Tensions surge: Israel and Lebanon on the brink of catastrophic conflict

On both sides of the border, there is growing fear of a full-scale conflict as tensions between Israel and the Hezbollah organisation in Lebanon rise.

Hezbollah’s seizure of two Israeli soldiers in 2006 precipitated the last significant conflict between Israel and the group. The month-long battle concluded in a draw, heavy casualties, and major damage. Although Israeli forces were ordered to leave Lebanon by a United Nations resolution, Hezbollah is still active in the border region.

Israel and Hezbollah are regularly engaging in cross-border strikes as a result of the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which has raised tensions. Both sides have issued warnings about the growing danger of conflict, and the situation is still perilous. Although there is talk of neither side wanting conflict, there is still a chance of miscalculation, according to Andrea Tenenti, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in south Lebanon.

Since 2006, both groups have increased their capacities. However, there are a lot of challenges to overcome, particularly Lebanon’s broken governmental institutions, taxed health system, and economic crises. Israel has evacuated 60,000 citizens from cities close to the border, adding to the country’s already severe social and economic pressure caused by the Gaza battle.

Lebanon has enacted an emergency war plan that calls for the forced relocation of a million Lebanese citizens for forty-five days. Since the UN refugee agency lacks the funding for a comprehensive response, aid organisations are finding it difficult to offer assistance. In case the situation gets worse, medical supplies have been stored up by Doctors Without Borders.

Israel maintains a more formidable defence system, which includes the Iron Dome, although it is still possible to overpower it with massive missile fire. Conversely, Lebanon does not possess an extensive system of bomb shelters, and in the case of a conflict, its meagre air defences could have disastrous effects.

To keep the violence from getting worse, the U.S. and Europe have been shuttle diplomacy partners. Underscoring the dire ramifications of a full-scale conflict, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged all sides to use caution.