An Israeli NGO dedicated to research on security challenges on Israel’s northern border has warned that the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah is ready to invade the Jewish state when it receives the green light to do so.
"The Radwan unit is fully trained and capable of launching an incursion into the Galilee at any given moment," Alma's researchers assessed, referring to Hezbollah’s elite commando unit.
"Even if the majority of Hezbollah's elite forces have distanced themselves from the border, there is no change to Hezbollah's overall readiness," the researchers added.
According to Israeli estimates, Hezbollah’s Radwan unit numbers some 2,500 fighters who have received special combat training from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Hezbollah is widely considered much more powerful than its southern Islamist ally, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. Military experts believe Hezbollah might be the world’s most powerful non-state actor, equipped with advanced army capabilities and an arsenal of 150,000 rockets that can reach any point inside the Jewish state.
Tal Beeri, the chief of the Alma Center’s Research Department, noted that Hamas’ invasion of southern Israel on Oct .7 was similar to the kinds of training Hezbollah’s Radwan unit has reportedly practiced for years: An invasion of northern Israel where the terror organization’s commando unit seizes civilian Israeli communities and some IDF military bases in the north.
"In reality, on October 7, Hamas essentially 'borrowed' the infiltration plan of the Radwan unit and implemented it through its forces along the southern border with the Gaza Strip," the center’s position paper stated.
While Hezbollah and Hamas are allies and both are Iranian terror proxies, it is currently unclear to what extent Hezbollah’s leadership in Beirut was aware of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror plans.
Alma Center researchers believe that Hezbollah is currently not interested in being relegated to the position of “second fiddle” in a war initiated by Hamas against the Jewish state.
Following the Hamas on Oct. 7, the Israeli military quickly deployed thousands of troops along the Lebanon-Israel border to prevent the opening of a second military front. While Hezbollah has provoked the IDF with frequent shelling of northern Israel in recent weeks, the Lebanese terror organization will no longer have the element of surprise that greatly contributed to the horrific nature of the Hamas invasion in southern Israel.
"The events of October 7 proved once again that any physical or technological barrier will inevitably be breached," the researchers wrote in their position paper.
"The mountainous terrain along the Lebanese border is more challenging for movement than the flat terrain along the Gaza border, but it allows for more discreet mobility. Hezbollah is well acquainted with the terrain and knows how to navigate it," warned the researchers.
The Alma Center believes it is only a matter of time before Hezbollah decides to implement its invasion plan of northern Israel.
In late October, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah hosted senior officials from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), another smaller Gaza-based Iranian terrorist proxy in the Lebanese capital Beirut. The official purpose of the trilateral meeting by the terror organizations was reportedly to discuss how to "bring victory for Gaza.”
Hamas has repeatedly urged Hezbollah to open a full second front against Israel. However, Hezbollah and its Iranian patron currently seem hesitant to enter a full-scale war with the Jewish state.
While the Iranian regime is disturbed about the prospect of Israel eliminating Hamas, the ayatollahs seem more careful not to gamble with Hezbollah, which Tehran reportedly built as a force to deter Israel from potentially targeting Iran’s covert nuclear program.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.