Hezbollah Offensive Would Be Oct. 7 On Steroids

News Image By David Isaac/ March 26, 2024
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Thousands of rockets, thousands of casualties and devastating strikes to major infrastructure, cutting off water and electricity to Israel's citizens--this is the likely scenario of an attack by Hezbollah across the Jewish state's northern border, experts tell JNS.

Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy based in Lebanon, has the capability and the desire to strike the Jewish state, they say.

The terrorist group has already fired more than a thousand rockets at Israel in the last several months. It has forced Israel to temporarily relocate 60,000 northern residents to other parts of the country in case of an escalation.

The Alma Research and Education Center, an institute located two miles from the Lebanese border that's focused on the security challenges along Israel's northern front, obtained a Hezbollah video in which the terrorist group laid out an almost identical plan to the one carried out on Oct. 7 by Hamas: a rocket barrage followed by a ground invasion into Israeli towns and villages.

"All we have to do is listen to their own words, what they're saying in Arabic, and cross it with their capabilities," Alma Center founder Lt. Col. (res.) Sarit Zehavi told JNS.

Hezbollah's capabilities go far beyond what Hamas brought to bear, as terrible as the Oct. 7 attack was. Hezbollah has about 140,000 short-range rockets, 65,000 rockets that can reach Haifa, and others that can reach Jerusalem and even Israel's southern region. It also has some 10,000 drones.

Hezbollah is the most professional and experienced of Iran's proxy militias in the Middle East, Zehavi said.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah once pointed to a map and said his missiles could reach various places in Israel, pointing to hospitals, power stations and other infrastructure.

Lt. Col. (res.) Uri Ben Yaakov, a senior researcher at Reichman University's International Institute for Counterterrorism in Herzliya, told JNS that the escalation could take "a matter of minutes."

Once it starts, thousands of rockets will rain down not just from Lebanon, but also from Syria, Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen.

Ben Yaakov said that once Hezbollah targets electricity infrastructure it will be only days before water runs out.

Israel, which has largely solved its water problems, derives 80% of its water from desalination plants. Those plants are energy-intensive.

"You will find Israel's citizens in bomb shelters not five minutes a day, not 10 minutes a day, not one hour a day, but almost all day," Ben Yaakov said.

The casualties could number in the hundreds of thousands on both sides. "I believe the retaliation will be very, very high scale," he said.

Zehavi said that Israel's strategy until now had been containment, avoiding a large-scale confrontation and managing the situation.

"We changed. We are no longer willing to sit next to these monsters, because we saw that if you postpone the war, they get stronger,"

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