There is always talk about some type of war in the Middle East. But this time things could actually be heating up. On Monday Israel launched operation Northern Shield to destroy tunnels that terrorist group Hezbollah built on its southern border. Haaretz writes;
The Israeli military launched an operation Monday night to destroy cross-border tunnels constructed by Hezbollah, crossing the Lebanon border into Israel.
The military said it has been aware since 2006 that Hezbollah was trying to construct attack tunnels stretching from Lebanon into Israel at several points along the border. Since then, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has spoken of a plan to take over parts of the Galilee, in northern Israel, in a future conflict.
It appears Hezbollah on its end is somewhat anxious, but calm. TRT world notes;
Officially, Hezbollah has remained silent on the operation launched yesterday – a media representative told TRT World that the group was not commenting at present. But an affiliated news outlet yesterday posted close-up images of Israeli personnel photographed from across the border. “The enemy mobilised a force of 12 military vehicles and a number of other drilling and bulldozers”
US National Security Advisor to the President John Bolton released a statement in full support of Israel and issuing a warning to both Hezbollah and Israel.
In a meeting on Monday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and U.S. secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Prime Minister stated that it will take action against Lebanon if it does stop Hezbollah and Iran. The Times of Israel writes;
Netanyahu was reported to be telling Pompeo that Israel could take military action if Beirut does not clamp down on Hezbollah, amid concerns that Tehran has begun shipping advanced arms directly to the terror group in Lebanon.
According to Hadashot news, in a report shortly before the meeting, Netanyahu was planning to tell Pompeo to convey a warning to Beirut that Israel would take action if Lebanon does not work to keep Hezbollah from arming itself.
The U.S. also condemned Iran after it continued air-missiles tests. NBC writes;
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that Iran’s government had just test-fired a medium-range missile “that is capable of carrying multiple warheads.”
“We condemn these activities,” Pompeo said, “and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities relating to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
The timing of all this seems to be interesting. A couple of days ago Israeli Police recommended charging Bibi in a bribery case. BBC expands;
On Sunday, the Israeli police and the Israel Securities Authorities said there was sufficient evidence for bribery, fraud and breach-of-trust charges to be brought against Mr Netanyahu and his wife.
They are suspected of interfering in regulatory decisions that favoured Bezeq and its majority shareholder Shaul Elovitch.
In return, the couple are alleged to have been given more positive coverage on Walla! news website, owned by Bezeq.
A potential war would most likely help Bibi’s quest to postpone a potential snap election in Israel. Israel Hayoom noted this on 18th of November;
There is no reason to call for snap elections at this sensitive time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.
For President Trump a potential escalation of words and actions would come as a timely distraction as he is facing troubles with China trade-war and Mueller investigation. Other regional allies such as Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince MbS would also appreciate any action taken against Hezbollah and Iran. Not only would it weaken their enemies but would also most likely push up oil prices which would benefit Saudi Arabia.