TIME: 'The Next Lebanon War'

A report by TIME Magazine this week says Hizbullah and Israel are both prepared for war – and neither wants it.

Hana Levi Julian, | updated: 19:13

Lebanese and Hizbullah flags in PA shop
Lebanese and Hizbullah flags in PA shop
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A report by TIME Magazine this week warns that "the next Lebanon War" is on the horizon, but contends that although the Hizbullah terrorist organization and Israel are both fully prepared for war, neither side is looking forward to the eventuality.

The inevitable, says writer Ramzi Haidar, actually depends more on the U.S. and Iran than it does on either Israel or Hizbullah, given that the two are locked in a battle over the Islamic Republic's nuclear development program.

Iran is aiming Hizbullah's tens of thousands of missiles at Israel in a bid to halt American pressure designed to end its ability to build an atomic weapon. The U.S., for its part, is working hard to persuade the United Nations Security Council to impose tougher economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Israel has vowed to consider the entire nation of Lebanon fair game, rather than restricting its targets to Hizbullah-linked areas, if war again breaks out in the north. The reason: Hizbullah has become a significant player in Lebanon's government, with several ministers representing the terrorist organization in the nation's cabinet and a healthy-sized faction in the parliament. The Lebanese government has issued numerous statements asserting the group's right to bear arms, and validating its status as a military entity “defending” the Lebanese people from “Israeli aggression.”

The terrorist group is supplied by Syria and Iran with generous funding and more missiles and other ordnance than most European nations, according to some reports, including Scuds. IDF Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, a top military intelligence analyst, told a Knesset committee a week ago that Hizbullah has all kinds of weapons, “including solid-fueled rockets, more accurate and with a longer range.” The Scud missiles recently transferred from Syria to Lebanon are "just the tip of the iceberg," Baidatz warned.

Hizbullah is upgrading its battle plans and preparing for war, TIME reports, while planning to send guerrilla fighters on cross-border raids and sabotage missions, similar to that which ignited the Second Lebanon War. But although the magazine referred to the strategy as “unprecedented in the Arab-Israeli conflict,” it is in fact a common move, one that has been repeated throughout the history of the reborn State of Israel, beginning with raids by "fedayeen" attackers.

A similar attack was perpetrated by members of three Hamas-linked terrorist groups in 2006. The operation resulted in the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who is still being held hostage in Gaza. Shalit's condition and whereabouts remain unknown.

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti Al-Rai newspaper claimed several days ago that Western sources told it that  "Israel will wage war the minute it discovers the whereabouts of Nasrallah's hideout whatever the time or circumstances,"  Nasrallah, the anti-Semitic head of Hizbullah, has mostly been in hiding since the Second Lebanon War.




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