On March 13, 2023, a Palestinian infiltrated Israel from the Lebanon border and carried out a terror attack, detonating a roadside explosive device near Megiddo Junction. This attack resulted in the serious injury of an Israeli citizen. Additionally, in the past week, there have been reports of Hezbollah operatives throwing Molotov cocktails and setting up tents on Israeli territory, while Hezbollah patrols have been observed along the border.
Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has expressed his belief that Israel is weak and vulnerable due to internal divisions within Israeli society. Nasrallah points to the ongoing disputes over judicial reviews and sees it as a sign of weakness. Furthermore, he highlights Hezbollah’s possession of a significant number of missiles, surpassing even those of NATO, as a source of strength. Nasrallah’s recent threat to send Israel back to the Stone Age further underscores the escalating tensions.
Hezbollah may perceive the current situation as an opportune moment to engage in conflict with Israel, given their assessment of Israeli weakness and internal divisions.
Hezbollah’s involvement in conflicts across the region, particularly in Syria, may lead them to view a confrontation with Israel as a means to assert their influence and consolidate power. Hezbollah’s ideological commitment to the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state may drive them to initiate a war.
In a recent speech Nasrallah mentioned Hezbollah’s success in having Israel give away territorial water to Lebanon with the potential to have natural gas. Also the number of reservists refusing to show up to a call up because of politics all show Israel’s weakness. Hezbollah setting up tents on what is supposed to be under Israeli control had a weak response from Israel by filing a violation with the UN.
Recent conflicts Israel fought in both Jenin and Gaza has shown Israel targeting leaders of terrorist groups. If war were to start Nasrallah may indeed find himself dead since the new bombing policies of Israel have been to focus on bombona leaders. A war with Israel could completely destabilize Lebanon who has already been going through serious economic collapse and possible ethnic conflict among Lebanese society.
Israel’s military capabilities and its history of responding forcefully to threats may act as a deterrent, dissuading Hezbollah from initiating a war. A full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel would have severe consequences for regional stability, potentially drawing in other actors and causing widespread devastation.The international community, including major powers and neighboring countries, would likely exert pressure on both sides to prevent a war and seek diplomatic solutions.
The recent incidents, including the terror attack on March 13, 2023, and Hezbollah’s provocative actions along the border, have heightened concerns about the possibility of a war between Hezbollah and Israel. While arguments can be made for Hezbollah’s motivations to initiate a conflict, factors such as Israeli deterrence, regional stability concerns, and international pressure may act as significant deterrents. It is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize dialogue, diplomacy, and de-escalation efforts to prevent further escalation and find peaceful resolutions to the ongoing tensions.