Mideast Daily News

Preparations for War against Hizbullah Continues to Drive Israeli Defense Posture

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

September 14, 2017

The head of Hizbullah, Hasan Nasrallah, is seen delivering a televised speech to his supporters as they attend on August 31, 2017 a rally in Baalbek to celebrate the return of its fighters after fighting the Islamic State (IS). (Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

As the Israeli army conducts the largest series of exercises in almost twenty years, the primary focus of its defensive posture now and for the foreseeable future is what is seen as the inevitable battle against Hizbullah. The latest manifestation is a drill being conducted by Israel’s navy which seeks to prepare its sailors for a surprise attack by sea using any and all vehicles that operate on land, sea or amphibiously – including jet skis and speedboats. The asymmetrical nature of the battle against terrorist organizations brings new elements to the table which must be addressed by defense officials and drilled into the soldiers’ repertoire. Many soldiers participating in the drill were not yet born when in 1987 a lone terrorist piloting a motorized hang-glider crossed the border with Lebanon, infiltrated an Israeli army base and killed six soldiers and wounded seven others before being shot to death. During the past thirty years, Lebanon-based Hizbullah, now a terror proxy for the Iranians and a formidable fighting force honed in live action as a key element in support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s army, has under the noses of the United Nations peacekeepers and Western governments including the United States been permitted to develop its arsenal to the point where more than 100,000 missiles are aimed at the Jewish state. While the Israelis speak of “deterrence” being a key factor in keeping Hizbullah at bay, observers note that Hizbullah, too, exerts a significant deterrent effect against the Israelis who have allowed its re-arming – albeit with a large number of attacks on arms convoys bringing sophisticated weapons from Iran into the Damascus airport and trucked to Hizbullah in Lebanon – and its virtual conversion of south Lebanon into an armed camp as it flouts UN Security Council Resolution 1701. The naval exercise is part of an 11-day army exercise designed to test readiness for another round of fighting. Also a priority for preparation is the realization that the enemy sets a priority in kidnapping Israeli civilians.


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