Tensions continue to escalate between Israel, Hezbollah
by Yusuf Selman İnanç
ISTANBULMay 16, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Yusuf Selman İnanç
May 16, 2017 12:00 am
The already escalated tensions between Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanon-based Shiite radical group, and Israel seems to have moved to a new stage since Hezbollah's leader Hasan Nasrallah on Thursday said any future conflict with Israel would take place in Israeli territories. Recently, both Israel and Hezbollah started making comments on a possible war. As Israel considers the group an existential threat, it has been bombing its positions frequently in order to prevent an attack from the group. Israel has made several statements, threatening the group, claiming that Hezbollah has been provided with chemical weapons by Iran and strengthening its position after getting involved in the war in Syria in the side of the regime.
Unlike previous years, the cooperation between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah has increased as, firstly, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said in reference to the recently proposed bill to redefine Israeli maritime last month that "The recent decision taken by Israel regarding territorial waters is equal to a declaration of war against Lebanon." Israel's primary intention was to increase its control over the Mediterranean Sea to prevent any weapon shipment to Hezbollah and claimed to have destroyed a ship two months ago, fully loaded with chemicals, despite having another agenda over the natural gas issue and the expansion of Russian influence. The second signal of the increased cooperation was implied by Nasrallah as he said in a recent speech that the group was dismantling all its military positions along Lebanon's eastern border with Syria, and this area would now be patrolled just by the Lebanese army. Last week Al Masdar News reported the Syrian regime and Hezbollah controlled 113 km of territory along the Syrian-Lebanese border. "From Ma'bar Al-Jadidah in southwest Damascus to Jaroud Falita in the Qalamoun Mountains, the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah control this large stretch of rugged territory that borders Lebanon's Beqa'a Governorate," the report said.
Nasrallah said "Israel has been threatening to open a front against Hezbollah for 10 years, but it hasn't done anything. Israel is afraid of any confrontation and knows that it could be inside the occupied Palestinian territories. There will be no place that is out of reach of the rockets of the resistance or the boots of the resistance fighters." Referring to the wall, built along the border, he said: "This border wall is an acknowledgment of Lebanon's massive victory and Israel's defeat. It is a defeat of Israel's schemes and ambitions and an acknowledgment of the fall of the Greater Israel project, which was to seek to establish a state from the Nile to the Euphrates."
"Nasrallah played down the prospects of another imminent conflict, but warned it could take place on Israeli territory, after saying earlier this year that Hezbollah's rockets could hit targets anywhere inside the country. Israel "is scared and worried of any future confrontation ... and knows that it could be inside the occupied Palestinian territories," Nasrallah said. Since the 2006 war, Israel seems determined to take action against Hezbollah since Iran, allegedly, intends to build a military base near the disputed Golan Heights and has been building facilities to manufacture weapons inside Lebanon.