January 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah Attacks Israel Using Kamikaze Drones

January 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah Attacks Israel Using Kamikaze Drones

Latest Developments

The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah attacked Israel on January 9 using kamikaze drones. The drones targeted the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Northern Command base in the city of Safed in northern Israel. Footage from the scene of the attack showed smoke rising from one of the impacts near a parking lot. The IDF said that the base received minor damage but was operating as usual. Hezbollah has escalated attacks on Israel in recent days.

Expert Analysis

“Drones are among several Hezbollah threats that have increased in recent years. Hezbollah has used drones frequently to target Israel after the Hamas attack on October 7. It is essential that Hezbollah be deterred and prevented from continuing attacks on northern Israel.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Israel appears to be weighing the safety of its civilians against the cost of war with Hezbollah. So far, neither side wants an all-out war. However, the terror regime is rolling the dice with every rocket, drone, or antitank missile it fires towards Israel. One Hezbollah miscalculation could tip the scales, change the Israeli calculus, and result in a war that would have dire consequences for Lebanon and Israel.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Israel Responds to Increased Hezbollah Attacks

IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on January 8, in response to Hezbollah threats against Israel, that “we responded with fire to areas from which launches were identified toward Israeli territory.” Hezbollah has carried out daily attacks against Israel since October 7, when Hamas attacked southern Israel and massacred 1,200 people. Hezbollah’s attacks have forced more than 80,000 Israelis to evacuate border communities in northern Israel. “As we have stated since the beginning of the war, we will not tolerate a threat near the northern border. We said it, and we mean it,” Hagari said.

“Hezbollah’s ongoing terrorist activity and attacks against Israel violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” the IDF reiterated on January 9. The resolution is supposed to disarm Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Instead, Hezbollah has increased its armed presence and threats.

Hezbollah Drone Threats

Hezbollah has been using kamikaze drones to threaten Israel in recent attacks, including the attack on January 9 that targeted the Israeli city of Safed and IDF Northern Command. The Alma Research and Education Center, which tracks threats to northern Israel, estimated in 2021 that Hezbollah had approximately 2,000 unmanned aerial vehicles. The IDF said on January 7 and 8 that there were “hostile aircraft,” a term for drones, that infiltrated northern Israel near border communities. Iranian-backed terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis, have increasingly used drones to carry out attacks.

Hezbollah Uses Drones to Target Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel: Time Running Out for Hezbollah to Back Off,” FDD Flash Brief

Elite Hezbollah Commander Killed in Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief


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