Sarit Zehavi

Israelis are now waiting for the war with Hezbollah to begin

Make no mistake - Iran has spent two years preparing for this campaign


Israeli soldiers in an armoured vehicle ride along a street in the northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on October 8, 2023. Fighting between Israeli forces and the Palestinian militant group Hamas raged on October 8, with hundreds killed on both sides after a surprise attack on Israel prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to warn they were "embarking on a long and difficult war". (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP) (Photo by JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images)

October 08, 2023 15:58

Israel continues to count its dead. So far, there have reportedly been 600 murders, 2,000 wounded, and 100 people abducted. Many families continue to search for missing loved ones.

As of this morning, we understand that we are engaged in a two-front conflict: a war in the south and a potential war in the north. The bomb shelters have been open, and residents of frontier communities in the north and the south have been evacuated. All that are able, enlist into the IDF. Others offer assistance in a variety of ways.

The feeling here is one of anticipation – anticipation of an end to the fighting inside Israel in the Gaza area and anticipation of the beginning of a war in the north. Early in the morning, Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at IDF positions at the Shebaa/Har Dov farms. No casualties were reported. The shooting was carried out from within a school in a Lebanese village. The IDF responded by destroying the tent Hezbollah had erected south of the Blue Line several months ago, and throughout the day there were reports of more IDF fire distancing Hezbollah operatives from the area.

Even though Hezbollah has lost the element of surprise, it is clear that we will suffer casualties if it decides to conduct an operation carried out by the Radwan brigades – an invasion of Israeli communities by 2,500 terrorists, similar to what transpired in the south yesterday.

It is even more evident that Iran is pressuring Hezbollah to expand its assaults. Additionally, I would not be surprised if UAVs or missiles were launched from the Golan Heights. In both Southern Lebanon and Southern Syria, there are multiple Iranian proxies, including the PIJ and Islamic Jihad.

The timing is not coincidental and should not have come as a surprise; I am not referring to the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which is symbolic. Iran has spent the previous two years preparing for this campaign. Utilizing both psychological warfare and military operations on the ground to construct a multi-front offensive against Israel. In actuality, the timeline was determined by two nearly opposing trends: Iran's strengthening in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon. Alongside the American and international message that it will not exact a price for violations in the nuclear sphere, there is a thawing of large sums of money and a desire to retain the Iranian regime as a partner for dialogue as long as it continues to honor its commitments to the West.

On the other hand, reports of normalisation between Israel and Saudi Arabia necessitated an immediate halt to this process before the signing of the agreement. The statement issued by Hezbollah following the Hamas attack suggests that normalisation processes prompted Iran's decision to initiate a campaign.

There is no national or local conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorist organisations. There is a conflict between the values of freedom and the values of an extremist ideology of enmity against the State of Israel, which is viewed as the extended arm of the United States in the Middle East.

Regardless of the cost, the international and Arab systems must now support Israel. In terms of numbers, this event exceeds September 11. The fatalities in Gaza and Lebanon, if any, are not the consequence of Israeli policy, but rather of terrorist groups using their populations as human shields. Those are the ones that should bear the responsibility and be held accountable for their actions.

October 08, 2023 15:58

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