Hezbollah and Israel flirt with war - The Point

The jewish State was already on high alert in anticipation of an attack by Hezbollah on its northern border. It finally took place this Monday in the form of an

Hezbollah and Israel flirt with war - The Point

The jewish State was already on high alert in anticipation of an attack by Hezbollah on its northern border. It finally took place this Monday in the form of an attempt of intrusion into israeli territory by a commando of lebanon. Islamist fighters armed with rifles have " penetrated a few meters beyond the blue Line ", before being shot by Idf soldiers, announced by the israeli army in the afternoon. "We have been able to thwart a successful infiltration attempt of a terrorist cell in Israel," said the spokesman of the israeli army, Jonathan Conricus, adding to have obtained " a visual confirmation according to which the terrorists were returned to Lebanon ". According to the Idf, the gunfire have not been injured on the israeli side.

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" The israeli army has reacted moderately to the attempt of Hezbollah to penetrate israeli territory to attack its soldiers, without producing casualties among the fighters of the organization ", emphasizes Ely Karmon, a researcher in gender policy and counter-terrorism at the interdisciplinary center of Herzliya (Israel). Long of 130 km, the blue Line has been traced by the united Nations after the israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in June 2000. Marked sometimes by a wall nine feet high, sometimes by wire fences electrified, the line of demarcation between the two countries is supposed to be monitored, on the side of lebanon, through the united Nations interim Force for Lebanon (Unifil) and the lebanese army. Sign of the impotence of Unifil, a spokesman for the un force has called, in a statement to Agence France-Presse, the two parties to " the greatest restraint ".

An hour of explosions

large explosions have shaken for an hour in the vicinity of the position israeli military Rouaissat al-Alam, located in the region of the Shebaa farms, where Israel conducted dozens of artillery strikes. This territory of 25 square kilometres has been retained by the jewish State after its withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. For Tel-Aviv, the area is part of the plateau of the syrian Golan which it annexed. For Lebanon and Syria, it is up to the country of the Cedar. This is the name of the recovery of these 18 farms which he considers as occupied as Hezbollah refuses to dismantle its arsenal of 120 000 rockets and missiles, like all other lebanese militias did at the end of the civil war (1975-1990). "It is amazing that Israel persists in occupying this small territory," emphasizes Karim Emile Bitar, director of the Institute of political sciences of Saint Joseph university of Beirut. "If it provides a strategic advantage, it offers above all to Hezbollah as a pretext for maintaining its military arsenal. "

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In a statement released Monday evening, the islamist movement has denied any involvement in the fighting with Israel. "Until now, the islamic resistance did not take part in any skirmish, did not open fire during the events of the day," assured the shiite party, which has counted no victim. However, a source in lebanon, interviewed earlier by the news agency, Reuters, has reported that Hezbollah had fired a guided missile against an israeli tank located in the area of the Shebaa farms. According to the lebanese channel Al-Mayadeen, near the islamist movement, it was an anti-tank missile Russian Kornet. The idf, for its part, denies having been targeted by such an attack.

Retaliation

The operation of the Hezbollah would be in retaliation for the death of a fighter of the movement, Kamal Ali Mohsen, in an israeli raid occurred on 20 July last year near the Damascus airport, killing five foreign fighters are pro-iranian. Decided to push the islamic Republic, the main support for Bashar al-Assad with Russia, outside of Syria, Israel has been carrying out since 2011 hundreds of air strikes against Iran and its allies, including Hezbollah. The islamist movement has sent to the site since January 2013, thousands of his fighters alongside the syrian army, revolutionary Guards iranian and shiite militias, afghan and pakistani. The idf also intends to as of the weapons sophisticated be transferred from Syria to Lebanon.

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A previous israeli attack in August 2019, near Damascus had claimed the lives of two lebanese combatants. Furious, the general secretary of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, announced in the aftermath that his movement would respond to any attack against one of its members. Several missiles were fired into northern Israel in retaliation, with no casualties. "Israel cannot accept the attempt of Hassan Nasrallah to deter the Idf to carry out any action against the iranian strategic in Syria, which often include fighters from Hezbollah ", analyzes the researcher Ely Karmon.

Letter via the united nations

To prevent a new response, the jewish State would have this time sent last week a letter to the Hezbollah through the UN, in which he explained not to have had the intention to kill Kamal Ali Mohsen, according to the number two in the Party of God, Naim Qassem, who spoke on Sunday evening on the lebanese channel Al Mayadeen.

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Las, Hezbollah announced that it would not be there. "The response to the martyrdom of brother Ali Kamel Mohsen [...] will irreparably ", said the shiite party in its press release, what the israeli Prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu responded that the " Hezbollah was playing with fire." The two camps, however, have not interest to enter into an open conflict. In addition to its military involvement in Syria, Hezbollah is in trouble now, even inside of Lebanon. The movement of shiite, which is part of the government coalition alongside the christians of the patriotic movement of lebanon (CPL), is weakened by an economic crisis without precedent then it is already hit hard by u.s. sanctions.

regional Tensions

As for the israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, already weakened by a triple indictment for corruption, is currently under fire for not having been able to prevent the second wave of Covid-19 that affects Israel. But, in the context of extreme tension between the United States, Iran and Israel, the slightest spark in the Middle East can lead to war. "The election periods in us are still high-risk," recalls the political scientist Karim Emile Bitar. "Iran, support from Hezbollah, is now taken to the throat by the maximum pressure of the United States while Netanyahu is caught up in his legal problems, and the slightest miscalculation could cause an escalation. "And, as so often, it is that Lebanon will suffer the jerks of this war by proxy.

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Updated Date: 28 July 2020, 07:34

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