Is Hezbollah Ready for Israel’s Invasion?

This photo taken on June 6, 2024 shows a building destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Wadi Gilo, Lebanon.
Ali Hashisho/Xinhua via Getty Images

Is Hezbollah Ready for Israel’s Invasion?

Is the Middle East about to get even more explosive?

While Israel has been dealing with the Hamas threat in Gaza, most Israelis have been looking nervously to the north. Hezbollah, Hamas’s fellow jihadi group and Iranian proxy, has been threatening to join the foray since October. But aside from small skirmishes and bombing evacuated villages, it hasn’t followed through. This could soon change—not because of Hezbollah but because of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fed up with Hezbollah’s harassment and is threatening to take the war to Lebanon. Recent evidence suggests he will do so very soon.

On June 4, Netanyahu broadcast a video message from Israel’s north:

We said, at the start of the war, that we would restore security in both the south and the north, and this is what we are doing. Whoever thinks he can hurt us and we will respond by sitting on our hands is making a big mistake. We are prepared for very intense action in the north. One way or another, we will restore security to the north.

On June 6, Axios reported that the United States is pressuring Israel not to invade Lebanon. Unnamed U.S. officials told Axios they are trying to dissuade Israel from conducting a “limited war” or a “small regional war” against Hezbollah.

On June 12, Axios reported further that the U.S. is “scrambling to prevent [an] Israel-Hezbollah war.” According to Axios’s sources, “The U.S. is concerned about Israel rushing into a war with Hezbollah—or getting dragged into one—without a clear strategy or consideration of the full implications of a wider conflict.”

All this means Israel is seriously considering a “small regional war.” The U.S. wouldn’t waste its time otherwise.

No Other Goals

This is also apparent by looking at Hezbollah’s actions. It is escalating some of its cross-border skirmishes, but that doesn’t mean it wants all-out war. On June 7, Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general, gave an interview to an Iraqi media group.

“We are now engaged in one of the battles that will lead to the liberation of Jerusalem,” he said. “We are not in the final war. … [I]t is not an all-out war with regard to Lebanon in its entirety, because we do not think that turning this into an all-out war would serve Gaza or Lebanon. It will not.”

“Liberation requires sufficient capabilities, appropriate circumstances, and a balance of power between the warring parties,” he continued. “In our estimate, all the elements in place right now do not allow for a complete liberation at the moment.”

Hezbollah is Iran’s most powerful proxy army by far. The Center for Strategic and International Studies calls it “the world’s most heavily armed nonstate actor.” Yet according to the movement’s second-in-command, Hezbollah does not have “sufficient capabilities” or “appropriate circumstances” to wage a successful war against Israel. As heavily armed as Hezbollah is, Qassem believes it does not have a balance of power with the Israel Defense Forces (idf).

This corroborates what the Washington Post wrote in February about an Iranian delegation dissuading Hezbollah from doing anything reckless. According to one Hezbollah member, the Iranians told Hezbollah: “We are not keen on giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu any reason to launch a wider war on Lebanon or anywhere else.” This suggests Iran doesn’t think Hezbollah could survive an open conflict with Israel.

Qassem claimed Hezbollah’s main goals for the conflict were to pester Israel in the north enough to distract it from Gaza and get it to agree to end the war there. “We have accomplished all the goals that we had set,” he said. “There are no other goals at the current stage that require us to expand our operations.”

Qassem knows Israel will immediately pick up his statements. He likely only made these comments because his boss, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, was fine with it. It’s possible he said these things to trick Israel into a false sense of security. Or maybe he is telling Jerusalem, We don’t want to fight. Please don’t invade us.

On June 11, Israel assassinated Hezbollah field commander Talib Sami Abdullah. He was the most senior Hezbollah commander Israel has killed since the Gaza war began, but not the only one. Israel has been quite successful in eliminating Hezbollah’s top brass, even without an open conflict.

“Nasrallah realizes that the idf has the ability to kill him whenever it wants, and I believe this worries him quite a bit,” analyst Amatzia Baram told the Jerusalem Post. “Contrary to popular belief, Nasrallah is not a suicidal Shiite yearning for [martyrdom]. He understands that he would be next in line to die if a full-scale war breaks out. This poses a significant danger for him.”

In other words, it isn’t Hezbollah that wants war with Israel. Israel wants war with Hezbollah—to take out the threat in Lebanon just as it is erasing the threat in Gaza. Netanyahu believes he can do just that. Apparently, so does Nasrallah. The main pressure holding Netanyahu back is the United States. The U.S. tried to pressure Israel not to invade Rafah. Israel did it anyway. Netanyahu wouldn’t be making statements like he is if he wasn’t prepared to disregard U.S. opinion regarding Lebanon as well.

The Day After

An Israeli invasion of Lebanon would dramatically change the equation of the war. It’s too early to speculate as to which ways a hypothetical Lebanese war would turn. But supposing Israel does succeed, what would the future be? What does a post-Hezbollah Lebanon look like?

A prophecy in Psalm 83 gives us a glimpse. “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot” (verses 1-8).

This passage speaks of a coalition of nations banding in war “that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” Neither biblical nor secular history records these specific peoples ever coming together. This is a prophecy for today.

“You must know who the modern descendants of these peoples are to understand just how timely and relevant this prophecy is,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in The King of the South:

Here are the modern names of these nations, as taught at Ambassador College under Herbert W. Armstrong: The Ishmaelites are Saudi Arabia; Moab and Ammon both refer to Jordan; the Hagarenes anciently dwelled in the land known as Syria today; the Philistines are the modern Palestinian Arabs; Gebal and Tyre are Lebanon.

One people listed here that lies outside the region is Assur. At one time, this was the capital of Assyria, which is the term that biblical prophecy uses for modern-day Germany. Germany is part of this alliance and is, in fact, the power behind it!

Another prophecy in Daniel 11:40-44 shows Germany and Iran at war with each other. (See here for more information.) Iran will never be friends with Germany. Yet Lebanon will.

Based on these prophecies, the Trumpet expects Lebanon to break from Iran and side with Germany. Germany has already supported Israel in the war in an unprecedented way. War between Israel and Hezbollah could be the opening Germany needs to kick Iran out of Lebanon for good.

Hezbollah’s control of Lebanon is also not absolute. It has made many enemies during its years in power, especially among Lebanon’s large Catholic minority. They could see an Israeli-led, German-sponsored invasion as their chance as well.

“That means there’s going to be now a civil war,” Mr. Flurry said in a 2014 television program, “a bloody civil war in Lebanon for control of Lebanon, and you’re going to see Lebanon and the European power prevail in that battle.”

To learn more, see our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches an Alliance Between Arab Nations and Europe.”