This is what we read in an article in the Washington Post: US officials fear that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu may consider the expansion of the crisis to Lebanon as the key to his political survival
President Biden has sent some of his most trusted advisors to the Middle East with a mission of the utmost importance: to prevent the outbreak of a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah. This is what we read in an article in the Washington Post, which recalls that “Israel has defined the regular firefight between its forces and Hezbollah along the border as unsustainable, announcing that it could soon launch a major military operation in Lebanon”.
“We prefer the path of an agreed diplomatic solution,” he clarified on Friday Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, “but we are approaching the point where the hourglass will tip over.” US officials fear – explains the American newspaper – that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may consider the expansion of the crisis to Lebanon as the key to his political survival, at a time when he is surrounded by internal criticism for the inability of the his government to prevent the Hamas attack on 7 October.
The US warns the Jewish state
During private conversations, the US administration has warned Israel of a significant escalation in Lebanon: A new confidential assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) warns that it would be difficult for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to achieve success because their resources and military assets would be too spread out due to the conflict in Gaza, according to sources familiar with the document cited by the newspaper which spoke with over a dozen officials and diplomats. Secretary of State Antony Blinken left for the Middle East Thursday evening for the fourth time since Israel launched its war on Gaza following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.
THE American officials fear that a full-scale conflict between Israel and Lebanon would lead to more bloodshed than the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war due to Hezbollah’s substantially larger arsenal of long-range and precision weapons. “The number of victims in Lebanon could be between 300,000 and 500,000 and it would result in a massive evacuation of all of northern Israel,” commented Bilal Saab, a Lebanon expert at the Middle East Institute, a Washington think tank. Hezbollah it could hit Israel deeper than before, hitting sensitive targets like petrochemical plants and nuclear reactors, and Iran could activate militias across the region. “I don’t think it would be limited to these two antagonists.”