In a recent statement, Israeli army top gun, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has added more names to Benjamin Netanyahu’s list of “existential threats to Israel” (Iran, EU, Turkey, UNHRC, etc.). Gantz’s new addition is Hizbullah: as a “closer” and “proven” threat, as its rockets and missiles could reach every corner of Israel in the next war with Lebanon. However, Gantz assured the Zionist Jews that Israeli forces are ready to teach Hizbullah a lesson it will never forget.
Some Israeli military analysts have interpreted Gantz rant as a ‘smokescreen’ to cover Jewish army’s weakness to defend the entity in case a major confrontation materializes in the near future between Israel, Syria, Hizbullah and Iran.
Last year, in an Op-Ed at Israeli newspaper YNet, Ron Ben-Yishai, one of Israel’s top military commentators, said: “We will pay heavy price if Gantz exaggerated.”
Tony Karon admitted at the Jewish Time magazine (August 15, 2006) that Israel failed miserably to achieve its desired goals during the 34-day war: to destroy Hizbullah as a military adversary and turn Lebanese people against Hizbullah by mass killing of civilians and destroying country’s infrastructure. In fact, it made Hizbullah more popular among Lebanese and the rest of the Arab world. Karon also admitted that Hizbullah fighters killed 119 Israeli soldiers while losing 49 of its fighters. Watch a video below.
In August 2013, Colonel Yaron Formosa, a chief artillery officer of the Jewish army, in an interview with YNet admitted that Hizbullah fighters fighting along with Syrian army have gained more military experience and would pose much greater threat to Israeli soldiers than they did in 2006 war.
Sami Kleib has penned an excellent Opinion Post on Hizbullah, published by Al-Akhbar on April 11, 2014. Kleib begins with a quote from an European diplomat, saying: “Hizbullah did not withdraw from Syria, yet it sits with its adversaries in (Lebanese) government. Hizbullah did not deliver its weapons, yet some of its adversaries have been disarmed and are being prosecuted through a security plan, in which it is participating. It did not announce a change in its strategy to confront Israel, but the West is knocking on its door again. Hizbullah is a difficult but necessary partner that must be consulted.”
Kleib put forwards following reasons behind the above statement.
A conviction, that grows day by day, is that Hezbollah is unbreakable, on the security, social, and political levels. The party has the proper capabilities, expertise, and weapons to serve as a counterbalance against Israel and its local and regional rivals.
The party went from being accused by NATO of terrorism to becoming a partner in counter-terrorism. The Lebanese army cannot succeed in its current and future plans without at least moral support from Hezbollah. It would not be possible to eliminate terrorist and takfiri groups in Syria without the party. Security actors are aware of the important intelligence role played by the party in uncovering bombs and networks aiming to terrorise Lebanon and ignite strife. The party and its allies form a heavy political force, making it impossible to take any major national political decision against the party or without it. The presidential elections are the best example.
Despite all the social calamities of the Israeli war prior to the victory of 2006 and its repercussions, the party’s remained firm and steadfast, especially when the areas destroyed by Israel were rebuilt better than how they had been. The organic alliance between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement (lead by Speaker Nabi Berri) did not disintegrate, despite disagreements on some occasions.
The party’s involvement in Syria did not weaken the party, although martyrs are continuing to fall. The general situation of the regional environment is still supportive of the Resistance and its leader.