June 3, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

Is Hezbollah beginning to anticipate IDF’s responses?

The Alma Research and Education Center: "Hezbollah attacks doubled in May."
June 3, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

Is Hezbollah beginning to anticipate IDF’s responses?

The Alma Research and Education Center: "Hezbollah attacks doubled in May."

The Alma Research and Education Center concluded that May 2024 was the month with the “highest intensity of Hezbollah attacks against Israel since October 2023.” The attacks are increasing and it is clear that Hezbollah is not deterred, something that can be clearly felt and observed on the Northern border on June 2.

The Alma report provides clear evidence of how Hezbollah is changing tactics: “Throughout May 2024, Hezbollah carried out 325 attacks. The daily average of attacks was 10 per day, whereas in April, Hezbollah carried out 238 attacks with an average of 7.8 attacks per day,” the report reads. “In terms of analyzing the weapons used by Hezbollah, in May 2024 there was a significant increase in the number of incidents in the use of anti-tank missiles and UAVs, twofold compared to April 2024,” it adds.

Anti-tank missiles are one of the main weapons in the Hezbollah arsenal, with Alma saying that there were 95 incidents in May, compared to 50 in April. Hezbollah has also rapidly increased its drone threats, over the last week using drones to target Nahariya and the Golan.

The sirens activated throughout the North due to drone threats show that this increase has gotten to the point where Hezbollah sometimes uses drones more often than rockets.

“In May 2024, Hezbollah’s operation of the UAV array exhibits a pronounced upward trend. The number of UAV incidents targeting Israel has increased by more than twelve-fold over the past four months.

As previously mentioned, there were 85 UAV infiltrations into Israeli territory in May 2024, compared to 42 in April, 24 in March, and 7 in February 2024,” the Alma report reads. It added there were more incidents of other attacks: “From the beginning of the combat in the North, on October 8, 2023, until May 31, 2024, Hezbollah carried out 1,964 attacks on the northern border. 46% of these were carried out against civilian infrastructure and civilian areas.”

Hezbollah is increasing the range and type of threats

The overall picture that is painted is of Iranian-backed Hezbollah increasing the range and type of threats looks a lot like impunity. As June began, Hezbollah increased its attacks even more, sending drones over the last few days to attack Israel’s coastal region, with attacks near Kiryat Shmona causing massive fires to break out.

Alma also noted on Monday that “Hezbollah launched dozens of Grad rockets toward the city of Katzrin, causing fires around the city. Hezbollah claimed the attack aimed at a military base and was in response to the IDF attack in the Beqaa a day earlier.”

The IDF responds to these attacks, but Hezbollah likely has already calculated into its framework of escalation the fact that the IDF will respond.

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei made a few statements on Monday praising Hezbollah and describing Israel as being defeated by Iranian-backed groups: “An army which once claimed to be one of the world’s strongest armies has been defeated by groups from Hamas and Hezbollah while trying to guard itself in the south and in the north,” the Iranian Supreme Leader wrote.“

Operation Al-Aqsa Flood disrupted the Zionist regime’s comprehensive plan to dominate the politics and economy of the entire region of West Asia, and there is no hope that they will be able to revive this plan,” he added.

Iran appears to be coordinating more threats to Israel: Hamas in Gaza continues to carry out attrition attacks on the IDF, as Hezbollah escalates. The picture being painted here is a hot month ahead, with possible escalation. 

Seth Frantzman is the author of Drone Wars: Pioneers, Killing Machine, Artificial Intelligence and the Battle for the Future (Bombardier 2021) and an adjunct fellow at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power