Hezbollah, with the help and backing of Iran and Syria, has very quickly turned into one of the most dangerous strategic enemies that Israel faces today.
Since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah has focused on continuously developing new technological capabilities. Mainly focusing efforts on producing rockets and ballistic missiles, Hezbollah possesses a strength that is now far beyond many militaries around the globe.
The terror organization has capitalized on the Syrian civil war by gaining access to the weapons and armaments flowing freely across the Syrian-Lebanese border, and is now far stronger than the foe that Israel faced in the summer of 2006.
When Hezbollah was formed in the 1980s, its leaders utilized guerrilla warfare tactics that had never been seen before anywhere in the world. They created the concept of the suicide bomber in 1983.
Dual attacks, which unveiled the suicide bomber of modern times, had lethal and devastating effects when they attacked the multinational force headquarters as well as the US marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. The twin suicide attacks killed 299 people, including 58 French paratroopers and 240 US marines.
These tactics eventually proved successful at ousting Israel from southern Lebanon after an 18-year long drawn out war. Since the days of guerilla warfare and sporadic suicide bombing attacks, Hezbollah has developed into one of the strongest paramilitary forces in the world and is widely speculated to be far more powerful than the Lebanese army.
Hezbollah is well equipped and well trained, thanks mainly to its Iranian big brother.
Last year, the IDF confirmed that Hezbollah was in possession of thousands of long-range heavy rockets and tens of thousands of light, short-range rockets. In addition, these rockets are being turned into smart rockets that are equipped with GPS tracking systems, making them even more deadly than before.
Hezbollah now poses a very serious threat to Israel’s civilian population and to the stability of the entire Middle East region. Due to help from the Iranian regime, Hezbollah now posses more than 100,000 rockets of Syrian and Iranian origin, with a payload ranging from 60 kg to almost 1 ton of explosives.
The larger and more advanced missiles in the Hezbollah arsenal including the M-600, the Zelzal-2 and the Scud D, increase Hezbollah’s missile striking capability from the 75 km that it was during the Second Lebanon War to over 700 km, making it able to strike anywhere within Israel, and almost anywhere in the Middle East including as far away as Ankara in Turkey.
Missile defense expert Dr. Uzi Rubin, speaking last year at the annual INSS conference in Tel Aviv, said, that the full scale use of Hezbollah’s arsenal in an armed conflict would “significantly disrupt Israel’s air power… It would also change the priorities of the IDF’s use of all missile defense systems.”
“We (the IDF) are talking about escalating a war to quicken it, and end it within three days. They (Hezbollah) are talking about doing the same. This threat can degrade the IDF’s ground capabilities via accurate missile strikes on army mobilization and staging grounds,” Rubin warned.
Such an attack “can paralyze Israel’s war economy. It can inflict massive casualties.” In such a scenario, the IDF would not be able to use its missile defenses to protect the general population, but rather, they would primarily be employed to “preserve Israel’s capability to fight a war, and save lives as far as possible,” he explained.
The ominous overtones of Rabin’s message from over a year ago cannot be more real than they are today. With Israel’s northern border heating up due to the ongoing civil war in Syria, as well as the growing Iranian presence in the area, Hezbollah is being given a free hand to rearm and develop at an incredible pace.
With each passing day, the terror organization is becoming an increasingly dangerous threat to the well being and safety of the State of Israel.