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Is Iran Behind Missile Fire in Lebanon and Is This the New Normal?

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In another escalation early Tuesday morning, rockets were fired at Israel from Lebanon. At around 4 a.m., sirens sounded in the Western Galilee and two missiles were detected.

The last time rockets were fired from Israel’s northern neighbor was during the recent Gaza war, when four were fired on May 19.

Although the Iron Dome air defense system shot down one of the missiles and defused the other in Tuesday’s attack, it raises questions about whether missile fire from Lebanon will now increase and become an accepted norm.

The IDF responded to the attack by using artillery fire, it said, adding that no special guidelines from the Home Front Command have been issued. This seems to mean that it is estimated that there will be no new dams soon, that it was not part of a major attack and that there may be no further retaliation for not escalating tensions.

In May, during the fighting in the Gaza Strip, there were several incidents in the north. In addition to the four rockets fired on May 19, several of which entered Israel for many miles, there was also an incident on May 17 when sirens sounded in Kibbutz Misgav Am and six failed launches were detected. In response, IDF artillery forces fired at the launch wells.

On May 13, “three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the Mediterranean off the coast of Galilee,” the IDF said. “According to protocol, no sirens went off.”

In addition, there have been other incidents. The IDF has faced drone threats from the north, including one that entered Israel from Syria in May, attempts to damage the security fence and a smuggling operation that was thwarted in early July.

The new rocket fire came hours after the Syrian regime’s media reported airstrikes in Syria’s northern As-Safira, an area near Aleppo that is believed to have a missile facility. As a result, the Syrian air defenses were activated.

Was the rocket fire from Lebanon in response to the airstrikes?

“I think the missile is launched from Lebanon [early Tuesday] did not take place due to the international situation in Lebanon, which is collapsing [economically], but because of the Hamas-Iran-Hezbollah alliance and in the wake of the Guardian of the Walls [operation in Gaza in May]said Sarit Zehavi, CEO and founder of the Alma Research and Education Center, which focuses on security challenges on the northern border.

During the fighting in May, groups in the region linked to Iran and who often refer to themselves as an “axis of resistance,” said they would join the fight against Israel based on the situation in Jerusalem, she told The Jerusalem Post. This could be Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and militias in Syria and Iraq, she said, adding, “They are all subordinate to the Iranians, who set up this campaign.”

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah met with the Hamas leader in late June, Zehavi said. The symbols at that gathering, such as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, represent their view of the region and their decision to confront Israel, she said. This means the missile launches from Lebanon could be a “new reality,” she added.

The result of the recent fire seems to illustrate that while Hezbollah has been deterred from most attacks like this since 2006, the Palestinian factions in Lebanon now working with Hezbollah are not being curtailed.

“We see the Iranians fulfilling their promise regarding what happened on the Temple Mount on Sunday,” Zehavi told the Post, referring to recent clashes during Tisha Be’av and Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).

We may see more rocket fire from Lebanon attributed to Palestinian groups in the coming months and years. This gives Hezbollah and Iran a plausible denial because they can pretend they are just Palestinians “responding”.

But the reality is that no one fires missiles from Lebanon without Hezbollah’s permission. In the broader context, this could mean that approval or orders even came directly from Tehran.

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