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Israel: If Hezbollah unleashes its huge missile arsenal, Lebanon is toast

Israel: If Hezbollah unleashes its huge missile arsenal, Lebanon is toast

The cost of Hezbollah hiding its weaponry among civilians, but why the slew of warnings now?

We know that media outrage and exaggeration, combined with biased anti-Israel Non-Governmental Organizations and U.N. agencies, form a strategic asset for terrorist groups like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The international reaction to Israeli self-defense measures ignores actual international legal standards, and substitutes completely politicized measures, such as “disproportionality.” That term does not mean that one side suffers more than the other in a war; rather it is a case by case measure of whether the threat to innocent civilians in a particular military strike is disproportionate to the military value to be achieved.

Israel goes to extraordinary measures to comply with the laws of war, but it doesn’t matter to the media and the anti-Israel propaganda machine.

Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately store and fire rockets from civilian areas for this very reason.

A little over a year ago we wrote how Israel preps media battlefield for next Hezbollah war to try to deal with this problem:

The goal is to hamstring Israel in the next round of fighting, and to level the battlefield … Israel is understands this as well, and has taken to the media preemptively disclosing how Hezbollah in Lebanon is embedding its military machine in the villages near the Israeli border. (See my account of one such village from my 2013 trip to Israel, Metula and the fake Hezbollah village.)

The NY Times reported at the time, Israel Says Hezbollah Positions Put Lebanese at Risk:

As Israel prepares for what it sees as an almost inevitable next battle with Hezbollah, the Shiite Lebanese organization that fought a monthlong war against Israel in 2006, Israeli military officials and experts are warning that the group has done more than significantly build up its firepower since then.

Maps and aerial photography provided to The New York Times by Israeli military officials this week illustrate, they say, that Hezbollah has moved most of its military infrastructure into the Shiite villages of southern Lebanon and around their perimeters. Israel says this amounts to using the civilians as a human shield….

Effectively, the Israelis are warning that in the event of another conflict with Hezbollah, many Lebanese civilians will probably be killed, and that it should not be considered Israel’s fault….

Israel says the situation is similar in the Gaza Strip, where, it says, Hamas is using the same tactic of hiding its forces among civilians.

“Historically, armed forces have separated themselves from the population, in uniform,” the senior Israeli military official said. “This is not the case here or in Gaza.” He accused Hezbollah of cynically using civilians.

Israel also seems to be trying to pre-empt or deflect the inevitable international censure that comes with civilian casualties.

Israel currently is on another international education mission, giving briefings to media and issuing threat assessments in speeches.

Perhaps the most impressive account is in The Weekly Standard, Missiles Everywhere. The author, Willy Stern, spent considerable time embedded with the Israeli military , and starts by sizing up Hezbollah’s arsenal:

Hezbollah has a nasty collection of more than 130,000 rockets, missiles, and mortars aimed at Israel. This is a bigger arsenal than all NATO countries (except the United States) combined. Why, a reasonable person might wonder, does Hezbollah need an offensive arsenal bigger than that of all Western Europe? …

In Hezbollah’s arsenal are about 700 long-range, high-payload rockets and missiles with names like Fateh-110 and Scud D. They are capable of taking down entire buildings in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, wreaking havoc at Israel’s major military bases, killing thousands of Israeli civilians, shutting down the nation’s airports and ports, and taking out the electric grid. And that’s just in the first week.

Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) major general Yaakov Amidror is talking about the M-600 missile. It’s a fairly accurate ballistic missile that weighs more than a Hummer H2 and carries a formidable warhead. The M-600 can also deliver chemical weapons. A single M-600 could wipe out a good chunk of Times Square and maim and kill people four football fields away from the point of impact. Hezbollah has a lot of M-600s.

Since the missiles are stored and will be fired from civilian areas, therein lies the dilemma, Stern writes:

“We have just minutes to act,” explains Amidror. “The IDF will have to take out the launcher because the next missile can cause enormous damage in Israel. But to take out the launcher means the 22-story building may fall. We would try to use precision-guided missiles to protect civilians but the target is hard to reach. We will try to warn the residents but the timing is tight. That building will almost certainly be hit. And the images in the international media will almost certainly be awful.” But, asks Amidror, today a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, “What alternative do we have?”

No good one, since the building in the scenario described would be a legitimate military target. So say a bevy of international military law experts, including Geoff Corn of the South Texas College of Law in Houston, who has studied IDF targeting policies….

Professor Corn is well aware of what will happen next. “The international community will look at the images and will note that the immediate cause of destruction was Israeli munitions. But—and here is the kicker—both legally and morally, the cause of these tragic consequences will lie solely at the feet of Hezbollah.”

Read the whole article, it details what a war may look like from the Israeli civilian side, and why Israel will have no military choice but to attack seemingly civilian targets behind which Hezbollah hides.

Other present or former Israeli officials have been giving briefings, as well.  The Times of Israel reports, Intelligence minister warns ‘megalomanic’ Hezbollah chief:

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz launched a scathing attack on the Hezbollah terror group’s leader, calling Hassan Nasrallah a “megalomaniac” with no concept of reality and warning that Lebanon would be “ruined” in a future conflict between the IDF and Hezbollah….

But Katz said that it is Israel’s northern neighbor and the Hezbollah leader who had the most to lose in a conflict with Israel.

“A war in Lebanon and an attack on the Israeli home front will bring about the ousting of Nasrallah and will bring ruin to Lebanon,” he predicted.

Further warning was issued by Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief, as reported in Haaretz:

Military Intelligence chief Herzl Halevi said Wednesday that another war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah would be much harsher for the home fronts on both sides.

“If there is another war, Israel will recover and rebuild,” Halevi said at the annual Herzliya Conference at the IDC Herzliya.

“We are a strong society, an advanced society. Lebanon will become a country of refugees that will have difficultly recovering, and Hezbollah will lose its political support base.”

Why all these public warnings now?

Perhaps it’s the approach of the hot summer season, when at least on the southern border with Hamas conflict tends to break out.

Perhaps it’s that Hezbollah has suffered the assassination of numerous military leaders — at least some blamed on Israel — and has yet to take serious retaliation. It takes just a spark, as in the 2006 war which was caused by a Hezbollah border ambush.

Perhaps it’s that Hezbollah is under intense international pressure from the Sunni Arab countries and the U.S. Treasury, which is severely damaging Hezbollah’s financial status.

Perhaps it’s that Hezbollah is bleeding in Syria, losing over one thousand fighters and many commanders. Its Iranian masters may be looking for an international distraction.

Perhaps the Israelis know something we don’t.


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I vote for the “Israel knows something we don’t”. First because they do have the best intelligence agency pretty much on the planet that frequently makes the CIA and DIA look like rank amateurs. Secondly, because our current administration has ignored and in some cases even supported these savages. My advice to Israel is to do what you should have done since the 70’s drive them into the ocean and then do not apologize for it.

    Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | June 17, 2016 at 12:19 am

    But you know they won’t do that, because they have surrendered to their own lawyers and judiciary, who form a fifth column that has already half-defeated them. Much as every officer in Stalin’s army had a political officer looking over his shoulder with the power to countermand his orders should they offend the Party, so every unit in the IDF has a legal “adviser” whom it must obey regardless of the military consequences. And to these lawyers obeying their extreme leftist conception of “international law” is more important than winning the war.

With 130,000 missiles (although their launch rates will bottleneck any more than a fraction of a fraction of these in the air at a given moment) pointed at their homeland, Israel must shape the coming media battlefield.

And what might that battlefield look like? With middle batteries concealed within or below buildings and missile storage perhaps deeper still, it’s likely Israel will deploy some locally made version of the MOP bunker buster, probably a “lite” variety. It’s not likely that Hezbollah is all that deep underground–most of the missiles that they have require launch rails and aren’t fired from silos.

The IAF can blanket targets rapidly but, as Hezbollah hopes, civilian casualties will be high. If Israel calls their bluff and decides WTF, better ICC indicted than dead, Hezbollah’s jihad volleys will prove self destructive in the extreme. Nasrallah is already having a hard time explaining the corpses sent home from Syria.

    Milhouse in reply to Boogs. | June 17, 2016 at 12:22 am

    If Israel calls their bluff and decides WTF, better ICC indicted than dead,

    It’s not the ICC they’re afraid of but the Israeli Supreme Court, which pulled off what amounted to a coup in the ’80s, and is now effectively the real government of Israel.

Perhaps Israel realizes that Hezbollah would like to fight while they have a brother in the White House.

    Milhouse in reply to Rick. | June 17, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Um, are you seriously suggesting that 0bama is a secret Shi’ite?! That’s even more insane than most of the stupid things people say about him. When exactly would he have become a Shi’ite, and why?

      No, he’s suggesting something very simple and very true. If Hezbollah wants to strike, sometime before January would be the time. The present president will waffle like an entire chain of Pancake Houses, leaving no material or intelligence support to the one democratic nation in the region.

      On Hezbollah’s side, time is an asset. Every day they get more bombs and missiles to stash in basements and under hospitals. As long as internal factions don’t break down into a civil war, they become stronger the longer they stay quiet. (note the cavet)

      On Israel’s side, buying time is critical. They need every minute they can to map each one of Hezbollah’s arms caches and calculate a strike order tailored to it (and add to the substantial pile already on the list).

      Hezbollah gets to pick the time the balloon goes up, but when it does, all hell breaks loose. Having a president willing to contribute to Israel’s defense would (hopefully) discourage them. We don’t have one of those.

        Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | June 17, 2016 at 9:29 am

        If that’s all he’s suggesting, what did he mean by “brother”? And according to your analysis both sides profit by delay, so things aren’t likely to come to a head any time soon (though one can never know), which is contrary to his claim.

      Olinser in reply to Milhouse. | June 17, 2016 at 5:49 am

      He’s saying the obvious – that Obama the Weak will do absolutely nothing if Hezbollah attacks Israel except maybe make a speech whining that Israel is actually fighting back.

      Who the hell knows what Trump would do.

        Milhouse in reply to Olinser. | June 17, 2016 at 9:33 am

        Of course 0bama will do nothing. How does that make him Hizballah’s brother?

        Actually even a good US president would do nothing; what would you expect him to do? A bad president would not just do nothing, he’d do harm, by imposing sanctions on Israel (as Reagan did) and/or by supporting Security Council action. Will 0bama do that? Who knows? Would Clinton or Trump do that? Again, who knows? None of them give a damn about the principles involved (in Trump’s case he’s incapable of even understanding them).

      Paul in reply to Milhouse. | June 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

      I wonder how many of those Billions that Obama and Jarrett just released to the Iranians will go directly into Hezbollah coffers and weaponry?

        Milhouse in reply to Paul. | June 17, 2016 at 9:34 am

        Oh, there’s no question that a large amount of it will end up there. And that they knew this and didn’t care. Which doesn’t mean they actually want that to happen, just that it doesn’t bother them.

      Vascaino in reply to Milhouse. | June 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      It seems that Obama’s feelings lie with the Muslim world after his sojourn in Indonesia.
      While he may not be a Shi’ite its is certainly strange that he has served up Iran against the region’s Sunnis and Israel.
      Then again maybe with Obama, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and could be applied to why he wants daylight between America and Israel.
      There are still many secrets about the American President that the world has yet to ascertain.

        Milhouse in reply to Vascaino. | June 17, 2016 at 4:06 pm

        There you have it. The classic idea of a traitor, that the USA’s founders had in mind, was of someone who has a secret loyalty to some foreign power, which motivates him to work against the USA’s interest. 0bama has no such loyalty. He doesn’t particularly care for any foreign power, except perhaps Cuba. What motivates him is not love for some rival of the USA’s, but hatred for the USA itself. He doesn’t care who benefits from his administration, so long as the USA is hurt. Thus he’s willing to help any enemy, regardless of its own ideology. He’s not a Moslem of any kind, neither Sunni nor Shi’a, but is willing to help both because they’re anti-American. He’s equally willing to help Christians, atheists, Buddhists, or anyone else who will oppose the USA.

Every bad actor in the world, be it Hezbollah, Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, or the Castro regime, knows the clock is ticking on the weakest American President since Pierce. Whether their object is territory like the South China Sea, weapon stockpiling or going nuclear, or just demanding and getting concessions from the US, the time to act is before January 20, 2017.

Hillary would surely be tougher, although Biden remains a possibility if she’s indicted or publicly exposed, or if her health catches up with her – and no one can be quite sure what he would do (although he was one of the leading Doves before Obama came on the scene).

Paul In Sweden | June 17, 2016 at 7:58 am

OT… Along with any Arab-Israeli conflict comes the inevitable Pallywood Productions which often can be an amusing respite as you spot the many frauds and production errors.

My all time favorite Pallywood Production is this one:

“Palestinians'” fake funeral

In this segment, you see a staged funeral that the #Palestinians organized in order to increase the number of the Palestinians killed in Jenin riots in 2002. This footage was filmed on April 28, 2002 at around 19:00 and it is very clear and easy to see that the body has apparently “resurrected” and that the whole funeral is actually one big charade.The following scene of a “funeral” procession was caught on tape by an overhead Israeli drone. It shows the “corpse” falling off the stretcher as he is carried to his “funeral” only to get up and climb back on.

    Vascaino in reply to Paul In Sweden. | June 17, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I can’t find the link now but there was a video of bodies covered in white sheets laid out for the press corp (blob?)and one of them moves its legs.

      Milhouse in reply to Vascaino. | June 17, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Even the end of the video of Little Saint Mohammed (al Dura) shows him peeking out between his fingers to see whether it’s time to stop playing dead.