The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Rocket fire from Lebanon: a second front for Israel?

HezbollahWith the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza continuing to rage and truce talks still far from bearing fruit, a militant group in Lebanon raised the possibility of opening a new front in the war Thursday.

Three Katyusha rockets were fired from southern Lebanon, one of them hitting a nursing home in the northern city of Nahariya, Israel, injuring two people.

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Israel responded immediately with five artillery shells, which a military spokesman said was “a pinpoint response at the source of fire.”

Neither Israel nor Hezbollah in Lebanon want another war, say analysts. But that doesn’t mean that Hezbollah – or its allies – won’t launch small attacks on Israel or target Israeli aircraft over Lebanon, they say.

Israeli officials were reluctant to declare this the opening of another front, given that the rockets may have been fired by a pro-Palestinian militant group, but not by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah. Still, the devastating 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah – and by default, all of Lebanon – hangs like a specter over the current fighting and is serving as both a model and an obstacle to reaching a cease-fire with Hamas.

“The first assumption is that it’s not Hezbollah, it’s global jihadists, groups much more connected with Al Qaeda,” says Col. (Res.) Miri Eisin, a spokesperson for the Israeli government. “We’re talking about a group that doesn’t care about Lebanon or its politics, but uses it as a base, the way other militants do with Afghanistan or Iraq.”

“That’s part of the challenge,” she adds. “Distinguishing between isolated incidents and opening a second front.” She points out that just 10 days ago, the Lebanese government dismantled eight rockets it found aimed at Israel, indicating its intent to keep up its commitments to stop rocket fire from its territory.

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Source: By Ilene R. Prusher The Christian Science Monitor


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