Lebanon

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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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (March 26-April 1, 2024)

Hezbollah attacked Israeli military and civilian targets along the border. The IDF attacked Hezbollah targets and an al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya target in south Lebanon. Hezbollah reported 17 deaths, including the deputy commander of Hezbollah's rocket and missile unit and a senior operative of the al-Radwan Force. A senior Hezbollah figure said the organization was stockpiling weapons and was also interested in advanced weapons systems. According to a single, unverified report, a senior Hezbollah figure told the UAE that Hezbollah was prepared to stop fighting in south Lebanon and declare the border area along the blue line a demilitarized zone, after which it would be possible to reach an agreement on demarcating the land border between Israel and Lebanon. Criticism of Hezbollah was voiced in Lebanon, mainly by Christians, for the organization's dragging Lebanon into an unnecessary war. A UNIFIL vehicle was hit in the Rmeish area, injuring four UNIFIL soldiers. Hezbollah blamed Israel. The IDF spokesperson said the IDF had not attacked near Rmeish. Local residents reported Hezbollah operations in the region. According to a UN report, there are 90,491 displaced persons in Lebanon. An airstrike in the Aleppo region of Syria, attributed to Israel, reportedly killed 36 Syrian soldiers and seven Hezbollah operatives.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (March 19-25, 2024)

Hezbollah continued attacking Israeli military targets along the Israel-Lebanon border. In response, IDF forces attacked Hezbollah's military infrastructure in south Lebanon. Following the IDF attack on Hezbollah targets in Ba'albek in the Lebanon Valley, Hezbollah launched more than 60 rockets at the Golan Heights. Hezbollah reported two deaths (for the first time in about ten days). Amal reported one dead. The IDF spokesperson in Arabic exposed the use made of civilian ambulances by Hezbollah and Amal operatives for military purposes. An unprecedented deployment of Hezbollah operatives was reported in the southern district of Beirut, the Dahiyeh al-Janoubia, a Hezbollah stronghold Officials in Lebanon, mainly Christians, have been harshly critical of Hezbollah for entangling the country in an unnecessary war.Two attacks were reported in Syria, one on bases of Hezbollah and pro-Iranian militias and another on weapons storehouses north of Damascus.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 14, 2024 – March 20, 2024)

Continued coordination between Iran and its partners in the “axis of resistance:” The Iranian foreign minister sent letters to the leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah . Senior IRGC officials reportedly met in February 2024 with representatives of the “resistance front” from the region and agreed with them on the need to avoid expanding the war. The Syrian defense minister arrived in Tehran in mid-March 2024 for a visit and met with senior Iranian officials. Iran is reportedly using large European ports to provide cover for arms shipments to Hezbollah. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for launching UAVs at the Golan Heights and Ben Gurion Airport. Syrian news channels recently reported unusual activity by the pro-Iranian militias in the Albukamal area in eastern Syria. Houthi attacks in Yemen continue on a daily basis against vessels in the Red Sea.. On March 19, 2024, the Houthis announced the launch of cruise missiles at targets in the Eilat area
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (March 14 – 18, 2024)

Hezbollah continued attacking against Israeli military targets along the border, carrying out 29 attacks. In response, IDF forces attacked Hezbollah targets in south LebanonGiven the increase of IDF attacks in Lebanon, Hezbollah issued a video threatening reprisals in kind if the IDF continues expanding its attacks in Lebanon.According to a report, last month Esmail Qaani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' Qods Force, met with Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah. Nasrallah reportedly told him that Hezbollah would fight on its own against Israel, and called on Iran to remain uninvolved in direct fighting out of concern for the safety of its nuclear facilities and to avoid a confrontation with the United States.Hezbollah targets northeast of Damascus were attacked in an airstrike attributed to Israel.The British Telegraph reported that Iran smuggled weapons to Hezbollah using ships passing through the Suez Canal en route to ports in Europe.
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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.