Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai, the doyen of Israeli war correspondents, sat down with a top Hezbollah expert to unpack the likely tactics that the Iran-backed terror group will use in its next war with Israel. Extrapolating from three assumptions – (1) that Israelis are largely resiliant to rocket and missile salvos that target anything but Tel Aviv (2) that Israelis are highly sensitivity to casualties on the front lines and (3) that there is enormous morale value in downing Israeli jets or sinking Israeli ships – the analyst drew out what the basic battle plans of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah are likely to be:
At the onset of the next war Hezbollah will fire its heaviest and most accurate missiles and rockets (including M-600 missiles Hezbollah received from Syria, which are fitted with GPS-aided inertial navigation) on the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, as well as on infrastructure installations and perhaps on military targets… his men will use thousands of advanced anti-tank missiles, bombs and mortars that have been deployed in villages… to kill and injure hundreds of Israeli soldiers
Nasrallah’s ultimate goal, however, is to bring the ground war inside Israel itself. Ben-Yishai had already reported on the outlines of that plan, and provides some more information:
Nasrallah plans to order “intervention forces” – Hezbollah’s special units – to launch killing raids on Israeli communities and seize control of roads located near or along the border. Nasrallah assumes these raids will cause delays in Israel’s activity to stop the rocket fire from within Lebanon. Such raids will also hurt morale.
The analyst’s predictions echo the conclusions of a research paper produced in November by Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Shapira’s had Hezbollah’s initial salvo involving some 10,000 missiles and rockets, in tandem with a ground invasion of the Galilee by a force of 5,000 Iranian-trained fighters. Those forces, Shapira predicts, have already been trained to take over specific northern Israeli towns and cities including Nahariya, Shlomi and Carmiel.
Lebanese officials are now accusing Israel of having penetrated Lebanese airspace on Tuesday, in another sign of growing tensions along Israel’s northern border.
[Photo: Abode of Chaos / Flickr]