Esmail Ghaani could not contain his excitement. His agents in Syria reported back to him that since the July 21 airstrike that killed Hezbollah operative Kamel Mohsen Jawad, Israel took fright and halted its aerial operations against Iranian militias and the shipment of missiles to Lebanon. Ghaani, who replaced Qasem Soleimani as the head of the Revolutionary Guards, immediately realized the opportunity he had stumbled upon.
In a situation analysis he held two days ago with senior Al-Quds Force officers, he stated: Since the killing of the martyr Jawad, the Zionists have stopped bombing us. Out of fear of Nasrallah’s revenge, they’ve sent massive forces to their northern border, and their army is on high alert. Today, when a cell of our Lebanese brothers attacked one of their positions on Jabel Ros (Har Dov), the Zionists let them retreat unharmed. This, by the way, was a decision made by their prime minister.
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Since their expulsion from Lebanon in 2000 and then in 2006, they have not solved the equation of deterrence posed by Hassan Nasrallah. For any harm inflicted on a member of Hezbollah there is a painful reprisal. The Jews, worried about any harm to their soldiers, stopped attacking his people, thereby losing strategic maneuvering room. This is how we should exploit the panic that gripped them again this time: Every vehicle carrying accurate missiles to Lebanon should be accompanied by a Hezbollah fighter. This is the most effective anti-aircraft weapon we have against the Zionist air force.
You ask how the Israelis will know that every truck carries a Hezbollah fighter? Simple enough: He should just report by phone which truck he’s with. Despite the cut in funds we can provide him, our brother Nasrallah has again posted a price tag for the Zionists, a price he believes they are unwilling to pay.
Ghaani turned to his intelligence officer and asked him to elaborate on the events of the past few days. The Zionists, said this officer, concentrated a force of at least three divisions against Hezbollah. All their generals, headed by the chief of staff, went to the northern part of occupied Palestine. Not to manage battles against Hezbollah, but to avoid them. Their generals were afraid that local commanders would find it difficult to restrain themselves if attacked. We know this behavior of their army brass from earlier campaigns. It’s true that one of our situation assessments says that with General Kochavi this might change. It turns out not to be the case.
- Hezbollah concerned escalation would enrage Lebanese, Israeli officials say
- Hezbollah is caught in a dilemma. Israel is caught in a guessing game
- Hezbollah got dangerously close to IDF troops, and Israel is wary of another attempted attack
Where is Defense Minister Gantz? We know him as a brigadier general who led the flight of the Zionist army from Lebanon in 2000, and as a chief of staff who failed in attacks on our brothers in Gaza. Netanyahu is in panic over a possible abduction of soldiers or civilians, concluded this intelligence officer. If opening fire on a squad of four people requires the approval of a prime minister, you can understand the level of anxiety the Zionist state is under. Just like in his campaign against our nuclear project, he is good at issuing threats, but always finds a way of retreating, without incurring real political damage.
In his battles against our brothers in Gaza, Netanyahu is also afraid of decisive action. Even when things got out of hand, forcing him to react out of fear of his voters, the response was limited. He never strives for resolution. This week, too, he went to the occupied north to have his photo taken and to issue threats, but not to fight. We therefore assess that if we gave Nasrallah a green light to avenge the death of the shahid, Netanyahu will again only make a token response, if any. Inshallah.