Israel Green-lights Lebanon Offensive

The Israel Defense Forces yesterday “authorized and validated” plans to invade Lebanon. Maj. Gens. Uri Gordin and Oded Basiuk of Israel’s Northern Command made the announcement. Details of the operation remain scant.

Background: Since October, Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group has fired a near-continuous barrage of rockets, artillery shells and other weapons on northern Israel in solidarity with Hamas’s war from Gaza.

Hezbollah has repeatedly threatened to formally invade Israel but hasn’t acted on the threat. Tens of thousands of Israelis remain evacuated from their communities in the north as a precaution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to bring the war to Hezbollah if they don’t stop their harassment.

The future: Publicly announcing an invasion strips Israel of the element of surprise. This may be more saber-rattling to pressure Hezbollah. But tensions on Israel’s northern border are extremely high.

Netanyahu has had great success in eliminating Israel’s threat from Gaza. He may now seek to eliminate the threat from the north.

[I]t 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 [Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan] 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.
—“Is Hezbollah Ready for Israel’s Invasion?