Days after an Israeli airstrike hit a purported convoy of advanced missiles, Hizballah is promising to "choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it."
If the past is any indication, the Iranian-backed "resistance" movement will respond to a direct attack on its military capability by trying to kill Jews elsewhere in the world. After Hizballah's lead bomb-maker, Imad Mughniyeh, was blown up in a 2008 car bombing in Syria, the terrorist group tried to exact revenge by plotting to kill Israeli diplomatic officials and civilians in Europe and Asia.
Israel has not officially commented on Monday's strikes, which targeted an area considered a Hizballah stronghold. Time magazine cited an unidentified Israeli official, who said the target was a shipment of missiles "heavier and more dangerous than almost all of the tens of thousands of missiles and rockets Hizballah now has pointed toward Israel."
Hizballah has provided substantial support to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's effort to demolish rebels trying to oust him, but Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah reportedly told followers that the group "may be forced to wage a battle on three fronts at the same time: in Syria, inside [Lebanon], and against the [Israeli] enemy."
Israel is believed to have made six similar bombing raids on weapons convoys heading to Hizballah control. But those were done in Syrian territory, notes Yossi Melman in the Jerusalem Post.
Israel tries to intercept shipments with "weapons that tilt the strategic balance," he writes. Given the ferocity of the Syrian conflict, Israel has assessed that responses to such surgical strikes would be less likely to follow. Monday's attack inside Lebanon might change that calculus.
Hizballah was mocked at home by Daily Star writer Michael Young. While it cast itself as "a protector of the Lebanese state," he writes, the vaunted terrorist group isn't even able to protect its own after bringing violence from Syria's civil war into Lebanon. Attacks by Sunni terrorists in retaliation for Hizballah's propping up of Assad "are being rigged in the Syrian town of Yabroud before passing through" Hizballah-controlled areas.