In a future war with Hezbollah, the Israel Defense Forces believes, Hezbollah could fire 1,000 to 3,000 rockets and missiles every day for at least the first week of fighting, far more than the few hundred that were fired each day during May’s 11-day battle between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and indeed a larger onslaught than the country has ever faced.
However, the IDF does not anticipate such a conflict to break out imminently, believing the domestic crises currently unfolding within Lebanon make the prospects of war less likely. Still, they are more broadly a source of concern for the military, adding yet more chaos and uncertainty to an already fraught situation just across the border.
“Hezbollah is preventing stability in Lebanon and endangers the lives of Lebanese citizens as it hides behind them,” Maj. Gen. Amir Baram, the head of the IDF’s Northern Command, tells reporters, marking 15 years since start of the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
In the time since then, the Iran-backed Hezbollah has turned from a terror group into a full-blown terrorist army, with an arsenal of 130,000 to 150,000 projectiles of various varieties and ranges, from mortar shells to simple rockets with ranges of 200 kilometers (120 miles) to cruise missiles, shore-to-sea missiles, armed unmanned aerial vehicles and a small number of precision guided-missiles, the latter being of the utmost concern to the IDF.
“Our message to Hezbollah is this: In the next campaign, you will encounter a military that is better trained, more lethal and more determined than ever before,” Baram says.