“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest.” (Isaiah 62:6)
Last Wednesday morning, it looked as if there might be war between Israel and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah after it fired anti-tank missiles toward Mount Dov, killing Israeli soldiers Major Yohai Klinger (25) and First Sergeant Dor Nini (20).
An additional seven wounded were evacuated to hospitals in the north.
An early investigation revealed that a minimum of five anti-tank missiles had been fired at the IDF convoy hitting at least two army vehicles on route 999, which is a public highway, in the Shebaa Farms area of Israel. (Jerusalem Online)
Just three hours before Sergeant Nini was killed, he had posted on his girlfriend Sahar Salem’s Facebook page of a photo of her wrapped in his arm. He wrote,he “Good morning” #Love #MyHeart.” (JPost)
The night before, while traveling to the North, Nini told her he’d be returning home the next day and sent her the following texts, expressing his love for her:
“First and great love of my life, I wanted to tell you how much I love you, wonderful woman, a woman who has in her everything from everything, of whom I wish no change, the thing most dear and beloved to me in the world and I truly love you my dear wife. So my life, may you have a good night. God, I’m crazy about you.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded to the attack with artillery fire into South Lebanon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “those behind the attack will pay.”
The attack was condemned by the US when a State Department spokesman called it a “blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.”
She added, “We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and continue to urge all parties to respect the blue line between Israel and Lebanon.” (Times of Israel)
Hezbollah said that the attack was in retaliation for an alleged Israeli strike on January 18th in the Golan Heights, in which several Hezbollah operatives and an Iranian general were killed.
Speaking through a United Nations envoy, Hezbollah said that they had launched the attack from beyond the Blue Line or international border so as to avoid Israeli retaliation. (YNet)
Meanwhile, Israel is drilling along the northern border in response to fears being voiced by local residents about possible Hezbollah attack tunnels, which Hamas has dug along the Gaza border in the south of Israel. As of yet, no passages have been discovered. (JPost)
In other news, a post in the Long War Journal reports that Hezbollah has been videoed towing US Abram tanks and armored personnel carriers into battle with ISIS in Syria. No explanation is given as to how they acquired the equipment.
In 2009, the US State Department labeled Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, describing it as “a radical Shia Islamist group with an anti-Western establishment and jihadist ideology that has conducted attacks against Iraq, US, and coalition targets in Iraq.” (Algemeiner)
Although Hezbollah signaled to Israel through UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), the peacekeeping body in Lebanon, that it was not interested in further escalation of war with Israel, it is clear that as borders and identities are challenged by different factions in the Middle East, conflict is growing increasingly complex and messy.
Hezbollah, which is committed to Israel’s destruction, remains a threat to Israelis.
“ISIS is not far from us, but they are not the only potential danger for us in the region,” IDF Deputy Chief of Staff General Yair Golan said. “We shouldn’t overstate the ISIS threat and we can’t forget that the most pressing threat is from radical Shia Islam, led by Hezbollah.”