Hezbollah attacked an Israeli Army Patrol

In an incident on January 4th, in the disputed territory near the convergence of the Syrian, Lebanese and Israeli borders, Hezbollah attacked an Israeli army patrol. An explosive device was used to destroy the army vehicle, and a few people were wounded. Israel conducted an artillery strike in response.

Background of the escalation

 The recent increase in tensions began when senior a Hezbollah militant was killed near Damascus in an alleged Israeli airstrike. This means that Syrian territory was not protected by Russian S-300 anti-air systems deployed some weeks before. Because of normal relations between Israel and Russia, Hezbollah is on its own to avenge the hostile actions taken against it. And this attack is a sign that the conflict will be protracted.

Occupied territories

It is important that the Israeli patrol was attacked on disputed territory. Lebanon claims the Har Dov area as its own territory, now occupied by Israel. This situation is similar to the Golan Heights that were occupied by Tel-Aviv in 1967 during the Six-day War. The Annexation was adopted by the parliament of Israel in 1981, but the UN Security Council has not recognized it as the gaining of territory as the result of war violates the foundations of the UN, post-WWII interpretations of international law, and the Helsinki Accords of 1975.

The US tried to mediate the conflict around Har Dov for many years, but with no success. The main idea of Washington was to give this area back to Lebanon, but Beirut must officially control South Lebanon and stop the activity of Hezbollah, a proposition which critics view as either circular or a 'Catch-22'.


Israel cannot legally operate in Lebanon, as is the case with Gaza before it. The last intervention of Israeli forces into Lebanon territory was entirely unsuccessful. Hezbollah will not stop attacks on Israel, which means inevitable escalation. The main actors of world politics are still busy with the Syrian conflict and ISIS. So Hezbollah and its all allies in region will try to use this situation and benefit from it.