Israel is facing a dual challenge as it combats the threat from Hamas in the Gaza Strip while also seeking to secure its northern front against the powerful Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, according to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) official.
While the IDF’s primary focus remains on defeating Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah has been engaging in escalating clashes with Israeli forces using a range of weapons, including rockets, drones, mortars, and anti-tank weapons. The violence along the Lebanese border has reached levels not seen since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.
The IDF official emphasized that Israel will not allow its civilians, whether near the Gaza envelope or on the Lebanese border, to be under constant threat. The country’s recruitment of an additional 350,000 IDF personnel and the readiness of its existing capabilities, including the air force, indicate its preparedness for a broader conflict in the region.
The Israel-Lebanon border has been a volatile area since Israel’s establishment in 1948. Lebanon, divided along sectarian lines and embroiled in a civil war since 1975, found itself at the forefront of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Following Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Hezbollah emerged with support from Iran and became one of the most potent non-state actors in the region.
Despite calls for disarmament, Hezbollah has maintained and expanded its vast arsenal, estimated to include 200,000 rockets, mortars, uncrewed aerial vehicles, surface-to-air missiles, and precision-guided munitions capable of reaching all of Israel. The IDF official warned that Hezbollah’s possession of such weapons could escalate the conflict to an all-out war.
Clashes along the “Blue Line” patrolled by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon have increased since October 7. Hezbollah’s official media website has reported several attacks on Israeli military sites in support of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza. Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem defended the campaign against Israel, stating that force is necessary to deter the enemy and prevent it from achieving its goals.
While Iran maintains that it refrains from initiating wars and follows a defense doctrine, it remains ready to respond to perceived threats to defend itself and its interests.