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Northern Lights: Hizballah Attack Opens Israeli Front

Hizballah captured two IDF soldiers and killed up to seven in an attack under a heavy Katyusha rocket and mortar barrage into Israel that targeted both IDF units and Israeli civilian communities near Zarit in the Israeli-Lebanese border. The IDF immediately launched counter-attacks and began a systematic search for the captured soldiers.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the attacks an “act of war” and did not distinguish between the Hizballah terrorists and the government of Lebanon. Calling an emergency cabinet meeting as the IDF called up a reserve infantry battalion to deploy along the northern border, Olmert held the Lebanese government responsible for allowing Hizballah to roam freely and heavily armed in its territory. A senior IDF officer was quoted by Haaretz as saying “if the abducted soldiers are not returned we’ll turn Lebanon’s clock back 20 years.”

With Operation Summer Rains ongoing in the Gaza Strip and counterterrorism raids increased in the West Bank, a new hot front has opened in the Israeli conflict.

Former Knesset speaker and current Minister of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin of the Likud party said that “We must come to grips with the fact that we are at war and act accordingly.”

Israel is indeed at war. The war to the south in Gaza and the war to the north on the Lebanese border should not be distinguished as distinct and separate conflicts, as there is a cohesion of common cause among the terrorists in both directions: The destruction of Israel. Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman in Lebanon made this abundantly clear in his statement of solidarity with Hizballah. “We have proven to this enemy (Israel) that the one option is the release of Palestinian, Lebanese and Arab captives. All captives, without exception. Now Israel has to decide on its choices.”

Hizballah released a statement on the abductions of the two IDF soldiers that indicates that, not unlike the motive of Hamas in the Gaza abduction of Gilad Shalit, the plan is for a prisoner swap. “Fulfilling its pledge to liberate the (Arab) prisoners and detainees, the Islamic Resistance … captured two Israeli soldiers at the border with occupied Palestine.”

The common strategies and tactics are no mistake. Hizballah has been coordinating attacks with Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad as well as Hamas in the Palestinian territories. The Hamas and Hizballah headquarters are practically across the street from one another, sharing common safe haven in Damascus, Syria and a common hated enemy in Israel.

Feedback

Of course the backers of both these groups are Iran and Syria. Until they are dealt with this is likely to continue.

Could this be the prelude to the big one??!! Will Syria sent troops to Lebanon? Remember the Arab's secret weapon was always "time." Time to get stronger and time for the supporters of Israel to grow weary. The US has problems in Iraq, Afghanistan not to mention the PRK and Iran. And Bush has gone from a rootin-tootin-shootin cowboy to get along little doggie.

Suddenly, the Saudi initiative may be looking mighty attractive to the world.

Blackspeare:

No, Syria will not send troops into Lebanon (with a caveat).

Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq were dispatched in Six Days simultaneously. Syria wants no part of Israel on any battlefield, as the Syrian military has largely done little more than mark time in the nearly forty years since. Israel has decidedly not.

This is precisely why Israel faces the terrorist threat it does today: because they cannot be defeated by the combined militaries of the Middle Eastern armies that would embark upon the mission again.

Hizballah is the 'army' Syria - along with Iran - has sent to do battle with Israel.

Iran's not-so-secret weapon may be time, but the 'Arab' secret weapon (in terms of Islamists who would have Israel destroyed) is clearly not. It - and the terrorism employed within it - is simply all they have left to cling to seeking that destruction.

The 'rootin-tootin-shootin' terrorists are rarely criticized for their rhettoric, while an American president is roundly condemned by his own for far, far less, dare he stand before them and not shudder in acquiscence.

It's astonishing to watch, really.

Mr. Schippert...

You are probably right about Syria since the Iraqi Army can no longer align with Syria to bolster their military. I am a proponent of "Fortress Israel" where Israel unilateraly sets borders and any infringement of those borders as the case with Hizballah and Lebanon would be met with intense and decisive action.

Hizbullah is not only Syria's military option with regard to Israel, it is also its political ace in the whole on the Lebanon front. Hizbullah's deal with Maronite leader Imad Meshal Aoun has allowed them to jam the progress of the pro-democracy bloc in the parliament, and the momentum built up last year has been lost. What Damascus needs is continued instability in Lebanon and Iraq; until Iraq stabilizes, Syria's democratic opposition can be hit with the charge that they will make Syria "another Iraq." (I notice this a lot in the Arab media.)

Also, in re to the Saudi initiative, despite its flaws it would provide a useful starting point for negotiations assuming that there was someone with whom to negotiate. That is simply not the case now. Abbas openly admits he has no power, and is considering resigning. Israel's current policy certainly will not provide a long-term solution, but there really isn't one until the Palestinians develop a consensus for peace. Right now that clearly doesn't exist.