The Jerusalem Post reported Monday that Israel has yet to launch a ground invasion of Gaza over fears that Hezbollah could launch a major attack from the north.
An Israeli ground incursion appeared imminent on Friday and Saturday after Israel told 1.1 million Palestinians to evacuate north Gaza, but now it’s unclear when the invasion will start. The New York Times previously reported that the invasion was delayed due to weather conditions.
Sources told The Jerusalem Post that Israel was worried Hezbollah could be waiting until the bulk of the Israeli military is committed to the ground invasion in the south to open a second front in the north.
Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged fire on the Israel-Lebanon border, and there have been casualties, but the Post report said Hezbollah’s attacks have been at a “fairly low threshold.”
The report comes as Iran is warning that the “resistance” in the region, referring to Hezbollah and Shia militias operating in Iraq and Syria, might take action if Israel’s bombardment of Gaza doesn’t stop.
“The resistance front is capable of waging a long-term war with [Israel] … in the coming hours, we can expect a preemptive action by the resistance front,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday. “If the crimes in Gaza do not stop immediately, new fronts will be opened.”
The US has deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups to the Eastern Mediterranean in the name of deterring regional actors from entering the war. The implication is that if Hezbollah does launch a major attack on Israel, the US might directly intervene, which means a major regional war.