Israel and the Iranian-backed militia, Hezbollah, have been in a state of a frozen war for several decades. Using a tit-for-tat foreign policy against each other, both parties have resorted to using a more neutral ground, such as Syria, in low-level attacks.

Over the past few months, the risk of war has greatly heightened as Lebanon and Israel are going through a political crisis. With the Islamic Republic in control of Hezbollah, they could order the group to distract and cause chaos against Israel while they pursue a nuclear weapon. Similarly, Tel Aviv has been in a state of alert with increasing activity from their northern border.

A new war between both factions could cause chaos, unlike what the Middle East has seen throughout the chaotic wars over the last few decades. Israel, one of the world’s most powerful and technologically advanced militaries, has capabilities that most of the region does not have. Hezbollah has a deadly rocket arsenal that has every major Israeli city within firing range.

Background of Conflict

Israel currently has a nonexistent relationship with Lebanon. During their civil war, they formally intervened as Palestinian militant groups used the nation as a haven for cross-border terror attacks. Some of these included members involved in the Munich Massacre and the execution of schoolchildren.

Initially promising the people of Lebanon that the occupation would be short, Israel quickly got into a ‘forever war’ with no clear objective. Human rights violations and war crimes linked to the IDF started to have a negative public image of Tel Aviv, which Iran would take advantage of.

When the Mullahs took power from the Shah during the Iranian Revolution, they wanted to export the revolution to other Middle Eastern states. Lebanon was ripe for it as its Shiite population was marginalized for decades. The IRGC would create Hezbollah as an extension of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Hezbollah would wage a guerrilla war against Israel, which was only used in conventional wars at the time. The militant group was also linked to the Marine Barracks and Embassy Bombing. During this unconventional conflict, global opinion turned against the two-decade-long occupation, and Israel was forced to withdraw—a key win for the Iranian proxy.