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    Lebanon Tag

    We have covered many examples of Hamas attack tunnels from Gaza crossing into southern Israel being discovered and destroyed. While there have long been rumors that Hezbollah was constructing tunnels under the border with Lebanon in the North, such reports were based mostly on the logic of Hezbollah's tactics. Hezbollah has been threatening for years that in the next war it would capture part of northern Israel, even if only for a short time.

    On Tuesday February 13 the Israeli army repatriated a mentally unstable Lebanese man after he infiltrated Israel by crossing the border fence over the weekend. According to multiple Israeli media reports, the Lebanese national was detained after allegedly being coerced by members of the Hezbollah terror group, who threatened to have him committed if he didn’t do what they demanded.

    Imad Mughniyeh (also spelled Mughniyah) was the most deadly, notorious and elusive Hezbollah terrorist, responsible for killing more Americans in terror attacks than anyone else prior to 9/11. Mughniyeh was behind just about every Hezbollah terror attack. His terror credits included the 1983 Beirut Marine and Embassy bombings, the capture and torture death of CIA station chief William Francis Buckley, the kidnappings of Terry Anderson and Terry Waite, and 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, and death of U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, who was beaten mercilessly until being dumped onto the tarmac.

    Last weekend, Saudi Arabia began an "anti-corruption" purge as a way to consolidate power for the future leader. While that received a lot of attention, something slipped through the cracks. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned from his post during a trip to Saudi Arabia, "citing the destructive role of Iran and Hezbollah in the Middle East." Now Saudi Arabia has demanded its citizens leave Lebanon immediately due to "a dispute over the influence of Iranian ally Hezbollah in a country that hs been a battleground in the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran." Lebanon believes the kingdom is holding the prime minister, with some claiming Saudi officials forced him to resign and holding him under house arrest. Two other gulf states have also advised against traveling to Lebanon.

    Well, Lebanon has officially banned the movie Wonder Woman after a group called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel (CBSI) urged the government to do so since Israeli-born Gal Gadot stars as the lead. From USA Today:
    While no official reason was given for the ban, the Associated Press reports that the move follows a campaign in the country against Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who served two years in the Israeli army. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel. The ban is in accordance with a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling to Israel or having contacts with Israelis.

    Lebanon-based terrorist outfit Hezbollah is in the middle of a financial crisis, recent intelligence assessments reveal. "Tehran's vassal is on the verge of bankruptcy," leading German newspaper Die Welt reported citing Western intelligence sources. Despite a steady flow of funding from Iran, the “Party of Allah,” as the terrorist group is called in Arabic, seems to have overstretched itself by venturing into the Syrian Civil War. In 2011, Iran had ordered Hezbollah to march into Syria, extending its base of operation beyond Lebanon, to keep the Assad Regime in power. German newspaper Die Welt reports:

    On May 13, 2016, we reported on the death of Mustafa Badreddine at an airport in Syria, Another top Hezbollah commander killed – but who dunnit?
    There have been a series of assinations of top Hezbollah commanders in the recent past, including Imad Mughniyeh (mastermind of almost all attacks on Israel and the U.S.), his son Imad Mughniyeh (who was killed along with several high level operatives and an Iranian general), Hassan Laqqis (key Hezbollah link to Iranian weapons procurement) and Samir Kuntar (who killed an Israeli girl by smashing her head against the rocks on a beach).

    We know that media outrage and exaggeration, combined with biased anti-Israel Non-Governmental Organizations and U.N. agencies, form a strategic asset for terrorist groups like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The international reaction to Israeli self-defense measures ignores actual international legal standards, and substitutes completely politicized measures, such as "disproportionality." That term does not mean that one side suffers more than the other in a war; rather it is a case by case measure of whether the threat to innocent civilians in a particular military strike is disproportionate to the military value to be achieved. Israel goes to extraordinary measures to comply with the laws of war, but it doesn't matter to the media and the anti-Israel propaganda machine. Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately store and fire rockets from civilian areas for this very reason.

    We reported on Friday that top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine was killed in an explosion in Syria, but that the circumstances were unclear, Another top Hezbollah commander killed – but who dunnit?. Badreddine was considered a master bomb maker, credited with developing that combination of explosives and gas that took down the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and numerous American and other diplomatic facilities. Badreddine of late was commander of Hezbollah forces propping up the Assad regime, and was hated not only by Israeli but also by many Arab states. So he had plenty of enemies, and plenty of people who wanted him dead. But he also lived in the shadows, with few photos of him prior to his death (Hezbollah has released more photos after his death) and a life lived under assumed names. While pro-Hezbollah Lebanese media immediately blamed Israel. That made perfect sense in light of Israel's presumed assassinations of numerous Hezbollah leaders, including  Imad Mughniyeh (mastermind of almost all attacks on Israel and the U.S.), his son Imad Mughniyeh (who was killed along with several high level operatives and an Iranian general),Hassan Laqqis (key Hezbollah link to Iranian weapons procurement) and Samir Kuntar (who killed an Israeli girl by smashing her head against the rocks on a beach).

    Steven Salaita, you may recall, was the controversial anti-Israel professor whose hate-tweeting caused the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to decline to hire him for a tenured position. The University asserted that Salaita only had a contingent offer subject to Board approval, and that approval never happened. Salaita is active in the Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement and literally wrote a handbook for faculty to use to spread BDS within universities. There was rich irony in the person who sought a worldwide boycott of Israeli academics complaining when he allegedly was boycotted for his noxious views which played upon historical anti-Semitic stereotypes: Even a faculty supporter of Salaita, Prof. Feisal Mohamed, wrote (emphasis added):

    This is pretty big political news, signaling a larger Arab versus Iranian divide. The Arab League had just declared that Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy which dominates Lebanon and fights for Assad in Syria, is a terrorist organization. Al-Jazeera reports:
    The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah a "terrorist" group, only days after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) adopted the same stance. The move came during the Arab League foreign ministers' meeting at the organisation's seat in Egypt's capital Cairo on Friday. Nearly all 22 Arab League members supported the decision, except Lebanon and Iraq which expressed "reservations", the bloc said in a statement read out at a news conference by Bahraini diplomat Wahid Mubarak Sayar.

    Samir Kuntar was among the most notorious and vicious terrorists. A Druze, he was part of a group that landed in Israel in 1979, took a family hostage, and smashed a 4-year old child's head against a rock with his rifle butt:
    On April 22, 1979, Quntar, commanding a small unit of four armed men, piloted a small dinghy from Lebanon to the northern Israeli town of Nahariya. Undetected by the Israeli Navy, the terrorists struck at midnight and wasted little time: spotting a police car, they opened fire and killed one officer, Eliyahu Shahar. Then, they proceeded into the town, forcing their way into the nearby home of the Haran family. Danny Haran, 31, and his daughter Einat, 4, were taken hostage. Smadar, Danny’s wife, managed to grab her infant daughter Yael, 2, and hide in the apartment’s narrow attic. Terrified, and anxious to keep the child from crying, Smadar accidentally choked her baby to death. Quntar and his men, meanwhile, took Danny and Einat to the beach, where they were met by Israeli soldiers and police officers. A short firefight ensued, but Quntar had other targets in mind. He shot Danny in the back at close range, murdering him in front of his small daughter. Then, he took Einat and smashed her skull against a rock with the butt of his rifle.

    Much of the war against Israel is fought in the media and through deceptive "Non-Governmental Organizations" which issue endless distorted reports against Israel. There hardly is any pretense of objectivity anymore -- there is an attempt to tie Israel's hands when dealing with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah which strategically use civilians as shields. In Gaza, the media was intimidated by Hamas, and maintained a near-silence about the use of the main hospital in Gaza as a Hamas headquarters, and the firing of rockets from near schools, apartments and hospitals. But a few reports leaked out and some reporters admitted to the distorted reporting after leaving Gaza: This media war is important because one side (Hamas, Hezbollah) uses media outrage as a strategic weapon to shape the physical battlefield.  And biased, agenda-driven NGOs and media organizations are part of the plan. The lastest distortion, which has received wide play on anti-Israel websites and on Facebook, was issued by "Breaking the Silence."

    After several senior Hezbollah military leaders and an Iranian General were killed in the Syrian portion of the Golan Heights, presumably by Israel, there is plenty of speculation as to when and how Hezbollah and Iran will react. An article in The Times of Israel suggests that capturing an Israeli town or sections of northern Israel could be in store, as Hezbollah has threatened to do so in the next conflict:
    Nasrallah, [Lt. Col. Dotan Razili] said of the organization’s leader, “wants to conquer a city,” perhaps in the Galilee. The border town at the tip of the Galilee’s panhandle, Metulla, he suggested, “is definitely a possibility.” The army constantly practices perimeter defense and the invasion of enemy strongholds or towns in which the enemy is embedded. It does not, however, drill its infantry soldiers in the practice of taking back an Israeli town seized, in its entirety, by enemy forces. “The main element is to lessen the shock and make sure they’ll act,” Razili said, noting that no Israeli village or town has fallen since Kibbutz Nitzana, in 1948, “and the trauma of that endures till today.”
    Longtime readers may recall my trip to Metula in the summer of 2013, where I reported on the vulnerability, Metula and the fake Hezbollah village, including maps and photos showing the geography: [caption id="attachment_60711" align="alignnone" width="505"](Metula, Israel - Map View) (Metula, Israel - Map View)[/caption]

    Yesterday we reported how an Israeli helicopter strike just over the Syrian Golan border killed several senior Hezbollah terrorist leaders, including Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of legendary and assassiated Hezbollah terror coordinatior Imad Mughniyeh. The elder Mughniyeh was responsible, among other things, for the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut that killed hundreds of Americans. A total of six senior Hezbollah military leaders were killed: A Hezbollah leader even more important than Jihad Mughniyeh also was killed in the attack:
    Jihad does not appear to have been a key Hezbollah figure in the attack, however. One of the more central Hezbollah figures killed is Mohammad Ahmad Issa, who Raja News identified as an intelligence official, though other news agencies reported he was a top commander for Iraq and Syria.
    In Beirut, Hezbollah is mourning its dead.
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