South Lebanon escalation: Hezbollah-Israel confrontation intensifies as Netanyahu prolongs war for 'political gain'

Press Highlights
2024-01-28 | 01:31
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South Lebanon escalation: Hezbollah-Israel confrontation intensifies as Netanyahu prolongs war for 'political gain'
South Lebanon escalation: Hezbollah-Israel confrontation intensifies as Netanyahu prolongs war for 'political gain'

Despite the International Court of Justice's decision in the South Africa lawsuit against Israel and its significance, it remained limited in providing effective measures to halt Israeli occupation from continuing its acts of genocide. 

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese online newspaper Al-Anbaa.
It is expected that Tel Aviv will dismiss it and continue its war against the Palestinian people. 

Israel's history of violating international laws and norms, coupled with the Israeli officials' reactions to the court's decision and the ongoing intentional killing of civilians in Gaza, clearly indicates that the Israeli entity will not adhere to the court's calls.

While the United States and some of its allies encouraged Tel Aviv in its genocidal war through unconditional support given after October 7, this criminal policy faced a different trajectory from Washington and some Western countries, highlighted Al-Anbaa.

They suspended funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) under the pretext of investigating the agency's employees' involvement in the October 7 events. 

This decision is expected to impact UNRWA's operations in the coming months, adding to the already difficult humanitarian conditions in Gaza, which have reached the brink of famine.

On the southern front in Lebanon, the intensification of military confrontations between Hezbollah and Israel, along with the expanding scope of these confrontations, has shifted more attention to the south. 

This is particularly true in light of escalating threats from both political and military leadership in Israel.

Al-Anbaa security sources highlighted the "dangerous field situation in the south" amid information about Israel reinforcing its forces in northern occupied Palestine to face Hezbollah, which has begun using precision-guided missiles and drones that accurately hit its targets for the first time.

This suggests that the escalation on both sides of the southern borders is reaching critical levels, resembling a prelude to a storm unless international pressure succeeds in forcing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war government to ease their "aggressive intentions" towards Lebanon and opt for negotiations on border demarcation, the implementation of Resolution 1701, and resolving disputed points in exchange for a genuine ceasefire in Gaza, the sources added.

Sources revealed that Netanyahu, who pledged to the families of Israeli captives to work for their release through all military and diplomatic means, is now convinced that expanding fronts and prolonging the war in Gaza and southern Lebanon ultimately serve his political future. 

He believes that his victory in leaving the battle as a winner depends solely on limiting the military role of Hamas and Hezbollah, thereby enhancing his political position. 

This indicates that the war, despite the losses Israel has suffered in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and the war on Gaza, continues, as sought by Netanyahu, the sources indicated.

Growing concerns about the widening scope of the war were expressed by MP Bilal Houshaymi, who told Al-Anbaa that the fear of expanding field confrontations in southern Lebanon is justified. 

This is a result of Netanyahu's determination to achieve some form of victory to preserve his political future, explaining the international pressure on Lebanese officials not to allow Hezbollah to be dragged into a war with Israel, especially if it intends to attack Israel and cross the borders towards occupied Palestine. 

This could lead to Israel declaring war in conjunction with Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which forced the entire world to stand by it.

Houshaymi stated, "We are facing an enemy prime minister who has nothing to lose and is trying to provoke Hezbollah by all means." 

He considered that Hezbollah knows Netanyahu's plans, which is why it leads the confrontations with Israel with restraint "despite the high cost it incurs in the clashes with the enemy."

Houshaymi reminded that Netanyahu, who waged a destructive war on Gaza for 115 days, resulted in the deaths of over 25,000 martyrs and the destruction of three-quarters of Gaza, including hospitals, schools, all official and private institutions, UNRWA offices, and entire residential neighborhoods. 

The Hague court only condemned Israel without demanding a ceasefire, indicating ongoing unparalleled international support for Israel, both media and political, he said.

Regarding the presidential file, Houshaymi commented on the movement of the Quintet Committee and whether there are signs of a solution, stating that the committee "will not reach a result because it began its efforts to elect a president since last February, a year ago, and nothing has changed. On the contrary, matters are becoming more complicated." 

He expressed his hope for the election of a president "today rather than tomorrow," questioning the fate of the responses submitted to the French envoy in response to his questions about the president's specifications.

Houshaymi considered that "if the US administration really wants to elect a president, it could be done in less than two weeks, and the experience of extending the term of Army Commander General Joseph Aoun is the best evidence of that." 

He pointed out that current US efforts are currently focused on implementing Resolution 1701 in the region controlled by Hezbollah. This requires negotiations with Iran rather than Hezbollah because it is the only force that can tell Hezbollah to withdraw from this point to that. 

The US knows this well, and therefore, Houshaymi excludes the election of a president.

In any case, the local reality remains burdened with crises, the weight of risks increasing the possibilities of war expansion. Therefore, a rational approach must be adopted internally to address local crises, not only to find solutions to people's concerns and fortify state institutions but also to prepare for war risks.

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