IDF Commanders: Hezbollah May Raid Israeli Border Villages in Next Showdown
by Dave Bender
Senior commanders in the Israeli army’s northern command are warning that Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah could possibly hold border villages hostage for several hours in sudden cross-border raids, possibly sparking a major war, Israel Radio said Sunday.
“According to the estimate, there will be a meaningful envelope of fire, there will be envelopes of observation and there will be a main force that carries out the attack, that will range between dozens and a few hundred fighters, in the war,” IDF officials said, as quoted by Israel National News.
“When we talk about a force carrying out a raid, we will not be talking about 12-13 fighters like we saw in Protective Edge [against Hamas in Gaza], but 50-70 fighters,” according to the source, who added that the group’s forces “…are learning from Syria to fight in large units. They understand what urban warfare involves.”
While the army said there were no immediate threats, and that “Although [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah is not interested in heating up the sector, in the end, a small event, a small terror attack can develop. The matter needs to be managed carefully and when one makes decisions, one must be prepared to take the risks.”
According to the source, “We understood that Hezbollah is thinking offensively. It is gaining experience in Syria, where it is initiating assaults in built up areas, and attacking cities. It is learning about subterranean warfare from the perspective of the attacker,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
“They are learning about controlling hundreds of fighters, coordinating intelligence, firepower, and command and control. This is a serious development that requires us to prepare accordingly,” according to the official.
Hezbollah publications bragged in recent months that they could – simultaneously – take over four areas along the border, Ynet News noted, including a sea-borne infiltration by a naval commando squad, similar to attempts by Hamas in Gaza during recent fighting.
In those incidents, the IDF was able to identify, track, contain and destroy the fighters shortly after they left the shoreline.