Haaretz: Three crises will push Israel over the edge

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The decline in the legitimacy of the war on Gaza and the stress suffered by the Israeli army put Israel in a very difficult position, as any potential war with Hezbollah in Lebanon could pose a major challenge to the Israeli home front, especially with increasing threats targeting the northern and central cities of the country with unprecedented weapons.

The war in Gaza has entered its ninth month with no signs of improvement, with recent discussions with senior Israeli security officials confirming that the country is heading towards a fiasco on several fronts.

Both Israel and Hezbollah don’t want to escalate the conflict into all-out war, but there is a high probability of that happening due to miscalculation.

According to Haaretz newspaper, Israel hasn’t succeeded in translating tactical achievements in Gaza into a strategic victory, noting that clashes with Hezbollah have increased popular frustration and pressured the Israeli government to take more forceful measures, especially after the evacuation of 60,000 people from their homes in the north of the country, and the continued deaths due to repeated attacks.

Israel is currently considering a plan to increase attacks on Hezbollah in the hope of stopping the attacks without entering into all-out war.

However, there are doubts about the effectiveness of this strategy, noting that this escalation could lead to more-for-tat attacks rather than achieving deterrence.

Haaretz criticized some far-right ministers who call for an all-out attack on Hezbollah, stating that these officials haven’t learned from Israel’s failed experience in the 1982 Lebanon war.

They see the need to bomb Iran to put an end to its growing nuclear threat, without regard to the real state of the IDF’s capabilities.

Regarding the war in Gaza, the newspaper pointed out that the ongoing conflict between Hamas and the Israeli army weakens the morale of the soldiers, stressing that time is running out for the chief of staff of the Israeli army, Herzi Halevi.

Military operations are currently concentrated in Rafah and refugee camps in the central Strip, increasing pressure on Hamas without a decisive victory for Israel.

Haaretz also reported that talks on a hostage deal with Hamas had entered a new crisis, after it seemed for a moment that US President Joe Biden’s speech might contribute to resolving the situation.

There is a divergence of opinion on moving from the first phase to the second phase of the deal, with Hamas fearing Israel could set a trap or negotiations would stall.

At the end of the report, Haaretz stressed that Israel’s current entry into a war with Hezbollah may make it face an international legitimacy crisis and put it in a difficult position without strong support from the United States, especially in light of the great stress suffered by the Israeli army.

Haaretz pointed out that an Israeli delegation headed by the director general of the Ministry of Defense, Major General Eyal Zmir, visited Washington to discuss the crisis with US officials, especially after the delay of an important arms shipment to Israel.

Haaretz talked about the significant difference in the potential damage that Hezbollah rockets can cause compared to Hamas rockets, noting that Hezbollah rockets may be more accurate and have a longer range, which enhances the danger to Israel.

The Israeli leadership isn’t eager to fight a war in the north, but may find itself forced to do so because of developments on the ground.

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