On Monday 24 February, around 10:30 pm, Israel allegedly made its first attack this year on the Lebanese-Syria border near Janta, a Hezbollah recruiting town. Two days later, despite no confirmation of the strike by Israel, Hezbollah threatened to retaliate.
This is complicated by the fact that the Syrian regime has received extensive help from Iran and Hezbollah. Russia has thus accused Israel of attempting to inappropriately interfere in the Syrian civil war. At a joint cabinet meeting between Israel and a German delegation headed by Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subtly alluded to the attack, stating, “I am not speaking about claims that have been made about what we did or didn’t do. Our policy is clear – we do what we have to in order to secure Israel.”
It seems that Israel is on the road to alienating itself from the international community – it is not abiding by the rules of the Geneva Convention, bombarding towns without reasonable evidence of terrorist activity and getting away with it due to US support. In Europe, however, Israel’s popularity is manifestly decreasing, and even NGO’s such as Amnesty International have censured the “trigger-happy” country.
Does Israel not realise that by bombing civilians and breaking international code it will induce rancor not only from its enemies but from its allies as well? Furthermore, since Israel is under US protection, every time it acts recklessly it also fosters hatred of the United States for defending Israel. I do not think that Israel is wrong in wanting to defend itself, but attacking a neighboring country without reason and, what’s more, refusing to admit to the attack shows a clear disregard for both human rights and international law.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are scheduled to meet with top-level Israeli officials on Monday 3 March – they will emphasize the importance for Israel to abide by international law, else both the US and Israel will suffer detriment to their reputation, if not worse.