Iran-backed Hezbollah has vowed to “surprise Israel” if the two are involved in a future war.
In a televised interview, a Hezbollah leader said they have new military capabilities and more fighters with which to engage Israel.
The provocative comments take the war of words up a notch between the Lebanon-based Muslim terror group and the Jewish state.
According to Sayyed Hashem Safieddine – who oversees Hezbollah’s social and economic activity and was recently added to the U.S. counterterrorism blacklist – Israel’s assessment of Hezbollah’s weaponry is “inaccurate,” implying the group’s capabilities are greater than the Israelis believe.
Since Israel fought Hezbollah in the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006, hostilities between the two have been limited to occasionally firing missiles across the border and air strikes by Israel against Hezbollah leaders and movements of the group’s military supplies in Syria where they are fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Last week, Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot said the IDF has used the time since the Second Lebanon War to dramatically improve its intelligence capabilities.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Eisenkot as saying Hezbollah’s rockets are not particularly accurate. He advised that Israelis “should put things in perspective and not panic,” despite reports that Iran is helping the terror group operate underground weapons factories.
Speaking to the Knesset, Israel’s legislature, Eisenkot said, “Decreasing Iranian influence in the areas near Israel’s borders is no less important than defeating Islamic State and, for Israel, perhaps even more (important).”
Secret weapons factories
In March, the Jerusalem Post noted, a Kuwaiti newspaper cited an unnamed source in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as saying that Hezbollah is operating underground weapons factories set up by the IRGC in response to claimed Israeli air strikes against weapons convoys in Syria.
According to the report, the factories can produce missiles with a range of more than 300 miles, surface-to-air and antitank missiles, and unmanned aircraft capable of carrying explosives.
A separate report, this one in a French online magazine, identified the locations of two of the factories as well as the type of munitions they produce.
That report added that one of the underground facilities is located in northeastern Lebanon and produces the Fateh-110 rocket which can carry a half-ton warhead, is relatively accurate, and has a range of nearly 200 miles.
The reports, if accurate, mean that Lebanon’s weaponry is now capable of penetrating deep into Israel.
At a briefing with journalists last week, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman warned that smuggling sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah crosses a line in the sand. He said Israel will continue to take action to prevent Hezbollah from receiving the weapons.
“We take everything seriously,” Leiberman said. “We are certainly aware of the reports, and we will do what needs to be done.”
Pray for both Israel AND perspective
It’s troubling to see Israel subjected to a constant barrage of threats by jihad-driven terrorists. As observers from afar, we really don’t know how much stock to put in these threats, but it is appropriate, I believe, to be concerned about the safety of Jewish people living in Israel and the security of the Jewish state.
Tough talk is everywhere, and no one dishes it out more often than radical Islamic terrorists. But they do occasionally live up to their threats – and that’s what concerns me as I write you today.
We can worry, but dozens of passages in Scripture clearly encourage us to instead live in faith, peace, and with courage. Psalm 23:4 is one of the most inspirational:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me . . .”
We can certainly say that the threat of jihad targeting Israel is “evil.”
So let us live with an attitude of thanksgiving, a daily willingness to trust God, and a commitment to prayer. Our God, the God of Israel, is in control. Please lift Israel before Him and pray for:
- The safety of Israelis and the security of the nation
- Israel to collect and maintain accurate intelligence regarding her enemies’ activities and weapons capabilities
- God to dismantle military stockpiles intended for use against Israel and the Jewish people
- God to thwart the efforts of Israel’s enemies as they seek to do the nation harm from within, on, and beyond her borders
- The Israeli people to open their hearts to Yeshua the Messiah
As you pray, please consider joining with Jewish Voice financially. Your support makes it possible to stand with Israel in these troubling days.Your gift will share aid, comfort, and the Gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) with Jewish people in Israel and around the world.
For your gift of $20 or more today, we’ll send you two gifts to inspire your prayers for Israel. The Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem Mug and the Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem bracelet. They’re sure to open doors to conversations, which will create opportunities for you to encourage others to stand with Israel.
We are truly grateful for your partnership with Jewish Voice. God is using you to help reach Jewish people and their neighbors with humanitarian aid and the Good News of the Messiah. Thank you, and God bless you.
To the Jew first and also to the Nations,
Jewish Voice Ministries International
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