By Wissam Nasrallah
The most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas has been ongoing for over a month. This has had repercussions on the security situation in Lebanon, with concerns that Hezbollah might open a second front on Israel’s northern border. Since October 7, cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel have increased from pre-crisis levels, with periodic spikes in intensity. This is evident in the growing number of daily attacks and an expanding range of weapons and tactics employed.
Nevertheless, the violence remains relatively controlled, following a tit-for-tat pattern and applying a strict principle of proportionality. The skirmishes are geographically confined to the south of the Litani River and mostly adheres to tacit rules of engagement, mainly excluding civilian targets and infrastructure. It is widely agreed that both Hezbollah (and Palestinian groups in Lebanon) and Israel do not want to further escalate the conflict. The recent relative increase in Lebanese civilian casualties (confined to the border region, such as the November 5 killing of a grandmother and three children) suggests that Israel will not spare anyone in an area of Hezbollah operations while Hezbollah’s response to Israeli airstrikes against Palestinian civilians reflects the party’s prudence and relative restraint.
Given the current dynamics, there is no immediate indication of a full-scale escalation in the near term, and hostilities are primarily concentrated within 10-12 km of the Blue Line (demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel established by the United Nations). However, this ongoing pattern of hostilities may continue for a few more weeks while the mere prospect of a full-scale war has already affected an already ailing economy. Indeed, many airlines canceled their flights and many people are refraining from spending and saving their money due to the uncertain situation.
Mansourieh, where our campus is located is approximately 11 km outside Beirut, 200-350 meters above sea level, and is considered a safe area even in the event of an extension of airstrikes by Israel and has been prepared to host and serve internally displaced people.
We have expressed this many times in the past: It is for a time such as this that the church needs to be ready to serve people and share the hope we have in Jesus.
“God Almighty, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, in the midst of strife, we lift our cry. Guide the Middle East to paths of peace, where battle’s roar is heard no more. May your gentle Spirit soothe the land, and bring forth the gift of peace by Your loving hand. Grant us the grace to be instruments of that peace, to mend wounds, sow hope, and bear fruit”. Amen