Amidst the ongoing conflict with Hamas, the Israeli military is now confronted with additional challenges in Lebanon and Syria, further exacerbating the complex regional situation. Here’s an overview of the threats Israel currently faces:
Hamas: Hamas orchestrated a surprise terror attack that claimed the lives of nearly 1,200 Israelis. Israel responded with extensive shelling of Gaza. Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 and refuses to recognize Israel’s statehood. The region has witnessed numerous conflicts involving Hamas launching rocket attacks into Israel, met with Israeli airstrikes and bombardment of Gaza. Hamas is a part of a regional coalition, including Iran, Syria, and the Shia Islamist group Hezbollah in Lebanon, which broadly opposes US Middle East policy and Israel.
Lebanon: Shortly after Hamas’s attack, Lebanon’s Hezbollah expressed “solidarity” with the Palestinian people by firing a guided missile at an Israeli tank. In response, Israel targeted an observation post affiliated with the Iran-backed group. This escalation is the most serious along the Lebanese-Israeli border since the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. Founded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 1982, Hezbollah aims to export its Islamic Revolution and combat Israeli forces that had entered Lebanon. The group asserts it possesses a substantial arsenal that Israel can scarcely fathom.
Syria: The Israeli military is currently contending with artillery fire originating from Syria, raising concerns about the emergence of another front in the ongoing conflict. Israeli soldiers have responded with artillery and mortar shells aimed at the source of these launches within Syria. Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967, remains unrecognized by the United Nations. The latest bout of violence is still in its early stages but has the potential to become one of the deadliest confrontations in decades, possibly rivaling the conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians in Lebanon during the 1980s.