In recent months, the border between Israel and Lebanon has witnessed a continuous exchange of artillery and missile fire. It is resulting in casualties on both sides and displacing over 80,000 Israeli civilians. The conflict reached a critical point with a drone strike in Hezbollah’s stronghold in southern Beirut, intensifying the long-standing hostilities between Israel and the powerful Hezbollah militia.
The recent killing of Hamas deputy commander Saleh al-Arouri in a drone strike, widely believed to be an Israeli operation, has heightened the risk of further escalation. The incident has pushed the leaders of both Israel and Hezbollah to a precipice, with the potential for a devastating war involving ground invasions and heavy rocket attacks.
Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has issued stern warnings in response to the perceived attack on Lebanon. In two video appearances within four days, Nasrallah vowed retaliation, emphasizing that the response would occur at a time and place of Hezbollah’s choosing.
Lebanese political analyst and Hezbollah researcher, Amal Saad, believes that Nasrallah will act on this threat promptly. According to Saad, the deterrent value of Hezbollah’s capabilities would be compromised if they did not respond swiftly. She notes the urgency in the situation, stating that “things are moving at a very fast pace.”
Hezbollah, known for its status as the most powerful military entity in Lebanon, operates as both a political and military force with allegiance to Iran. The group has consistently been a sworn enemy of Israel and the United States. Backed by considerable funding and a well-armed militia, Hezbollah possesses the means to carry out Nasrallah’s threats.
The military arsenal at Hezbollah’s disposal surpasses what Israel has faced in previous conflicts, particularly in its engagements with Hamas in Gaza. As tensions continue to rise, the international community closely watches the unfolding situation, aware of the momentous and devastating implications that a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah could bring to the region.