Calling It Quits
|Attack on IDF by Hezbollah|
|Attack on Hezbollah and Iranian Officers|
In an unusual message, Israel has let it be known that Israel will not be seeking retaliation for yesterday's murderous attack on two IDF vehicles near the Lebanese border.
This attack was carried out from Lebanese territory, 2 km away from the road, by Hezbollah operatives using Russian 'Kornet' anti-tank missiles. The vehicles, which were unarmed and not protectively armoured, were soft targets for the missiles, and two soldiers, Major Yochai Kalangel, Staff Sergeant Dor Nini were killed in the attack,
Israel's response to such attacks in the past has ranged from the immediate & obvious, to the long term and covert.
The most glaring example of the immediate& obvious was Israeli response to the kidnapping of (the bodies of) Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, on 12th July, 2006 by sending a Merkavah Tank, and Armoured Personnel Carrier and an attack helicopter into Lebanon in hot pursuit. This resulted in the deaths of five more Israeli soldiers. Events spiraled into what became the 2nd Lebanon War.
Almost by definition, examples of long-term and covert responses are outside of the public eye, and rarely acknowledged by the Israeli Government. Israeli spokesman will refer to a response "at a time and place of our choosing". Examples which have reached public knowledge include the assassinations of leading terrorists, such as those responsible for the Munich Olympics Massacre and the bungled assassination attempt of Khalid Mashal in Jordan. There's a fascinating and rather impressive list of purported Israeli assassinations here.
Israel's response to this week's attack on the Lebanon border is connected to the helicopter attack (assumed by Israel) on two vehicles on the Syrian side of the Golan, carrying high-ranking Hezbollah and Iranian officers. Twelve men were killed, including Iranian General Mohammed Ali Allah Dadi and senior Hezbollah officer, Jihad Mughniyah.
According to reports in Israel, both Israel and Hezbollah view the attack on the IDF vehicles as 'closing the account', and neither side is apparently planning to take further offensive action against the other. To the best of my knowledge, this is unique.
Hezbollah and Israel are, as we'd say in the vernacular, "calling it quits".
Leaving the Iranians to ponder their next steps.