In an incident that was itself likely revenge for last week’s Israeli assassination of six Hezbollah members, including their anti-ISIS operations leader, an anti-tank missile was fired across the Lebanese border into Israel today, killing two soldiers and wounding seven others.
Hezbollah claimed credit for the strike, but the Israeli military responded with artillery attacks against the Lebanese military pounding several bases and killing a UN ceasefire observer.
Hawkish Israeli officials are calling for the military to greatly ratchet up the escalation in the coming days, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman demanding a “disproportionate” response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as usual, blamed Iran, and threatened to retaliate against them.
Today’s attack followed not only last week’s assassinations by Israel, but a flurry of Israeli attacks on Syrian military posts yesterday, which they couched as retaliation for a pair of rockets that landed in an empty field in the occupied Golan Heights, doing no damage.
With the Israeli elections less than two months away, almost everyone is trying to hawk it up on this incident, with Tzipi Livni of the new “Zionist Camp” join list similarly calling for revenge and similarly suggesting it could be Iran’s fault. Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On, by contrast, warned against impulsive reactions, saying “getting dragged into an unnecessary war in Lebanon is the last thing Israel needs now.”