The Daily Star quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on how Israel might react to Hezbollah’s attack:
“Never rule out war between these two antagonists,” said Bilal Saab, a senior fellow for Middle East security at the Atlantic Council. “But Hezbollah has already done what it wanted to do: a limited, deadly and precise attack.”
He pointed to the significance of Hezbollah’s decision to respond to the Qunaitra attack from the Shebaa Farms, a heavily disputed territory in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights that Lebanon claims as its own.
“The very choice of geography shows the organization does not want to escalate,” Saab said. “It’s cautious, the choice of Shebaa, it means we are back to the previous rules of engagement, which were stable until 2006, when everything broke down.”
“It didn’t attack inside Israel, or inside in the Golan Heights. Hezbollah is not after major escalation, if it was, it could have done much, much more, and Israel understands this,” he added.
But as with all analysts that The Daily Star spoke with, Saab highlighted that the ball was very much in Israel’s court now, and that this included huge unknowns.
“The political calculation of Israeli Prime Minister is very important, and oftentimes it has little to do with the military dynamics between the two sides.”