"There is only one way to keep Radwan's forces away from the fence, war," says almost every expert in the Lebanese field. In the meantime, Hezbollah is intervening only partially, challenging IDF forces on the fence. The organization's great firepower and elite forces, Radwan, are reserved for a day of command.
"Hezbollah wants war," says Lt. Col. (res.) Sarit Zehavi, who heads the Alma Research Center and deals with the northern arena, "but it doesn't want to be accused of bringing Lebanon into war. He is trying to drag Israel into battle. He has been trying for a year and a half to drag Israel and break the rules. When they fired dozens of missiles last Passover, they were sure Israel would respond."
For the past year and a half, the region in the north has been stretched, and events are increasing. Hezbollah is provoking, and Israel is inclusive and restrained. Zahavi: "As far as he is concerned, he is in a state of victory. Even if he doesn't drag us into war, he won. He created a security zone inside Israeli territory. He's waiting to be the defender of Lebanon, or we'll initiate or we'll make a mistake and get hurt. If he decides to open, it means there will be fighting in Israeli territory. When will this happen? Nasrallah lets us decide when. But what options do we have?"
Day of Fighting on the Northern Border | Kobi
The day after the Hamas attack on Black Saturday near Gaza, Hezbollah joined the war on the northern front. As early as October 8, he opened another front. Since then, there have been daily clashes with the organization's terrorists, with anti-tank missiles fired at IDF positions, civilians and communities along the northern border. In the north, there is a war, but at a low intensity.
The residents of the north conveyed the message that they have no intention of returning to live next to the border as long as Hezbollah and Radwan's forces are on the fence. The IDF has conveyed messages that it is ready for orders and war is inevitable, but the political echelon has not yet authorized a war deep inside Lebanon.
Hamas stole the plan
In recent days we have held talks with many investigators, some of whom are currently in reserve duty in the elite units and in the various security agencies. "Hezbollah is waiting for Israeli intervention, waiting for Israel to take the first step. Right now the game is hold me, I'm strong in space, and I'm doing things along the fence in support of Hamas," says one. Nasrallah is waiting for an Israeli mistake that would include an attack in Beirut or significant civilian casualties. He would then be considered the defender of Lebanon and launch an attack on Israel. Despite the Iranian patron, public opinion in Lebanon is important to Nasrallah. The organization monitors movements in Israel in order to identify and respond to Israel's first attack.
"I don't see an option that isn't military action." Lt. Col. (Res.) Zehavi, photo: Courtesy of the subject
Over the past year and a half, the IDF has claimed that most of the operations on the border are not Hezbollah's. "There is no such thing as Hamas being able to fire without Hezbollah's approval. The Lebanese army, the UN, the civilians. Everyone doesn't do anything without Hezbollah's approval. So does Hamas." In recent months, there have been more than once media reports about meetings between Nasrallah and senior Hamas figures, including Ismail Haniyeh. The chances that the information did not flow in the meetings are small, it is made clear to us. Hezbollah's plan to occupy the Galilee remained in place, and Israel evacuated the population out of fear that the Radwan force would be the first to act. "I think the Shiites would not massacre and abuse like the Gazans. But they would definitely captivate civilians and murder civilians," says one of the sources, contrary to the prevailing opinion in the IDF that Hezbollah will not touch civilians and is only looking for a conscious photograph of a flag in Israeli territory.
Hezbollah reported that 78 terrorists had been killed by the IDF so far, but in practice the number exceeded one hundred. However, this is a drop in the ocean, and its military capabilities have not been affected. It is believed that most of the fatalities did not belong to the Radwan force, nor did the anti-tank squads that were thwarted belong to Hezbollah's professional faction. "He preserves them. In their design they are more calculated. It should be remembered that Hezbollah is several levels better than Hamas with much more sophisticated combat equipment. They have a different fighting spirit and we saw it in 2006 as well. They won't dig in like they did in Gaza. They will fight in a more complex and challenging terrain. And they will prepare many surprises for the IDF."
Residents of the north live with the feeling that the events in the Gaza envelope would say to be in the north, even if parallel to the south. The prevailing feeling is that Hamas has taken Hezbollah's plan and implemented it, leaving the Lebanese out of the picture. Lt. Col. (Res.) Zehavi: "I think there is a plan. That the Iranians built it together with Hezbollah. We probably don't understand it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Nasrallah did not join on October 7 because the Iranians did not want to waste all the tools that day. They are better off with what they are doing right now. The army is exhausted. The legitimacy of the operation in Lebanon is grounded, because after we see what is happening in Gaza, who will let us do it in Lebanon. I don't see any option other than military action. If not, residents will not return to their homes and the lights can be turned off. War with Hezbollah is inevitable."
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