الحقائق المتصلة بالخط الأزرق ومناطق التحفّظ والنزاع

فبراير 20, 2018

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

من غريب ما يحصل في لبنان هو الاختلاق في التاريخ والتنازل عن المكتسبات، واختلاق أحداث لا صلة لها بالحقيقة دون ان يكون هناك سبب أو مكسب في ذلك لأحد. وآخر ما يتم تداوله اليوم خلافاً للحقيقة هو مسألة الخط الأزرق ومناطق التحفّظ حوله وهنا ومن أجل وضع الأمور في نصابها نرى من الواجب تبيان التالي:

1 ـ لجهة رسم الخط الأزرق. رسم الخط الأزرق في العام 2000 من قبل الأمم المتحدة ومن خلال لجنتين منفصلتين كلياً الأولى لبنانية أممية مؤلفهما فريق لبناني قوامه 5 أعضاء برئاسة العميد الركن أمين حطيط، وفريق دولي من 7 أعضاء برئاسة الجنرال سرينن نائب قائد القوات الدولية في الجنوب اليونفيل، واللجنة الثانية إسرائيلية أممية مؤلفة من فريق دولي من 5 أعضاء برئاسة الجنرال سرينن أيضاً وفريق إسرائيلي مشكل من 6 أعضاء. وبقيت كل لجنة تعمل في نطاقها حيث رفضنا أن نجتمع بالإسرائيليين كلياً، سواء على أرض لبنانية أو على ارض فلسطين المحتلة. وكان الفريق الدولي هو الذي ينقل المواقف والطلبات دون أن يكون هناك أي اتصال بين الطرف الإسرائيلي واللبناني الذي أصر على ان لا تشكل أي لجنة مع العدو إلا في إطار لجنة الهدنة التي الغتها «إسرائيل» من جانب واحد وبشكل غير مشروع في العام 1969.

أما القول إنّ الخط الأزرق رسم من قبل لجنة ثلاثية انبثقت عن تفاهم نيسان، فهو بعيد كلياً عن حقيقة التاريخ. ففي تفاهم نيسان نشأت لجنة خماسية فيها سورية وفرنسا ولن تكون مهمتها لا من قريب ولا من بعيد رسم حدود أو خطوط، بل كانت مهمتها حصراً معالجة انتهاك وقف النار التي تستهدف المدنيين، وليس من مصلحة لبنان مطلقاً أن يشرع وجود لجان مع «إسرائيل» خارج اتفاقية الهدنة الملغاة من قبلها، بما في ذلك اللجنة الثلاثية القائمة اليوم والتي تجتمع في الناقورة خلافاً للقرارات الدولية ولاتفاقية الهدنة ذاتها.

ومن جهة أخرى يجب ان يعرف الجميع ان ليس للخط الأزرق أي قيمة قانونية أو حقوقية، وهو مجرد خط اعتمد ليشكل أداة للتحقق من خروج «إسرائيل» من الأرض اللبنانية وأن مفاعيله وصلاحيته انتفت عندما أعلن اكتمال الانسحاب، وان «إسرائيل» سعت لأن تتخذه حدوداً جديدة يتم التفاوض حولها، من اجل ان تسقط حق لبنان بحدوده الدولية المعترف بها منذ العام 1923 لكن لبنان رفض وبكل شدة هذا المسعى وألزم الفريق الدولي بأن يذكر على خريطة الخط الأزرق بأن هذا الخط ليس حدوداً وليس من شأنه أن يمس بالحقوق المكتسبة.

2 ـ لجهة مناطق النزاع، كانت الصيغة الأولى التي تقدّمت بها الأمم المتحدة للخط الأزرق متباينة مع الحدود الدولية في 13 منطقة يبلغ مجموع مساحتها ما يزيد قليلاً عن 18 مليون م2، وقد رفض لبنان عبر لجنته العسكرية برئاستي القبول بهذا الخط. وبعد نقاش مرير دام أياماً داخل اللجنة اللبنانية الأممية عقدت جلستها الأخيرة منه في اجتماع عقد في القصر الجمهوري برئاسة رئيس الجمهورية اللبنانية العماد لحود أخذت الأمم المتحدة بملاحظاتنا وتراجعت عن خطها في 10 مناطق وتمسكت بـ 3 نقاط هي رميش والعديسة والمطلة، ومع تمسك لبنان بحقه في تلك المناطق اعتمد حلّ وسط يقضي بأن يعدّل الخط الدولي في المناطق الـ10 ويتحفظ لبنان على المناطق الـ 3 الباقية شرط أن يبقى الحال ميدانياً كما هو. وهذا ما حصل بالفعل ومنعت «إسرائيل» من التقدّم لقضم عديسه ورميش، ونشأت مقولة التحفّظات الثلاثة المذكورة.

لكن يفاجئنا البعض اليوم بالقول بالنزاع حول 13 منطقة. وفي هذا تنازل عما استحصلنا عليه في العام 2000 وعودة بالأمور الى نقطة الصفر. وفي هذا أيضاً مسّ بحقوق لبنانية ثابتة ووضعها موضع نزاع وجعل ملف الحدود موضع تفاوض كما تريد إسرائيل. وهذا خطر للغاية.

إنّ الموقف اللبناني الذي يجب أن يعتمد ليكون سليماً ويحفظ الحقوق يجب أن يقوم على ما يلي:

أ ـ وقف التداول بمصطلح الخط الأزرق. وهو خط انتفت فعاليته، والقول بالحدود الدولية فقط وبخط الهدنة المطابق لها والتمسك به وفقاً للإحداثيات المحددة باتفاقية بوليه نيوكمب، والمكرّسة بمعالم حدودية تترجم النقاط تلك.

ب ـ وقف العمل بأي لجنة لبنانية إسرائيلية لا تكون في إطار اتفاقية الهدنة، خاصة أن هذه الاتفاقية تؤكد أن خط الهدنة مطابق للحدود الدولية.

ج ـ رفض مقولة النقاط الـ 13 المتنازع عليها، لأن في ذلك تضييعاً وتنازلاً عن حقوق مكتسبة والقول بالمناطق الثلاث المتحفظ عليها.

أستاذ في كليات الحقوق اللبنانية

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Lebanon Ready to Confront any Israeli Aggression at All Costs: Army Commander

 February 20, 2018

General Joseph Aoun

The Lebanese Army is ready to confront any Israeli aggression at all costs, commander General Joseph Aoun said.

“I reaffirm again our categorical rejection of the Israeli enemy infringing on Lebanon’s sovereignty and its sacred right to exploit all its economic resources,” General Joseph Aoun said during the Eighth Regional Conference in Beirut late Monday.

“The army will not spare any method available to confront any Israeli aggression, whatever that costs,” the Lebanese commander said, according to the Lebanese Army’s account on Twitter.

Earlier this month, Lebanon signed its first contracts to explore two offshore zones for oil and gas.

However, Lebanon face many challenges in this context, as the Zionist entity claims the “right” to Block 9, a triangle off the Lebanese coast that is around 860 square kilometers.

SourceAgencies

 

Hezbollah Stresses Lebanon’s Right to Benefit from Natural Resources

February 16, 2018

Head of Loyalty to Resistance Parliamentary bloc, MP Mohammad Raad

Hezbollah’s Member of Parliament, Mohammad Raad stressed Lebanon’s full right to benefit from its natural resources.

During a ceremony marking the martyrdom anniversary of Hezbollah’s Leaders, Raad said “Great Israel” has gone and it is over, noting that the Zionist entity nowadays is seeking to defend itself rather than attacking others, through building the so-called Border Wall.

“The Zionist regime fears war! Yesterday an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was downed by Syria, with Zionist officials appealing for international intervention in a bid to prevent further escalation in the situation,” MP Raad, who is the Head of Loyalty to Resistance Parliamentary bloc, said during the ceremony in the southern town of Jibshit.

Raad meanwhile, stressed the Lebanese resistance full readiness to confront any Israeli aggression.

In the same context the Lebanese MP stressed that Lebanon has the full right to utilize from its natural resources of oil and gas.

“This issues represents a challenge to Lebanon, its government and people. We have to prove that we are capable to defend our oil, gas and other resources.”

February 16 is the martyrdom anniversary of Hezbollah’s Leaders, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi and Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, all were assassinated by the Zionist enemy throughout different years of confrontation, but in the same week.

Sheikh Ragheb Harb was assassinated by an Israeli agent on February 16, 1984.

Late Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi was martyred, along with his wife and son, when an Israeli airstrike attacked his convoy as he was attending the commemoration anniversary of Sheikh Harb on February 16, 1992.

Later on February 12, 2008, Hezbollah’s top military commander Hajj Imad Moghniyeh was martyred in a car bomb attack carried out by Israeli Mossad agents.

Source: Al-Manar

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Sayyed Nasrallah: US Biased, Ready to Stop ’Israeli’ Oil Extraction within Hours

Sayyed Nasrallah: US Biased, Ready to Stop ’Israeli’ Oil Extraction within Hours

Zeinab Essa

16-02-2018 | 22:24

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled various regional and local topics.

Addressing a huge crowd commemorating the anniversary of “Resistance Martyr Leaders”,

Sayyed Nasrallah stated: “‘We Preserved the will’ is title of our commemoration as we are emerging from an international war on the Resistance axis.”

His Eminence further added: “We preserved the Resistance after we emerged victorious from the July 2006 aggression.”

To the Martyr Leaders, he said: “We tell the leader martyrs, Sayyed Abbas Moussawi, Sheikh Raghe Harb and Hajj Imad Mughnieh that your will has always been to preserve the Resistance through dignity and ability to score achievements, and we did this by sacrifices and blood.”

He also addressed them by saying: “Your party still carries the martyrs’ thoughts and aims [of the martyrs]. Today, we are much in need because the challenges are getting bigger.”

In this context, the Resistance Leader announced that it seems that the region has entered “the battle of oil and gas. No one should look at this as a separate dispute.”

According to His Eminence, “Who increases the conflict over oil and gas is the greedy US president [Donald Trump],” noting that “the crisis in the region today is on oil and its led by the US administration, whether in Iraq, the Gulf or elsewhere.”

“The crisis between Turkey and Cyprus is about oil and it is said that the Gulf crisis was also on the same matter,” he clarified.

“”Israel” wants under the Trump administration to obtain an international decision to annex the Golan,” he warned, pointing out that “there exists a huge amount of gas in the Syrian Occupied Golan Heights.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified that “there are several reasons for the war on Syria in regards to oil resources.”

In this context, he underlined that “The US previously said that once Daesh [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist “ISIS”/ “ISIL” group] ends, they would eastern Syria. However, they didn’t. They are protecting the remains of Daesh, who are being trained there.”

His Eminence also warned that”$750 million from the Pentagon’s budget goes for the Kurds or others , who are being used by the Americans as part of their battle in Syria.”

“The Trump administration also looks at Iraq only as an oil country,” he said, advising the Iraqis to be very careful from Trump’s administration.”

Back to Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that Lebanon must speak today from a strong position and away from any weakness. “We are strong and we must negotiate from this strong position. We are able to threaten “Israel” as it threatens us. If the American warns that “Israel” will attack us, tell him to accept our demands or Hezbollah will respond,” he said.

“The Lebanese must not allow the devils to sow discord among them, and by devils I mean the Americans,” Sayyed Nasrallah warned.

His Eminence went on to say: “Today the oil resources that are present in the south and across Lebanon are for all Lebanese. The Lebanese people that are suffering from a debt that might reach $100 billion and their only hope might be in the oil and gas that is present in the coast and land.”

“Does Block 9 belong only to the South? No, it is that for all Lebanon,” he added.
In a sounding message to the apartheid “Israeli” entity, the Resistance Leader said: “Lebanon is strong and “let us try”. If the Lebanese Defense Council took a decides that the “Israeli” oil extraction positions must stop working, we [Hezbollah] are ready to stop it within couple of hours.”

“The Americans know that Lebanon’s only strength in this oil and gas battle is the Resistance,” he mentioned, urging the Lebanese to approach this battle in a different manner. “Since 2000, as a Resistance, we announced that we aren’t involved in land demarcation and this is the state’s responsibility.”

Clearly accusing the US of not being an honest broker in oil and border dispute with “Israel”, Sayyed Nasrallah reminded that in 2000, some Lebanese believed that the battle with “Israel” wasn’t theirs.”

“The Americans want to give us our rights in the disputed land which is a simple thing, but to take our rights in the maritime area which is more difficult. The Americans did not come to Lebanon to resolve the issue. They were here to defend “Israel’s” rights and issue threats to Lebanese politicians. The US gives the most strategic military jets to “Israel” and prevents any defense system from Lebanon,” he cautioned.

In another context, Sayyed Nasrallah wondered: “There is a continuous Zionist air invasion to the Lebanese skies. Are we giving up our air to the “Israel”?”

As His Eminence hailed the Syrian achievement of toppling an “Israeli” F16 aircraft, he unveiled that “the decision to confront the “Israeli” aircraft is a Syrian decision that had been taken by President Bashar al-Assad only. Syria is defending itself and after what happened last week, of course, the future won’t be like the past. And that will leave an impact on the aerial arms.”

“Who toppled the “Israeli” aircraft are the officers and soldiers of the brave Syrian Arab army,” he mentioned, assuring that the “Israelis” have their complex calculations to any war because they are uncertain of victory.”

Moving to the regional front, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “the US siege continues on Palestinian people and that the Americans are greatly pressuring this people.”

“There are ideal examples among Palestinians. There are Ahmed Jarrar, Ahad Tamimi and Omar al-Abd, who was sentenced to 3 life times in prison, and he irritated Lieberman with his smile,” His Eminence said.

On the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Sayyed Nasrallah expressed Hezbollah’s pride with the Islamic regime in Iran, which supports Arab causes and rights. “Iran is a country that no other country can meddle in its positions and strategies. The Islamic Republic has stood by all Arab nations, and defended their rights.”

Regarding the situation in Bahrain, His Eminence confirmed that “the Bahrainis have continued their protests despite seven years of heavy-handed crackdown.”

In parallel, His Eminence slammed the fact that “Bahrain is the only country in the world whose government strips citizens of their nationality.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further confirmed that “there is a great international silence regarding the aggression on Yemen, which must end immediately.”


Back to the internal Lebanese arena, Sayyed Nasrallah tackled the upcoming parliamentary elections. “The electoral law isn’t that of Hezbollah. Hezbollah was a partner in forming it. It is a point of political pride and it is one of the most important political achievements [in recent years]. It has opened the way for those without public representation to be represented in the parliament.”

“The elections this year won’t be bone breaking, this law should take us to calm elections and won’t create strife,” he said, pointing out that “Hezbollah and Amal are together in all districts. We had never thought of allying with the Future Movement and our electoral battle is not targeted against anyone.”

Source: Al-Ahed news 

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Hezbollah Belittles the Concrete Wall: We Will Flow Towards Palestine حزب الله يستخفّ بالجدار الإسمنتي: سنتدفق نحو فلسطين 

Border Wall
14-02-2018 | 08:24

Following the downing of the “Israeli” F-16 jet by the Syrian army’s air defenses, “Israel’s” image is becoming more fragile. “Israel’s” defensive actions along some of its northern border with Lebanon are unprecedented. It seeks to prevent Hezbollah from carrying out the decision to transfer the confrontation to Galilee in any future war. On the other hand, the party seems comfortable that all these measures will not hinder it from achieving its goals.

Before the “Israeli” wars on Lebanon in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996 and 2006, the “Israeli” mini-cabinet used to meet in the “well” (the “Israeli” description of the secret places where the meeting was held) and decide to declare war. At the last meeting of the mini-cabinet, also in the “well”, the decision was contrary to all previous decisions as it called for calm and requested the intervention of some countries to bring the situation under control.

It is certain that “Israel” wants war, but it is also certain that it will not seek war unless it believes that it can achieve a desirable outcome and that it possesses the capabilities that exceed that of its enemy. When it trusts that it has reached that capacity, it will not be waiting for any excuse. It wanted the war in 2006 and took the abduction of the two “Israeli” soldiers as a pretext. But because it was not ready for war, it did not respond to the destruction of an “Israeli” vehicle and the killing of soldiers in the Shebaa farms by the resistance in response to the Quneitra operation that killed Jihad Imad Moghniyeh. It did not decide to enter the war when the resistance sent a drone to the skies over Palestine. What happened was quite different. In addition to the offensive plans, the priority was for the unprecedented defensive measures decided by the Northern Command following extensive work by the Galilee Border Division, which identified the vulnerabilities Hezbollah could exploit to break into the Galilee.

Indeed, “Israel” intended to strengthen its defensive line along the border with Lebanon, particularly in areas where groups of resistance can infiltrate into “Israeli” settlements close to the border, as well as impede direct and sniper fire. These measures are part of the “Israeli” army’s readiness for the next war. These include bulldozing lands, transforming them into “cliffs” with sharp angles and at a height of at least six meters, digging trenches, and constructing concrete walls. These were all added to the traditional procedures of electric and barbed wires, surveillance systems, sand barriers, and thermal sensors, etc.

All this was happening before the eyes of the Lebanese army and the resistance. At the beginning of 2017, the enemy decided to build a separation wall of eight to ten meters high on the borders of two areas; the first in the western sector of Naqoura to the Shalumi checkpoint with a length of 5.8 km; the second stretched from Misgav Am to the old Metula wall with a length of 7.5 km. In June, work on the infrastructure of the wall began and continues until today. However, its closeness to the Blue Line has made Lebanon move quickly, since this line is a temporary imaginary line and does not represent the final borders. In addition, Lebanon reserves 13 points on it (the “Israelis” only agree with Lebanon over 3 points).

On July 28, 2017, UNIFIL’s Government Coordinator wrote to the commander of the forces, General Michael Perry, expressing his concern regarding the enemy’s plan to build the wall, considering that this does not serve the main objective of the tripartite meetings that includes moving from a state of cessation of hostilities to a situation of permanent cease-fire. At the same time, the Lebanese army sent a message to the enemy which included a high-level warning stating that it would fire at “Israeli” forces carrying out the construction of the wall, especially after it monitored repeated violations of the technical fence and the attempt to build the wall in the disputed territories.

On August 18, 2017, Lebanon was officially informed by the head of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) that the enemy will build the wall, 90% of which will be on the technical fence or deeper inside the occupied territories.

On October 15, the Ministry of Defense sent a letter to the Supreme Council of Defense proposing appropriate and gradual measures to be taken to respond to the “Israeli” move, as follows: complain to UNIFIL, complain to the Security Council and international forums, organize sit-ins at the border, use of smoke bombs, launching warning fire, and clashes (militarily).

Although the Supreme Council did not discuss this report, its substance, however, was introduced at the last meeting of the Council. The military was given a clear political decision to respond to these measures, even if entailed clashing with the enemy. The official positions also united in rejecting the construction of the wall on the Blue Line, since it does not correspond to the borders with occupied Palestine, considering that this constitutes a violation of Resolution 1701. As for Hezbollah, the party’s position was expressed by the Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who reaffirmed that the party stands alongside the government and the army, adding that the “Israelis” must take the warnings of the Lebanese state seriously. He said that the resistance will stand firmly with the Lebanese state – army and government – in rejecting any change in the points on the border.

Thus far, Hezbollah seems comfortable with the official diplomatic and military measures, especially the prime minister’s address to the army commander at a meeting of the Supreme Council of Defense that any “Israeli” violation of Lebanese sovereignty must be dealt with. This is accompanied by ongoing measures and maneuvers by the party, which has become confident of its ability to penetrate all the enemy’s barriers, including the concrete wall. It knows that these obstacles will be limited in any future war in delaying the crossing not preventing it. In case the decision was taken to enter the colonies, “the resistance is ready and has the potential, not only for the infiltration of individuals, but for the flow of its groups into Palestine.”

“Israeli” Measures since 2014

“Israel” intensified its defense measures on the border with Lebanon at the end of 2014. The most prominent projects were at the following locations:

– Wadi al-Dalam: Engineering work was launched on December 13, 2014 to build a block with a 90-degree angle and a height of 6 meters. It was accompanied by a 25 meter-long and six meter-high earthen berm due to the absence of a slope parallel to the border road at the mentioned area.

– Wadi al-Qatayeh: On February 23, 2015, bulldozing work started from Hanita towards Wadi al-Qatayeh where a road was opened and the precipice was transformed into a cliff at a 90-degree angle, although the work is still ongoing.

– The Sea Site: On June 25, 2015, the enemy worked on lifting a six meter-high earthen berm in front of the site. It also worked on placing wired cubes filled with dirt to prevent crossings, block gaps and block visibility towards the Lehman Barracks and the coastal road.

– Wadi Qatmoun: As of September 2015, the “Israeli” army has initiated a large-scale engineering project within Wadi Qatmoun aimed at constructing a road within a wide area outside the technical fence and within the Blue Line, which extends about two kilometers.

– Abu Dajaj area: On September 20, 2015, the enemy worked to bulldoze trees stretching from outside the technical fence to the Blue Line. A brem, which was in the form of rocks, was raised directly on the Blue Line to prevent the crossing of vehicles.

– Hounine Valley: In October 2015, the enemy embarked on an engineering project in the Hounine Valley, which extends through a 500-meter area. It was aimed at creating an artificial two to eight meter cliff as well as fencing and laying of concrete blocks attaching them to form a wall, in addition to digging a trench against the fencing.

– Al-Mahafer in the direction of Misgav Am: In October 2015, digging began in al-Mahafer area on the border road towards Misgav Am which is adjacent to the cliff that was originally located in the area. The aim is to restore and expand the cliff. The enemy completed its plan in the area on March 21, 2016 through a project that included putting obstacles in the form of a concrete wall on the border road in the vicinity of Misgav Am (the number of blocks reached 30).

– The Shtoula Triangle: On February 16, 2016, the cement blocks installation next to the internal road at the Shtoula Triangle was completed, and a large emplacement was installed in the area.

– The Surrounding of Zibdine site: In the first month of 2016, bulldozing began in front of Zibdine base and olive trees were uprooted in the Zibdine woods.

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by website team

حزب الله يستخفّ بالجدار الإسمنتي: سنتدفق نحو فلسطين 

للصورة المكبرة انقر هنا
بعد سقوط طائرة «أف 16» بمضادات الجيش السوري، ازدادت الصورة الإسرائيلية هشاشة. الإجراءات الدفاعية التي تقوم بها إسرائيل على طول بعض حدودها الشمالية مع لبنان غير مسبوقة. هي تسعى عبرها إلى منع حزب الله من تنفيذ قرار نقل المواجهة إلى الجليل في أيّ حرب مقبلة. لكن في المقابل، يبدو الحزب مرتاحاً إلى أن كل هذه الإجراءات لن تعيقه عن تحقيق أهدافه
إيلي الفرزلي
قبل الحروب الإسرائيلية على لبنان في الأعوام 1978 و1982 و1993 و1996 و2006، كان المجلس الوزاري الإسرائيلي المصغّر يجتمع في «البئر» (الوصف الإسرائيلي للأماكن السرية التي يعقد فيها الاجتماع) ويقرر إعلان الحرب. في الاجتماع الأخير للمجلس المصغر، في «البئر» أيضاً، كان القرار مخالفاً لكل القرارات السابقة، بدعوتها إلى التهدئة وطلبها تدخل بعض الدول لضبط الموقف.
الأكيد أن إسرائيل تريد الحرب، لكن الأكيد أيضاً أنها لن تسعى إلى الحرب ما لم تعتقد أنها قادرة على حسمها وأنها تملك الإمكانات التي تفوق قدرات عدوها. وعندما تثق بأنها وصلت إلى تلك القدرة، لن تكون بانتظار أي ذريعة. ولأنها كانت تريد الحرب في عام 2006، تذرعت باختطاف الجنديين الإسرائيليين. لكن لأنها لم تكن جاهزة للحرب، لم تردّ على تدمير المقاومة لآلية إسرائيلية وقتل عسكريين في مزارع شبعا، رداً على عملية القنيطرة التي استشهد فيها جهاد عماد مغنية، ولم تقرر الدخول في الحرب عندما أرسلت المقاومة طائرة مسيّرة إلى سماء فلسطين. ما حصل كان مختلفاً تماماً. وإلى جانب الخطط الهجومية، صارت الأولوية لإجراءات دفاعية غير مسبوقة قررتها قيادة المنطقة الشمالية، بعد عمل واسع لفرقة الجليل على الحدود، حددت بموجبه نقاط الضعف التي يمكن لحزب الله أن يستغلها لاقتحام الجليل.
وبالفعل، عمدت إسرائيل إلى تعزيز خطها الدفاعي على امتداد الحدود مع لبنان، وتحديداً في المناطق التي يمكن أن تتسلل منها مجموعات من المقاومة إلى المستوطنات الإسرائيلية القريبة من الحدود، إضافة إلى إعاقة عمل النيران المباشرة والقناصة. وهذه الإجراءات هي جزء من استعداد الجيش الإسرائيلي للحرب المقبلة، وتشمل جرف أراضٍ وجعلها «شيارات» بزوايا حادة وبارتفاع ستة أمتار بالحد الأدنى، وحفر خنادق، وصولاً إلى إنشاء جدران إسمنتية، تضاف كلها إلى الإجراءات التقليدية من أسلاك كهربائية وشائكة وأنظمة مراقبة وسواتر ترابية ومجسات حرارية…
كل ذلك كان يجري أمام أعين الجيش اللبناني والمقاومة. ففي بداية عام 2017، قرر العدو إقامة جدار اسمنتي فاصل يتراوح ارتفاعه ما بين ثمانية وعشرة أمتار، على حدود منطقتين؛ الأولى في القطاع الغربي من الناقورة إلى حاجز شلومي بطول 5.8 كلم، والثانية من مسكفعام حتى جدار المطلة القديم بطول 7.5 كلم. وفي حزيران، بدأ العمل بالبنى التحتية للجدار، ولا تزال قائمة حتى اليوم. إلا أن اقترابه من الخط الأزرق جعل لبنان يتحرك سريعاً، انطلاقاً من أن هذا الخط هو خط وهمي مؤقت ولا يمثل الحدود النهائية، أضف إلى أن لبنان متحفّظ على 13 نقطة فيه (الإسرائيليون يقرّون بخلافهم مع لبنان حول 3 نقاط فقط).
في 28 تموز 2017، وجّه منسّق الحكومة لدى اليونيفيل كتاباً إلى قائد هذه القوات، الجنرال مايكل بيري، يعرب فيه عن القلق إزاء خطة العدو بناء الجدار، معتبراً أن ذلك لا يخدم الهدف الرئيسي من الاجتماعات الثلاثية المتمثل في الانتقال من حالة وقف الاعمال القتالية إلى حالة الوقف الدائم لإطلاق النار. وفي الوقت نفسه، وجّه الجيش اللبناني رسالة إلى العدو ضمّنها إنذاراً عالي النبرة، مفاده أنه سيطلق النار على القوات الإسرائيلية التي تقوم بأعمال بناء الجدار، لا سيما بعد رصده انتهاكات متكررة للسياج التقني ومحاولة بناء الجدار في الأراضي المتنازع عليها.
وفي 18 آب 2017، تبلّغ لبنان رسمياً، عبر رئيس جهاز الارتباط في قوات الأمم المتحدة المؤقتة، أن العدو سيقوم ببناء الجدار، وسيكون بنسبة 90 في المئة على السياج التقني أو قبله من جهة الأراضي المحتلة.
في 15 تشرين الأول الماضي، وجّهت وزارة الدفاع كتاباً إلى المجلس الأعلى للدفاع، تقترح فيه اتخاذ الاجراءات المناسبة تصاعدياً وتدريجياً للرد على الخطوة الإسرائيلية، كما يأتي: الشكوى لدى اليونيفل، الشكوى لدى مجلس الأمن والمحافل الدولية، الاعتصام على الحدود، استعمال القنابل دخانية، إطلاق النار التحذيري… وصولاً إلى الاشتباك (عسكرياً).
وبالرغم من أن المجلس الأعلى لم يناقش هذا التقرير، إلا أنه تم الأخذ بجوهره، في الاجتماع الأخير للمجلس، حيث أُعطي الجيش قراراً سياسياً واضحاً بالرد على هذه الإجراءات، حتى لو اقتضى الأمر الاشتباك مع العدو. كذلك اتّحدت المواقف الرسمية في رفضها بناء الجدار على الخط الأزرق، كونه لا يتطابق مع الحدود مع فلسطين المحتلة، معتبرة أن ذلك يشكّل خرقاً للقرار 1701. أما من جهة حزب الله، فكان الموقف على لسان الأمين العام للحزب السيد حسن نصر الله، الذي أكد أن الحزب يقف إلى جانب الحكومة والجيش، وأن على الإسرائيليين أخذ تحذيرات الدولة اللبنانية بشكل جدي. وقال إن المقاومة ستقف بحزم إلى جانب الدولة اللبنانية جيشاً وحكومة في رفض أي تغيير في النقاط على الحدود.
يبدو «حزب الله» حتى الآن مرتاحاً للإجراءات الرسمية ديبلوماسياً وعسكرياً، وخصوصاً مخاطبة رئيس الحكومة قائد الجيش في اجتماع المجلس الأعلى للدفاع بوجوب التصدي لأيّ خرق إسرائيلي للسيادة اللبنانية. يترافق ذلك مع إجراءات ومناورات مستمرة يقوم بها الحزب الذي صار واثقاً من قدرته على اختراق كل حواجز العدو، بما فيها الجدار الاسمنتي، مدركاً أن هذه الموانع سيقتصر دورها في أيّ حرب مقبلة على تأخير العبور لا منعه، لأنه في حال اتخاذ القرار بالدخول إلى المستعمرات، «فإن المقاومة باتت جاهزة وتملك كل الإمكانات، ليس لتسلل أفراد فحسب، بل لتدفق مجموعاتها إلى فلسطين».

 


الإجراءات الإسرائيلية منذ 2014
كثّفت إسرائيل إجراءاتها الدفاعية على الحدود مع لبنان في نهاية عام 2014، وكان أبرزها الورشة في المواقع الآتية:
– وادي الدلم: أطلقت ورشة هندسية، في 13 كانون الأول 2014، لبناء مانع بزاوية 90 درجة وارتفاع 6 أمتار، وأرفقت ذلك بإقامة ساتر ترابي بطول 25 متراً وارتفاع ستة أمتار، وذلك لعدم وجود انحدار محاذٍ للطريق الحدودي، عند المنطقة المذكورة.
– وادي قطعية: في تاريخ 23 شباط 2015 بدأت أعمال جرف من حانيتا باتجاه وادي قطعية، حيث فُتح طريق وحُوِّل المنحدر إلى شيار بزاوية 90 درجة، مع العلم بأن الأعمال لا تزال مستمرة.
الموقع البحري: في 25 حزيران 2015 عمل العدو على رفع ساتر ترابي بارتفاع نحو ستة أمتار أمام الموقع. كذلك عمل على وضع مكعبات مشبّكة معبأة بأتربة، بهدف منع العبور وسد الثُّغَر وحجب الرؤية عن ثكنة ليمان والطريق الساحلي.
وادي قطمون: بدءاً من شهر أيلول 2015 باشر الجيش الإسرائيلي بتنفيذ مشروع هندسي واسع ضمن وادي قطمون يهدف إلى إنشاء طريق ضمن منطقة واسعة خارج السياج التقني وضمن الخط الأزرق تمتد على مسافة تقدر بنحو كيلومترين.
منطقة أبو دجاج: في 20 أيلول 2015 عمل العدو على جرف الأشجار خارج السياج التقني وصولاً إلى الخط الأزرق، ورُفع ساتر عبارة عن صخور على الخط الأزرق مباشرة بحيث شكل مانعاً لعبور الآليات.
وادي هونين: في شهر تشرين الأول 2015، باشر العدو تنفيذ مشروع هندسي في وادي هونين يمتد في منطقة تقدّر بنحو 500 متر، ويهدف إلى إنشاء عارض اصطناعي عبارة عن شيار يراوح ارتفاعه بين مترين وثمانية أمتار بالإضافة إلى أعمال تسييج ووضع بلوكات إسمنتية ووصلها لتصبح على شكل جدار، بالإضافة إلى حفر خندق مقابل أعمال التسييج.
المحافر باتجاه مسكفعام: في تشرين الأول 2015 بدأت أعمال الجرف في منطقة المحافر على الطريق الحدودي باتجاه مسكفعام، وذلك بمحاذاة الشيار الذي كان موجوداً بالأصل في المنطقة. وتهدف هذه الأعمال إلى ترميم الشيار وتوسيعه. وقد استكمل العدو مخططه في المنطقة في 21 آذار 2016 من خلال مشروع يقضي بوضع عوائق على شكل جدار إسمنتي على الطريق الحدودي في محيط مسكفعام (وصل عدد البلوكات إلى 30).
مثلث شتولا: في 16 شباط 2016 انتهت ورشة تركيب البلوكات الإسمنتية بجانب الطريق الداخلي عند مثلث شتولا، كذلك استُحدِثَت دشمة كبيرة في المكان.
محيط موقع زبدين: في الشهر الأول من عام 2016، انطلقت مقابل قاعدة زبدين ورشة أعمال جرف واقتلاع أشجار زيتون في حرش زبدين.

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The Coming War on Lebanon: Israel, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Prepare “Long-Planned Middle East War”

Global Research, February 13, 2018

This previously published article (December 2017) on Global Research reveals the well-calculated plan of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia on inciting a “civil war” in Lebanon to defeat Hezbollah. 

Israel – seemingly leading the squad with the green signal from Washington – has just fabricated yet another grounds for war. 

***

Washington’s plan to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ultimately failed. Now Lebanon seems to be in the cross-hairs with tensions between Israel and Hezbollah on the same level that led to the 2006 Lebanon war. There is also the possibility that a new offensive against Syria that might take place as Washington maintains its troop levels in the devastated country caused by ISIS and other terrorists groups they supported. Various reports suggests that the Pentagon may reveal that there are close to 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria even though ISIS has been defeated. So why is Washington staying in Syria? Will there be another attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the near future? Most likely, yes. Adding the Trump administration’s continued hostilities towards Iran, the drumbeats of a new war in the Middle East is loud and clear.

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have one main objective at the moment and that is to destabilize Lebanon and attempt to defeat Hezbollah before they prepare for another offensive in Syria to remove Assad from power. Before they declare an all-out war on Iran, they must neutralize their allies, Hezbollah and Syria which is by far an extremely difficult task to accomplish.

The Israeli government knows that it cannot defeat Hezbollah without sacrificing both its military and civilian populations. Israel needs the U.S. military for added support if their objective is to somewhat succeed. Israel and the U.S. can continue its support of ISIS and other terrorist groups to create a new civil war in Lebanon through false-flag terror operations which in a strategic sense, can lead to an internal civil war. Can Hezbollah and the Lebanese military prevent terrorist groups from entering its territory? So far they have been successful in defeating ISIS on the Lebanon-Syria border, and will most likely be successful in preventing a new U.S.-supported terrorist haven in Lebanon. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri who originally resigned from his post while visiting the Saudi Kingdom, then suspending his resignation is a sign that a political crisis has been set in motion. So what happens next?

The Curse: Lebanon’s Natural Resources and the Greater Israel Project

In the case of a devastating war on Lebanon, with a civil war intact, Israel would surely attempt to take control over Lebanon’s natural resources. Since Trump got in the White House, Israel has expanded its Jewish settlements through land seizures throughout Palestine at unprecedented levels and with the occupation of the Golan Heights (a Syrian territory), they already control a portion of oil, gas and vital water supplies. Lebanon would be a huge bonus. In 2013, Lebanese Energy Minister Gebran Bassilestimated that Lebanon has around 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil offshore. With Lebanon’s political chaos and Israel preparing for a long-term war with Hezbollah, all leads to Israel Shahak’s ‘The Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ which states the intended goal for the fragmentation of Lebanon and other adversaries in the Middle East:

3) This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach’s study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

4) The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980’s,” talks about “far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967” that are created by the “very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel” 

Israel is gearing up for a long and devastating war against Hezbollah, an Iranian-ally who is . based in Lebanon’s southern region to deter Israel’s expansionist ideas. As Saudi Arabia (Israel’s closest ally in the region) continues its immoral and devastating war on Yemen, it is raising tensions with Iran. According to Thomas L. Freidman’s article ‘Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, At Last’ praising who he calls “M.B.S.” or Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman for his reformist policies. According to Friedman 

“Iran’s “supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” said M.B.S. “But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

The Trump administration’s continued support of the Saudi Monarchy which negotiated an arms deal worth billions to take place has only emboldened the Saudi government to take an aggressive stand towards its adversaries in the Middle East namely, Iran.

Lebanon Prepares for Another War

On November 21st, Reuters’ published an article titled ‘Lebanon army chief warns of Israel threat amid political crisis’based on Lebanon’s Army Chief warning his troops to be on high alert concerning Israel’s aggressive behavior along the Southern border. It was reported that 

“Lebanon’s army chief told his soldiers on Tuesday to be extra vigilant to prevent unrest during political turmoil after the prime minister quit, and accused Israel of “aggressive” intentions across the southern frontier” despite Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon and decided to put his resignation on hold.

Commander-General-Joseph-Aoun (Source: The National)

The army’s Twitter account quoted the Lebanese Army’s Commander General Joseph Aoun who said that

“Troops should be ready to “thwart any attempt to exploit the current circumstances for stirring strife” and that “the exceptional political situation that Lebanon is going through requires you to exercise the highest levels of awareness.”

Israel understands that a defeat against Hezbollah and the Lebanese military will be absolutely difficult to accomplish, therefore preparations to engage the Hezbollah this time will be an effort to create as much damage as possible and reduce their military capabilities, maybe in time for U.S. troops to enter the war through Syria and coordinate targets with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). As I mentioned earlier, and may I add, with an interesting choice of words, a report published by Reuters on November 24th suggests that the Pentagon might announce how many troops they have in Syria:

Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon could, as early as Monday, publicly announce that there are slightly more than 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria. They said there was always a possibility that last minute changes in schedules could delay an announcement. That is not an increase in troop numbers, just a more accurate count, as the numbers often fluctuate

A War That No One Will Win 

The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), an establishment think-tank based in New York City published an article on July 30th of this year by Neocon warmonger Eliot Abrams who was a deputy assistant and deputy national security adviser for President George W. Bush titled ‘The Next Israel-Hezbollah Conflict’ admits that “the next war is a war that will not be “won” by Israel or Hezbollah.” Abrams said that “Israel’s realistic war aims will not match the damage it will suffer—and the damage it will necessarily inflict” in reference to a strategic assessment ‘by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies titled ‘Political and Military Contours of the Next Conflict with Hezbollah’ by Gideon Sa’ar, an Israeli politician and a former Likud member of the Knesset and Ron Tira, a strategist, Israeli Air Force officer and a pilot highlights what Israel’s realistic goals should be:

Israel’s objectives in a future conflict will be derived first and foremost from what it wants to achieve in the distinct context (such as, for example, preventing Hezbollah’s buildup of certain qualitative edge capabilities or preventing deployment of high quality Iranian weapon systems in Syria), but a review of the fundamental data reveals a few “generic” objectives that could be applicable in many contexts: postponing the following conflict, shaping the rules for the routine times that will follow the conflict, increasing deterrence with respect to Hezbollah and third parties, undermining the attractiveness of Hezbollah’s war paradigm (use of rockets and missiles hidden among the civilian population), preserving Israel’s relations with its allies, and creating the conditions to reduce Iranian involvement in the post-war reconstruction of Lebanon, as well as imposing new and enforceable restrictions on the freedom of access of the Iran-Alawite-Hezbollah axis

The strategic assessment mentioned what realistic goals Israel can achieve when the conflict takes place according to the assessment:

There is only a limited range of “positive” and achievable objectives that Israel can hope to attain from Hezbollah and from Lebanon. While the purpose of an armed conflict is always political, in many contexts it is hard to find a political objective that is both meaningful and achievable at a reasonable cost, and that is the reason for the basic lack of value that can be found in an Israel- Hezbollah military conflict 

The reason according to Mr. Abrams’s conclusion that an Israeli defeat over Hezbollah is impossible is because of Russia’s presence in the region:

That’s because Russia cannot be expelled, Lebanon will remain roughly half-Shia, and Hezbollah will survive—as will its relationship with Iran. After the war, the best assumption would be that Hezbollah will rebuild, as it did after 2006. But Hezbollah would achieve nothing positive in such a conflict, suffering immense damage and bringing immense destruction upon Lebanon. Its only possible “gain” is the damage it would inflict on Israel. In a way this is the only “good news”

Israel’s Economy During Wartime

David Rosenberg’s opinion piece ‘Israel’s Next War: We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ on the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict in the Israel-based news source Haaretz explains the consequences of war and how it effects Israel’s economy. Rosenberg said that

 “In 2014, the missile war wasn’t a threat so much as a spectacle, as Israelis watched Iron Dome missiles bring down Qassam rockets, to applause. Score one for the home team.”

However, Rosenberg claims that the next war with Hezbollah will be different, in fact it will effect Israel’s economy in several ways:

The next war isn’t going to look like that. The round figure everyone uses for Hezbollah’s missile arsenal is 100,000. That is a suspiciously round figure and is probably wrong, but no one disputes that the Shiite militia is well-armed, and more importantly, many of its missiles carry much more powerful warheads and are much more accurate than they were in 2006. Hezbollah’s arsenal includes attack drones and coast-to-sea missiles, too. For its part, Israel is also better prepared. Iron Dome, which is designed to bring down short-range rockets, has been complemented by the introduction of the David’s Sling and Arrow systems, designed to intercept long-range rockets and ballistic missiles, respectively. 

But against an onslaught of thousands of missiles, no Domes, Slings or Arrows will be able to provide the kind of defense Israelis have grown used to. Israel’s infrastructure and economic activity are vulnerable to even a limited missile attack from Hezbollah. Geographically, Israel is a small country with no hinterland, which means facilities for electric power and water are concentrated in small areas. More than a quarter of electric power is generated at just two sites. Natural gas is produced at a single offshore field and delivered via a single pipeline. A large portion of our exports derive from a single industrial plant. A prolonged missile war will almost certainly bring business to a halt

Israel’s economy will shrink within a short-time period according to Rosenberg:

In the worst-case scenario, a post-war Israel would no longer be seen by global investors and businesses as a safe place to put their money and do deals. Imagine Startup Nation without the constant flow of cross-border capital and mergers and acquisitions. The fantasyland of the last 11 years would disappear in a matter of days or weeks

Rosenberg is correct. For example, during the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict, Israel was faced with economic uncertainties. The Times of Israel published an article during the conflict with an appropriate title ‘War depresses people, economy; strong shekel harmful’ clarified what experts said on how the economy would be effected during a “drawn-out” conflict:

Experts temper the pessimism by noting that in the past, the Israeli economy has been resilient. If the current conflict is resolved quickly, there may be little cause for concern. On the other hand, a drawn out conflict in Gaza may cause investors to worry about the country’s stability and could cause long term damage to Israel’s reputation and position as a key player in the global economy. 

“Our key concerns are the openness of the Israeli economy and our ability to be a key player in the global markets,” Zvi Eckstein, former deputy governor of the Bank of Israel and dean of the School of Economics at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, noted in an interview with The Times of Israel. “It’s really still a key uncertainty how the conflict will end up,” said Eckstein. “Most people predict we will get back to the same relatively stable geopolitical situation as we were in early July, and if so, I would say the economy would rebound back later next year. But if not, the threat to Israel’s economy would be quite devastating”

That conflict was against a weaker adversary, Hamas. For starters, a war with Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria however would have a negative impact on Israel’s tourism industry where it receives more than 3 million tourists (mainly from the U.S. and Europe) per year. Israel’s level of production will also take a hit. The Street published an interesting article ‘How Is Israel’s Economy Affected by the Current War?’ explains what happened to Israel’s economy during the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict:

The Israeli economy suffers directly from reductions in productivity every time missile alert sirens send the country’s residents into bomb shelters. The economic costs of the war are estimated upwards of $2.9 billion, and already the war has soaked up 1.2% of the GDP. In the event that quiet prevails after a ceasefire is reached, the Israeli economy is resilient enough to withstand the costs of this operation.

History reflects that the Israeli economy surged at a rate of 6% prior to the 2006 Lebanon war and then slowed down to 2.9% prior to this current conflict. The tourism sector is going to be particularly hard hit, and if a third intifada ensues the economic costs for Israel could be crippling. Since a big chunk of Israel’s workforce is enlisted in the IDF, productivity declines are widespread and costs are mounting. The IMA (Israel Manufacturers Association) has already listed a figure of $240 million in losses as a result of the war effort

Another War, Another Tragedy

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Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. want to permanently eliminate the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance and to achieve that goal, Lebanon will have to become another Libya causing more chaos in an already volatile situation. The only beneficiaries in this coming war is Israel and the U.S. if of course, they are victorious. The U.S. and their allies would re-establish themselves as the hegemonic power in the Middle East with absolute control over the natural resources including oil, gas and water. Israel would also expand and conquer more territory for Greater Israel. Saudi Arabia would remain a vassal state with more political leverage over its neighbors.

And if Saudi Arabia foolishly decided to go to war with Iran, the House of Saud will inevitably collapse since Iran is much more stronger, militarily speaking. Washington plans to keep its military presence in Syria is a signal that removing Assad from power is still on the agenda. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Trump administration (decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal with the intention to eventually kill the deal) is a recipe for a planned long-term conflict. Israel’s economy would suffer a major setback if they were to launch an attack against Hezbollah. Besides the fact that a war against Hezbollah would mean that missiles would constantly strike within Israel, creating a massive amount of stress on Israeli citizens and a downturn of the economy would only add another dimension to the wide-reaching full-scale war. Israel hopes that Hezbollah will be temporally neutralized until the U.S. congress and the Trump Administration jointly approve another military and economic aid package worth billions in time to continue its wars. Then there is the possibility of a joint U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israeli orchestrated attack on Syria to remove Assad from power to ultimately isolate Iran, but with Russia and China backing Iran, it would be a no-win situation.  The biggest loser in all of its foreign policy blunders is the U.S. Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel’s plan to launch more aggressive wars against its neighbors to further an expansionist objective would come at a great cost to Israeli citizens as their economy sinks into the rabbit hole and with the threat of incoming missiles from southern Lebanon makes it that much more worst. Lebanon and to an extent Israel will be once again devastated by a new war. For both sides of the border, it is a formula for disastrous consequences.

This article was originally published by Silent Crow News.

Featured image is from the author.

New War in the Middle East? – Washington Is Dancing To the Tune Being Played by israel

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By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | February 12, 2018

How many Americans are aware that every two years the United States military engages in large scale exercises with the Israeli Defense Forces that simulate wars against Israel’s neighbors? Three thousand American soldiers are in Israel right now involved in maneuvers that are focused on countering a missile attack from Lebanon. When the exercise, known as Juniper Cobra, was run in 2016 the U.S. commander Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, who appeared to confuse American national security with that of a small Middle Eastern state, described it as the European Command’s “highest priority” drill that year. He then added that “this exercise increases our military readiness, but just as importantly it also signals our resolve to support Israel.”

Ironically, Lebanon has an army of its own that is in part financially and logistically supported by Washington, though not at the level that the U.S. supports Israel, which means that the U.S. is participating in war games that pit one friendly country and military aid recipient against another. Israel has warned that in any future conflict it will target the Lebanese Army equally with Hezbollah as both are “enemies.”

The truly most interesting aspects of the current exercises in Israel is that the United States has never had any formal alliance with Israel and has absolutely no national interest in becoming involved in Israel’s wars at all. The assumption that the U.S. might be called upon to help defend Israel is not based on any strategic reality, which is not to say it might not happen if Congress and the White House have their way, but it would likely be a double war of aggression, with Israel attacking the militarily much weaker Lebanese followed by the United States weighing in to finish the job after Hezbollah tries to fight back with its batteries of rockets.

That Washington is the Israeli poodle in the current situation is made clear by the recent opening of the first U.S. military base in Israel. It is described as a base within a base as it is completely contained by an Israeli air force installation and operates “under Israeli military directives.” It has no function in support of U.S. regional interests but is instead a shell headquarters with limited support facilities that can be ramped up considerably if Israel goes to war and calls for American assistance. Together with billions of dollars-worth of U.S. military equipment that is pre-positioned in Israel and can be used by the Israelis as needed, it is all about supporting Israeli war-making and has nothing to do with American security or defense interests.

Maneuvers are supposed to simulate possible future military actions, bloodless battles that provide lessons learned for future engagements, suggesting that some genius in the Pentagon who initiated these biennial exercises under George W. Bush, expects American soldiers to assist in the Israeli mission to remake the Middle East in their favor. Pentagon number two Paul Wolfowitz, who had an unseemly close relationship with Israeli military visitors, comes to mind as a possible candidate.

Israel has actually been planning to invade Lebanon. Last September it held its largest military exercise in over twenty years around the theme of a ground invasion of Lebanon. Israeli soldiers even dressed as Hezbollah militiamen as part of the training. There have been repeated warnings by Israeli government officials that there are several red lines that will bring about an Israeli attack, to include evidence that Iran is aiding the development of sophisticated “missile plants” in either Lebanon or Syria. The evidence for such plants is otherwise reported to be apocryphal or perhaps even fabricated, known only to Israeli intelligence, but they should perhaps be seen as a pretext for war and not necessarily based on fact.

Apart from having no compelling interest to get involved in the latest round of bloodletting, the U.S. would be well advised to keep its distance from Benjamin Netanyahu’s schemes to destroy Hezbollah’s power as crushing Lebanon would produce the same kind of regional catastrophe as did the U.S. led Iraq invasion of 2003. Israel’s Minister of Transportation Ysrael Katz recently warned that Lebanon will be “razed to the ground” and “returned to the stone age” if Hezbollah proves able and willing to fire any missiles at Israel.

Israel is itching for a fight and working hard to get Washington involved, not a difficult task given the belligerent proclivities of those who gather to discuss national security strategy in the White House. Viewing Israel’s recent actions relating to Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, it is clear that Netanyahu’s government is the aggressor and is both willing and able to destabilize the entire region without any regard for what happens next. It has already warned that its expected conflict with Lebanon will also involve Syria and that the ultimate target is to eliminate Iranian influence in the area.

Bombings of neighboring Syria by Israeli aircraft have also intensified, leading to the shooting down of an Israeli jet by Syrian air defense forces. The U.S. media covered the story but largely ignored the fact that Netanyahu has launched hundreds of airstrikes against a country with which it is not at war, again using the false claim that Israel is acting defensively and it is Iran that is doing the “interfering.” Of course, the United States in Syria has done much the same thing, lying about developments before setting up an ambush last week that killed 100 Syrian soldiers.

That Washington is dancing to the tune being played by Israel to dismember the Middle East makes the American government an accomplice when the war actually does break out. And it will undoubtedly also have to do much of the fighting. That the United States appears to be committed to defend Israel, even if Israel starts the war, is deplorable and is particularly so as there is no reciprocity. Israel has never fought side-by-side with the United States and if Washington actually finds itself in a situation where it needs Israeli military assistance or support don’t count on it.

*(Juniper Cobra 2016. Image credit: Israel Defense Forces/ flickr)

Sheikh Qassem: Lebanon’s Solidarity, Power Deterred Israeli Aggressive Schemes

Sheikh Naim Qassem

February 9, 2018

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Friday that Lebanon’s solidarity and power deterred the Israeli aggressive schemes, emphasizing that the Resistance will always confront any Zionist move against Lebanon.

Delivering a speech during Hezbollah ceremony held to announce the party’s electoral machine in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Sheikh Qassem said that the recent case of challenging the Israeli threats against Lebanon’s seashore oil investments confirm the golden formula, people-army-resistance.

Source: Al-Manar Website

Lebanon Joins Club of Oil Producing States

February 9, 2018

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Lebanon officially signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production contracts for two energy blocks Friday with a consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek.

At a ceremony held at BIEL in central Beirut to mark the signing of the agreements, President Michel Aoun said, “We are happy for joining the club of oil producing states, embarking on a historical epoch.”

Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil vowed there would be full exploration in offshore energy Block 9, which lies in waters disputed by the Zionist occupation entity.

“We have confirmed and reaffirmed that Block 9 is located within the Lebanese maritime waters and is fully subject to the sovereignty of the Lebanese state,” Abi Khalil said. “And its exploration activities will be fully implemented.”

Source: Al-Manar Website and Daily Star

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