Lebanon

Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (May 12-20, 2024)

This past week Hezbollah continued its escalation and claimed responsibility for 68 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, including the aerial detection and warning system surveillance blimp. The attacks killed an Israeli civilian and wounded 12 IDF soldiers. Hezbollah heavy rockets for the first time and for the first time launched S-5 air-to-surface rockets from a UAV. According to reports, Hezbollah changed its methods of operation to reduce the exposure of its operatives to Israeli aircraft by transferring operatives and weapons through a network of tunnels in south Lebanon and the remotely activating rockets using electronic timers.Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary general, said in a speech that as long as the war in the Gaza Strip continued, Hezbollah would continue to fight. He also claimed Israel failed to achieve its objectives in the war. Hassan Nasrallah met with a delegation of senior Hamas members. Najib Mikati, prime minister of the interim government in Lebanon, called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop its "aggression" against south Lebanon and Gaza and to start dealing with the situation in south Lebanon.A UAV attacked the vehicle of a Hezbollah commander and his escort on the Syrian side of Lebanese border. Hezbollah did not announce casualties.
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Criticism of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Objections to the War with Israel

With the ongoing fighting along the Israel-Lebanon border, criticism of Hezbollah continues in Lebanon, including the claim that the organization dragged Lebanon into an unnecessary war which does not serve the country's national interests and exacerbates Lebanon's already problematic internal situation. According to the claims, Hezbollah serves the interests of Iran, not Lebanon, Hezbollah is not "the protector of Lebanon," as it represents itself, but is dragging the country into the abyss of a severe economic-political crisis. Some of the organization's critics state that the only way to resolve the situation is by implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for the removal of Hezbollah from south Lebanon and replacing it with Lebanese army forces. For the most part the criticism comes from a handful of public figures and politicians, mostly Christians' and from a small number of Lebanese residents, mainly the Christian residents of the southIn most cases the protestors are content to express their criticism in writing, mainly on social networks, or orally. Some of them are very careful about what they say because they fear retaliation from Hezbollah which could endanger their lives. At the moment there are virtually no signs of any organized or public protest.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (May 6-12, 2024)

This past week Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 46 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel. In two of the attacks, three IDF soldiers were killed. Following the beginning of the IDF operation in Rafah, Hezbollah escalated its attacks In response, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked the organization's military infrastructure in south Lebanon and Hezbollah field commanders were eliminated in targeted attacks. Sources reported that Hezbollah was still preparing to carry out cross-border raids in the Galilee region. Na'im Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, said that Hezbollah would present its vision for south Lebanon after a complete ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.The Lebanese government forwarded France its response regarding proposals for a lull in the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel in south Lebanon. The damage to the south Lebanese infrastructure since the beginning of the fighting on October 8, 2023 is estimated at more than $1 billion.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (April 15-May 6, 2024)

Hezbollah continued it attacks, mainly on military and civilian targets in northern Israel and the Golan Heights, claiming responsibility for 126 attacks during the past three weeks. In two attacks (Har Dov and Arab al-Aramsheh) an IDF civilian worker and an IDF officer were killed. In response, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked Hezbollah's military infrastructure in south Lebanon and the Ba'albek region. Senior Hezbollah and other terrorist organization operatives were targeted and eliminated. Hezbollah continues to reiterate its [so-called] "equation" in the conflict with Israel, according to which harming Lebanese citizens will result in a counter attack on civilian targets in northern Israel. Lebanon's negotiations with the United States, France and Great Britain continue for an arrangement on the Israel-Lebanon. Rockets were fired at Israel from Syrian territory; there were no casualties. In response, IDF tanks attacked the sources of the rocket fire. Two attacks on targets in southern Syria were attributed to Israel. A senior Hezbollah terrorist operative was killed in Dara'a; he had been in charge of recruiting operatives for the pro-Iranian militias.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (April 8-15, 2024)

This past week Hezbollah continued attacking Israel, mostly military targets in the north and the Golan Heights, and claimed responsibility for 38 attacks. The attacks close to the April 14, 2024, Iranian attack on Israel, Hezbollah mainly targeted Israeli air defense sites in the Golan Heights, apparently to assist and support Iran. The Iranian attack caused Hezbollah to raise its military alert. Hezbollah praised the Iranian attack, claiming it was Iran's "right to respond," adding that the Iranian attack would initiate a new phase in the Palestinian issue. During the attack there were outpourings of joy in the southern suburb of Beirut. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary general noting that Israel's attack in Syria was unusual because it targeted "Iranian territory," making it a direct attack on Iran, not Syria. A money changer with ties to Hezbollah and Hamas was killed in the town of Beit Meri, about seven kilometers (about 4.4 miles) east of Beirut.In Syria, the Israeli Air Force attacked a Hezbollah military facility in the al-Quneitra region. According to reports, Syrian army weapons storehouses, apparently also used by Hezbollah, were damaged.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (April 1-8, 2024)

This past week Hezbollah continued its attacks on northern Israel, attacking military and civilian targets 43 times. In response, the IDF attacked Hezbollah facilities along the border and in Ba'albek. in one of the attacks a senior operative in Hezbollah's Radwan Force was killed.Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary general, delivered two speeches for World Jerusalem Day. In his speeches he emphasized the "uniqueness" of Jerusalem Day this year, claiming that Israel was on the road to destruction and that Hezbollah was ready for any scenario.Hezbollah, the Lebanese foreign ministry and other government groups condemned the airstrike attributed to Israel near the Iranian embassy in Damascus, where Muhammad Rada Zahedi (Hassan Mahdawi), the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' Qods Force commander in Syria and Lebanon, his deputy and five other Iranians were killed. This past week, to raise the morale of its soldiers, Hezbollah published a large number of notices on social networks threatening Israel. Internal Lebanese criticism of Hezbollah gained momentum, mainly from Christian groups. UNIFIL is investigating an incident in which four security force operatives were injured by an explosion in the area of Rmeish, in south Lebanon. According to the initial investigation, they were injured when a mine exploded. The economic situation in south Lebanon is deteriorating, and reportedly there is a shortage of medicines.
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Lebanon

Lebanon is a small country with a population of only about 4.1 million. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon borders on Israel in the south and Syria in the east and north. It gained its independence from France on November 22, 1943. Due to Lebanon’s varied ethnic composition, its history is rife with schisms, conflicts and civil wars based on sectarian allegiances. Since its independence, Lebanon has had a unique political system of ethnic distribution with a parliamentary democracy based on ethnic-sectarian-religious representation. The most important offices are divided among the various religious groups, in accordance with the national charter of 1943.


Lebanon’s social complexity, the weakness of its central government, and the social and economic gaps between the various ethnic groups led to the rise of many armed sectarian-political militias, some of which turned to terrorism. The most prominent Shiite terrorist organization in Lebanon is Hezbollah, which was founded in the summer of 1982 during the First Lebanon War. It is not only a terrorist organization which owes its allegiance to the Iranian regime, it has also been incorporated into the Lebanese political system.


Lebanon has traditionally served as an arena for foreign forces, both Middle Eastern and international. In the past, Syria’s intervention in Lebanon was most conspicuous. Today, Iran’s intervention is most conspicuous: it provides Hezbollah in Lebanon with weapons, ammunition, financing and military training. The border between Israel and Lebanon has undergone some tense periods and several confrontations where IDF forces entered the Lebanese territory. Since the Second Lebanon War (2006), the border between Israel and Lebanon has been relatively quiet, a situation exploited by Hezbollah to advance its military buildup and intensely intervene in the civil war in Syria, under Iranian direction.