Local media reports IDF is set to launch full-blown war with Hezbollah in Lebanon
02/02/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

A Lebanese media outlet recently reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's military is preparing to launch a massive and all-out war with the Shia Islamist political party and militant group Hezbollah sometime soon.

As per LBCI News, a leading TV station and news website in Beirut, an intelligence report on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) plans has been sent to the Lebanese group by an unnamed Arab country and the impending IDF campaign would be aimed at compelling the militants to abide by United Nations Security Resolution 1701, which was adopted after the end of the last Israel-Lebanon war in 2006. The UN document facilitated the creation of a demilitarized zone along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Hezbollah, in a show of support to the Palestinians, has been firing rockets and mortar shells at Israeli positions since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. This likewise has invited retaliatory strikes from Netanyahu’s troops. However, what escalated the conflict was when an Israeli strike killed Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut. In fact, Israeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi said last week that the possibility of a conflict with Beirut was "much higher than it was in the past," adding that the IDF was in a state of "increasing readiness" for cross-border attacks.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib warned that the involvement of other countries in the Israel-Hamas fighting would be "unacceptable." He also said that a war with Lebanon would not be "a picnic" for Israel. Also, Hezbollah's Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that they are ready to fight, arguing that Lebanon has no fear of war over the United States and Israeli threats. He said that they would "fight back twice as hard and deal a blow to the enemy." (Related: Israel cannot beat Hezbollah, DIA's secret assessment concludes.)

The United States government has remained steadfast in its unwavering support to Israel but President Joe Biden sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Middle East to prevent further escalation between the IDF and Hezbollah. A report from the Washington Post indicated that U.S. officials are concerned that Netanyahu may want to attack Israel’s northern neighbor amid the growing criticism of his government’s failure to prevent the Hamas October 7 incursion, which left around 1,200 people dead. The report also suggested that the IDF would find it "difficult to succeed" in a two-front war against Hamas and Hezbollah.

ICJ orders Israel to stop genocide in Gaza – a warning to U.S. and Western supporters to back off

Analysts have come out with speculations that Biden may start reining in Israel now that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the latter to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza and start allowing more aid into the besieged territory.

The UN's highest judicial body may have stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire but at least it is holding Netanyahu accountable for its military actions, they said, adding that Biden's unqualified support for Israel since the conflict started has been bringing the country to potential complicity in genocide and global condemnation. While it could take years for the court to rule on whether Israel has committed genocide, the interim measures are intended to prevent conditions in Gaza from getting worse while the case makes its way through the tribunal’s process. The Western powers that have backed Israel unconditionally may want to start avoiding being implicated in supporting genocide.

"By allowing the case brought by South Africa to go forward and calling on Israel to comply with the genocide convention and to report back to the court within a month, the said ICJ ruling is like a slap to the Western backers, especially to Blinken, who described South Africa’s case as ‘meritless’ a few weeks ago," a commentary by Mohamad Bazzi on the Guardian included. Bazzi, the director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies and a journalism professor at New York University, also said that Biden and Blinken failed to live up to a highly touted promise, made a month after their administration took office in 2021, to put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy. The administration said it is "committed to a world in which human rights are protected, their defenders are celebrated, and those who commit human rights abuses are held accountable." The said promise faltered even before the Gaza war when Biden continued the decades-long U.S. policy of providing military aid and diplomatic support to repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt while ignoring their human rights violations and suppression of dissent.

He also said that the president's effort to protect Israel from criticism over heavy civilian casualties and the ways it has conducted its war in Gaza exposed the U.S. not only to international condemnation and charges of hypocrisy, but to potential complicity in war crimes.

Bazzi even pointed out how Biden requested more than $14 billion in funding for weapons and other military aid to Israel from Congress. But instead of using that leverage to end the war, he has gone out of his way to shield U.S. weapons sales and shipments to Israel from public scrutiny and congressional approval.

Head over to WWIII.news to get more updates on the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

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