The resumption of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the truce ended Friday morning has quickly translated into rocket and artillery fire in Israel’s north, where emergency sirens have sent residents running for shelter across several towns.
Hezbollah, which over the past week has respected the Hamas truce during which time it by and large silenced its weapons, has rejoined the conflict. Already there have been deaths in Lebanon after Israel responded by shelling the town of Hula. Hezbollah-affiliated television channel al-Manar said that a mother and her son were killed in the attack.
⚡️Anti tank missile fire from Lebanon targets Israeli occupation site, filmed from Kiryat Shmona pic.twitter.com/uaVuXsTeHp— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) December 1, 2023
“Hezbollah claimed a strike on Israeli soldiers in the first cross-border attack on Israel since the resumption of the fighting in Gaza.”
Last weekend, the government of Iraq warned that if the Gaza ceasefire doesn’t become permanent, there’s a strong chance the conflict turns into broader regional war.
The Pentagon has forces on high alert at US bases in Syrian and Iraq. Prior the truce of last Friday, American bases in the region had come under some 60 or more total drone and rocket attacks. The US responded with airstrikes several times against ‘Iran-backed militias’.
Whether these attacks will start up again is a big question the West will be watching closely. The Biden administration has repeatedly threatened to strike against Iran-linked targets and assets if Americans come under threat.
As for Hezbollah, despite that before the truce there were daily attacks on southern Israel, its role has been limited thus far after eight weeks of conflict. Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has previously stated that the group’s intent is to keep Israeli forces bogged down enough in the north to where the IDF can’t focus its entire arsenal and tanks on the Gaza theatre.
But a big fear in Tel Aviv and Washington remains the possibility that Hezbollah could launch a full war. Its rockets and manpower are considered much bigger than that of Hamas, and a scenario like the 2006 war is something Israeli military leaders likely hope to avoid.