Hezbollah and IDF in stand-off after drone strike

By January 8, 2024

Lebanon (MNN) — Last week, drone missiles killed a top Hamas leader and several of his lieutenants in an apartment in Beirut. All eyes are on Israel and although the nation hasn’t claimed the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “surgical strike against the Hamas leadership.” The IDF may be making good on its promise since October 7th to eradicate Hamas leaders wherever they may be found.

Some fear this latest strike could lead to violent escalation between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the IDF. Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah threatened there would be “a response and punishment” following the attack on Hamas leadership in Beirut.

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said, “We are highly prepared for any scenario.”

However, there is reason for Hezbollah and Israel to avoid all-out war, and both sides are showing restraint in the stand-off.

Pierre Houssney with Horizons International says, “It seems like a lot of people want there to be this big fear and the wars and rumors of wars. I personally don’t feel that it’s actually in the best interest of either side to start a war…. You have to kind of read between the lines because…it’s really important to understand this in light of the Shiite-Sunni greater conflict.”

Mosque in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo courtesy of Ramy Kabalan/Unsplash)

The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah follows Shia Islam, while Palestinian Hamas extremists are Sunni. They’ve had a turbulent relationship, in part due to the Shia-Sunni rivalry.

Yet, in recent months, the old adage has rung true: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

However, is conflict with Israel enough to pull Hezbollah into full-scale war alongside Hamas? It’s an unanswered question only time can answer.

In times of conflict, Houssney says Christians should look to the Bible for direction and hope.

For example, take the Prophet Isaiah. “It helps me to just kind of draw back and say, ‘You know what? I’m gonna be like Isaiah in that time. He made it through the rule of four different kings of Judah and he was always just faithfully proclaiming the Word of the Lord.’”

Horizons International carries out Gospel initiatives across Lebanon, reaching Muslims with the Good News and discipling new believers. You can support this crucial ministry here!

“We need to be in touch with ministries that are operating in these areas because anytime there’s conflict, there’s opportunity spiritually, Houssney says.

Pray also for believers in the region to be faithful ambassadors for Jesus, no matter what happens in the political realm.


Header photo of Beirut, Lebanon, courtesy of Piotr Chrobot/Unsplash.

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