It is becoming clear that Israel is going to have to battle enemies on multiple fronts, and that means that this war is going to look a whole lot different than a lot of people thought that it would. If the fighting could have been confined to just Israel and Hamas, there still would have been a lot of death and destruction, but everyone knows that Hamas is no match for the IDF. But if Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and the Palestinians in the West Bank all jump into the conflict, all of a sudden this becomes a war of national survival for Israel, and in such a scenario it is much more likely that weapons of mass destruction will be used. So it should deeply alarm all of us that fighting has now erupted on multiple fronts.
On Sunday, IDF troops clashed with Hamas terrorists inside the Gaza Strip…
Hamas fighters and Israeli forces engaged in limited clashes inside Gaza on Sunday as the Israeli military ramped up airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave ahead of what its spokesperson described as the “next stage” of its war on the militant group.
Hamas claimed its fighters had destroyed two Israeli military bulldozers and a tank in an ambush near the Gazan city of Khan Younis, forcing Israeli troops to retreat without their vehicles. The Israel Defense Forces confirmed its forces had been operating inside Gaza during the incident, and said an IDF tank struck militants who had fired on its troops.
The episode appeared to be one of the first skirmishes between the two sides on the ground inside the strip since war broke out after Hamas’ deadly October 7 attack on Israel which killed more than 1,400 people. On October 13, the IDF said it had carried out raids inside Gaza.
According to the IDF, this raid was part of the preparation for a full-blown ground invasion.
And I think that we are very close to the moment when that full-blown ground invasion will be launched.
Meanwhile, the Israelis have evacuated more towns and villages near the northern border in anticipation of a war with Hezbollah…
On Sunday, the defense minister confirmed that another 14 towns and villages have been told to evacuate, in addition to the 28 initially ordered to do so last week. “According to the IDF and Defense Ministry, the 14 communities being added to the list are: Snir, Dan, Beit Hillel, She’ar Yashuv, Hagoshrim, Liman, Matzuva, Eylon, Goren, Gornot HaGalil, Even Menachem, Sasa, Tziv’on and Ramot Naftali,” Times of Israel details.
Evacuating those areas is a wise move, because fighting along the northern border just continues to escalate…
Fears mounted Sunday that the Israel-Gaza war could swell into a wider conflict amid rising cross-border attacks on Israel’s north from Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and expanding Israeli airstrikes across the region.
On Sunday, Hezbollah released video of a particularly disturbing attack on the Biranit barracks that happened on Friday…
Israel sees Iran-backed Hezbollah as its most serious threat, estimating it has some 150,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel.
Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus accused the group early Sunday of “escalating the situation steadily.” He said the recent cross-border skirmishes had produced both Israeli troop and civilian casualties but did not provide additional details.
Hezbollah on Sunday posted a video of what it said was a Friday attack targeting the Biranit barracks near the Lebanon-Israel border, the command center of the Israeli military’s northern division. Footage shared by the group showed an overhead view of a strike on what it described as a gathering of soldiers.
Fighting Hamas and Hezbollah at the same time would be difficult enough, but it appears that Israel will be forced to tangle with Syria as well.
Iran sends enormous amounts of weapons and supplies to Hezbollah by flying them into airports in Syria, and on Sunday the IDF bombed the international airports in Damascus and Aleppo for the third time in ten days…
Syria said it was forced to shut down international airports in Damascus and Aleppo because of the Israeli strike. The Syrian Transport Ministry said landing strips at both airports were damaged by missiles and one civilian worker was killed and another wounded at Damascus International Airport. Israel has carried out several strikes in Syria since the war began, citing the need to prevent Hezbollah and other militant groups from bringing in arms from Iran, which also supports Hamas.
We have also seen clashes directly along Israel’s border with Syria in recent days, and I fully expect an intensification of fighting in that area during the week ahead.
On top of everything else, fighting has also erupted in the West Bank…
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Israeli forces killed at least five people there early Sunday, according to the local Health Ministry. Two were killed in an airstrike on a mosque in the town of Jenin, which the Israeli military said belonged to Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants who had carried out several attacks and were planning another one.
Can the IDF handle enemies coming from all directions at once?
I don’t know.
We shall see what happens in the days ahead.
But I think that it is quite likely that if Hezbollah enters the war the U.S. military will intervene.
Over the weekend, we learned that the Biden administration has decided to send even more air defense assets to the region…
The U.S. will send a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and additional Patriot air defense missile system battalions to the Middle East, the Pentagon said on Saturday, in response to recent attacks on U.S. troops in the region.
The United States has sent a significant amount of naval power to the Middle East in recent weeks, including two aircraft carriers, their support ships and about 2,000 Marines.
The Biden administration had been trying to delay a full-blown ground invasion of Gaza for a couple of reasons.
Number one, there was hope that negotiations could secure the release of more of the hostages.
Number two, there was hope that diplomacy could keep Hezbollah out of the war.
But now the time for talk is ending, and the IDF is gearing up for a major ground campaign in Gaza.
Once that happens there will be no turning back, so brace yourselves for what is coming next…
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