Israel Could Soon Face Two Front War

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Israel could face a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon if tensions continue to remain high. In support of Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah and the IDF have been trading fire, though little movement has occurred between the front lines.

The entire North of Israel, however, has been evacuated. This has led to increased pressure on the IDF to clear Southern Lebanon of Hezbollah activity so Israeli civilians can return to their homes. The NY Times says:

More than 60,000 Israelis who live far from Gaza but close to the front line of another spiraling conflict have in recent months been ordered from their homes along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon — the first mass evacuation of the area in Israeli history.

In one Israeli border town, antitank missiles fired from Lebanon have damaged scores of homes. In another village, holdouts who refuse to evacuate said they avoided turning lights on at night to keep from becoming visible targets. And in a sign of the proximity of the fighters across the border and how personal the simmering hostilities have become, a farmer said he had received a text message claiming to be from Hezbollah and threatening him with death.

A two front war would be catastrophic for Israel, who is already stretched thin in Gaza. Unlike the 1967 and 1973 wars where conventional troops faced off against each other, the war in Gaza has required far more manpower to properly clear all neighborhoods of Hamas activity. The Jerusalem Post quotes the command of the IDF’s Northern forces:

The commander of Northern Command Maj.- Gen. Uri Gordin said, “Local leadership is of immense importance in cooperation with the IDF. I want to say to you – we are determined to create a better, safer, and quieter situation here in the north. As for our offensive activity, there is no need to exaggerate it in words; it is heard well and believe me, it is also seen well in Lebanon, both near and far.

We continue to target Hezbollah, we are determined to push it back and destroy its infrastructure. But that’s not enough; this week we advanced another stage in our readiness, with exercises, learning from combat in the south, and many other features that will make us more prepared for the day of command. I see you as full partners, shoulder to shoulder with us in managing the fighting.”

Learning from combat in Ukraine and Gaza, Israeli troops will likely have to fight Hezbollah directly sooner rather than later. With a new aid package for ammunition, Israel will be able to sustain the fight, but this will not solve the ultimate political question of Palestinians and whether they should have a state or not.

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