Just like the transformers, there’s more than meets the eye in this weekend’s "L’affaire Lebanon"
The initial volley of fire that hit Israel coming from Hezbollah occupied Lebanon was in retaliation for the killing of a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist killed in a car bomb. Several katyusha rockets later IAF forces hit two Palestinian militant bases, that would have been the end of things if South Lebanon were a half normal place, but it isn’t.
It’s all in the escalation.
After the initial round robin heavy fire started coming down on northern Israel, and the response from Ehud Olmert was plain and swift.
Haaretz on the IAF destruction of Hezbollah listening posts along the northern border
A senior IDF staff officer told Haaretz that the IDF response in the afternoon was the most severe in the past six years since Israel withdrew its forces from southern Lebanon.
He said that some 20 positions were targeted with artillery, anti-tank missiles and light weapons. The air force struck two trucks carrying Katyusha launchers, destroying both. "The Hezbollah has a lot of repair work to do," the officer added.
However, at the General Staff concerns were expressed yesterday regarding the accuracy of Hezbollah’s Katyusha rockets. At about 5 P.M. the government of Lebanon issued a request through the United Nations force there (UNIFIL) for an immediate cease-fire. Israel acceded to the request, and the shooting stopped on both sides.
What interests me is the escalation, a Palestinian issue flares up with the aid of Syria & Iran through Hezbollah and all of a sudden the real danger of serious conflict becomes ever more apparent. The unwillingness of Lebanon’s PM Siniora to move against Hezbollah is a strategic threat to the whole region.
Lebanon is drawn in, the security council is drawn in, Israel is drawn in. By default Hezbollah drags in Iran and Syria.. If tensions escalate between Israel & Iran, and they will, this hyper prone to escalation animal that is Hezbollah and the tens of thousands of rockets they aim at Israel will make Lebanon ground zero for the ensuing military conflict.
Israel again made it plain that it expects Lebanon to deploy Lebanese army troops to the south and reign in Hezbollah once and for all, and comply with numerous fresh UN resolutions.. The response so far in Lebanon is denial.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh on Sunday accused Israel of "warlike aggression" against Lebanon following a string of Israel Air Force raids against militant positions on Lebanese soil, which were preceded by the firing of missiles into Israel from southern Lebanon.
"We consider the Israeli acts as a warlike aggression," the minister said. He stressed that Lebanon would carry out an investigation into the origin of the rockets fired at Israel earlier from southern Lebanon.
Following a request from the Lebanese government, United Nations peace-keepers brokered a cease-fire early Sunday evening between Israel and Hezbollah, bring the fighting to an end. [...]
A Lebanese official said the cease-fire was reached after Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora held contacts with UN peacekeepers, Hezbollah and the U.S., French and Russian ambassadors.
Siniora blamed Israel for the hostilities, saying an Israeli withdrawal from the Shaaba Farms, a sliver of territory occupied by Israel and claimed by Lebanon, was "the only way to stop the cycle of violence."
Expect more of the same denial and incompetence when things really start to smoke on the Lebanese border due to Iran, this round is over but the Iranian escalation has just begun.
[tags] Israel, Lebanon, Hezbollah[/tags]