbollah in Lebanon and building together with it another front in the Golan Heights from the Syrian side. Iran is also supporting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and in Lebanon. The Houthis in Yemen might also fire long range ballistic missiles to southern Israel. These missiles were provided by Iran and would be operated be their Shia proxy in Yemen. Another front is the young Arabs inside Israel who might revolt internally, as happened two years ago during Operation Guardian of the Wall. In Judea & Samaria things can get out of control as the PA hardly controls the area and Hamas has wide support. Terrorist attacks are already a daily realty there.
Iran declared loudly that their aim is to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. Same declarations were made by Hezbollah and Hamas representatives.
It is important to understand that we are in a war that was forced on Israel and coordinated by Iran and its proxies. The main efforts of our security forces now are to clean the southern region from infiltrated Hamas terrorists, release the hostages and eliminate the Islamic Jihadist organizations threats from Hamas and PIJ. On the Northern front, forces are preparing to defend Israel if Hezbollah and other Shia proxies decide to join from South Lebanon and Syrian Golan Heights. A few attacks were already carried out on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
The lesson from what happened in southern Israel since last Saturday is that Israel can’t accept coexisting barbaric terrorist groups with massive capabilities on its borders. International and Arab communities should support that principle, otherwise, this nightmare will happen again.