(RightWing.org) – Since the Hamas terrorist group launched its war with Israel on October 7 last year, Lebanon-based Hezbollah has been mounting attacks on northern Israel in an attempt to take the pressure off its fellow terrorists. So far, Israel has confined itself to hitting back when it’s attacked, but there’s always a risk of the conflict escalating. It looks like Hezbollah is trying to justify that now after a senior Hamas leader died in a suspected Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon.
On January 2, Saleh Arouri, a deputy leader of Hamas, was killed along with three other people in an explosion in a suburb of Beirut, the Lebanese capital. Media outlets controlled by Hezbollah are claiming Israel carried out an airstrike on the terror chief. Israel isn’t taking responsibility –- although it hasn’t actually denied it either –- but pointed out that the attack was “a surgical strike against the Hamas leadership” and “not an attack on the Lebanese state.” As a founding member of Hamas’s military wing and the organizer of the group’s terrorist campaign in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Arouri was an obvious target.
Although Hezbollah doesn’t run Lebanon, its Iran-backed military wing is more powerful than the country’s armed forces. In the wake of Arouri’s death, the organization seems to be trying to take control of Lebanon’s foreign policy.
On January 5, the group’s leader, Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah, appeared on TV and claimed Lebanon would be “exposed” to Israeli attacks if Hezbollah didn’t retaliate for the strike that killed the Hamas chief. He said his organization “cannot be silent about a violation of this level” and claimed Israel plans to attack Lebanon once it’s defeated Hamas.
Nasrallah also boasted that since October 7, Hezbollah has launched 670 attacks on Israel. That actually risks undermining his message; if Israel does attack Lebanon, many Lebanese are going to suspect that Hezbollah’s activities had something to do with it.
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