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Why Hezbollah won't open all-out front against Israel

Israel's arrest of activists recruited by Hezbollah through Facebook reflects the organization's current strategy of encouraging attacks in Israel orchestrated from afar.
A Hezbollah supporter shows off a picture of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on her phone during a rally marking the 10th anniversary of the end of Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel, in Bint Jbeil, southern Lebanon August 13, 2016. REUTERS/Aziz Taher - RTX2KKE3

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah broadcast a prerecorded speech from Bint Jebail, Lebanon, on Aug. 14 to mark the 10th anniversary of the war between Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in summer 2006. It was a typical Nasrallah speech that included all his familiar themes: Israelis had lost trust in the institutions that defend them, and the 2006 fighting had cast doubt on Israel’s ability to continue to exist at all. He said that Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, are weak and tired and cannot defend themselves for much longer. He also mentioned his 2006 “spider web speech” — in which he said that Israel is weaker than a spider web — saying it demoralized Israelis at large.

While Nasrallah was still speaking, the “institutions that defend Israel,” in particular Shin Bet, released details about an interesting effort by Hezbollah to open a new terrorist front to operate in Israel. The new front would be controlled by Hezbollah activists from a distance, using Facebook, phony profiles on social networks and encrypted messages on the internet. The story was first reported in Israel on Aug.16 and included the names of eight Palestinian suspects from the West Bank, members of three separate cells, established to launch attacks in Israel. In each instance, Israel’s security institutions were able to arrest the suspects before they launched their operations.

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