The incident on July 7th at the Israel-Lebanon border, during which an anti-tank missile was launched towards the village of Rajar in Israeli territory is a very serious incident that indicates Hezbollah’s intentions.
The IDF is still investigating which organization is responsible for the launching of the missile, but it is clear that even if it was a Palestinian organization that wanted to take revenge on the IDF operation in the Jenin refugee camp, this would not have happened without the approval of Hezbollah, which completely controls the area.
The IDF responded with artillery fire at the area from which the missile was fired and in fact contained the serious incident, Israel does not wish to be dragged into a multi-arena campaign now, senior security officials say that the IDF is now focusing on the phases of the battle against Palestinian terrorism in Judea and Samaria and on the destruction of its infrastructure, the first phase of which was the operation in the Jenin refugee camp.
This incident should be seen as another stage in Hezbollah’s provocations in Israel and in the continuation of its provocations on the border with Israel as part of its protest against the work the IDF is doing to build the fence on the border with Lebanon, but Hezbollah has a double message, it is also signaling to Israel that it may heat up the border if Israel will continue its targeted activity in the Palestinian refugee camps in northern Samaria.
A senior official in the Islamic Jihad says that the Palestinians understood Hezbollah’s message telling them “we are here and we have not forgotten you, if the IDF continues its activities in additional refugee camps in the northern West Bank, Hezbollah will come to your aid.”
Hezbollah’s provocation creates constant tensions in the border area with Israel, it still has not evacuated its operatives and the two tents it set up in Israeli territory on Mount Dov, Israel has turned to the UN, the US and France so as not to be dragged into an escalation, but it seems that there will be no choice and the IDF will be forced to evacuate them by force.
Defense Minister Yoav Galant responded to the firing of the anti-tank missile from Lebanon and said that “Israel will respond at the place and time it chooses to any violation of its sovereignty” he hinted that the response could also be done in covert ways against Hezbollah in addition to overt ways.
Israel must take advantage of the momentum and continue the operation to eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in the refugee camp in northern Samaria and not shy away from Hezbollah’s activities along the border which is trying to threaten that it too will enter the multi-arena battle against it, the economic situation in Lebanon is difficult and it is unable to face another war with Israel as it was in 2006, Hezbollah would not dare to drag Lebanon into such a war and a military conflict with Israel would be a conflict of only a few days of fighting, a conflict that Israel could withstand successfully.
Israel’s emphasis is on the war against Palestinian terrorism, but it must not neglect the northern front, the time has come to teach Hezbollah a lesson even if it is through secret operations by the Israeli Mossad in Lebanon, Hezbollah will already understand the message.
On the visible level, the time has already come to evacuate the two tents that Hezbollah had placed on Israeli territory, the firing of the anti-tank missile at Israel was a good opportunity to do so, as a response to the firing of the missile, but Israel missed the opportunity.
Despite the identification of the Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria with the Jenin refugee camp, most of the Palestinian residents do not want to participate in an armed intifada against Israel, they want to continue working in Israel and not harm their economic situation.
Hamas is increasing its attacks in Judea and Samaria in view of the severe criticism of it for not helping the residents of the Jenin refugee camp, but it is not ready to enter into a conflict with Israel on the border of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas is concerned about the great popularity that the Islamic Jihad is gaining, which leads the terror against Israel in northern Samaria.
The IDF’s gradual and focused treatment against the terrorist infrastructure in northern Samaria will not trigger a new intifada nor a new military conflict on the border of the Gaza Strip, however the eyes should be constantly directed towards the other fronts in the Gaza Strip and the northern border, in the end there will be no choice and Israel will be forced to land a surprise counter strike on Hezbollah at the right time for it.