Hezbollah Launches Deepest Attack Into Israel Since War's Start, On Passover

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024 - 10:45 PM

Hezbollah on Tuesday conducted its deepest strikes into Israeli territory since the start of the war, launching drones at Israeli military bases on the outskirts of the Israeli city of Acre.

Israel's military said none of its facilities were hit, and videos circulating online appear to show Israeli anti-air systems intercepting at least one drone which was flying low over the Mediterranean, just off the coast where Acre is located.

The IDF subsequently confirmed it intercepted two "areal targets" off Israel's northern coast. Thus far in the conflict, Hezbollah's daily rocket and drone attacks have tended to stay within within a few kilometers inside Israel. 

However, Tuesday's attack seems to be sending a message that escalation could be imminent

A security source told Arab News that the attack was "a sensitive targeting." The area struck is more than 15 km from the border with Lebanon.

"This targeting took place in broad daylight while the Israelis were celebrating the Jewish Passover," the source said.

Hezbollah said it launched the drones "in response to Israeli aggression against the Lebanese town of Aadloun and the assassination of a (Hezbollah) cadre there."

While the IDF denied that there were any direct hits on military bases, Lebanese source Al-Mayadeen reported that the headquarters of the army's Golani Brigade was struck with drones.

The below video shows an IDF intercept of a Hezbollah drone...

This was based on a Hezbollah statement claiming that the air attack "targeted the headquarters of the Golani Brigade and the headquarters of Egoz Unit 621 in the Sharaga barracks, north of the occupied city of Akka (Acre), and the drones hit their targets accurately."

Last week a major war between Iran and Israel was narrowly avoided after each side launched 'limited' strikes against the other. But tensions remain high and it could be that Iran's proxies, such as Hezbollah and Yemen's Houthis, could be set to escalate, especially as the IDF has Rafah set in its sites.

Interestingly, a fresh report in The New York Times says that Israeli leaders had actually planned a much bigger attack on Iran, but ditched the larger strike option at the last minute due to White House diplomatic intervention:

Israel reportedly abandoned plans for a much more extensive counterstrike on the Islamic Republic after concerted diplomatic pressure from the United States and other foreign allies and because the brunt of an Iranian assault on Israel soil had been thwarted, according to three senior Israeli officials:

Israeli leaders originally discussed bombarding several military targets across Iran last week, including near Tehran, the Iranian capital, in retaliation for the Iranian strike on April 13, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the sensitive discussions.

Such a broad and damaging attack would have been far harder for Iran to overlook, increasing the chances of a forceful Iranian counterattack that could have brought the Middle East to the brink of a major regional conflict.

In the end — after President Biden, along with the British and German foreign ministers, urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent a wider war — Israel opted for a more limited strike on Friday that avoided significant damage, diminishing the likelihood of an escalation, at least for now.

Another angle showing a drone intercepted near Acre:

According to a note via Rabobank, Mohamed El-Erian underlines a markets/NatSec disconnect over Mid-East events. Markets say “de-escalation”, because the oil price has gone down. National security figures worry; and those saying recent attacks were telegraphed might note reports of White House panic when Iran launched missiles, and Israel planning a larger military strike at first. We have calm now, but neither side will pass on the opportunity to weaken the other; the enmity is not over.