JNN Oct.20th 2011. Israel is reportedly planning to launch its third war against Lebanon, exploiting the regional countries’ current heightened preoccupation with their domestic upheavals.
“[The Lebanese resistance movement of] Hezbollah is in a state of alert and it anticipates an Israeli attack on Lebanon at any moment,” Lebanon’s English-language newspaper The Daily Star reported on Thursday, citing an exclusive report by Al Joumhouria, another domestic daily.
According to the Arab-language newspaper’s sources, Israel sees the ‘regional situation’ as an opportunity to wage the hostilities.
The reported developments take place amid ongoing anti-regime popular uprisings in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, which have been inspired by successful Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions earlier in the year.
Al Joumhouria cited political sources close to Hezbollah as saying the resistance movement had — in preparation to confront the Israeli offensives — amassed a wide range of ammunitions, including thousands of rockets, advanced anti-aircraft weapons as well as long-range, surface-to-air, and surface-to-sea missiles.
Tel Aviv launched wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006. About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, were killed in the 33-Day War of 2006.
On both occasions, however, Hezbollah fighters defeated the Israeli forces and Tel Aviv was compelled to withdraw its troops without having achieved any of its objectives.
Hezbollah has announced that it has the capability to hit targets deep inside Israel and to strike Israeli Navy vessels even before they reach Lebanese territorial waters.
In July 2010, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the movement knew which locations to target if Tel Aviv waged another war on the country.
“We now hold a large and precise bank of Israeli targets, and Israel will have to pay the price for any step it takes,” Qassem told the Arab-language Al Nahar daily.
Al Joumhouria also said that Hezbollah’s capabilities in the battleground now equaled those of Israel’s, enabling the movement to even deter Israeli Air Force at high altitudes.
The Daily Star reported earlier in the year that Israel had been building up its military capabilities since the end of the 2006 war by introducing new weapons such as a multi-tiered anti-rocket missile system and a tank protection system into its arsenal.
US diplomatic cables of 2009 released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks show that Israel expects the next war to last two months.
The Arab-language daily noted that Hezbollah members had been partaking in periodical training and service to ensure readiness of such levels, which enables them to confront the enemy, should the war break out as soon as the next day.