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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Israel's Next War: Just Around the Corner

All is quiet on the border with Gaza. Israel's recent war with Hamas and Islamic Jihad set the economy of Gaza back by a decade, and it will be quite some time before these two terror organizations dare send another rocket into Israel.

On the other hand, the quiet on Israel's northern border with Lebanon is deceptive. Shiite Hezbollah refused to intervene on behalf of Sunni Hamas's behalf, given the brutal fighting in Syria between these two sects of Islam. (Hamas, of course, moved its headquarters from Damascus to Qatar owing to this tension.) However, the Israeli military is now busy preparing for a Hezbollah attack across the Lebanese border into northern Israel. As reported by Marissa Newman in a Times of Israel article entitled "Hezbollah could advance into Israel in next war, official warns":

"A senior IDF official warned Sunday that while Hezbollah has no immediate plan to attack Israel, a minor security incident could erupt into a full-fledged war on Israel’s northern front during which the terror organization would likely try to capture swaths of the Galilee.

. . . .

According to the assessment, Hezbollah could capture the Rosh Hanikra area, including a small Israeli town near the border with Lebanon, for several hours, if Israel does not strike the group preemptively.

He said the army was working on a plan to evacuate the northern residents if need be, but warned there would be casualties on the Israeli side."

Any such war will necessarily involve a deep ground penetration by Israel into Lebanon in order to stanch the firing of missiles at Israeli civilian targets. Hezbollah has received from Iran and Syria more than 50,000 missiles, which can hit anywhere in Israel.

Israeli civilian casualties? There will be many, unless Israel launches a preemptive attack.

Israel can only hope that when this happens (not if it happens), there will be a new US president, who will not seek to cut off arms deliveries in the middle of the fighting.