In an alarming development directly adding to the escalating instability in the Middle East, Iran is reportedly accelerating its transfer of precision weapons to the militant terrorist group Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Israel prepares for potential conflicts to safeguard its northern borders as it is increasingly threatened from multiple directions.
According to a report this week by Missile Threat, Hezbollah, often cited as the most heavily armed non-state actor globally, possesses an estimated 130,000 rockets. Its terror arsenal was on full display as recently as Thursday when Hezbollah launched a barrage of 50 rockets and missiles toward northern Israel.
— Daily Wire News (@DailyWireNews) December 29, 2023
Israel’s National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told reporters this week that his nation has run out of patience with the terror threats Hezbollah represents to its national security. “We can no longer accept Hezbollah’s elite Radwan force sitting on the border,” he said. While he said there is still time for diplomatic efforts toward peace, all military options must now be considered.
A large majority of Israeli citizens agree with Hanegbi. A recent poll shows that 68% support a military operation to dislodge Hezbollah from the Israel-Lebanon border.
Hezbollah, deeply entrenched in Lebanon and operating under Iranian patronage, has been encouraged by Tehran’s support. The group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, recently delivered a provocative speech, vehemently criticizing the U.S. and absolving Iran of any direct involvement in the group’s terroristic activities.
The increasing sophistication of the weapons systems being given to Hezbollah — particularly precision-guided munitions — has grave implications for regional stability.
Recent events have illustrated the precariousness of the situation. Hezbollah’s repeated rocket attacks on northern Israel, coupled with drone infiltrations, signal a dangerous escalation. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have responded with targeted strikes against Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon. Concerns of increasing violence mount daily.
The international community remains concerned about the proliferation of missile technology, particularly as Hezbollah’s ties with other militant groups in the region, such as the Houthis and various Shiite militias, deepen. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has seen its patrols in Lebanon attacked this week, adding to the challenges peacekeeping forces face in maintaining stability and enforcing international mandates.