Hizballah’s Plan for a Subterranean Attack on Israel

On Tuesday, the IDF announced that it had located and destroyed a tunnel dug by Hizballah operatives under Israeli territory, intended to move troops from Lebanon to behind Israeli lines. Israel has also initiated a major operation to destroy or plug up a network of similar tunnels. Shimon Shapira explains:

One of the main lessons Hizballah learned from the Second Lebanon War in 2006 was the necessity of changing the aims of its next war with Israel. The new goals included building up its defensive capabilities and developing methods of attack that would allow Hizballah to bring the war to Israeli territory. Hizballah’s military commander [at the time], Imad Mughniyeh, led this process of integrating these lessons. [Mughniyeh was assassinated by the CIA in 2008.] He asserted that during the next war, Hizballah would invade the northern Israeli Galilee region and conquer it, [giving its forces] topographical superiority in comparison with Israel’s inferior topographical positions near the border.

The tunnels, [unlike those dug by Hamas near the Gaza Strip], are intended for the movement of several hundred fighters, not to abduct soldiers or civilians. . . .

Hizballah’s operational plan also includes the construction of facilities to launch massive missile attacks on population centers and strategic sites around Haifa in the north, Tel Aviv in the center, and Dimona in the south. . . . From Hizballah’s perspective, the aerial attacks would attract the entire attention of Israel’s military, thereby simultaneously enabling Hizballah to activate its plan for “the conquest of the Galilee” using its special forces.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Galilee, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Lebanon

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7