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Israel takes Hezbollah threats seriously

The Israel Defense Forces have altered the topographical contours of the Western Galilee to create a steep cliff adjacent to the border with Lebanon, with the objective of turning the ground into a strategic advantage against Hezbollah.
Israeli soldiers walk near military vehicles near Israel's border with Lebanon January 28, 2015. At least 22 shells fired from Israel hit open farmland in southern Lebanon close to the frontier, a Lebanese security source in the area said on Wednesday. Earlier in the day an anti-tank missile was fired at an Israeli military vehicle near the frontier with Lebanon, an Israeli army spokesman said.   REUTERS/Baz Ratner (ISRAEL - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR4NA14

On March 12, 2002, two terrorists infiltrated Israeli territory from Lebanon by leaping over the border fence. They used a “trapeze ladder,” an ingenious device that enabled the combatants to sail over the border fence without touching it, thus preserving the element of surprise (when the fence is touched, a warning is sounded in the Israeli War Room, which immediately dispatches Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat soldiers to the spot). The terrorists somehow managed to drag the trapeze ladder (which weighs between 150 to 200 kilograms [330 to 440 pounds]) to the fence, stabilize it, cross the fence, hide it in Israeli territory and station themselves on a hill overlooking a crossroads near Israeli Kibbutz Matzuva. There they opened fire on Israeli vehicles and civilians who happened to be in the area, killing six Israelis, including an IDF captain, and wounding additional Israelis before the terrorists were eliminated.

Exactly 13 years have elapsed since then. Israel attributed that terrorist attack to Hezbollah, even though the organization claimed it was not responsible (the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility). Today, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah openly declares that in the next conflict with Israel, Hezbollah will conquer swathes of the Israeli Galilee. This warning, despite its exaggerated posturing, is addressed seriously on the Israeli side of the border. Hezbollah cannot overcome or conquer Israel, but if it uses several tools in tandem — the element of surprise, concentration of forces and meticulous effort and planning — it is capable of taking control of a small Israeli locality in the next clash, or at least a few houses at the edge of such a village or town. This would be for short intervals limited to a few minutes or a few hours maximum, until elimination of the Hezbollah force.

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