December 5, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Responds to Hezbollah Attacks with Airstrikes in Lebanon

December 5, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Responds to Hezbollah Attacks with Airstrikes in Lebanon

Latest Developments

The Israeli Air Force conducted airstrikes on December 5 against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in response to repeated attacks by the terrorist group. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Israeli fighter jets “struck Hezbollah launch posts, terror infrastructure, and a military compound.” In particular, Israel responded to rocket fire against the northern Israeli community of Zarit by striking “the sources of fire,” the IDF said. The military said it also “struck a few other locations in Lebanese territory” to eliminate unspecified threats.

Expert Analysis

“Iranian-backed Hezbollah has used the Israel-Hamas war as an excuse to launch attacks on northern Israel. When the pause in fighting ended in Gaza, Hezbollah began firing rockets and launching attacks against Israeli communities. This illustrates how Hezbollah coordinates with Iran and Hamas to threaten Israel. This is part of a larger Iranian-backed attack on Israel and U.S. forces in the region that has included attacks in Iraq and Syria as well as attacks by the Houthis in the Red Sea. Iran must be deterred from using these groups to threaten the region.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Hezbollah’s attacks have been diverting the attention of the Israeli military, effectively inhibiting it from allocating its full resources to Gaza. This Hezbollah strategy is an attempt to aid Hamas and impede Israel’s ability to destroy Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip in a timely manner.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Increased Hezbollah Attacks

After refraining from attacks against Israel from November 24 to December 1, Hezbollah resumed attacks when the pause in fighting in Gaza ended. The terror group has launched numerous daily attacks in the four days since, causing a rise in cross-border tensions. On December 2, for example, an anti-tank missile fired by Hezbollah wounded 12 Israeli civilians in the town of Beit Hillel. On December 3, there also were two attacks on Israel from Syria, both involving projectiles that landed in open areas, according to the IDF. The IDF did not specify which group carried out those attacks.

On December 4, Hezbollah fired mortars toward Israel, lightly injuring three IDF soldiers. The IDF said it attacked a Hezbollah weapons depot that day in response and published video footage of the strike. Hezbollah also targeted Kiryat Shmona, a city in northern Israel, with missiles. In addition, Hezbollah launched mortars from Lebanon targeting the Bedouin community of Arab al-Aramshe in northern Israel.

Israel’s Defense Minister Visits Lebanese Border,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Uses Drones to Target Israel,” FDD Policy Brief

Israel Deepens Gaza City Push,” FDD Flash Brief


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