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Israel's security chiefs fear 'miscalculation' with Hezbollah leading to all-out war

Israel’s security brass assess that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah might up the number of provocative incidents on the border to spark a supposedly limited conflict with Israel.
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah lift its flags (C) alongside those of Iran (L) and Palestine, during an anti-Israel protest in the southern Khiam area by the border with Israel, facing the northern Israeli town of Metula, on May 14, 2021.

TEL AVIV — Israel is currently focusing much of its security efforts on its border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah operatives are multiplying provocations against the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). On Thursday, for the second time in two weeks, the Iran-backed militant juggernaut posted a video showing the IDF chief of staff visiting the border region. Israel considers it a threatening message by the organization. 

The buzz among Israeli security, political and media circles this summer is reminiscent of the chatter in spring 2006 about a potential flare-up along Israel’s northern border stemming from a “miscalculation” that could drag Syria and Israel, and perhaps Hezbollah, into an all-out war. Only in retrospect did it become clear that even as everyone was talking about a series of misunderstandings and miscalculations, the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was already planning the September 2007 strike against the plutonium-powered nuclear reactor that Syria had built undetected by Israel until it was nearing completion.

These days, the Syrians are no longer building a nuclear reactor, and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah is not yet eyeing nuclear technology, secure in his knowledge of Iran’s powerful backing of his Lebanese Shiite militia. Nonetheless, talk is heating up, and the realization that the sides are slowly but surely advancing toward an all-out military confrontation is becoming clearer. 

Syria "will not be target"

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