Hezbollah launched a new wave of attacks against the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on December 6, ignoring threats of an Israeli threat to invade southern Lebanon.
In eight separate statements, Hezbollah said that its fighters attacked the military sites of Radar, Ruwaisat al-Qarn, al-Dhahira, Hadab al-Bustan, al-Malikiyah, al-Raheb as well as Ramim Barracks and the Naqoura naval site.
The group announced in two other statements that it had targeted three gatherings of Israeli troops in the border areas of Jal al-Alam, Karm al-Tuffah and Tal al-Shair.
The attacks were carried out “to support the steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in support of their brave and honorable resistance,” Hezbollah noted in its statements.
As usual, the IDF responded by carrying out a series of air and artillery strikes on alleged targets of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Lebanese media didn’t report any civilian casualties. From its side, Hezbollah said that one of its fighters was killed “on the road to Jerusalem.”
Clashes on the Lebanese-Israeli border first broke out last October after Hezbollah and its allies began launching attacks against the IDF from southern Lebanon in support of the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.
So far, the clashes on the Lebanese front have claimed the lives of six IDF troops, three Israeli civilians, 88 fighters of Hezbollah, two fighters from the Lebanese Resistance Brigades, one fighter from the Lebanese Resistance Regiments, seven fighters from the Hamas Movement, four fighters from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one Lebanese soldier, 13 Lebanese civilians and another civilian from Syria.
Israel may be preparing for a major escalation on the Lebanese front. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told mayors and heads of councils located near the border with Lebanon, who were displaced by the clashes, on December 6 that they will not be returned home until Hezbollah is driven north of the Litani River, according to Hebrew media reports.
During the tense meeting in Nahariya, Gallant said that the best option for Israel is to reach a diplomatic arrangement that will cause United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 to be enforced.
The resolution, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006, barred Hezbollah from maintaining a military presence south of the Litani, which is located some 30 kilometers north of the Israel-Lebanon border.
If that doesn’t succeed, Gallant vowed that Israel will “act with all the means at its disposal” to push Hezbollah back through military actions.
Gallant’s threat represents a major escalation. Any Israeli ground operation against Hezbollah will lead to an all-out war that could easily spread beyond Lebanon’s border.