Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Analysis: Shoot-out in Lebanon is an ominous sign

    The short but very sharp battle on the Lebanese border on Tuesday which took the lives of an Israeli battalion commander, three Lebanese soldiers and one reporter, may turn out to be an isolated incident. By evening, calm had returned to Israel's north, but it is a worrying indication of the state of affairs in the land ofthe cedars.

    The direct fire at the Israeli command post, during a routine maintenance operation across the border fence but well within Israeli territory, was at the orders of a low-level officer, but it is still unclear whether he was acting on his own initiative.

    The shooting, though, cannot be disconnected from the increasingly belligerent attitude of the Lebanese army towards the IDF patrols on the border in recent months. Israeli commanders in the region have reported a marked increase in Lebanese soldiers pointing their weapons at the patrols and more efforts to hit Israeli aircraft with ground-fire. Most of these complaints focus on Lebanon's Brigade Nine, whose soldiers opened fire this week.

    The brigade has recently appointed a new commander, a Shia with close ties to Hizbollah, and there is concern as to his loyalties. But even at higher levels, there are ominous developments afoot in the Lebanese army, a direct result of Hizbollah's participation in the national coalition.

    Four years ago, when the United Nations passed Resolution 1701 at the end of the Second Lebanese War, the Lebanese Army was supposed to be, along with UNIFIL, the main force that would ensure Hizbollah did not rebuild its military infrastructure in the south. The army did indeed deploy a major contingent in the region - three whole brigades with a fourth on the way - but over the last year, it has emerged as an ally of Hizbollah, not the rival it once was.

    The Lebanese are now demanding their soldiers join every UNIFIL patrol with the clear implication that this will provide Hizbollah with advance warning of any potential inspections of its missile stockpiles.

    Exactly four years to the end of the last Lebanese war, Israel faces not only Hizbollah with more arms than ever, but also potentially another enemy across the border.

Israel

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel on fire: Counting cost of a nationwide i...
Israel

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk
Israel

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective
Israel

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...

Orlando Radice

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...
Israel

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...

JC Reporter

Friday, November 25, 2016

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...
Israel

Bibi faces probe over subs deal

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bibi faces probe over subs deal
Israel

Meet the rabbi that's making waves

Tim Marshall

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Meet the rabbi that's making waves
Israel

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...

JC Reporter

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...
Israel

Israeli rabbis, Hamas founder call for peace

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Israeli rabbis, Hamas founder call for peace