Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Israel Should Do Everything in Its Power to Stop Hezbollah


avatar by Ehud Eilam

A katyusha rocket launched by Hezbollah into Israel during the Second War in Lebanon. Photo: Wikipedia.
A katyusha rocket launched by Hezbollah into Israel during the Second War in Lebanon. Photo:
Wikipedia.


During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah fired 160 rockets every day at Israel. Today, Hezbollah has an estimated arsenal of 150,000 rockets, which it plans to use against Israel as soon as the moment is right.

Hezbollah might focus on strategic targets, like industry or airfields. Or it might focus on civilians, and inflict more damage to an Israeli city than any other Arab military has done since 1948.

During the 2006 war, 200,000 Israelis had to flee from northern Israel due to the rocket attacks. But in the next war with Hezbollah, all of Israel will be in range of the group’s rockets — as Hezbollah now has several thousand 220 millimeter and 302 millimeter rockets, with a range of up to 150 kilometers. It also has the M-600, which can hit targets up to 300 kilometers away.

As far as we know, Hezbollah has not obtained chemical weapons from Bashar al-Assad. But Hezbollah could launch its conventional rockets at the chemical industry in Haifa, which would bring a huge disaster to one of the most populated cities in Israel.

In spite of its strength, Hezbollah has been worn down due to its involvement in the Syrian civil war. Israel should exploit this vulnerability, and launch a pre-emptive attack to get rid of the rockets in Lebanon before they are fired at Israel. This action might be difficult to explain not only to the international community, but to the Israeli public as well. Considering the possible high price of such a war for Israel, it is essential for the government to convince the population that its actions were unavoidable.

The fragile status quo between Israel and Hezbollah might theoretically continue, since both sides say they don’t seek war. Yet a war might happen anyway as a result of one severe incident on the border or the mutual suspicion and miscalculations by one or both sides.

The IDF should continue to prepare to launch a massive land, air and sea offensive in Lebanon. We must do whatever possible to stop Hezbollah.

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