Shlomo Alegra

What Will Israel and Hezbollah Do?

October 7th will go down in history as the worst tragedy the modern state of Israel has faced in its history. As Hamas terrorists stormed the border fence from Gaza into Israel committing atrocities against Israeli civilians that will forever scar a generation of Israelis for years to come. The attempted ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel will be added to the tragedies that have fallen on the Jewish people since the Roman explosion of Jews from the land of Israel in 70 AD. Yet, the massacre and kidnapping Hamas committed is child’s play compared to what Hezbollah has planned.

Israel fell into the conception that Hamas was a rational actor who was no longer interested in war. Instead, Hamas in the eyes of many Israeli intelligence officers and academics believed Hamas was only interested in governing the Gazans and providing the social services their residents need than confrontation with Israel. So, Israeli intelligence dropped the electronic eavesdropping on Hamas to focus on Hezbollah.

Hezbollah ever since the the second Lebanon War has increased its capability to cause damage to Israel and inflict serious harm on Israelis. During the civil war in Syria, Hezbollah fought on the side of the Assad regime in Syria gaining significant experience that many IDF soldiers lack. They refused to comply with UN resolution 1701 that requires them to be north of the Litani river. Instead they built up positions in Southern Lebanon that would monitor IDF movement and be ready for action at the order of Hassan Nassrallah.

Hezbollah even showed videos months before October seventh how they would invade Northern Israel using ATVs, motorcycles and trucks. with and estimated terror army of 100,000 armed militants and another 150,000 missiles aimed at Israel. Their Radwan special forces unit trained by the Iranian Al-Quds Force can rival Seal Team 6 and the SAS. The war in Gaza is a walk in the park compared to what Hezbollah has in store for Israel.

Ever since the war with Gaza started Israel deployed an unprecedented number of soldiers on the Lebanese border with soldiers facing constant anti-tank missile attacks, rocket attacks and infiltrations. There has been a war of attrition between the IDF and Hezbollah for the last six months with no signs of slowing down. Seventy thousand residents of the northern communities from Kiryat Shemona to Rosh HaNiqra have been evacuated to hotels around the country becoming refugees in their own country.

Nassrallah has said they will continue to fight Israel until they finish the war in Gaza. Showing solidarity with the Gazans they will continue their attacks. Meanwhile Israel has been facing a multifront war with Gaza being the only place they have deployed troops within enemy territory. Residents of the northern border communities cannot return home and in the foreseeable future wont be returning home.

Every IDF general have been aware of the danger Hezbollah poses to Israel for years. Former General Yitzhak Brik has been warning about how Hezbollah can break through Israel’s defenses and amplify what Hamas did by ten. Hezbollah would not only commit atrocities against Israeli civilians but, would be firing three thousand rockets and UAVs into Israel every day that can overwhelm the Iron Dome system and inflicts mass causalities into a hundred thousand.

Unlike Hezbollah, the IDF is a decade behind Hezbollah in its preparation to attack. They are in no way able at this moment to actually invade southern Lebanon without being bogged down in a serious war that will be the equivalent to the American war in Vietnam. Only option for Israel is to strategically target top Hezbollah targets and minimize their capability to wage war.

Hezbollah and the Iranian axis have not lost hope or moral, if anything they have more confidence that any offense they do against Israel will inflict damage. In the coming year the northern border with Lebanon will become Israel’s new buffer zone between Hezbollah and Israeli civilians. Refugees who have fled their communities will must likely not return the following year.

About the Author
Shlomo was born in Miami, Florida in 1989 and moved to Israel in 2012. He holds a degree from Florida Atlantic University in Political Science and served in the IDF as a combat soldier in the Netzach Yehuda Battalion. After serving in the military Shlomo studied in Yeshivat Shavie Hevron where he lived in Hebron. He now lives in Kiryat Arba, is a proud reservist in the Golani Brigade, and is a blogger for the Times of Israel.