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HEZBOLLAH THREATENS TO ATTACK ISRAELI MILITARY BASES

Region of Concern: Israel; Lebanon

Written By Iris Hautaniemi Forsberg; Edited by Cameron Munoz, Senior Editor

Date: July 18, 2023

Hezbollah Parade[1]


Event: On July 17, the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah released a video showing a simulated attack on an Israeli military base. In the video, Israeli tanks and vehicles are attacked by rockets, followed by footage of the group's elite commando unit, Radwan, storming a military base, erecting their flag over it, and then blowing the base up with Israeli soldiers trapped inside. The timing of the released video marks the 17th anniversary of the 2006 Second Lebanon War.[2] Tensions between Hezbollah, which operates in Lebanon, and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have increased in recent months. On July 15, clashes erupted between the IDF and local residents at the Israel-Lebanon border.[3] Earlier in July, Hezbollah erected two tents on Israel’s side of the border, resulting in diplomatic requests from Israel to the US, France, and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to pressure Lebanon to remove these tents.[4] The Radwan unit’s primary goal is to infiltrate Israeli territory and military bases.[5]


Significance: Hezbollah’s video release is likely an attempt to increase its recruitment, both in Lebanon and Palestine, by showcasing professional operations and weaponry. The video will likely boost support for Hezbollah, as it demonstrates operational readiness and the ability to combat the Israeli military. The video is also likely an attempt by Hezbollah and Iran to intimidate Israel, showing specific plans to attack Israeli military bases. The escalating tensions around the Israeli-Lebanon border will very likely lead to an increased presence of IDF soldiers patrolling the border, risking violent confrontations with local residents, the Lebanese military, and Hezbollah. Rising tension at the border will very likely affect the IDF’s ability to stop terrorists and violent attacks in the West Bank and Gaza, likely resulting in increasing recruitment to terrorist organizations there. Iran will likely exploit this inflation of threats by boosting economic and arms support to regional terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hamas. If attacks on Israel result in increasing civilian casualties, it is likely that the Israeli citizens will lose confidence in the IDF and the Israeli government, likely resulting in protests.


Recommendations: CTG recommends the IDF increase its presence on the Israeli-Lebanese border while continuing surveillance and monitoring of Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed terrorist groups within and outside of Israel. Intelligence agencies in allied countries, such as the US and the UK, should cooperate with the IDF to provide accurate intelligence reports about Iranian activity near Israel. The IDF and the Israeli government should also cooperate with global social media companies to mitigate disinformation and propaganda intended to harm Israel. The United Nations (UN) and UNIFIL should pressure the Lebanese government to mitigate Hezbollah’s influence in the country and reduce tensions between Lebanon and Israel. UN member states should enforce collective sanctions on the Iranian government for supporting terrorist organizations, weapons manufacturers, and shipping companies transporting weaponry and material to terrorist organizations.

 

[1]Hezzzzbollah” by khamenei.ir licensed under CC BY 4.0

[3] Fresh clashes on Israel-Lebanon border as IDF disperses crowd, i24 News, July 2023, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/defense/1689416783-fresh-clashes-on-the-israel-lebanon-border-as-idf-disperses-crowd

[4] UNIFIL checking whether Hezbollah removed tent from Israeli territory, i24 News, July 2023, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/middle-east/levant-turkey/1688449250-unifil-checking-if-hezbollah-tent-removed-from-israel-territory

[5] Viewed from up close, Israel's war with Lebanon's Hezbollah seems inevitable, i24 News, June 2023, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/defense/1686552566-viewed-from-up-close-israel-s-war-with-hezbollah-seems-inevitable

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