Why Israeli-Hezbollah Cross-Border Fire Exchange is Unlikely to Translate Into an All-Out War

Opinion

The recent cross-border incident between the Israeli military and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah is unlikely to translate into a military standoff, say Lebanese and Israeli analysts commenting on the 1 September exchange of fire.

On 1 September, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Hezbollah clashed along the Israel-Lebanon border. Following the Lebanese militant group’s missile attack on IDF outposts, the Israeli military returned fire by sending around 100 artillery shells into southern Lebanon and conducting an air strike.

On Monday, Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised statement that the standoff between the Lebanese militant group and Israel had entered a “new phase”. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dubbed Nasrallah “the man in the bunker in Beirut” and praised the IDF’s reprisal operation, adding that Israeli forces had sustained no casualties.

“Hezbollah has demonstrated its ability to conduct military operations despite numerous security measures taken by the Israeli Army”, says Salem Zahran, a political scientist and head of the Lebanese Information Centre. “Israel is at a loss. Its army couldn’t detect the Hezbollah fighters who conducted the operation”.

For his part, Rafaat al Badawi, a Lebanese regional policy expert, noted that the recent Hezbollah strike sent a personal message to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “that it is necessary to adhere to international standards…

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