The regional upheavals bypassed Lebanon, which continues to maintain its stability on the basis of the fragile balance among all the power brokers in the state. But regional developments, especially the long and bloody war in Syria, have indirect ramifications for Lebanon too, led by the flow of Syrian refugees (some 1.5 million) to Lebanon and the implications of Hezbollah’s involvement in the fighting in Syria. All of these exacerbate Lebanon’s chronic problems that stem from several factors: its demographic composition, which leads to political instability; the ongoing strengthening of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and an Iranian proxy that wields independent military power separate from the state, and which is now completing its seizure of Lebanon’s political system; Lebanon’s profound economic crisis (it has one of the world’s highest national debt); the corruption infesting every national system; and the poor state of the nation’s infrastructures.
INSS tracks internal developments in Lebanon and Hezbollah, the nation’s key rising power broker, which has in recent years become a major threat to Israel. Hezbollah’s ongoing military development and, above all, the enormous stores of missiles it controls threatening Israel’s civilian rear, as well as the connection with its Iranian patron, command much attention at the Institute, along with other aspects affecting Israeli-Lebanese relations, e.g., the renewal of negotiations over the maritime border. Looking ahead, INSS also examines possible scenarios for war in Israel’s north, which because of recent developments in the arena can be expected to differ from previous wars.
INSS Insight No. 1242, January 5, 2020
In the Media
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The considerations that have so far guided Hezbollah's calculated retaliation on September 1, 2019 following Israel’s strikes, and the August 25 drone strike in Beirut in particular, reflect its...