Behind the headlines, Israel is quietly concerned about protecting its citizens from an attack just across its northern border with Lebanon. Hezbollah, the so-called "Party of Allah" is known to have at least 150 thousand missiles in its armory. They are all earmarked for the Jewish State.
Under Iran's control, it is virtually certain that the only reason Hezbollah has not yet attacked Israel is because of Syria. Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, that country's President Assad is also a vassal of the Islamic Republic. Almost all of Tehran's immediate efforts are focused on keeping Assad in power. Accordingly, Hezbollah has been on the ground, shedding blood for a cause that is not its own priority. This sacrifice for its Persian masters is held together by mutual commitment to Israel's destruction.
Iran wants it, Hezbollah wants it. Israel is their next objective and everyone knows it. Including Israel.
Just over a month ago, in June, Prime Minister Netanyahu's Cabinet approved a study on the threats that the country will face in a future war with Hezbollah. The results were sobering. In its current rate of readiness, Israel would have to endure two weeks of missile attacks, and at a count of 1,500 missiles per day.
The number is huge: as many as 21,000 missiles, maybe more, would be launched before the assault could be stopped. Some of these missiles Israel will not be able to intercepted. Some will hit their targets.
Those targets will include any location in Israel. No city, no region, will be exempt. Unlike rockets fired from Gaza in 2014, missiles from the north are sophisticated and powerful. Able to reach every part of Israel with devastating payloads, they have navigational systems provided by Iran. Only last week, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the FDD, reported that, according to their analysis of the threat, Israel officials are "talking in terms of thousands of civilian deaths."
Although these numbers are not bandied about in Israel's everyday media, they are a matter of public record. Still, most Israelis, it seems, are thinking about future conflicts in the framework of the 2014 war with Hamas. It is perhaps for this reason that, according to a recent poll, only 25 percent reported they would not feel safe during a future missile attack. In light of Hezbollah's armory, the corresponding implication that 75 percent would feel safe might indicate unrealistic optimism.
It should be no surprise, then, that Israel's National Emergency Authority is anxious to ramp up the country's ability to protect its populace. Haaretz, an Israeli paper, reported Monday that the Emergency Authority has announced a need for 500 million shekel ($130 million US) per year to reinforce and improve Israel's defenses.
Meanwhile Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah, is boasting about his organization's connection.
"We are open about the fact that Hezbollah's budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran," he bragged on 24 June 2016.
Tehran is no less clear. Almost one year ago, on 12 August 2015, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Nasrallah in Beirut. Fresh from success in negotiating a nuclear development agreement with the United Nations appointed "G5 plus 1" league of nations, he was exuberant.
According to the Hezbollah's Al-Manar television network, "Zarif said that the nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers has created an historic opportunity for regional cooperation to fight extremism and face threats posed by the Zionist entity.”
In short, barring divine intervention, there is an attack coming from Israel's north and it is going to be a big one.