Lebanon in November 2023

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November 1, 2023

  1. Lebanese official: The United States urges Hezbollah to avoid conflict with Israel. A senior Hezbollah figure revealed that the United States, along with some of its allies, has sent multiple messages imploring the Lebanese resistance movement to refrain from entering into a conflict with Israel. Hezbollah has responded by emphasizing its commitment to its own agenda while warning of unpredictable actions if the situation necessitates it (Tasnim News).
  2. Lebanon Unprepared for Looming War Threat. As Lebanon grapples with a severe economic crisis, it faces the threat of war, but is ill-equipped to handle it. Emergency services lack basic equipment, and the population is living in poverty. Recent cross-border skirmishes with Israel have heightened tensions, leading to displacement and a lack of resources for local authorities (Nahar Net).
  3. Hezbollah Official Predicts Israel’s Collapse After Al-Aqsa Operation. A senior Hezbollah official, Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, stated that Israel is teetering on the brink of collapse after the Al-Aqsa Storm operation on October 7. He emphasized the Israeli regime’s military and intelligence deterioration, crediting the Palestinian operation’s success. Safieddine highlighted the disarray within Israel’s security apparatus and mentioned that the United States’ influence in the region has been compromised (Tasnim News).

November 2, 2023

  1. Lebanese PM Urges Swift Action to Prevent Spread of War. Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati stressed the urgency of preventing the Hamas-Israel war from escalating and affecting Lebanon and the wider region. He called for a humanitarian cease-fire, international talks for prisoner swaps, and a permanent truce. Mikati condemned both Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon and attacks in Gaza and expressed concern about the consequences of a full-fledged war amid Lebanon’s political and economic crisis (Nahar Net).

November 3, 2023

  1. Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Breaks Silence Amid Escalating Border Skirmishes. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is set to deliver his first public statement since the recent conflict’s outbreak, potentially impacting the region’s stability. Amid border clashes and heightened tensions, Nasrallah’s speech in Lebanon’s Hezbollah stronghold is highly anticipated. The situation remains precarious, with fears of a broader conflagration (Times of Israel).

November 6, 2023

  1. French Defense Minister Announces Armored Vehicle Aid to Lebanese Army. The French Defense Minister, Sébastien Lecornu, has confirmed that France will send dozens of armored vehicles to the Lebanese Army to enhance its patrol capabilities and coordination with UN peacekeeping forces in light of escalating tensions in southern Lebanon. France aims to support Lebanon amid tensions between Israel and Hezbollah and plans to provide medical supplies through a joint program (Al Nahar).
  2. Hezbollah Downs Israeli Reconnaissance Drone. Hezbollah reportedly launched a surface-to-air missile near Nabatieh, Lebanon, to down an Israeli reconnaissance drone (Lebanon24).
  3. Hezbollah Leader Threatens Escalation as Israel-Hamas War Continues. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has announced that his militia is already engaged in fighting along the Lebanon-Israel border and threatened further escalation as Israel’s war with Hamas nears its one-month mark. Nasrallah stopped short of declaring full involvement in the conflict but emphasized that Hezbollah is prepared for all options. Nasrallah’s speech marks a significant moment in determining whether the Israel-Hamas conflict will escalate into a regional war (AP).
  4. Hezbollah Deploys Heavy “Volcano” Missiles in Ongoing Conflict. Hezbollah has reportedly used heavy “Volcano” missiles for the first time in the ongoing conflict, targeting an Israeli site with significant destructive capabilities. These short-range missiles are known for their heavy warheads, causing substantial damage upon impact (Al Nahar).

November 7, 2023

  1. Lebanon Files UN Complaint Against Israel Over Civilian Targeting. The Lebanese government has filed a new complaint with the United Nations Security Council against Israel after an airstrike on a civilian vehicle in southern Lebanon resulted in the death of a family. Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for international intervention and urged adherence to UN principles and justice. Hezbollah retaliated by launching rockets at Kiryat Shmona, Israel, near the Lebanon border, emphasizing a firm response to civilian attacks (BBC).

November 8, 2023

  1. Lebanon, a nation already navigating a labyrinth of internal challenges, finds itself on the precipice of further turmoil. The militant group Hezbollah has issued a stern warning, pledging a forceful retaliation to Israeli attacks that have wrought devastation, claiming the lives of civilians, including children. This ominous declaration raises the specter of an intensified conflict that could ripple across the already fragile Israeli-Lebanese border, with the ongoing strife in Gaza serving as a somber backdrop to this escalating tension (Jerusalem Post).
  2. The domestic scene in Lebanon is no less harrowing, as the government grapples with implementing an emergency plan amidst a dire financial crunch. The plan, which is designed to shelter and assist citizens in the event of further conflict, is being tested by a stark reality: the displacement of over 40,000 residents in the nation’s southern regions. This discrepancy between the aspirations of the Lebanese government and the realities on the ground underscores the severity of the situation, all unfolding within the context of an economic crisis that shows no signs of abating (Mustaqbal).
  3. In a bid to navigate these turbulent waters, Amos Hochstein, the U.S. special envoy for energy affairs, made a strategic visit to Beirut. His mission: to hold the line against the conflict’s expansion and to carry forward messages aimed at de-escalation. Hochstein’s discussions with Lebanese officials covered a gamut of critical issues, from mitigating the risk of conflict spillover to supporting negotiations that could lead to a prisoner exchange and a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Emphasizing the U.S.’s commitment to peace and stability, Hochstein highlighted the importance of adhering to UN Resolution 1701, a call for a lasting cessation of hostilities and a reminder of the international community’s stake in Lebanon’s stability (Mustaqbal).

November 9, 2023

  1. Hezbollah Redeploys 1,500 Fighters from Syria. Hezbollah has withdrawn approximately 1,500 members from Syria, where they were supporting the Syrian regime’s forces. This move, occurring over the past two weeks, includes withdrawals from key locations in Aleppo and Idlib. The redeployment to Lebanon follows increased tensions with the Israeli army along the southern border, coinciding with Israel’s ongoing military campaign in Gaza (AlJazeera).
  2. Hezbollah’s Anti-Ship Missiles Pose Increased Threat to U.S. Navy. Sources indicate that Hezbollah’s acquisition of advanced Russian anti-ship missiles, including the Yakhont with a 300 km range, significantly boosts its threat capability against the U.S. Navy. This development underscores the heightened risk of regional conflict, aligning with Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s previous warnings. U.S. officials acknowledge the seriousness of Hezbollah’s expanded arsenal without confirming specific missile types (Elnashra).

November 10, 2023

  1. Hezbollah Mourns Seven of Its Members. Escalating border military operations and exchanges of bombardments with the Israeli army, Hezbollah mourns the loss of seven members. The deceased members include Ali Khalil Al-Ali “Khader,” Muhammad Ali Abbas Assaf “Jawad,” Abdul Latif Hassan Suwaidan “Safi,” Muhammad Qasim Tlais “Abu Ali,” Jawad Mahdi Hashem “Abu Saleh,” Jaafar Ali Sarhan “Mahran,” and Qasim Muhammad Awada “Malak Ghanem.” They hailed from various towns in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa region (Al Nahar). 
  2. Khamenei Defends Nasrallah, Urges Against All-Out War. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, convened a secret meeting with leaders of pro-Tehran factions in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Yemen. During the meeting, he emphasized the importance of unity and avoiding engagement in an all-out war. Khamenei stated that the strategy, endorsed by Tehran and Hezbollah, focuses on Gaza and discourages involvement in side battles. He defended Hezbollah’s secretary-general, Sayyed Hashem Saffieddine, stating that Nasrallah’s speech was coordinated with key officials and aimed to support Gaza without escalating other fronts. Khamenei cited favorable international circumstances for the Palestinian cause (Nahar Net). 
  3. Israel Renews Bombing of Southern Lebanon Border Areas. Israel conducted airstrikes and artillery bombardment in southern Lebanon, targeting towns near the Blue Line. This action followed missile launches towards Israeli territory. The Israeli army aimed at Hezbollah infrastructure, observation points, and technological equipment. Southern Lebanese towns, including Labouneh, Ramiya, Al-Jabain, Ras Al-Naqoura, Al-Labouneh, Yater, and Buwayda, were affected by the Israeli attacks. The border region is experiencing ongoing hostilities due to the Israeli conflict with armed factions and the situation in the Gaza Strip (Sharq Awsat). 
  4. Israel-Lebanon Border Escalation. Clashes intensified on the Lebanese-Israeli border, with mutual bombing between Hezbollah and the Israeli army. Israeli warplanes conducted airstrikes in southern Lebanon, targeting towns near the Blue Line. Hezbollah retaliated by targeting Israeli military sites with guided missiles, including tanks and infantry forces. The border region is experiencing heightened tensions due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with daily exchanges of gunfire and bombings. The situation has resulted in casualties on both sides, with concerns about the conflict expanding to include Lebanon. Efforts have been made by the United States to prevent Lebanon’s involvement in the war (Al Hurra).

November 14, 2023

  1. IDF Retaliates Against Hezbollah with Strikes in Southern Lebanon. In response to attacks along the northern border, the Israel Defense Forces targeted a Hezbollah observation post in southern Lebanon. The action followed mortar fire at Mount Dov and the Margaliot area, and small arms fire at Misgav Am, prompting IDF artillery shelling in retaliation (Times of Israel).
  2. Lebanon Submits Complaints to UN Security Council Over Israeli Aggression. Lebanon submits complaints to the UN Security Council against Israeli aggression, including the targeting of journalists and the use of phosphorous bombs. While the outcome is uncertain due to Security Council dynamics, experts argue that these actions constitute aggression under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, potentially triggering various measures (Lebanon 24).
  3. Netanyahu Warns Hezbollah Amid Border Tensions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning about escalating tensions on the border, stating that those attacking Israel will face a strong response. Israeli army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi approved defense and attack plans for Lebanon’s front to enhance security in the region (Nahar Net).
  4. Israel-Hezbollah Border Skirmishes: Latest Developments. Israeli artillery and drones struck multiple southern towns, while Hezbollah targeted Israeli posts. Two Israeli soldiers were severely wounded. Over 90 people have been killed in daily cross-border exchanges since October 7, with casualties on both sides of the conflict (Nahar Net).

November 15, 2023

  1. Amal Movement Increases Presence on Lebanon-Israel Border. Lebanese daily Al-Modon reports a significant deployment of Amal Movement operatives along the Lebanon-Israel border since mid-October 2023. These operatives, aligned with Hezbollah, have been engaging in operations against Israel. This follows a speech by Nabih Berri, Amal’s leader, urging readiness against future aggression. The movement’s increased border activity, including military training and maneuvers, suggests a strategic partnership with Hezbollah in the region’s ongoing conflicts (MEMRI).
  2. Hezbollah Deputy Leader Vows to Defend Against Israel in Case of War. Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General, Sheikh Naeem Qassem, affirmed the group’s readiness to confront Israel in the event of war. He stated that they do not fear Israel’s threats and would defend themselves with all their strength. Qassem emphasized that the timing of any potential conflict would depend on developments in Gaza and Israel’s decisions, leaving open the possibility of an escalation (ElNashra).

November 16, 2023

  1. Rockets Rain Down: Israel Strikes Hezbollah in Response. Israel launched a swift response as Hezbollah fired 20 rockets from Lebanon into the Upper Galilee. Thankfully, the rockets caused no harm or damage as they hit open areas in Israel. In retaliation, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targeted Hezbollah positions in Southern Lebanon, even shelling an observation post. These escalations follow a series of recent exchanges and tensions, with the IDF primarily focused on dealing with Hamas in Gaza (JNS).

November 17, 2023

  1. Hezbollah Deploys 700 Fighters near Israel’s Golan Heights. Lebanese Hezbollah, reportedly consisting of over 700 elite fighters, has been deployed near Israel’s Golan Heights in Syria. These fighters, trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and hailing from various Middle Eastern countries, have been positioned in areas bordering the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Their deployment has raised tensions, particularly as clashes persist between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon (New Arab).
  2. Hezbollah Claims Strikes on Israeli Forces. According to Hezbollah media, the group has launched multiple attacks against Israeli military positions along the Lebanese-Palestinian border. They claim successful strikes on Israeli gatherings and sites, including Al-Raheb, Birkat Risha, and Metulla, and targeting an Israeli special forces vehicle near Al-Manara (Al Mayadeen).

November 23, 2023

  1. Hizballah Affirms Commitment to Gaza Ceasefire, Links It to Southern Lebanon. A Hizballah official states the party was not part of Gaza ceasefire negotiations but emphasizes commitment as long as Israel adheres. The official notes that the ceasefire, including southern Lebanon, is supported by Hizballah, pledging compliance as long as Israel does. Hizballah warns of retaliation for any Israeli escalation in southern Lebanon or Gaza, and recent meetings with Hamas leaders discuss regional developments and coordination (i24).
  2. Son of Senior Hizballah Member Killed in Israel Airstrike in Lebanon. An Israeli airstrike in Beit Yahoun, south Lebanon, claimed the lives of five Hizballah fighters, including Abbas Raad, son of senior Hizballah member Mohammad Raad. The strike intensified tensions, with a total of 85 Hizballah fighters killed since the border clashes began. The Israeli military has not commented on the incident (Jerusalem Post).

November 24, 2023

  1. Hezbollah Launches Rocket Barrage on Israel After Airstrike Kills Senior Fighters. Hezbollah retaliates with over 50 rockets on northern Israel following an Israeli airstrike that claimed the lives of five of the group’s top fighters, marking a significant escalation in tensions.
  2. Major Drug Bust in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley; Millions of Captagon Pills Seized. Lebanese military intelligence discovered millions of Captagon pills hidden in industrial vehicles in a warehouse in the Taanayel region. Several individuals, including Lebanese and Syrians, were arrested in connection with the operation. The seized drugs, valued at around twenty million dollars, were concealed inside appliances destined for export to Arab countries. Subsequent raids and pursuits in Shatoura and Western Bekaa led to more arrests by military intelligence.

November 28, 2023

  1. Lebanon Urged to Prepare for Border Negotiations. French sources indicate that Lebanon must ready itself for negotiations over its southern border, including discussions on Resolution 1701. The urgency is emphasized due to the potential spillover of the Gaza conflict into south Lebanon. The call for preparedness is further underscored by a reminder from the U.S., expressing a desire to prevent the expansion of the Gaza conflict into Lebanon.
  2. Hamas and Hezbollah in the Context of Major Geopolitical Projects. Analyzing the geopolitical roles of Hamas and Hezbollah, the article explores potential shifts in alliances. While Hamas may tactically align with Hezbollah, it remains to be seen if the U.S. will pursue a diplomatic approach, potentially reshaping dynamics in the Middle East and challenging Iran’s interests.

November 29, 2023

  1. Israeli Forces Break Unofficial Truce, Fire on Lebanese Army. Despite an unofficial truce, Israeli soldiers fired on a Lebanese Army patrol near Houla’s southern border. The ceasefire, marked by occasional Israeli shelling, drone activity, and previous incidents, has strained tensions. The breach follows Lebanon’s and Hezbollah’s cautious observance, impacting the temporary reduction in hostilities seen during the Israel-Hamas ceasefire.
  2. French Envoy Resumes Presidential Mission in Lebanon. French Presidential Envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian resumes his mission in Lebanon to address the prolonged presidential vacuum. Le Drian emphasizes the French-backed initiative and seeks Lebanese consensus on upcoming political milestones.

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