ISRAEL, LEBANON, IRAN: WAR DRUMS BEATING


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In the year 2000, newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak fulfilled a campaign pledge and withdrew Israeli troops out of the section of southern Lebanon near the border between the two countries.
That move ended the protracted conflict between the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army (SLA) and the Lebanese guerillas led by Iranian-backed Hezbollah.
For the most part, since the year 2000, as Hezbollah maintained control, the border with Israel remained relatively quiet.
Until now.
Last Wednesday, Israeli Colonel Israel Friedler, who is in charge of war exercises against Hezbollah in northern Lebanon, stated, “We are preparing seriously for the next war. We’re not taking any shortcuts because we understand we have to be extremely strong to defeat the enemy.”
As reported last week in the Trends Journal, Israel ordered aerial attacks in Syria and is appearing to prepare for another invasion into Lebanon.
Shortly after Israeli jets attacked targets in Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a trip to Israel for the stated reason of reviewing U.S.-Israeli common interests, which reports say included the subject of Iran’s precision-guided missile program (PGM) set up in both Syria and Lebanon.
Hezbollah has reacted to these recent events by strengthening their military force at the Lebanese-Israeli border.
As a nation, the Lebanese economy is in collapse. As reported in the Trends Journal, since the riots erupted last October, demonstrators have taken to the streets in protest of the lack of basic living standards, high unemployment, and government corruption.
The protests were subdued for a few months when politicians locked down the nation in response to the coronavirus, which killed just 26 people in a nation of nearly seven million… but now they have resumed.
Hezbollah, in addition to having military control in Lebanon, also maintains political dominance within the Lebanese parliament and with current Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
As noted by Hilal Khashan, a political science professor at the American University in Beirut, “Domestically, Hezbollah has emerged to become the preponderant force in Lebanon. Yet, the position of Hezbollah is ‘precarious’ as a result of Israeli pressure, domestic chaos from the plunging economy and Iran’s own internal financial problems.”
Cyber Attacks Target Iran
On 19 May, a strategically important Iranian port located on the Strait of Hormuz, Bandar Abbas, lost computer power due to a cyber attack, affecting Iranian shipping activity.
While no one publicly has taken responsibility for the attack, the Washington Post reported that unnamed sources confirmed it was Israel, in retaliation for an earlier cyber attack attempt by Iran. That attempt, aimed at disrupting Israeli water systems last April, was detected in time to prevent any damage, according to an Israeli official.
This Land is My Land
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that in the coming months, he would annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Having built over half a million Israeli housing developments in the occupied territory, Israel is in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and United Nations Security Council resolutions.
TREND FORECAST: Should war break out in the Middle East between the Lebanon/Syria/Iran alliance and Israel, it will ignite the first wave of World War III.
Also, long forgotten by the general public is the 3 January U.S. assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, which ignited tensions throughout the region and spiked Brent Crude to $70 a barrel.
As we continue to note, should oil prices rise to those levels while the global economy is in rapid decline, it will greatly worsen current and future economic conditions while dramatically escalating geopolitical tensions and civil unrest.

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