Ron Ben-Yishai

Sunnis exact revenge on Hezbollah with rocket attack

International jihadist forces which fired rockets on Galilee wish to inflict damage on Israel – for which their hatred is second to none – but also to harm Hezbollah in revenge for Nasrallah's involvement in the Syrian civil war

All signs seem to point to the conclusion that those who fired rockets on the Western Galilee Thursday were radical Sunnis acting along the lines of – or inspired by – the international jihad movement. It is even possible that those behind that attack were members of the radical Sunni Ansar al-Islam group active in northern and southern Lebanon and define themselves not only as the sworn enemies of Israel, but also those of Hezbollah.


Thursday's attack was undertaken with a double mission: To harm Israel, but also to cause Israel to move against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. De facto, this was a provocation that was supposed to heat up the already tense Israeli-Lebanese border and thus, in one rocket barrage, to spill the blood of both of the international Sunni jihad's sworn and most bitter enemies: The Shiite Hezbollah – which must pay the price for assisting Bashar Assad's Alawite regime in Syria – and Israel – the jihadists' favorite and permanent enemy.


This is not the first time radical jihadist Sunni groups have perpetrated terror attacks in southern Lebanon in an attempt to cause a flare-up between Hezbollah and Israel. In the past, members of such groups have placed explosives intended to harm UNIFIL peacekeeping forces, or kill Christians – which according to them are 'missionaries' – or even just to embarrass Hezbollah. There have been at least four or five such incidents in recent years. Even in the country's first response to the rocket fire at Israel, Lebanon's Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour hinted that just such international jihadist forces are behind the incident, noting that those "dubious forces are attempting to heat up the situation in Lebanon."


The area from which the rockets were launched, near the village of Al Kalila south of Sidon, is predominately Sunni, harboring Palestinian refugee camps known for the cooperation between Lebanon's Sunni jihadist groups and the Palestinians. In recent years there have been several clashes and large scale battles between Lebanon's army and Hezbollah against Ansar al-Islam, based in Palestinian refugee camps near Tripoli, in northern Lebanon. As noted, the group is active in both north and south of the country, and because it is relatively small in size, its goal is to cause a flare-up between the larger and stronger forces active in the region, namely Israel, Hezbollah and Lebanon's army.


Thursday's attack was not professional; it is safe to assume that the international jihad will stay busy in south Lebanon in a bid to make Hassan Nasrallah pay for Hezbollah's involvement in Syria.


In light of this, it is also safe to assume that there will not be an Israeli retaliation or that if there is one, it will be minor at best. Israel has a policy of sidestepping attempts to drag it into war vis-à-vis provocations instigated by sides active in Syria or Lebanon. Israel will not attack until its redlines are crossed.




פרסום ראשון: 08.22.13, 20:40
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