Hezbollah Threatens to Bombard Tel Aviv in Next War
While Israel's southern flank, including Gaza and Sinai, continues to be a persistent and deadly problem, Israel's northern border with Lebanon has been relatively quiet since the 2006 war with Hezbollah.
Don't let the silence fool you, however. Since that '06 war, Hezbollah has been busy re-arming itself to the teeth with help from its Iranian patrons (similar to what Hamas is doing right now in the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense).
The result? Hezbollah now has at least 50,000 rockets and missiles aimed at every square inch of Israel. And they're ready and willing to use them.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel on Sunday that thousands of rockets would rain down on Tel Aviv and cities across the country if it attacked Lebanon.
Speaking four days after the cease-fire which ended a week of conflict between Israel and the Islamist Hamas rulers of Gaza, Nasrallah said Hezbollah's response to any attack would dwarf the rocket fire launched from Palestinian territories.
"Israel, which was shaken by a handful of Fajr-5 rockets during eight days - how would it cope with thousands of rockets which would fall on Tel Aviv and other (cities) ... if it attacked Lebanon?" Nasrallah said.
The Fajr-5s, with a range of 75 km (45 miles) - able to strike Tel Aviv or Jerusalem - and 175 kg (386 lb) warheads, are the most powerful and long-range rockets to have been fired from Gaza.
But Hezbollah, which fought Israel to a standstill in a 34-day war six years ago, says it has been re-arming since then and has a far deadlier arsenal than Hamas. Nasrallah has said Hezbollah could kill tens of thousands of people and strike anywhere inside Israel if hostilities break out again.
"If the confrontation with the Gaza Strip ... had a range of 40 to 70 km, the battle with us will range over the whole of occupied Palestine - from the Lebanese border to the Jordanian border, to the Red Sea," Nasrallah said.
Hezbollah could hit targets "from Kiryat Shmona - and let the Israelis listen carefully - from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat", he said, referring to Israeli's northernmost town on the Lebanese border to the Red Sea port 290 miles further south.
I'll be traveling to Israel very soon and will have more details on all of these troubling developments from on the ground. Stay tuned.