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Lebanon Tag

Israel continues to rollout Hezbollah attack tunnel discoveries, each to much fanfare for the media and diplomats. Although Israeli likely knows about almost all the tunnels, it waits a few days between discoveries in order to maximize the exposure and keep the news cycle going.

Hezbollah has constructed numerous attack tunnels from civilian villages in southern Lebanon across the border into Israel. The purpose of the tunnels was to provide a way to surprise Israel in the next war by quickly infiltrating large numbers of terrorists to capture Israeli towns near the border. This would serve both as a diversion and also a huge propaganda win, even if the towns were retaken quickly.

The Israel Defense Forces has uncovered at 4th attack tunnel built by Hezbollah across the Lebanese border into Israel. Israel is using the discovery and demolition of the tunnels to put political and diplomatic pressure on Hezbollah and Iran. International diplomats and political visitors are taken to the area where Israel is digging.

Israel continues Operation Northern Shield, to uncover and destroy attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanaon across the border into northern Israel. The purpose of the tunnels was to allow Hezbollah to infiltrate into Israel in case of war, and to seize Israeli territory for a big propaganda win. We covered the tunnel exposure efforts in the following posts:

Hezbollah had an extensive program to built attack tunnels capable of transferring large numbers of terrorists into northern Israel in a short amount of time. The project, if ever used in war, would have allowed Hezbollah to score a short-term military, and long-term propaganda, victory by seizing towns and territory within Israel. Hezbollah many times has threatened to take the ground war into Israel, and tunnels were to play a key role as they do for Hamas in Gaza.

We have covered many examples of Hamas attack tunnels from Gaza crossing into southern Israel being discovered and destroyed. While there have long been rumors that Hezbollah was constructing tunnels under the border with Lebanon in the North, such reports were based mostly on the logic of Hezbollah's tactics. Hezbollah has been threatening for years that in the next war it would capture part of northern Israel, even if only for a short time.

On Tuesday February 13 the Israeli army repatriated a mentally unstable Lebanese man after he infiltrated Israel by crossing the border fence over the weekend. According to multiple Israeli media reports, the Lebanese national was detained after allegedly being coerced by members of the Hezbollah terror group, who threatened to have him committed if he didn’t do what they demanded.

Imad Mughniyeh (also spelled Mughniyah) was the most deadly, notorious and elusive Hezbollah terrorist, responsible for killing more Americans in terror attacks than anyone else prior to 9/11. Mughniyeh was behind just about every Hezbollah terror attack. His terror credits included the 1983 Beirut Marine and Embassy bombings, the capture and torture death of CIA station chief William Francis Buckley, the kidnappings of Terry Anderson and Terry Waite, and 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, and death of U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, who was beaten mercilessly until being dumped onto the tarmac.

Last weekend, Saudi Arabia began an "anti-corruption" purge as a way to consolidate power for the future leader. While that received a lot of attention, something slipped through the cracks. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned from his post during a trip to Saudi Arabia, "citing the destructive role of Iran and Hezbollah in the Middle East." Now Saudi Arabia has demanded its citizens leave Lebanon immediately due to "a dispute over the influence of Iranian ally Hezbollah in a country that hs been a battleground in the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran." Lebanon believes the kingdom is holding the prime minister, with some claiming Saudi officials forced him to resign and holding him under house arrest. Two other gulf states have also advised against traveling to Lebanon.

Well, Lebanon has officially banned the movie Wonder Woman after a group called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel (CBSI) urged the government to do so since Israeli-born Gal Gadot stars as the lead. From USA Today:
While no official reason was given for the ban, the Associated Press reports that the move follows a campaign in the country against Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who served two years in the Israeli army. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel. The ban is in accordance with a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling to Israel or having contacts with Israelis.

Lebanon-based terrorist outfit Hezbollah is in the middle of a financial crisis, recent intelligence assessments reveal. "Tehran's vassal is on the verge of bankruptcy," leading German newspaper Die Welt reported citing Western intelligence sources. Despite a steady flow of funding from Iran, the “Party of Allah,” as the terrorist group is called in Arabic, seems to have overstretched itself by venturing into the Syrian Civil War. In 2011, Iran had ordered Hezbollah to march into Syria, extending its base of operation beyond Lebanon, to keep the Assad Regime in power. German newspaper Die Welt reports:

On May 13, 2016, we reported on the death of Mustafa Badreddine at an airport in Syria, Another top Hezbollah commander killed – but who dunnit?
There have been a series of assinations of top Hezbollah commanders in the recent past, including Imad Mughniyeh (mastermind of almost all attacks on Israel and the U.S.), his son Imad Mughniyeh (who was killed along with several high level operatives and an Iranian general), Hassan Laqqis (key Hezbollah link to Iranian weapons procurement) and Samir Kuntar (who killed an Israeli girl by smashing her head against the rocks on a beach).

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.

We reported on Friday that top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine was killed in an explosion in Syria, but that the circumstances were unclear, Another top Hezbollah commander killed – but who dunnit?. Badreddine was considered a master bomb maker, credited with developing that combination of explosives and gas that took down the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and numerous American and other diplomatic facilities. Badreddine of late was commander of Hezbollah forces propping up the Assad regime, and was hated not only by Israeli but also by many Arab states. So he had plenty of enemies, and plenty of people who wanted him dead. But he also lived in the shadows, with few photos of him prior to his death (Hezbollah has released more photos after his death) and a life lived under assumed names. While pro-Hezbollah Lebanese media immediately blamed Israel. That made perfect sense in light of Israel's presumed assassinations of numerous Hezbollah leaders, including  Imad Mughniyeh (mastermind of almost all attacks on Israel and the U.S.), his son Imad Mughniyeh (who was killed along with several high level operatives and an Iranian general),Hassan Laqqis (key Hezbollah link to Iranian weapons procurement) and Samir Kuntar (who killed an Israeli girl by smashing her head against the rocks on a beach).

Steven Salaita, you may recall, was the controversial anti-Israel professor whose hate-tweeting caused the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to decline to hire him for a tenured position. The University asserted that Salaita only had a contingent offer subject to Board approval, and that approval never happened. Salaita is active in the Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement and literally wrote a handbook for faculty to use to spread BDS within universities. There was rich irony in the person who sought a worldwide boycott of Israeli academics complaining when he allegedly was boycotted for his noxious views which played upon historical anti-Semitic stereotypes: Even a faculty supporter of Salaita, Prof. Feisal Mohamed, wrote (emphasis added):

This is pretty big political news, signaling a larger Arab versus Iranian divide. The Arab League had just declared that Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy which dominates Lebanon and fights for Assad in Syria, is a terrorist organization. Al-Jazeera reports:
The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah a "terrorist" group, only days after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) adopted the same stance. The move came during the Arab League foreign ministers' meeting at the organisation's seat in Egypt's capital Cairo on Friday. Nearly all 22 Arab League members supported the decision, except Lebanon and Iraq which expressed "reservations", the bloc said in a statement read out at a news conference by Bahraini diplomat Wahid Mubarak Sayar.