July 28, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Intelligence Warns of Growing Threat at Israel-Lebanon Border 

July 28, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Intelligence Warns of Growing Threat at Israel-Lebanon Border 

Latest Developments 

Israeli intelligence personnel have issued increasingly dire warnings about security on Israel’s northern border, Israeli media reported on July 28. According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received multiple letters — including as recently as last week — from the Israeli military’s Intelligence Directorate warning him of high prospects for escalation with the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah. The letters warn that Hezbollah and Iran are monitoring internal unrest in Israel and view the Jewish state’s deterrence as being at a historic low point. The intelligence reports also claim that the reforms weaken the U.S.-Israel alliance, further harming deterrence. 

The warnings come as internal protests over the Israeli government’s judicial reforms have raised concern that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) lacks the readiness and capability to respond to various threats by Iran-backed groups.  

Expert Analysis 

“The status quo on Israel’s northern border has been relatively peaceful for years, but recent provocations by Hezbollah have disrupted this tranquility. Fueled by Israel’s political instability and a prolonged cycle of violence in the West Bank, Hezbollah and Iran perceive this as an opportune moment to advance their strategy of acting militarily against the Jewish state.” Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal 

“Hezbollah rightly calculates that America’s posture in Lebanon constrains Israel and amplifies the group’s deterrence of the IDF. Therefore, the IDF intelligence’s reading that fraying U.S.-Israel ties weaken deterrence against Hezbollah misunderstands America’s posture. The United States is extending a de facto protective umbrella to Lebanon and opposes Israeli military action. Israel and the United States are not aligned in Lebanon.” Tony Badran, FDD Research Fellow 

Hezbollah’s Escalation 

For years, the IDF has warned of Hezbollah’s growing military capabilities. Experts estimate that Hezbollah possesses 150,000 rockets and 500 precision-guided missiles aimed at Israel with the intention of overwhelming Israeli defense systems. However, the terrorist group has avoided armed conflict with Israel since the 2006 Second Lebanon War. 

That may change. On March 13, a Hezbollah operative crossed the border into Israel and planted a roadside bomb at Megiddo junction that injured an Arab-Israeli driver. Armed Hezbollah fighters erected a tent in Israeli territory on April 8, near the disputed Blue Line, and set up a second tent a week later. On July 6, Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at Israel’s northern border, with parts of the projectile landing in Israeli territory. The IDF responded to the attack with artillery.  

On July 12, three Hezbollah operatives received non-lethal injuries from IDF stun grenades after attempting to sabotage the security fence between Israel and Lebanon. On July 25, the IDF released a video of Hezbollah members patrolling the Lebanon-Israel border near the Israeli community of Dovev. The IDF did not specify the date the video was filmed, saying only that it happened “last week.” 

Israel Repels Hezbollah Sabotage of Lebanese Border Fence,” FDD Flash Brief 

Hezbollah Establishes Armed Posts in Israeli Territory,” FDD Flash Brief 

Why is Hezbollah poking Israel?” by Hussain Abdul-Hussain 


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