Opinion

Israel Hayom

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah showed his true colors

He is a bitter enemy, and Hezbollah is a mini-‎army of highly motivated terrorists, who are skilled ‎in battle and armed with 150,000 missiles that ‎threaten Israel nationwide.

Hezbollah flag. Credit: Wikipedia.
Hezbollah flag. Credit: Wikipedia.
Oded Granot (Twitter)
Oded Granot

More than two days have passed since Israel exposed ‎Hezbollah’ terror tunnels under the Israel-Lebanon ‎border, and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, as ‎well as the Shi’ite terrorist group’s other top ‎officials, have all remained mum. ‎

Following a string of stammered statements in Hezbollah-‎affiliated media, mostly speculating that “Operation ‎Northern Shield” seeks to distract Israelis from Prime ‎Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legal troubles, it ‎fell to Nabih Berri, Lebanon’s parliament speaker, ‎to assert that “there are no tunnels. If anyone says ‎there are, let them show me where.”‎

The lack of any real reaction from Hezbollah, which ‎is very uncharacteristic, is a direct result of the ‎shock crippling it over the Israeli operation.‎ This shock is understandable. Hezbollah’s tunneling ‎project was one of Nasrallah’s top secret schemes, ‎and only a handful of his confidants within the ‎organization knew about it. ‎

Hezbollah’s confidence that it was operating under ‎Israel’s radar was so ironclad that the project ‎continued even when reports surfaced that the Israel Defense Forces ‎was looking into complaints by the residents of the ‎border-adjacent communities about strange digging ‎noises near the border. ‎

And then, out of the blue, this expansive (and ‎expensive) project collapsed right before ‎Nasrallah’s eyes. One tunnel is fully exposed to the ‎world, another’s location has been revealed, and before you ‎know it, the IDF announces that it has information about ‎the entire grid. This means that this was not a random ‎discovery, but one based on highly accurate ‎intelligence, meaning that Hezbollah has been ‎significantly compromised. ‎

It should be said that the discovery of Hezbollah’s ‎cross-border terror tunnels, significant as it may ‎be, does little to change the fundamental balance of ‎power between Israel and the Shi’ite terrorist group. ‎

Nasrallah is a bitter enemy, and Hezbollah is a mini-‎army of highly motivated terrorists, who are skilled ‎in battle and armed with 150,000 missiles that ‎threaten Israel nationwide.

We must also remember that Hezbollah would be ‎willing to contain Operation Northern Shield as long ‎as it takes place on the Israeli side of the border. ‎Should the IDF deem it necessary to cross into ‎Lebanese territory Hezbollah will retaliate, even ‎though its tunnels’ infringement on Israeli ‎sovereignty is just as grave, if not graver, than a ‎potential IDF infringement on Lebanon’s sovereignty.‎ Moreover, if Israel decides to target Hezbollah’s ‎missile-production facilities in Beirut, harsh ‎retaliation by the group is all but guaranteed. ‎

Meanwhile, both parties are waging a psychological ‎war, but this time, Israel has the upper hand in ‎terms of public diplomacy.‎

This goes beyond the clear-cut evidence that ‎Hezbollah’s tunnel enterprise blatantly violates ‎U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 and Israeli ‎sovereignty, as here, a picture is worth far more ‎than a thousand words: Hezbollah’s TV channel Al ‎Manar airs daily propaganda videos showing the ‎group’s “fearless fighters” training for battle with ‎Israel, but now, an IDF video showing Hezbollah ‎operatives flee in panic from the exposed tunnel has ‎gone viral, dealing morale a well-aimed blow. ‎

Exposing the tunnels also exposed Nasrallah’s true ‎colors as one who, while professing to be Lebanon’s ‎‎”defender,” actually has no qualms about sacrificing ‎its interests to please his Iranian patrons. ‎

On Wednesday, commentator Ahmed Ayyash wrote in An-‎Nahar daily that Hezbollah was dragging Lebanon down ‎the tunnels with it, warning that Beirut will not be ‎immune to the consequences of Nasrallah’s ‎ ‎recklessness.‎

Oded Granot is a journalist and international commentator on the Middle East.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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