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Nasrallah claims to be Lebanon’s ‎‎”defender” but he has no qualms about sacrificing Lebanon’s interests to please Iran

Counterterrorism

Nasrallah claims to be Lebanon’s ‎‎”defender” but he has no qualms about sacrificing Lebanon’s interests to please Iran

Oded Granot

Over two days have passed since Israel exposed ‎Hezbollah’s terror tunnels under the Israel-Lebanon ‎border, and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, as ‎well as the Shiite terrorist group’s other top ‎officials, have all remained mum. ‎

Following a string of stammered statements in Hezbollah-‎affiliated media, mostly speculating that Operation ‎Northern Shield seeks to distract Israelis from Prime ‎Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legal troubles, it ‎fell to Nabih Berri, Lebanon’s parliament speaker, ‎to assert that “there are no tunnels. If anyone says ‎there are, let them show me where.”‎

The lack of any real reaction from Hezbollah, which ‎is very uncharacteristic, is a direct result of the ‎shock crippling it over the Israeli operation.‎ This shock is understandable. Hezbollah’s tunneling ‎project was one of Nasrallah’s top secret schemes ‎and only a handful of his confidants within the ‎organization knew about it. ‎

Hezbollah’s confidence that it was operating under ‎Israel’s radar was so ironclad that the project ‎continued even when reports surfaced that the IDF ‎was looking into complaints by the residents of the ‎border-adjacent communities about strange digging ‎noises near the border. ‎

And then, out of the blue, this expansive – and ‎expensive – project collapsed right before ‎Nasrallah’s eyes. One tunnel is fully exposed to the ‎world, another’s location has been revealed and before you ‎know it, the IDF announces it has information about ‎the entire grid. This means that this was not a random ‎discovery but one based on highly accurate ‎intelligence, meaning that Hezbollah has been ‎significantly compromised. ‎

It should be said that the discovery of Hezbollah’s ‎cross-border terror tunnels, significant as it may ‎be, does little to change the fundamental balance of ‎power between Israel and the Shiite terrorist group. ‎

Nasrallah is a bitter enemy and Hezbollah is a mini-‎army of highly motivated terrorists, who are skilled ‎in battle and are armed with 150,000 missiles that ‎threaten Israel nationwide. ‎

We must also remember that Hezbollah would be ‎willing to contain Operation Northern Shield as long ‎as it takes place on the Israeli side of the border. ‎Should the IDF deem it necessary to cross into ‎Lebanese territory Hezbollah will retaliate, even ‎though its tunnels’ infringement on Israeli ‎sovereignty is just as grave, if not graver, than a ‎potential IDF infringement on Lebanon’s sovereignty.‎ Moreover, if Israel decides to target Hezbollah’s ‎missile-production facilities in Beirut, harsh ‎retaliation by the group is all but guaranteed. ‎

Meanwhile, both parties are waging a psychological ‎war, but this time, Israel has the upper hand in ‎terms of public diplomacy.‎

This goes beyond the clear-cut evidence that ‎Hezbollah’s tunnel enterprise blatantly violates ‎U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 and Israeli ‎sovereignty, as here, a picture is worth far more ‎than a thousand words: Hezbollah’s TV channel Al ‎Manar airs daily propaganda videos showing the ‎group’s “fearless fighters” training for battle with ‎Israel, but now, an IDF video showing Hezbollah ‎operatives flee in panic from the exposed tunnel has ‎gone viral, dealing morale a well-aimed blow. ‎

Exposing the tunnels also exposed Nasrallah’s true ‎colors as one who, while professing to be Lebanon’s ‎‎”defender,” actually has no qualms about sacrificing ‎its interests to please his Iranian patrons. ‎

On Wednesday, commentator Ahmed Ayyash wrote in An-‎Nahar daily that Hezbollah was dragging Lebanon down ‎the tunnels with it, warning that Beirut will not be ‎immune to the consequences of Nasrallah’s ‎ ‎recklessness.‎

Blitz’s Editorial Board is responsible for the stories published under this byline. This includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on WeeklyBlitz.net

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