Uh oh: IDF 'losing control' on the Lebanese borderit no longer has carte blanche on the Lebanese border.
Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack just a few hours later - a move [Israeli] officials say is uncharacteristic of the group, in that it sends a "clear message to Israel," and could indicate a change in policy.
Over the past several years, they stressed, Hezbollah has taken great lengths to remain quiet over their role in border skirmishes and has rarely openly taken responsibility for attacks on the IDF and Israelis.
But hours after the attack, deputy Hezbollah leader Naim Qassem declared that the bomb was a deliberate response to Israel's "violations."
“We wanted to tell Israelis that we are ready and that there is no way they can assault us while we stand by and watch,” said Qassem, according to the Lebanese The Daily Star.
Qassem added that Hezbollah terrorists were capable of infiltrating Israel to plant the bombs despite heavy surveillance.
The officials noted that the group's newfound defiance could preclude another conflict, and added that it possibly indicates the IDF may be "losing control" along the border.
Hezbollah, which sees itself as the defender of the Lebanese nation, has decided to change its approach. It responds to any incident that it views as an Israeli attack on Lebanese sovereignty or as a breach of the rules of the game. And not only does it respond, it usually also takes responsibility. Hezbollah’s responses were also noted on the Golan Heights, where it has operated “envoys,” Syrian mercenaries, this year.Hmmm.
Hezbollah is up to its neck in the civil war in Syria, where it sent about 5,000 of its 30,000 fighters. The battle is spilling over from Syria to Lebanon.
Hezbollah has suffered, and is suffering, difficult losses in these two fronts. But it hasn’t lost its confidence or its military capabilities.
With the help of its up-to-date weapons, and especially its massive stockpile of up to 100,000 missiles, Hezbollah believes in its ability to challenge Israel, and, if need be, even stand up to it for a long period of time and to wear it out if the situation deteriorates to a war that none of the players in the equation – Israel, Hezbollah, and its patron Iran – wishes for.