Will Israel Face a Two Front War?

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While Israel is prosecuting its war in Gaza against Hamas, Hezbollah is escalating its border war. Israeli troops have been engaging in low level warfare in the North, trading artillery fire with Hezbollah militants.

In the initial stages of the Gaza invasion, Hezbollah decided that it would not attack Israel. World opinion was split between the two belligerents and Israel’s commitment to destroy Hamas was deep. Now that many hostages have been freed or released, and that world opinion is tilting towards Gaza, Hezbollah is reconsidering its options. The Times of Israel says:

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant again threatened to sharply escalate military action against Hezbollah Sunday, as the Iran-backed Lebanese terror group continued to carry out frequent attacks on northern Israel and the IDF carried out new waves of strikes on Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response.

Rockets and missiles were fired from Lebanon at a number of northern towns throughout the day in the Mount Dov and Rosh Hanikra areas, as well Kibbutz Sasa and the northern towns of Margaliot and Arab al-Aramshe. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for at least 10 such attacks on Sunday alone.

Israel’s light airborne troops are engaging in a tit for tat with Hezbollah, with neither side invading the other’s territory. Israel likely does not have the manpower for another offensive action, and Hezbollah does not want to risk renewed support for Israel by invading it. The Guardian reports:

Since they arrived at Rosh Hanikra, where the border meets the Mediterranean coast, the paratroopers of Reuveni’s 7056th paratrooper battalion have been involved in a low-intensity conflict. All along the border, Hezbollah has fired on Israeli border towns and villages in a show of support for Gazans, and Israel has struck back with artillery and airstrikes.

In recent days, the fight has escalated, and the civilian death toll is rising: four Israelis and at least 14 local Lebanese. Three journalists have been killed by Israeli drone and tank strikes.

The United States Navy continues to maintain two aircraft carriers in the region to deter this exact scenario. Depending on what Israel decides to do with Gaza, Hezbollah and its ally Iran could decide to open a second front after all, throwing fuel on the fire in the region.

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