Hezbollah has intensified its activities in the past week, further escalating tensions with Israel. On Thursday, the terrorist group claimed responsibility for nine operations targeting Israeli forces along the Lebanon-Israel border. They also reported that 76 of their fighters had been killed since the onset of the conflict. However, amidst these actions, criticism of Hezbollah has emerged, with growing concerns about the situation.
Lebanese journalist Hana Saleh expressed her apprehensions in the Al-Sharq Al-Ost newspaper, stating, "The objectives set by Nasrallah for Lebanon are perilous. Their support for reducing Israeli pressure on the Gaza Strip raises concerns about Lebanon becoming 'Gaza 2.0'. The threat to southern Lebanon could have far-reaching consequences, potentially leading to a large-scale war." Saleh further noted, "This new situation violates UN Resolution 1701, which had brought a period of stability to the South. The military developments are pushing Lebanon back to the era after the Cairo Agreement."
Syria claims: "The Israeli attack caused great damage - Hezbollah regions were destroyed"— Shiri_Sabra (@sabra_the) November 17, 2023
Syrian opposition claims that the attacks were directed against areas where the headquarters & military sites belonging to the terrorist organization Hezbollah are located. pic.twitter.com/edoJUbyKzJ
Even Lebanese parliament members who oppose Hezbollah voiced strong concerns in the pages of the Lebanese newspaper Al-Jumhoriya. They declared, "Hezbollah is jeopardizing Lebanon, and we cannot allow it to replicate the Gaza model." They firmly stated, "We refuse to let Hezbollah drag us into a war that would impact all Lebanese citizens, under the false pretext of 'Solidarity with Gaza.'" This stance underscores their conviction that "Solidarity with Gaza should not come at Lebanon's expense."
Even UN officials, in discussions with Al-Jumhoriya, and diplomatic representatives, expressed their concerns about the situation in southern Lebanon. "The situation is extremely worrying, and we have conveyed our concerns to the Lebanese authorities, emphasizing the urgent need to prevent potential dire consequences," they stated.
"Regrettably, despite assurances, there appears to be a lack of commitment from the parties involved to adhere to Resolution 1701. Nevertheless, UNIFIL forces continue to fulfill their role in cooperation with the Lebanese army. Despite the challenging circumstances, they maintain continuous communication with all parties in an effort to de-escalate the conflict."
On the other hand, Hezbollah seems determined to maintain its strategy of engagement with Israel, even as it remains actively involved in the Gaza conflict. A senior official within the organization issued a stern warning, saying, "Our efforts to undermine Israel will persist and escalate as long as the fighting in Gaza continues, as Nasrallah has stated."
Hezbollah release video of ATGM attack against "Israeli" Merkava tank pic.twitter.com/Ik7RCh1GOg— AoR News 🇵🇸🇱🇧🇸🇾🇮🇶🇮🇷🇾🇪 (@AoR3138) November 17, 2023
"Hezbollah remains on high alert along the border and is prepared to respond in kind, matching house for house, corps for corps, and depth for depth. Israel must be prepared for this eventuality." The source also claimed that Hezbollah's response, involving extensive shelling across the entire front, was a direct reaction to perceived Israeli violations.