The Big Bad Wolf Doesn’t Scare Anyone Anymore! “Israel” Fails to Deter Hezbollah, Turns to Lebanese Voices
By Fatima Haydar
Last week, the Lebanese Resistance group Hezbollah fired its largest rocket salvo toward the “Israeli”-occupied Palestinian territories in 15 years.
The rocket fire on Friday morning surprised “Israeli” settlers and the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF]’s Iron Dome missile system tried to intercept the rockets as they came raining down.
Hezbollah’s rocket fire came as a retaliation to the “Israeli” entity’s continuous breach of Lebanese sovereignty.
An eye for an eye… an open land in the occupied territories for an open land in Lebanon. A new deterrence equation which Hezbollah has set in the aftermath of the “Israeli” airstrikes on occupied Shebaa Farms.
A Hezbollah statement said the group fired dozens of 122 mm rockets at open ground in retaliation for two “Israeli” airstrikes on open ground in south Lebanon early Thursday.
“The Islamic Resistance rocketed open ground near positions of ‘Israeli’ occupation forces in the Shebaa Farms with tens of rockets,” it said.
Furthermore, in a speech on Saturday night, Hezbollah Secretary-General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah referred to the “Israeli” airstrikes saying, “What happened days ago was very dangerous and a development that did not happen for 15 years”.
“It was necessary for the response to the ‘Israeli’ airstrike to be quick or else it would have lost its value,” Sayyed Nasrallah continued, adding that the rocket barrage “was aimed at consolidating the equation of deterrence”.
IOF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav confirmed the new equation imposed by the group telling reporters after the strikes that the rocket fire “shows Hezbollah’s deterrence as it fired at open areas”.
Now, the “Israelis” are aware that Hezbollah, as the “Israeli” regime, does not seek an all-out war no matter how significantly the group increased its capabilities 15 years since the 2006 July aggression.
“We are not seeking a war,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “But we are ready for it, and we do not fear it.”
Based on “Israeli” estimates, Hezbollah has rebuilt its arsenal since 2006, and it is now believed to have between 130,000 and 150,000 rockets and missiles. Many of them can reach deep into the “Israeli”-occupied Palestinian territories, including ballistic missiles with a range of 700 kilometers.
It is believed that in the next war, Hezbollah will try to fire 1,500 to 3,000 rockets per day until the last day of the conflict.
But an “Israeli” military intelligence assessment released in February said more limited rounds of violence could be expected. But those limited rounds of violence always have the possibility of causing an all-out war.
During these limited rounds, similar to the most recent altercation with Hezbollah, “Israeli” settlers in settlements on the Northern border will hide in shelters.
“Israelis” across the entity are now aware that they need to be ready for that, because Hezbollah has made it clear it will continue to challenge the “Israeli” entity, despite the real risk of it deteriorating into a full-blown war.
This being said, the once feared “invincible” army, seems more like a barking dog than a biting one!
As military means failed to deter Hezbollah, the “Israeli” entity had one more trick up its sleeve. It took advantage of the already complex sectarian-divided Lebanon, encouraging figures and parties opposing Hezbollah, heading the list are various political and religious Lebanese persona of different affiliations.
“The country of Lebanon and the army of Lebanon have to take responsibility [for] what happens in its backyard,” the entity’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told his Cabinet on Saturday.
And on Sunday, Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi called for the Lebanese army to take control of the southern part of the country, and strictly implement UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
"We call upon the Lebanese army, which is responsible with the international forces for the security of the south, to take control of the entire lands of the south, to strictly implement Resolution 1701, and to prevent the launching of missiles from Lebanese territory, not for the sake of ‘Israel's’ safety, but rather for the safety of Lebanon," said al-Rahi during Sunday Mass, according to Lebanon's National News Agency [NNA].
“We want to end the military logic and war and adopt the logic of peace and the interest of Lebanon and all the Lebanese,” stated the patriarch.
This is not the first time the Maronite patriarch echoed “Israeli” views, in August of last year, after the Beirut port blast he incited the Lebanese against the Resistance and called for the state to take control over weapons in Lebanon and to confine decisions of war and peace to the state.
The head of Lebanon's Kataeb Party and former MP, Sami Gemayel, expressed support for the patriarch on Monday, saying that the party is "convinced" that there are many Lebanese citizens who agree with the patriarch and Kataeb Party.
Not to mention, “Israeli” media, most notably the Jerusalem Post, welcomed the entity’s idea. The “Israeli” outlet on Monday, posted a report detailing the stance of a Lebanese religious figure to the recent confrontation between Hezbollah and the IOF.
In 2014, Al-Rahi visited Occupied Palestine during a visit by Pope Francis – a step condemned by the Lebanese and seen by many as a sort of indirect normalization with the occupying entity.
However, the Lebanese who have gone through a bloody civil war that has lasted for 15 years, know better than to have history repeat itself over again.
Lebanese of all walks of life took to social media platforms to express outrage at the patriarch's comments using the hashtags “Patron of bias” and “patron of surrender”.
As the “Israeli” entity tries whatever means possible to deter Hezbollah, but in vain; all it can do now is keep on huffing and puffing, hoping that, in an alternative world, the brick wall Hezbollah has built to defend Lebanon will come crumbling down.