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Hezbollah Violence Intensifies on the Israel-Lebanon Border

US foreign policy is failing to keep Israeli clashes with Hezbollah from growing.

While most of the world is focused on Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah is wreaking havoc. Since the horrific October 7 attack by the Hamas terrorists on southern Israel, the continuous barrage of Iran-supplied Hezbollah missiles and mortar rounds has been more of a sideshow to the Gaza conflict. That is changing rapidly, however, and US policy in the region is not keeping up with the ramped-up intensity.

Taking on Hezbollah Is a Priority for Israel

Israel is in a position where it must counter a growing enemy on its northern border supplied by Iran. As Liberty Nation News explained in its report, “Israel Cannot Give Up the Fight”:

“Sometimes, it becomes all too easy to see events in a conflict like that – started on Oct. 7 by Hamas’ murderous attack on Israel – as a series of isolated incidents…Every day, Israeli security forces are engaging Iran-supported Hezbollah terrorists on the southern Lebanese border, persistent skirmishes with Palestinian militias and independent terrorists in the West Bank, and continuing attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as the Jewish state attempts to pause the fighting in Gaza.”

Hezbollah exists as an Iranian proxy. The United States has declared the organization a terrorist group. However, America has not engaged Hezbollah for its terrorist operations as it has ISIS and Al Qaeda. “Shiite Muslim Hezbollah is part of a collection of Iranian-backed factions and governments known as the Axis of Resistance. It was the first group that Iran backed and used as a way to export its brand of political Islamism,” the Associated Press explained. As a terrorist group, it plays heavily in Lebanese and Syrian government policies. Additionally, Hezbollah is well organized and has a significant inventory of weapons of growing sophistication. “Israel sees it as its most direct threat and estimates that it has an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles,” the AP reported.

As Hezbollah becomes increasingly more aggressive, the potential for an all-out war between Israel and the terrorists appears more likely. In March 2024, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) issued an analysis of the tensions building between Israel and Iran-sponsored Hezbollah. The CSIS assessment, titled “The Coming Conflict with Hezbollah,” explained there have been “more than 4,400 violent incidents” between Israel and Hezbollah at the northern Israeli border with Lebanon and Syria. Some news reports claim Hezbollah has launched over 5,000 antitank guided missiles, one-way drones, and rockets at Israel.

In addition to being a proxy for and doing the bidding of Iran, Hezbollah has a clear objective. “Hezbollah sees itself as a revolutionary organization that is one of the leaders of the broader Muslim struggle against Israel. Destroying Israel has been a part of its core ideology since its founding, and most of its members are sincerely against the very existence of the Jewish state,” the CSIS report observed.

Meanwhile, American diplomats seem incapable of reducing the hostilities on Israel’s northern border. “Efforts by the US special envoy Amos Hochstein to fashion an agreement that would include a pullback from the border by Hezbollah have so far fallen short,” The Wall Street Journal reported. Other nations have considered the risk of a wider war between Israel and Hezbollah too high. “The risk of escalation this week prompted foreign governments including Canada, Germany and the Netherlands to reiterate calls for their citizens to leave Lebanon, with some warning that intensified fighting could lead to the closure of commercial travel routes,” the WSJ explained.

Both Sides May Want to Reduce the Conflict, But Not Yet

There is a widely held belief that Israel and Hezbollah do not want a large-scale conflict. Still, the continuous tit-for-tat exchange of artillery, antitank guided missiles, drones, and rockets are driving the leadership on both sides to an expanded battle. Much of the fear of a widening Israel-Hezbollah conflict is being fueled by intelligence assessments from the region. “A large-scale confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah is likely to break out in the next several weeks if Jerusalem and Hamas fail to reach a ceasefire deal in Gaza, US intelligence indicates,” Politico said.

As Israel faces the prospect of a real war on its northern border, continued fighting with jihadist Palestinian terrorist-militias in Jerusalem’s West Bank, and the prolonged fighting in Gaza against the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists, reliance on the US to broker an effective end to the fighting is waning. The most recent US policy to withhold precision-guided 2,000 bombs was not seen in Israel as a confidence-building decision. Though the US has tried to be the peacemaker, little has come from the effort. Many believe a ceasefire in Gaza will prompt a reduction in Hezbollah raids on Israel. As appealing as that might sound, Hezbollah has been attacking Israel for decades. Short of putting significant pressure on Iran, the sponsor of the conflict, little will convince Hezbollah to stop its attacks on Israel.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliate.

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