______________________________________________________IDF: Clip from Hezbollah Tour of Beirut ‘Workshop’ Proves it’s a Missile Factory
Judah Ari Gross
Times of Israel, Oct. 2, 2020
The Israel Defense Forces on Friday countered a Hezbollah claim that a Beirut factory identified by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the week as a missile production site was a civilian workshop, identifying the machinery in the facility as that which is needed for the production of precision-guided munitions.
Shortly after the premier on Tuesday revealed the location of the alleged Hezbollah site in the al-Janah neighborhood of the Lebanese capital, the Iran-backed terror group led a tour of journalists to the factory, claiming it was a civilian-run affair.
No missiles or other weapons were seen by reporters who visited the workshop, though they were not allowed to freely explore the facility.
The military on Friday — using footage filmed by the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen television station — identified the equipment inside the factory and explained how each piece could be used in the manufacture of missiles.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to take action to prevent Hezbollah from completing this so-called precision project, an effort to convert its massive arsenal of simple rockets into highly accurate missiles, which present a far greater challenge to Israel’s air defenses and would potentially be a game-changer in a future conflict with the Shiite militia.
According to the IDF, a folding machine seen in the footage is used to work steel before it can be used to make engine casings, warheads and navigation parts; the various cutting machines are used to make stabilizing fins, engine casings and warheads; and two rolling machines are used to make engine parts, warheads and navigation parts.
The IDF also named the supposedly civilian manager of the site as a Hezbollah member, Muhammad Kamil Fuad Rimal, 32. According to the military, Rimal indeed served as the manager of the factory on behalf of the terror group. “He was active in the unit manufacturing precision-guided missiles in cooperation with Iranian forces. As part of his role, he visited Iran a number of times, along with other operatives,” the IDF said.
In addition to the al-Janah location identified by Netanyahu, the military also revealed the location of two other alleged Hezbollah missile sites on Tuesday night — both hidden under residential areas — one in Beirut’s Chouaifet neighborhood and the other in its Laylaki neighborhood.
On Friday, the IDF indicated that the terror group had attempted to move equipment from the Chouaifet site to another location in the Lebanese capital after its nature had been made public on Tuesday night.
The military released what appeared to be drone footage of the location from the next day, showing a truck pull up to the area, leave several hours later and then pull into a building that the IDF said also belonged to Hezbollah in the al-Baranja neighborhood, just north of Beirut’s international airport.
The IDF identified the new location as a subterranean site under a five-story apartment building. As with the other sites, the military provided the GPS coordinates for the location: 33.8386939N, 35.5105477E… [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Is Hizballah Finally Starting to Crack?
P. David Hornik
PJ Media, Oct. 7, 2020
Next week Israel and Lebanon are slated to start talks on setting the maritime boundaries between them. That may not seem as dramatic news as Israel’s recent talks with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which yielded normalization deals between Israel and those countries. But in their way, the Israel-Lebanon talks could be no less dramatic.
It was about a decade ago that Israel discovered huge gas fields in the Mediterranean. By now, its Leviathan and Tamar fields are turning Israel into an energy powerhouse. Lebanon, too, could have started exploring back then — but it would have required negotiating with Israel to demarcate the waters of these neighboring countries. Lebanon — where Hizballah is the dominant force — couldn’t do that because it would have meant implying that Israel had a right to exist.
Ten years later Hizballah still, of course, holds Lebanon in its grip — and yet the talks are set to proceed. It’s not because Hizballah’s destroy-Israel outlook has changed in the slightest. Lebanon, however, is in such desperate straits that even this Iranian-backed terror organization’s ideological purity has had to admit a few cracks.
For one thing, under the combined pressures of U.S. sanctions on Iran and Hizballah, decades of corruption and mismanagement, and the COVID-19 crisis, Lebanon’s economy is at the brink of collapse — only to suffer yet another blow with the disastrous August 4 explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in Beirut port. While no one seems to know whether Hizballah greenlighted next week’s talks with Israel, clearly it didn’t have the gumption to stop them.
And as if all that weren’t enough, Israel has been applying another kind of pressure.
During his speech to the United Nations last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a map of a secret Hizballah missile factory in the Beirut neighborhood of Janah — one that’s mega-dangerous like the ammonium nitrate Hizballah is believed to have been storing in the port. The Janah missile factory, as Netanyahu graphically showed, is adjacent, a meter away, from a gas company. These are gas canisters. Right here. It’s a few meters away from a gas station. It’s fifty meters away from the gas company. Here are more gas trucks. And it’s embedded in civilian housing here, civilian housing here…. I say to the people of Janah, you’ve got to act now. You’ve got to protest this. Because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy.
On the same night as Netanyahu’s speech, the Israel Defense Forces revealed two more Hizballah missile facilities in Beirut. One was “built beneath four seven-story apartment buildings in which 70 families live”; the other was “located under a complex of five apartment buildings in which 50 families live.” A follow-up report three days later said Hizballah had already tried to move equipment from one of the sites to another location in Beirut… [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Hezbollah: Caught on the Horns of a Deterrence Dilemma
BESA, Sept. 16, 2020
As a consequence of recent events and its own ill-advised declarations, Hezbollah finds itself caught on the horns of a strategic deterrence dilemma. The Khomeinist-Shiite organization’s leadership, sworn to Israel’s destruction, has declared that it will retaliate for any Israeli action against its personnel or will prevent it from acquiring the means to achieve that objective. An Israeli strike in Syria in July that killed a Hezbollah operative triggered the promised retaliation by Hezbollah, but its actions were severely constrained by its inability to withstand the consequences of escalation.
The results were failed operations that left the organization embarrassed and under increased pressure to achieve some semblance of success. This pressure can easily lead to inadvertent escalation along Israel’s northern border.
The Israeli-Hezbollah conflict relationship along the Lebanese border is complex and built on mutual deterrence. Hezbollah is thus both a deterrer and a deterree. Mutual deterrence, however, should not be conflated with symmetrical deterrence. Hezbollah’s overarching objective—to destroy Israel— is categorically different from Israel’s objective, which is to prevent its own destruction. Should Hezbollah, alone or in conjunction with Iran or other allies, attain the capability to destroy Israel, it is unlikely that punitive threats would suffice to deter an attack, as Israel’s enemies would accept extremely heavy damage as the price of success in their efforts to annihilate the Jewish State. Relying on its ability to defeat any existential threat, Israel utilizes deterrence by denial to prevent Hezbollah, as well as other adversaries, from attempting to achieve their overarching genocidal objective.
The goals of each side’s immediate deterrent strategies also differ. Israel wishes to maintain quiet along its northern border. Because it is incapable of preventing minor Hezbollah rocket or ground fire attacks, it relies on threats of punitive retaliation and massive escalation for deterrence. Conversely, Hezbollah wishes to deter Israeli action that impedes the strengthening of the organization’s capability to attack Israel. Israeli strikes on Iranian/Hezbollah targets in Syria are not retaliatory but preventive, in that they interdict Iranian supply of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hence, while these strikes contribute to Israel’s deterrence of Hezbollah, they are not integral to Israel’s deterrence policy.
Hezbollah chairman Hassan Nasrallah has set an unachievable deterrence objective. By attempting to both maintain and change the status quo, he has ensnared Hezbollah on the horns of a deterrence dilemma.
The “Nasrallah Doctrine,” which has been in effect for a number of years and was explicitly declared in a speech in early 2020, declares that the organization will retaliate for any harm done to its personnel or interests in Lebanon or Syria. Hezbollah’s rocket capability has given the threat a measure of effectiveness in protecting Hezbollah operatives from targeting by Israel, and in maintaining the status quo along the Lebanese border. However, Hezbollah’s activity in Syria is meant to shift the status quo in the organization’s favor, and the doctrine is insufficient to prevent Israel from acting to maintain that status quo. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Ex-IDF Intelligence Chief: Hamas is Extorting Us, Nasrallah Won’t Give Up
Jerusalem Post, Aug. 29, 2020
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, former IDF intelligence chief and currently head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), spoke to Nissim Mashal on his 103FM radio show on Friday and discussed the tension in northern Israel relating to the Hezbollah organization. According to Yadlin, the Lebanese terrorist organization understands that it can’t touch civilians, but “is determined to kill IDF soldiers.”
Yadlin said that “Hezbollah won’t dare touch civilians, and it’s trying to change the rules so it’s allowed to hurt IDF soldiers. We must be loud and clear and make it understand that we won’t play this game.”
The INSS head addressed the recently growing concerns of a Hezbollah attack. “I believe Nasrallah is determined to kill IDF soldiers. He is looking for a focused blow that won’t necessarily cause an escalation. He’s failed three or four times already, and he’s not giving up. “There’s a big similarity between the northern and southern borders and there are also differences,” he explained. “On both fronts, there’s a delicate dialogue going on, trying to determine the equation and the rules of the game. No one on either side wants to reach a full-scale confrontation. The difference is that in the South, civilians are being attacked and the IDF needs to make sure that it stops. Hamas is extorting us,” Yadlin said.
Unlike the situation with Hamas, Yadlin says that “in northern Israel the rules are a bit different – the civilians are safe. Hezbollah knows that it can’t touch civilians but it’s trying to harm IDF soldiers. It’s trying to tell us: ‘You can’t attack the Iranian establishment in Syria. If by chance a Hezbollah terrorist is hurt in Syria, you’ll pay the price.’
“What am I concerned about? I think they’re succeeding,” he said. “Since July 20, I’ve seen around seven aircraft reaching Hezbollah from Syria or Iran, probably with ammunition, and Israel is not attacking.”
WHEN ASKED why it looks like the powerful IDF is afraid of a conflict with a terrorist organization, Yadlin said that “on a strategic level, the IDF’s reluctance to retaliate against the terrorist on Har Dov is interpreted by Nasrallah as weakness and may lead him to make a larger gamble that will lead to escalation.
“I think we were wrong not to at least publish the documentation of the terrorist arriving,” he said. “It would be fine to let them leave once, but as soon as it’s clear that Nasrallah keeps reading us in the wrong way, the IDF must do what its chief of staff keeps preaching: achieve a crushing victory. Which will explain to Hezbollah that this game it’s playing is not acceptable – and it will surely not cripple us in our efforts of preventing Iranian establishment in Syria.
“Regarding the attack on Hezbollah’s weapons and ammunition warehouses in Lebanon, Yadlin emphasized: “This is the most important discussion that the national security cabinet needs to ask itself, but it’s busy with other issues, which also don’t lead to any decisions. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
For Further Reference:
BICOM Briefing Hezbollah’s Precision Missile Project Updated October 2019 –– In February 2019 BICOM produced this paper that examines Hezbollah’s precision missile project in Lebanon. This revised edition is updated to include events in August 2019 when Israel reportedly destroyed Hezbollah equipment in Beirut that was part of its missile development programme and reports that Israeli forces have attacked Iranian missiles stored by Shia militias in Iraq.
The Nasrallah Myth Is No More: Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom, Aug. 9, 2020 — The city of Beirut has known its share of protests. Beginning with Hezbollah supporters hailing their leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who calls for the destruction of Israel, to the throngs of Lebanese citizens decrying the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in the spring of 2005, to the protests last winter, upon the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, when Lebanese youth took to the streets to voice their economic distress and demand profound governmental reform.
Hezbollah’s Precision Guided Missile Project Under Renewed Scrutiny: Joe Truzman, FDD’s Long War Journal,Oct. 1, 2020 — Recent events in Lebanon have brought about renewed attention to Hezbollah’s Precision Guided Missile (PGM) project after an arms depot belonging to the Iranian-backed proxy exploded in Ayn al-Qana last week and Tuesday’s reveal by Prime Minister Netanyahu of Hezbollah ‘missile factories’ located in three Beirut neighborhoods.
The EU: Hizballah’s Intersectional Partner: Richard Kemp, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 18, 2020 — Intersectionality has become a cynical craze among woke activists determined to promote division and undermine the fabric of Western society.