NewsNetanyahu hesitates as Israel prepares for Hezbollah conflict

Netanyahu hesitates as Israel prepares for Hezbollah conflict

Israel to open another front? Expert on a possible scenario
Israel to open another front? Expert on a possible scenario
Images source: © Getty Images | Amir Levy
Sara Bounaoui

25 June 2024 15:16

The Israeli army is prepared to open another front in the Middle East conflict, according to an analysis by "Rzeczpospolita." After the extensive operations in the Gaza Strip, it may engage in open conflict with the Lebanese Hezbollah. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still hesitating to make a decision.

In a television interview, the Israeli Prime Minister acknowledged that the intensive military operations in the Gaza Strip would soon conclude. "It doesn't mean that the war is about to end, but the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah," said on Sunday in an interview with the pro-government Channel 14.

He indicated that the reduction in fighting in Gaza enables the transfer of troops to Israel's northern border, where the frequency of missile attacks by the Shiite Hezbollah is increasing. There has been a marked rise in tension in the area recently.

Despite repeated bombings of Hezbollah positions, Israel has been unable to halt the rocket attacks on its territory. On some days, up to 200 missiles are fired at the state.

Experts believe that Hezbollah's stockpiles may contain more than 100,000 Iranian rockets. This organisation attacked Israel following the outbreak of the conflict in the Gaza Strip, thereby expressing its solidarity with Hamas and the Palestinian population.

Intense shelling of northern Israel prompted the authorities to evacuate over 100,000 residents from the entire border area. They are currently staying in temporary accommodation, mainly in hotels in central Israel regions.

The Israeli armed forces see no alternative to the situation other than carrying out a devastating airstrike on Lebanon, not discounting the possibility of a ground invasion. The plan for the entire operation has been ready for several days.

"Netanyahu is not ready"

- Netanyahu is not prepared to take the political risk associated with starting a war with Hezbollah. This organisation has missiles that could threaten Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, not to mention Haifa. This would trigger a new wave of public discontent and could threaten the unity of the current ruling coalition. Netanyahu wants to avoid such a risk for fear of losing power, military analyst Shmuel Bar told "Rzeczpospolita".

However, this does not mean that Netanyahu will not succumb to pressure from the military and agree to full-scale military actions. According to the interlocutor from "Rzeczpospolita," the only solution is to eliminate the threat from Hezbollah through a massive airstrike on all known targets of this organisation, including rocket launch sites and military warehouses, as well as Beirut's airport, where missile and other weapon supplies might be.

In practice, this would mean another, the third war with Lebanon, leading to further destabilisation of a country already struggling with a financial and political crisis.

USA against destabilising the situation

The scenario of profound destabilisation in the Middle East is unacceptable for the United States. President Biden's administration has assured that it is ready to support Israel in the event of a war with Lebanon but is making efforts to prevent such an outcome.

The White House fears Iran's active involvement in Israel's conflict with Lebanon. Several countries have already called for the urgent departure of their citizens from Lebanon.

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