Israel’s Next War: Today the Gaza Strip, Tomorrow Lebanon?

 Israel is searching for a justification or a pretext to launch another war against Lebanon. 

Washington and Tel Aviv had initially hoped to control Beirut through client political forces in the March 14 Alliance. When it became apparent that these political forces could not dominate Lebanon politically the Israeli military was unleashed on Lebanon with a goal of bringing about the ultimate downfall of Hezbollah and its political allies. [2] Areas where support for Hezbollah and its political allies were strongest saw the harshest Israeli attacks in 2006 as part of an attempt to reduce, if not remove, popular support for them.

After the 2006 war, the second Israeli defeat in Lebanon, Washington and Tel Aviv with the help of Jordan, the U.A.E., Egypt, and Saudi Arabia started arming their clients in Lebanon to wield an internal armed option against Hezbollah and its allies. In the wake of both the short-lived internal violence between the Lebanese National Opposition and the March 14 Alliance and the Doha Accord, which was reached in Qatar on May 21, 2008 as a result of the failure of this internal armed option against Hezbollah and its allies, the Israeli-U.S. objective to subdue Lebanon has been dramatically impaired.

A “national unity government” was formed in which the Lebanese National Opposition — not just Hezbollah — hold veto power through one-third of the cabinet chairs, including that of the post of deputy-prime minister. 

The objective in Lebanon is “regime change” and to repress all forms of political opposition. But how to bring it about? The forecast of the 2009 general-elections in Lebanon does not look favourable for the March 14 Alliance. Without an internal political or armed option in Lebanon, which could result in the installation of a U.S.-sponsored “democracy,” Washington and its indefictible Israeli ally have chosen the only avenue available: a military solution, another war on Lebanon. [3]   

Crossing Arms III: Israel Simulates a Two-Front War against Lebanon and Syria

This war is already in the advanced planning stage. In November 2008, barely a month before Tel Aviv started its massacre in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military held drills for a two-front war against Lebanon and Syria called Shiluv Zro’ot III (Crossing Arms III).[4] 

The military exercise included a massive simulated invasion of both Syria and Lebanon. Several months before the Israeli invasion drills, Tel Aviv had also warned Beirut that it would declare war on the whole of Lebanon and not just Hezbollah.[5]

Israel’s justification for these war preparations was that Hezbollah has grown stronger and become a partner in the Lebanese government since the Doha Accord. The latter was signed in Qatar between the March 14 Alliance and the Lebanese National Opposition. It is worth noting that Hezbollah was a member of the Lebanese coaltion government prior to the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.

No doubt, Tel Aviv will also point to Hezbollah’s support of Hamas in Gaza as another pretext to wage under the banner of combating Islamic terrorism a pre-emptive war on Lebanon. In this context, Dell Lee Dailey the head of the counter-terrorism section of the U.S. State Department, had told Al-Hayat in an interview that an Israeli attack on Lebanon was “imminent” as part of the fight against terrorism. [6] READ ARTICLE

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