While such a move means political instability in Beirut in the immediate term, this does not mean that Eizenkot can rest with the IDF concerned that political deadlock in Lebanon could potentially lead to violence along the border with . expected would happen with the completion of the United Nations probe into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Harir.
While some government intelligence analysts believe that taking over Lebanon is Nasrallah’s ultimate objective, it is not clear that he is ready for such a move. Today, he gets to enjoy both worlds – be part of the political system and at the same time build up an illegal militia that is stronger than the country’s own military.
It is important to understand why Nasrallah is so concerned with the findings of the Hague-based tribunal, mainly because if Hizbullah is found guilty, as expected, of assassinating Hariri then this would contradict the image it has tried to create over the years as being the defender of Lebanon. If it was defending Lebanon, why did it assassinate the country’s prime minister?
The problem for Hizbullah is that toppling the Lebanese government does not ensure that this image will be retained. What it is trying to do is force the current prime minister to denounce the tribunal’s findings and clear Hizbullah’s name.
The other problem is that the tribunal’s expected announcement comes at a time when Hizbullah-Iranian relations are a new low. Iran has cut the annual budget it provides Hizbullah by over 40 percent and tensions are running high between the top Hizbullah leadership and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer who was appointed earlier this year to oversee Hizbullah operations on behalf of the Islamic Republic.
Israel will in the meantime continue watching Lebanon from afar but this time its eyes will not just be on the weapons shipments that cross from Syria into the Beka Valley. It will also be keeping close tabs on Beirut where political chaos is currently prevailing.