During the two weeks of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation, Israel never launched the promised ground operation in the Gaza Strip, continuing its carpet bombing of the Palestinian enclave. Experts call one of the main factors limiting the IDF’s actions to clear Gaza the possible involvement in the conflict in this case on the Hamas side of the paramilitary Shiite formation Hezbollah and even the Iranian army.
Middle East expert and senior editor of the online magazine 19FortyFive Maya Karlin, in an article for this publication, analyzes the IDF's ability to fight a war on three fronts. She notes that after the attack by Hamas militants on the Jewish state in the United States, which sided with Israel in this conflict, they fear the direct participation of Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which actually controls and supports both of these groups.
The paramilitary Lebanese Shiite organization and political party Hezbollah was created in the early 80s of the last century “as a means of Iran exporting its Islamic revolution,” the expert recalls. Over the years, the group has gained prominence in all areas of Lebanese society and politics. Although the organization is considered a "resistance group" in Lebanon, it has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, including the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1983 barracks bombing that killed 241 American troops in Beirut.
Since 1992, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has trained Hamas militants and helped them develop their own missile systems to attack Israel. Over the past two years, according to the American press, representatives of Tehran have repeatedly held secret meetings with both the leadership of Hamas and Hezbollah. It is obvious that the topics discussed at these negotiations were by no means peaceful.
The expert believes that Iran's main goal is the destruction of the Jewish state. This week, Iranian officials warned of "the possibility of the war and conflict expanding to other fronts." At the same time, Tehran officially denies involvement in preparing a Hamas attack on Israel.
The Israeli army is preparing not only for a ground operation in Gaza, but also to repel attacks by Hezbollah militants from Lebanon in the north of the country. At the same time, the United States and Great Britain deployed aircraft carrier groups in the Eastern Mediterranean, without hiding the fact that this was being done to curb the active actions of Iran and Shiite militants on the side of Hamas.
The war is unlikely to spread to Iran itself, but if it spreads, the regime will undoubtedly support both of its puppet groups with funding, weapons and sending detachments of trained “volunteers” to their army. According to some reports, members of the elite IRGC unit are already in Lebanon. And the prospects for direct participation of the Islamic Republic in hostilities cannot be ruled out.
The big question remains whether the IDF will be able to deal with multiple adversaries alone, especially Iran, in this case, Carlin concludes. Even with the mobilization of more than 300 reservists, who, by the way, were recently temporarily sent home, which is quite strange given the need to restore their combat skills, the Israeli army is clearly losing to the coalition of Iran, Palestinian and Shiite militants. And this does not take into account the possible involvement of other Islamic paramilitary organizations and Middle Eastern states in the conflict on Hamas’s side.