The Israeli military released a document purporting to unveil a covert joint-project being carried out by Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, in which Tehran is making significant attempts to arm its Shi’ite Lebanese proxy with hundreds of precision-guided missiles. In its extensive report, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit provides extensive information such as the names of high-ranking Iranian officers said to be in charge of the initiative.
While speaking at a political conference in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed that not all of the intelligence was published, saying, “Today we exposed a part of Iran and Hezbollah’s precision-guided missiles project,” adding, “We know a few other things,” and “We are determined to thwart this dangerous project.”
The Israeli leader clarified that “The purpose of today’s publication is to make clear that we will not sit still and will not allow our enemies to arm themselves with lethal weapon against us.” He then reiterated his previously-declared warning, “I have told our enemies this week: Be careful of what you do,” before concluding, “And today I tell them: ‘Dir Balak.’” Use of the Arabic phrase “Dir Balak,” roughly translated into English as “pay attention” or “watch out,” is peceived as an insinuation that the Jewish State will respond with force to attacks by either Iran, Hezbollah or a joint operation.
While Hezbollah managed to deceive the Beirut government; as far as Israel is concerned, publication of the report removes any pretense of ignorance among the top echelon of the Lebanese cabinet over clandestine Hezbollah and Iranian activities. As such, Jerusalem has signaled to Beirut that while the missiles are Iranian and the upgraded missile factories are under Hezbollah control, the state of Lebanon will be held accountable.