Hizballah had planned to join with Hamas in a coordinated attack against Israel “from all sides” after October 7, but was deterred by (surprising) American support for Israel.
So based on IDF reports that a war with Lebanon has become “much more likely,” Hizballah has since then been watching closely to find any opportunity to enter the war against Israel.
Hizballah’s reluctance also involves calculations regarding its own political survival:
Hezbollah knows that a similar fate awaits areas in Lebanon which are its centers of power and control.
Destroying Lebanon, which is already on the brink of the abyss, would bring about its final disintegration, which could be accompanied by an inner-Lebanese civil war.
Nonetheless, as Hizballah continues to weigh, balance and assess its options, it has the same overall ambitions as Hamas, that is, the complete destruction of the Jewish state. Hamas “maintains a presence in Lebanon” under the protection of Hizballah — Iran’s biggest client.
Will America continue to serve as a deterrent as Hizballah reportedly escalates and Israel prepares for war with the Iranian proxy?
Another dilemma for Iran is the question of how many wars it can practically sustain at once. The regime is also now occupied with a sudden diplomatic crisis with Pakistan after attacking Pakistan with rockets and drones over the activities of Sunni jihadists in Iran. Pakistan has retaliated against Iran with missile strikes, killing nine people; and now Pakistan’s cabinet has endorsed moves to reestablish diplomatic relations with Iran. Meanwhile, aside from antagonizing Israel and Pakistan, Iran has also been striking Syria and Iraq.
by Emanuel Fabian, Times of Israel, January 17, 2024:
The likelihood that Israel will be drawn into a war in Lebanon is growing, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said Wednesday, hours after Hamas terrorists fired a barrage of rockets at a northern Israel town.
With visiting troops drilling for a simulated offensive inside Lebanon, as the army winds down its most intense stages of fighting in Gaza, Halevi said Israel was “increasing readiness for fighting in Lebanon,” as it seeks to stabilize its northern border and allow tens of thousands of Israelis evacuated from the region to return home.
The IDF has “a very clear goal in Lebanon — to return the residents to the north, all the communities in the north,” Halevi said.
“I don’t know when the war in the north is,” he added. “I can tell you that the likelihood of it happening in the coming months is much higher than it was in the past.”…
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