Wars tend to pull in friends and foes. As Israel gets all set to launch its ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, a new war is brewing on its northern border with Lebanon. A fresh storm is threatening to turn Israel-Palestine war into a major human catastrophe. The world is getting worried over the possibility that the conflict could spread across the Middle East. The fears are real as Hizbullah begins to take deep interest in the war. Israel knows Hizbullah is not a pushover.

Fear of Another War Real

Hizbullah is an Iran-supported Lebanese terror group. It has attacked Israel many times in the past. Perhaps the unabating war in Gaza, compounded by Israel’s declaration that it would evacuate nearly 30 communities on its northern border, should have escalated the tensions on the northern border. This border is a de facto Hizbullah territory. Hizbullah authoring the attack on Israel on October 15th must have aggravated the tensions.

As is his wont, Lebanon’s president laid the blame for the attack on Israel’s doorsteps. Behind this flurry of blaming, the World Health Organization is busy delivering vital drugs and medicines to Lebanon in anticipation of an armed conflict. This proves the fear of another war involving Israel and Hizbullah is real. So real that it has even woken up the United Nations’ health body. Yet, in a scary real-war situation, this consignment won’t be enough. https://www.emro.who.int/media/news/who-delivers-medical- supplies-to-lebanon-as-violence-in-the-occupied-palestinian- territory-intensifies.html

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Swim into the Situation

Worse, Lebanon’s health-care system itself is ailing. A victim of economic debacle, Lebanon’s health-care services cannot cope with an emergency situation like a war with Israel. Hizbullah seems to be itching to get into a war-like situation fast. If Israel’s ground offensive takes off, it could be the moment Hizbullah has been waiting for. It will then swim into the situation to hit at Israel, its people and installations.

For Israel, confronting Hizbullah is not new. The Jewish nation was tied down in a 30-day war in Lebanon in 2006. However, the threat of an attack by Hizbullah will be a blessing in disguise for Israel this time. Israel may use this opportunity to launch a counter-attack, or even a pre-emptive strike, against Hizbullah. The group’s entry, widening the ongoing war, is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Israel to exterminate and reduce Hizbullah to nothing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Lebanon_War

The Bloody Retributive War

The danger for Middle East is real. As the possibility of another war on a new front stares Israel on its face, the Middle East is getting the shivers. Meanwhile, Israel is busy trying to evacuate Gaza with an inhuman order. Put together, all these portend horrible times for the nations involved. The ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict is poised to magnify to catastrophic proportions. The new enthusiasm in Hizbullah headquarters offers a scary foretaste of things to come.

If a war explodes on Israel’s border with Lebanon, boundaries will be overrun, massive crossings will happen and rocket attacks will escalate. In this retaliatory madness, nuclear reactors of both Israel and Iran may be targeted. That will pit the West in an expanded war with Hamas and its sympathisers in the region. The bloody retributive war will convulse both Jews and Palestinians, even the nations of the world as a whole. https://edition.cnn.com/2023/10/11/politics/us-allies-warn- hezbollah/index.html

A Thirsty Terror Outfit

As the Middle East seems to do a rethink on backing Gazans, Hamas is in a state of confusion. Its ranks are in disarray. As Gaza is pulverised, total evacuation is well on its way, Israel’s evacuation order or no order. Yet, not learning from what is happening in Gaza, the Lebanese are girding up for a long war with Israel. The Hizbullah offensives have already begun and missiles are being exchanged by both Israel and Hizbullah. https://poliphoon.com/beyond-the-simchat-torah-festival/

Hizbullah is a thirsty terror outfit. Its militia is probably lying in the trenches, ready to return fire when Israel’s ground offensives take off. Hizbullah is raring to destroy the Palestinian Authority that manages the West Bank. Israel knows well Hizbullah is very systematic, professional and capable of handling modern arms and weaponry. This is why the entry of Hizbullah is being seen by Israel with much consternation and confusion. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-hezbollah

Rife with Adverse Possibilities

Hizbullah’s warfare has grown more fearsome since their last attack on Israel in 2006. Its weapon inventory has burgeoned since then. Militarists admit the group’s ability to give Israel an equal fight, if not a superior fight, is tremendous. Add to this the shield of nuclear Iran’s backing Hizbullah wears, Israel’s consternation is understandable. Israel knows that Hizbullah can hit its military bases and vital installations with ease.

If Hizbullah is thrown into an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with Israel, the former may prove to be more lethal than before. As the range of weaponry Hizbullah got from Iran continues to remain under wraps, Israel has apprehensions over their possible deployment in the ongoing war. Hizbullah fighters are known for their determination and battle-hardened readiness. Battling Hizbullah would mean battling adverse possibilities. https://apnews.com/article/hezbollah-israel-hamas-lebanon- war-423f5f20d691dcd0cc8af1788f11857b

Aiming to Kill the Accords

The question now is: Will the Hizbullah walk the talk? Will it translate its threats into a major offensive? It may, if the Israel-Palestine war drags on, testing its patience. For now, it seems Hizbullah is cautious. Particularly because Lebanon’s economic fundamentals are not strong enough to wage a war. If Hizbullah cannot suffer the vagaries of war with a longtime foe, who is backed by most global powers, it may even spell an end to its very existence.

As Hizbullah gloats over Iran’s backing, the latter is turning determined to help. Symbolically, Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi has stuffed his cabinet with former generals. In Iraq too, pro-Iranian military men fill key government positions. Iran’s love for Hizbullah springs from its desire to kill the Abraham accord between Israel and the Arabs. Iran’s ultimate aim is to spread hatred for the West all over the Arab world. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/iransource/what-will- raisis-cabinet-look-like-hardline-and-full-of-war-vets/

The Poliphoon’s Last Word

What is more important here is Iran’s strategy to safeguard Hizbullah and its stockpile with the aim to ward off attacks on its own nuclear programme. To gain support from Asian nations, Iran is seeking China’s blessings. However, China may not be keen. It knows a war in the region is sure to drive up oil prices. As Hizbullah ’s strategy spins around keeping Israel for ever on edge, it may have more militaristic plans. It is not revealing them now. That is the real danger.