By Ron Ben Yishai, Ynet—
At present, Israeli defense officials don’t foresee a military escalation in the north. While the IDF is working to expose and destroy a Hezbollah tunnel—and perhaps several tunnels—in the Metula area, the work is being done inside Israeli territory and neither Hezbollah nor the Lebanese government have any cause to claim that Israel is carrying out any aggressive action against them.
Hezbollah was caught by surprise. The digging of the offensive tunnels into Israel was carried out quietly and apparently at a depth that led Hezbollah to believe that Israel remained oblivious to the underground effort. It will take a few days for the terror group to conduct a situation assessment and decide whether to act or not.
Another reason that war is not expected at this stage is the fact that offensive tunnels are uncovered inside Israeli territory embarrasses the Lebanese government, Hezbollah and their Iranian patrons in the eyes of the international community. Hezbollah has no interest in escalating the situation, as such an escalation would only elicit international condemnation, led by the United States and France, and perhaps even sanctions against Lebanon.
There is one more reason, perhaps the most important of all: if Hezbollah tries to interfere with the effort to uncover and neutralize the tunnels by firing into Israeli territory, Israel may expand the operation to all of Lebanon and undermine Iran’s efforts to establish factories in Lebanon to upgrade the accuracy of Hezbollah’s missile and rocket arsenal. Hezbollah and the Iranians are very concerned about such an eventuality. Continue Reading…