Israeli artillery preparing to strike back into southern Lebanon
Israeli artillery preparing to strike back into southern LebanonFlash 90

A London-based Arab newspaper reports that American and European nations informed Lebanon that Israel will attack the country if the Hezbollah militia continues to develop their long-range missiles.

The Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah has been building factories in the heart of Beirut to convert missiles into highly-accurate precision weapons capable of striking sensitive Israeli sites. Upon deciding to convert its massive 150,000-strong rocket arsenal to missiles with pinpoint accuracy, Hezbollah chose to transfer its sites to the heart of Beirut in order to deter Israeli airstrikes.

Israel has repeatedly reiterated that it will not allow Hezbollah to obtain highly accurate missiles that would threaten sensitive Israelis sites and has been escalating its threats vis a vis Lebanon.

Earlier this month, Channel 10 reported that Israel asked French President Emmanuel Macron to inform Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri that Israel would attack Lebanon if it did not crack down on Hezbollah's missile development.

A few days later, the Long-based Al Hayat newspaper said that Israel's National Security Advisor Eitan Ben-David told French officials that Israel was seeking a diplomatic solution before embarking on a military operation.

For years, Hezbollah has been attempting to get its hands on highly accurate missiles that would change the balance of power with Israel. After the missile shipments were repeatedly bombed by Israel, Hezbollah decided to convert its considerable amount of rockets by using Iranian-made missile transformation kits.

Prime Minister Netanyahu first exposed Hezbollah's move of these hidden factories from the Bekaa Valley to residential neighborhoods in Beirut during his speech in September at the United Nations.

In his address, Netanyahu blasted Hezbollah for "deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields". Netanyahu warned Hezbollah that "Israel knows what you are doing, Israel knows where you are doing it, and Israel will not let you get away with it”.

In January, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis wrote an op-ed to a Lebanese newspaper warning that Hezbollah's efforts to manufacture rockets inside Lebanon would plunge the region into war.

“Through the actions and inaction of the Lebanese authorities, Lebanon is turning into one big missile factory while much of the international community looks the other way,” wrote Manelis. “It’s no longer about transfers of arms, money or advice. De facto, Iran has opened a new branch, the Lebanon branch — Iran is here…Iran and Hezbollah are currently trying to build a precision missile factory."