Hezbollah's Strikes Add Uncertainty

Israel says it's ready if the militant group joins with Hamas
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2023 3:20 PM CDT
Hezbollah's Strikes Add Uncertainty
Hezbollah supporters ride their motorcycles with a flag that shows the portrait of slain Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Sunday, on a hill above the Israeli town of Metula, at the Lebanese side of the Lebanese-Israeli border.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Concerns that Hezbollah will become a full participant on the side of Hamas increased Sunday when its forces exchanged fire Sunday with Israel at the Israeli-Lebanon border. Lebanon's militant group said it hit a radar station and two other sites in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms area with guided missiles and artillery shells. The Wall Street Journal reports that the targets appeared to be limited to strategic infrastructure. Hezbollah's media outlet said the attack was "in solidarity" with the Hamas attack on Israel, which responded with a drone strike on Hezbollah infrastructure.

"We recommend Hezbollah not to come into this," Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht told reporters. "I don't think they will. If they do, we are ready." Like Hamas, Hezbollah is backed by Iran. And it's clashed with Israel before, per Reuters. On Sunday, a top Hezbollah official expressed support for Hamas' attack at a rally in Beirut, per the Washington Post. "Our hearts are with you. Our minds are with you. Our souls are with you. Our history and guns and our rockets are with you," Hashem Safieddine said.

Hezbollah—which shares Hamas' goal of ending the Israeli state, per the AP—would find it tough to appear uninvolved in the current fighting, an analyst said; Beirut has admitted Hamas leaders recently. "When the impact on Israel is as big [as this attack's], it makes less sense to be risk-averse and compartmentalize things," said Mohanad Hage Ali, a fellow with the Carnegie Middle East Center based in Beirut. "I think this attack reshuffles the cards, big time." (More Hezbollah stories.)

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