The border between Israel and Lebanon is deceptively quiet. But on the other side of the fence lies Hezbollah with more than one hundred thousand rockets that can hit almost anywhere inside Israel.
Retired Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. Sarit Zehavi studies the danger of Hezbollah through her work at Alma Research and Education Center.
“All of them were brought to Lebanon in order to be launched against Israel one day” Zehavi told CBN News.
“Hezbollah is the proxy of Iran in the region. It’s the most professional proxy of Iran in the region. It’s the most equipped and dangerous proxy of Iran in the region. And we are here standing, looking in the eyes of Hezbollah and the people that are raising their kids just a few feet from us, every morning, looking in the eyes of Hezbollah,” Zehavi said.
The village of Hanita sits right on the Israel-Lebanon border. Children play outside at the kindergarten, but the sense of danger is real and ever-present for those living there.
In 2006, they lived through a 34-day war, which saw Hezbollah fire nearly 4000 rockets into Israel. That barrage paralyzed northern Israel, chasing a million Israelis to the south while the rest spent most of that month in bomb shelters.
In 2021, the IDF believes Hezbollah is once again considering attacking Israel in what Zehavi describes as “days of battle.”
“Days of battle would mean that the people that are living just here would not be able to get out of their home because it will be too dangerous. Meaning that their children will hear the sirens and will have to run for shelter. This is the reality that is unbearable for the people of the north of Israel over here,” Zehavi said.
There is just one active border crossing between Israel and Lebanon. The United Nations base is just down the road within a no man’s land and with an IDF base on the Israeli side keeping watch over Hezbollah.
“Their threat is no joke and we never underestimate our enemy, but we keep training. We keep practicing. We keep on gathering intelligence in always getting prepared and keeping readiness for the next conflict, for the next fight, making sure we have the upper hand in all of this conflict,” IDF Lt. Reguli Dalton told CBN News.
Dalton described Hezbollah’s military strategy as one of blending in by creating a virtual civilian camouflage.
“Hezbollah decided to take this step and make all of its establishments in southern Lebanon based on civilian clothing, civilian territory, and civilian houses; really blend itself, camouflage itself into the population and keep operating in,” Dalton said.
“They know to hide, whether it’s taking over civilian villages or households and setting base up over there … but our intelligence is strong enough to understand their work and how they operate and to really pinpoint the location of their bases inside civilian territory,” Dalton added.
Another hidden weapon in Hezbollah’s arsenal is these underground tunnels along the border.
CBN News got a rare look into one that took years to build. Measuring at least twenty-five stories deep, it had already crossed into Israeli territory before the IDF uncovered and sealed it.
Zehavi’s organization identified another weapon by exposing Hezbollah assembling precision-guided missiles inside Beirut.
Middle East expert and author of The Beirut Protocol, Joel Rosenberg, warns about what might happen as the Biden administration considers re-entering the Iranian nuclear deal.
“Most Americans, most Christians in the United States, North America, around the world don’t realize Lebanon is important to Iran because it is the forward operating base of their most aggressive, offensive attack, whenever they decide to attack Israel,” Rosenberg told CBN News.
“If Israel feared that the Biden Administration were to go down some road of negotiations that was short-sighted, ill-conceived, and dangerous, Israel might have to attack to neutralize those sites,” Rosenberg said.
That could trigger Hezbollah.
“What would Iran do? Iran would unleash a barrage, the most devastating missile attack in all of the history of mankind. They have upwards of, I hear, 150,000 missiles positioned right across that border all through Southern Lebanon. And they would light up the skies and all of Israel’s defense, all of the missile defenses we have would do some good but it couldn’t possibly stop a barrage of thousands and thousands of missiles coming in every day,” Rosenberg explained.
Israel’s leaders realize those dangers. Some believe the IDF’s goal would be to make its next response so massive, that the next war with Hezbollah would be known as the last.
** Originally published 3/12/2021
Why does Judaism matter and how is it connected to Christianity? Learn more here.