On 4 December, the Israeli Defence forces launched an operation to destroy the tunnels dug out by the Lebanese Hezbollah in the No Man’s Land established by the United Nations between the two countries (Operation “Northern Lock”).
Four years ago, the Hezbollah constructed tunnels in this area. This would provide it with a way of passing under the border should Israel attack, and allow it to make a counter attack against the Hebrew State.
Tsahal now has sonars for detecting tunnels. Till now, this material was exclusively possessed by the Chinese army had but Israeli is now developing them for use against Hamas at the Gaza border.
The UN Interim Force at Lebanon (Finul) is composed of soldiers from forty countries. Some have only one observer, whilst others such as Spain, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia and Nepal have more than 500 soldiers. One section of the Finul officers is linked to Israel, another section to the Hezbollah.
On 30 November, the Hezbollah published a video subtitled in Hebrew. This video indicated that if Israel launched a war, then the Hezbollah would respond by attacking multiple targets such as the chemical factories, Kirya (chief of staff) or the nuclear centre at Dimona. The video finishes off with the message “if you dare to attack, you’ll be sorry!” There was no issue of tunnels. For the missiles that the Hezbollah now possesses are so superior to those it had in 2006, that a 2006/2018 missile comparison would be meaningless.
Israel continues to qualify the Hezbollah’s militia as “terrorists”. True, the Hezbollah was once a network for Resistance to the occupation. But during the war in Syria, it has grown into a real army in uniform and one of the best in the Middle East.
According to the Israeli intelligence services, Iran had just delivered sophisticated military material to the Hezbollah. These materials were carried by a civil plane to Beirut. It would be the first operation of this type for several years.
For two months, the Iranian military advisors and the militia supported by Iran are withdrawing from Syria and Iraq. Israel fears lest this set up is soon redeployed in Lebanon.