ANALYSIS: Israel and Hezbollah in Psychological War
Coronavirus panic means few are even aware of the ongoing hostilities with the Lebanese terror group
Israel’s northern border is heating up once again but the Israeli media is fully preoccupied with the Corona pandemic and hardly reports about it.
The current escalation involves the region along the Syrian border on the Golan Heights and Lebanon which saw on Monday a spike in aerial activity by the Israeli air force (IAF).
The current escalation started on March 26 when the Israeli military shot down a drone that apparently belonged to Hezbollah and had entered Israeli airspace.
Hezbollah didn’t react to the downing of the drone but continued its belligerent activities in both Lebanon and Syria where the terror organization is doing Iran’s bidding by building up forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
On April 10 the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) conveyed a message to both Iran and Hezbollah when it released footage of a meeting between in the Golan Heights between a Syrian top commander and Hezbollah operative Hajj Hashem who is responsible for the build-up of troops on the mountainous plateau.
“Look closely. See the man with white hair? That’s the head of the Syrian Armed Forces 1st Corps, Luau Ali Ahmad Assad. He’s visiting Hezbollah’s positions in Syria.
Hezbollah didn’t heed the warning however and continued its belligerent activities in both southern Lebanon and the Syrian Golan Heights.
Then came April 15, when the IDF did make good on its promise to prevent Hezbollah from entrenching itself in southern Syria.
While all media reported that an Israeli drone had conducted a botched attempt to assassinate Mustafa Mugniyeh the son of Imad Mugniyeh, the liquidated terror mastermind of Hezbollah who was killed by the Mossad and the CIA in 2008, something entirely different took place and the Iranians (sic) were responsible forrevealing the inside story.
Footage that was released by Iranian state-controlled media showed that it wasn’t a botched attempt to assassinate Mustafa Mugniyeh but another psychological blow to Hezbollah and Iran: the IDF indeed ‘sees’ what the axis is doing in Lebanon and Syria.
The footage of the strike begins after a first missile was fired at the Jeep but didn’t hit the vehicle something that is rare for a drone attack.
Three Hezbollah operatives can be seen running from the car but then they apparently remember that they forgot to take important luggage from the car and return to the vehicle.
The drone kept the car in its sights all the time but only released a second missile destroying the Jeep after the Hezbollah men had taken out the bags and disappeared.
According to some pundits the bags the Hezbollah operatives took out of the car contained GPS guided missile conversion kits but if that was the case the operator of the drone wouldn’t have carried out the strike in this way.
Just as the IDF did at the outset of the destruction of Hezbollah’s tunnel project it used psychological warfare.
The day the IDF revealed Hezbollah had built multiple attack tunnels underneath the Israeli border it published a video.
In that video, which was made by a camera that the IDF placed in one of the tunnels by using a robot, a Hezbollah operative could be seen approaching the device after which a small bomb was detonated that scared the man away.
The message there was to humiliate Hezbollah, which had been working on the tunnel project for more than a decade with the help of the Iranians and engineers from North Korea.
Now, the message to Iran and Hezbollah was connected to the Tweet on April 10: We, the IDF, indeed know what you’re doing or plan to do and where you are.
The psychological warfare didn’t end here.
Last Friday, the IDF reported three breaches of the security fence in the area of Metullah Israel’s most northern city.
“IDF inspections revealed damage to the fence at three locations. Maintenance crews are currently repairing the damage. The circumstances will be investigated, yet it is clear that no breach of Israeli territory occurred,” the Israeli army said in a statement.
Hezbollah had sent a message to Israel: We can infiltrate the country at any time of our choosing.
Lebanese media, including Hezbollah’s Al-Manar outlet, later reported that the IDF had used a robot to drag two blue nylon bags with “bodies” into Israel and shot bullets at a third.
On Sunday, Lebanese media reported IDF forces were still combing the area along the Lebanese border using smokescreens to hide their activities.
The psychological warfare even continued after this incident.
On Sunday evening and Monday morning this reporter witnessed unusual aerial activity in the skies over northern Israel.
Sometime later, Lebanese media reported on multiple overflights and mock raids on southern Lebanese cities, by IAF warplanes that flew at medium altitude.
The same media said that Israel had increased its overflights over many regions in Lebanon since Friday when Hezbollah breached the border with Israel.
Other reports mention increased armed struggle against the presence of the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Syrian army in southern Syria.
The London-based Arabic paper Alsharq al-Awsat (meaning The Middle East)reported that in one week time 15 Hezbollah terrorists and regime fighters had been killed by unknown gunmen.
Alsharq al-Awsat said that the violence started last year June and this could be related to the Israeli attempt to thwart the build-up of Iranian forces on the Syrian Golan Heights.
After all, during the now 9-year-old Syrian war Israel reportedly aided anti-regime rebels who later closed a ‘rehabilitation deal’ with the regime of Bashar al-Assad. This aid was also meant to prevent Iran from taking over the region close to the Israeli border.