Published on 20 January 2015, by M. Tomazy.
There are many scenarios for the inevitable Israel-Hezbollah war. But, it is quite hard to predict the course and consequences of the next vis-à-vis.
Two days ago, Israel attacked Hezbollah's military convoy in Syria. The attack occurred just few days after long televised interview with Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrullah. He stated that any assault on Syria is regarded as an attack on the "axis of resistance" in the region.
Israel responded to Nasrullah's interview
Hassan Nasrullah is undoubtedly an extraordinary Arab leader. Unlike other Arab leaders, he is well knowledgeable leader on the Israeli society, elections and other internal issues.
I think he has special assistants specialized on monitoring the Israeli media and they speak Hebrew as second language.
Israel has studied the attack against Hezbollah very well, but the timing was not determined till Nasrullah's interview. It was essential for the Israelis to prove their military "superiority", especially after losing reputation among pro-resistance Arabs.
Psychological warfare: breaking down Nasrullah's theory
"Israel is weaker than the spider web" is Nasrullah's theory. He firstly mentioned the sentence after liberation of South Lebanon in 2000, to establish new theory based on the structure of the Israeli society and their intolerance towards longstanding war. Moreover, he emphasized on transferring the war field from the Arab side (which historically happened) towards the occupied Palestinian land.
Nasrullah's credibility and rationale made the man a "nightmare" for the Israeli cabinet and society. I personally watched (on TV interviews) some Israelis wishing to have such a leader!
Accordingly, the Israeli cabinet hardly seek to break down Nasrullah's theory. This is undoubtedly a strong motive to carry out the attack on Hezbollah's convoy.
The Syrian conflict encouraged Israel to attack Hezbollah
When Hezbollah intervened in the Syrian conflict, two years after abruption of Syrian crisis, the Israeli think-tanks were (literally) happy as the Syrian conflict will absorb all undesired forces. Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups will fight the undesired Hezbollah and Ba'ath regime.
Nevertheless, when Hezbollah defeated Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in al-Qusayr town near Homs city, the Israelis recognized the experience which Hezbollah fighters gained in Syria. So, they were no longer euphoric.
However, Israeli forces utilized Jabhat al-Nusra in Golan heights against both the Syrian and Hezbollah forces. The Israeli PM visited the injured anti-Assad fighters in Safad hospital, and the UN forces in Golan heights (UNDOF) clearly stated the Israeli role in supporting Jabhat al-Nusra in the Golan heights.
The next Israel-Hezbollah vis-à-vis:
The Israeli strategy is clear. They will depend on massive destruction to press on Hezbollah and to support the stance of Hezbollah's antagonists (March 14 coalition). Israeli forces bet on:
1. High Lebanese death toll.
2. To coordinate attacks with the Syrian opposition forces (Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda affiliated groups).
Nevertheless, Hezbollah has strategy too, including:
1. Gradually ascending war, it may be started as restricted attacks against the northern Israeli settlements.
2. Attacking vital targets in Haifa Gulf, such as: the oil refinery, petrochemical factories and the main electricity station.
3. Hezbollah will try to occupy the Galilee.
4. To apply "naval siege" via fast well-equipped boats holding anti-ship missiles.
The war may extend. If the US directly intervened with Israel, Iran would not let Hezbollah alone, but the Russian stance is not clear in this regard.