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Tensions run high between Israel and the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

According to the sources, the recent meetings were part of a “renewed effort” to promote a previous French initiative launched by Paris months ago.

Only two days after a meeting in Paris between French President Emmanuel Macron and Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati for talks on how to end tensions at the Lebanese-Israeli border, the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah has launched a new round of confrontations.

Hezbollah said in a statement on Monday that it targeted Israeli ‘spy installations’ near the border village of Wazzani in the Marjayoun district in southern Lebanon.

The group also reportedly targeted gatherings of Israeli soldiers near the Hanita site in Israel, opposite the town of Alma Al-Sha’ab in Lebanon, with artillery shells, and hit a gathering of soldiers near the Israeli site of Dahiyra with rockets.

For its part, the Israeli army said in a statement that sirens sounded in the Arab Al-Aramsha area in northern Israel, without providing further details.

The New Proposal

Macron met Mikati and Lebanon’s Army Chief Joseph Aoun at the presidential Elysee Palace on Friday.

The Lebanese news channel Al-Mayadeen, citing sources close to the French presidency, reported that the diplomatic move came “at a direct request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who asked France to resume its initiative to calm the northern front with Lebanon”.

According to the sources, the recent meetings were part of a “renewed effort” to promote a previous French initiative launched by Paris months ago, which did not achieve any tangible results. 

Al-Mayadeen reported that the original proposal suggested a halt to the operations by the Israeli side in exchange for Hezbollah moving seven kilometers away from the blue line separating Lebanon from Israel. 

The proposal, however, was met with a rejection by Hezbollah. 

The new proposal, according to the sources cited by Al-Mayadeen, abandoned the original request and suggested the withdrawal of “specific military capabilities of Hezbollah” from the borders. 

Weakened Deterrence

Despite a significant intensification of Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel and settlements in the occupied Golan Heights since the beginning of March, Tel Aviv is yet to respond.

On multiple occasions, Israeli military and political officials have threatened to launch a military operation against Lebanon, but without truly acting on that front. 

This prompted reactions from far-right Israeli politicians, the likes of Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir who repeatedly called for a decisive military response.

“The military is your responsibility. What are you waiting for? We have to start responding, attacking: war, now,” Ben-Gvir wrote on his X account last month. 

Israel’s deterrence in the region, however, seems to have significantly weakened following the Hamas military operation of October 7 and the subsequent war. 

This was highlighted by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah during his speech on International Quds Day.

“The July War (in 2006 – PC) brought down the project of the New Middle East and with it the project of ‘Greater Israel’,” Nasrallah said, adding:

“The Al-Aqsa Flood has put the entity on the brink of final collapse and disappearance, and the signs of this will appear over time.”

“The Al-Aqsa Flood put the survival and existence of Israel in danger and revealed its fragility, weakness, and security, political, and moral failures,” Nasrallah continued.

The Israeli Study

In February, Over 100 Israeli senior military and government officials took part in a study conducted by Reichman University Institute for Counterterrorism regarding what could happen in the case of an all-out war between Israel and the Lebanese Resistance group Hezbollah.

The findings of the study were published in a report issued by the Israeli news website Calcalist and other Israeli media. 

This is the summary of the findings of the Israeli study. 

An Israel-Lebanon war in the north would start with a “massive and destructive barrage of Hezbollah rockets”, which are likely to reach all parts of the country.

The number of Hezbollah rockets to hit Israel is estimated to be anywhere between 2,500 and 3,000 per day. 

The Hezbollah rockets will involve a mix between precision long-range missiles and less accurate rockets. 

Hezbollah is likely to concentrate its attacks on a single area at a time, for example, a major Israeli army base or a specific city in the center of the country. 

The rockets will continue on a daily basis and are likely to last for up to six weeks. 

The report also suggested that “all Iranian proxies” from across the region would join Hezbollah in the fight. This includes Resistance groups in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, along with the Palestinian groups Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. 

Crossborder Confrontations

Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, on October 7, the Lebanese  movement Hezbollah has engaged directly, but relatively in a limited way in the war against the Israeli occupation.

According to Hezbollah sources, the movement has carried out 169 military operations in the first four months of war, killing over 2,000 Israeli soldiers.

Israel has occupied parts of Lebanon for decades and has only left the country in 2000, following stiff Lebanese resistance under Hezbollah’s leadership. 

It attempted to re-occupy Lebanon in 2006 but failed in what Lebanon considers a major victory against Israel. 

Israel, however, continues to occupy parts of Lebanon, namely the Sheeba Farms region.

Hezbollah has vowed to recover every inch of Lebanon that has been occupied by Israel contrary to international law.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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