Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting in Syria.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah has survived the Syrian quagmire and continues to bring significant, game changing weaponry from Iran to Lebanon.
The Institute for National Security Studies’ annual report released Monday points to a significant strengthening of Hezbollah, which surpassed Iran as the greatest danger to Israel according to the think tank’s threat rankings.
Iran was ranked the biggest threat to Israel last year, as Hezbollah appeared to be bashed and bloodied from its involvement in the Syrian civil war and deterred from challenging Israel.
Over the past year, however, the IDF and the defense establishment saw Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah make it through the Syrian civil war.
Israel now sees Hezbollah as a real threat – the commanders of the organization’s weapons warehouses in Lebanon stopped merely counting the unfathomable number of missiles they possess long ago and have instead turned to cataloging the missiles by their quality.
Hezbollah today possesses precision weaponry that can hit any point on the map in Israel. They have the ability to deter the air force and its stealth capabilities, the navy and its missile boats and the ground forces, even with all of the coordination improvements the IDF has boasted in the past year.
While the IDF finally learned to use the same language throughout all of its branches, Hezbollah waged war and gained operational experience which even the best of Israel’s conscription forces do not possess. The last of Israel’s conscription soldiers with war experience are currently finishing their army service, whereas Hezbollah has thousands of soldiers with war experience controlling the Lebanon-Syria border.
The IDF can defeat Hezbollah in a matter of days, on the condition that the person giving the orders will be brave enough to let the army do what it is capable of. The price will include thousands of innocent people killed in Lebanon. However, the alternative is Israel being dragged into a violent and dangerous conflict that will include hundreds of victims on its side, an abandoned northern third of the country and a war that will truly threaten the Jewish State’s existence for the first time in 44 years.
The public must take into account two important things: One, the IDF is preparing for the worst and pushing the conflict off as much as possible; and second, if the Home Front Command recommends keeping a transistor radio with batteries at home, it is envisioning a scenario in which all other communication channels collapse.
The biggest headache for the defense establishment is decreasing the gap between what the public thinks – that Hezbollah is not a serious threat – and reality.