LEBANON: WHAT IF THE WAR ESCALATES
The MED This Week newsletter provides informed insights on the most significant developments in the MENA region, bringing together unique opinions and reliable foresight on future scenarios. Today we turn the spotlight on Lebanon, focusing on the risks that an escalation between Hezbollah and Israel would pose for the entire region.
Since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, tensions have been simmering on the country’s northern border with Lebanon. Several weeks after the beginning of the war, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah finally broke his silence, with a long-awaited speech that focused especially on the group’s actions in the past month. In his speech, Nasrallah stressed that the limited fighting along the border area in the past weeks already accounts for Hezbollah’s entry into war. Such a statement suggests that Hezbollah is not interested in a broader conflict at this stage. For the time being, both sides have engaged in a low-intensity war of attrition which, however, still poses many challenges. Moreover, the risk that current tensions might lead to an unwanted escalation should not be underestimated. In this context, Lebanon’s political and economic crisis remains a cause of concern. If the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel were to escalate, the country’s economy and its battered population would pay a heavy price.
Experts from the ISPI network react to the risks of an escalation between Hezbollah and Israel.