Category Archives: Israel

Is Hamas ready to wage an all-out war [from Lebanon and Gaza] against Israel? | i24news

Hamas wants to form its own military units in Lebanon; claims fired rockets into Israel during latest Gaza war

Is Hamas ready to attack Israel from the north? According to the terrorist group’s recent statements, Israel might have to prepare itself for the possibility that Hezbollah is no longer the only threat coming from Lebanon.

During a Hamas news conference on February 5 in the Gaza Strip, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar called for the formation of military groups affiliated with Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ armed wing) in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps. He demanded the Arab, Lebanese and Syrian fronts to allow al-Qassam to resist Israel from the north.

These units, according to al-Zahar, “will conduct the resistance (also) from northern Palestine and take part with us in liberating it.”

Hamas also claims it already fired rockets from Lebanon into Israel, during last summer’s war.

Is Hamas ready to wage an all-out war against Israel? | i24news – See beyond

Syrian troops, Hezbollah launch major offensive near Golan – US News

Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters swept south of the capital Damascus on Wednesday, seizing strategic hills and villages from rebels and a local al-Qaida affiliate near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

State media and opposition activists said the surprise counteroffensive is aimed at forcing back rebels who had recently advanced closer to embattled President Bashar Assad’s seat of power.

The region is also important because it is located near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The area has been tense lately, particularly after a Jan. 18 Israeli airstrike in Quneitra on the edge of the Golan that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.

The Syrian government last year lost large parts of Quneitra province to opposition fighters, many of them from the Nusra Front.

State television said troops on Wednesday gained control of the town of Deir al-Adas and the village of Deir Maker, as well as the nearby areas of Tal al-Arous and Tal al-Sarjeh south of the capital.

Syrian troops, Hezbollah launch major offensive near Golan – US News

Hezbollah at head of battle for Syrian Golan, monitor says | The Times of Israel

Hezbollah and President Bashar Assad’s troops launched a new operation on Sunday to reclaim swaths of territory captured recently by rebels and jihadists, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Hezbollah has taken the initiative to lead army and Iranian forces in the triangle of territory linking Daraa, Quneitra and the southwest of Damascus provinces,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the British-based monitoring group.

“The frontline is on the border with the occupied Golan Heights,” he added. “They have since taken back a string of villages and hills.”

Iran has acknowledged sending military advisers and high-ranking officers from the elite Revolutionary Guard to help its ally Assad.

Hezbollah at head of battle for Syrian Golan, monitor says | The Times of Israel

Syrian army tears through the south to sweep Iran and Hizballah up to Israel’s Golan doorstep

Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are intent on forcing Israel to swallow the presence of their forces on the threshold of central and southern Golan – after their bid to park opposite the northern sector and the adjacent Hermon mountains was pre-empted by the Israeli air strike on their advance guard. This last challenge has so far gone without an Israeli response. Heavy weather conditions over the region offer Netanyahu and Ya’alon a few days’ space for determining their next move. But doing nothing will let Tehran come out of Act III as the winner and clinch the finale of the struggle for a forward position on Israel’s Golan doorstep.

Syrian army tears through the south to sweep Iran and Hizballah up to Israel’s Golan doorstep

Is war between Hezbollah and Israel inevitable?

The delicate status quo, which has ensured peace between Hezbollah and Israel since the 2006 war, is rapidly unravelling. After that war, both Hezbollah and Israel subscribed to a deterrence theory, which stood the test of time. Until two weeks ago.

Now, tensions between the two sides are at their highest since the last ceasefire. Indeed, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that a third Lebanon war is now inevitable.

“The Israeli people discovered that their leadership put them on the brink of war, jeopardizing their economy and security,” he added in the wake of the operation. “Israel learned that it should not test us again given the Quneitra strike and Shebaa Farms operation,” he warned.

Not surprisingly these are not the conclusions that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Jerusalem are likely to draw.

Hezbollah, in other words, is playing a dangerous game. It may yet find itself wishing to return to the days of stability and peace, which it is abandoning with such troubling rapidity.

Is war between Hezbollah and Israel inevitable?

Iran boasts of rocket aid to Palestinians, Hezbollah | The Times of Israel

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has helped Iraq, Syria, Palestine and the Lebanese Hezbollah by exporting the technology that it has for the production of missiles and other equipment, and they can now stand against the Zionist regime, the ISIL [Islamic State group] and other Takfiri [apostate] groups and cripple them,” Hajizadeh said.

He also claimed that Iran was developing its own radar and drone technologies that were being exported to other countries.

In 2013 Hajizadeh made various claims as to the improved accuracy of Iranian ballistic missiles, including a supersonic anti-ship missile, the so-called Persian Gulf missile, which has a range of over 250 kilometers.

Iran boasts of rocket aid to Palestinians, Hezbollah | The Times of Israel

Revenge for Quneitra strike isn’t over yet – Ynetnews

After Hezbollah’s attack Wednesday, the IDF hoped that a chapter had ended: We did our thing, they exacted their revenge. As far as Hezbollah is concerned, that may be true. But whoever thinks Iran will settle for that is living in a dream world.

After Hezbollah’s attack on Wednesday, the IDF hoped that a chapter had ended: We did our thing, they exacted their revenge. The Mount Hermon resort can reopen for skiing, and we can go back to routine life.

As far as Hezbollah is concerned, that may be true: We have long and complicated scores with them. Sometimes all it takes is an illusion of success to calm one of the sides down and fake mutual deterrence.

But if anyone thinks that Iran will settle for that, he is living in a dream world. The Iranians’ arm is long. Their memory is even longer. And whoever thinks that the world will be shocked by the death of two Givati fighters, on occupied territory, somewhere on the border between Israel, Syria and Lebanon, will accuse Iran and step up the sanctions against it, is living in Disneyland.

Revenge for Quneitra strike isn’t over yet – Israel Opinion, Ynetnews

Iran said Israel crossed a red line. If that means anything then Hezbollah’s response can’t be anywhere near good enough. It was just a distraction. The real attack will be coming within a few months, if it comes. Maybe it won’t come but if I were Israel I would be planning for more to come before the end of spring.

This round is over. Get ready for the next one | The Times of Israel

But it’s possible Hezbollah, and even more so the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, will try to carry out a much larger revenge attack.

Israel will doubtless have to act again against various Iranian-Syrian-Lebanese forces trying to carry out attacks or smuggle advanced weapons, and Hezbollah will feel the pressure to respond to those Israeli actions.

The new rules

This morning, Samy Kalib, a commentator in the newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, described the goal of Wednesday’s attack and the new rules of the game.

Hezbollah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah sought to send a message to Israel, Kalib wrote, that the period when Hezbollah would not respond to Israeli attacks has passed.

Second, Hezbollah proved it had the ability to reach Israeli soldiers despite the high level of alert on the Israeli side and despite the fact that very little time passed from the attack on the Syrian Golan that killed Jihad Mughniyeh and the Iranian general Muhammad Ali Allahdadi.

Third, Hezbollah is creating a balance of terror with Israel and clarifying that it has not surrendered the front with the “Zionist enemy,” despite being occupied by other battles in Syria and Iraq.

This round is over. Get ready for the next one | The Times of Israel

Israel Is the New Front in the Syrian War | Foreign Policy

For Iran and its Hezbollah proxy, this success is a step in a process to militarily encircle the Israelis. Tehran is currently re-solidifying its relationship with Hamas in Gaza, addressing a push for a southern front against Jerusalem. If needed, the Golan’s near-anarchic conditions also provide Hezbollah with plausible deniability (in the odd case it wishes to deny it had a role in attacking the Jewish state). Geographically, the domination of the Golan potentially creates a Hezbollah-dominated zone stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordanian border.

Israel is understandably worried about encirclement. But this development is not simply limited to Israel. With the Houthi victory in Yemen, increased tensions in Bahrain, and Iran’s numerous Shiite militia proxies projecting their power in Iraq, Saudi Arabia is also facing a more fractious but similar predicament to the Israelis in Tehran’s new geographic arc of influence.

Israel Is the New Front in the Syrian War | Foreign Policy

Iranian Military Repeatedly Threatens to Attack Israel | The Tower

High-ranking Iranian military officers have stepped up their rhetorical attacks on Israel in recent days, repeatedly threatening to attack the Jewish state.

Lt. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), stated on Saturday that Iran would form a new West Bank military front against Israel, stating that “this is part of a new reality that will gradually emerge.”

The threat is the latest in a series of statements by senior Iranian officers in the aftermath of a reported Israeli strike on members of Hezbollah and Iranian military personnel ,including senior members of the IRGC, along the Israel-Syria border.  Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the IRGC, stated last Tuesday that “the Zionists should prepare themselves for our shattering thunderbolt. They have experienced our rage in the past.” Maj. Gen. Mostafa Izadi, the Iranian Armed Forces’ deputy chief of staff for logistics, declared last Wednesday that “they [Israel] will receive a crushing response” and that “Muslim fighters will take a firm and powerful revenge for the blood of these martyrs.”

Iran’s Fars News reported that Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of Iran’s Basij militia, said, “freedom of Haifa and Tel Aviv is much easier for us than the 33-day and 22-day wars (between Israel and the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance forces) since the Zionist army’s doctrine is based on an offensive strategy and it has spent 60 years of its despicable and evil life with this doctrine.”

The strike occurred on January 18 and killed six Hezbollah members and several Iranians, including Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, an IRGC commander who was reportedly a close confidant of Iranian Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and an expert in ballistic missiles.

Iranian Military Repeatedly Threatens to Attack Israel | The Tower