Signs Of Possible War In September-October


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(Nasrallah (center) with Al-‘Arouri (right) and Al-Nakhaleh (Image:,,, September 2, 2023)


Lately there have been growing indications that a war against Israel may break out in September or October 2023. The trigger may be spiraling violent clashes resulting in many casualties, or the use of new weapons leading to many fatalities on the Israeli side, in the face of which Israel will be unable to suffice with its regular counterterrorism measures.[1] While neither Hamas nor Hizbullah are eager to start a comprehensive confrontation with Israel,[2] such a confrontation could result from an uncontrolled deterioration on the ground or from the use of new and unusually deadly weapons by these movements.   


The following are some of the factors pointing to the possibility of a war breaking out in the coming months:

1. Growing Provocations By Hizbullah On Israel’s Northern Border

In the recent months, Hizbullah has repeatedly instigated increasingly bold provocations on the border.  These included setting up tents in the Har Dov area, inside Israeli territory;[3]   dismantling surveillance cameras along the border fence near Fatima Gate,[4] and firing an anti-tank missile into Israel.[5] In addition, Hizbullah, which does not recognize the Blue Line as the international border between Lebanon and Israel, has recently made a new territorial claim, demanding that Israel give Lebanon sovereignty over the northern Rosh Hanikra railway tunnel, likewise in Israeli territory.[6]  At the same time, it also demands to curtail UNIFIL’s freedom of action in South Lebanon. [7]

2. Adoption Of Gaza Fighting Methods By Islamist Terrorist Organizations In The West Bank, Such As The Firing Of Rockets And Excavation Of Command-And-Control Tunnels

The Palestinian terror organizations, especially Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), seek to change the mode of operation against Israel in the West Bank by duplicating the fighting methods used by the terrorists in Gaza.[8] This is manifest in the firing of rockets from the West Bank into Israel, the excavation of “command-and-control tunnels” in the West Bank (though not, as yet, tunnels infiltrating Israeli localities), and in military cooperation between different terror organizations, following the example of the Joint War Room in Gaza. There has also been an increase in efforts by Iran and Hizbullah to smuggle weapons into the West Bank, similar to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.[9]  PIJ secretary-general Ziad Al-Nakhaleh said that, during his June 2023 meeting with Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei, the latter had “reiterated [the need to]develop the arming of the West Bank and the resistance there.” Nakhaleh added: “We, as Palestinians and as resistance forces and movements, understand the importance of arming the West Bank, but this requires efforts by the Palestinians themselves, and also the assistance of our brothers in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”[10]

3. Possibility Of Clashes In Al-Aqsa During The Jewish Holidays In September, Potentially Sparking Violence Outside Jerusalem As Well

During the Jewish holidays in September and October, Jews are likely to visit the Al-Aqsa compound, as happens every year. Hamas and Hizbullah spokesmen have stressed that this could lead to a regional war. Saleh Al-‘Arouri,  deputy chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau and head of the movement’s military wing in the West Bank, said in an interview with the Al-Mayadeen channel: “There are some in the [Israeli] cabinet who are contemplating measures like taking over and dividing the Al-Aqsa mosque, and carrying out assassinations.” These people, he added, “know that this may lead to regional war.” He recalled statements made by Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah, that “any attack on the Al-Aqsa mosque or on Jerusalem will prompt a regional war.” [11]

4. Increased Threats Of Comprehensive Regional War

The leaders of the terror organizations have recently increased their threats of a comprehensive regional war,[12] in response to Israeli threats to assassinate terror operatives and those who dispatch them, including Hamas leader Saleh ‘Arouri. In an interview with the Al-Mayadeen channel, the latter threatened to escalate the confrontation with Israel to the point of comprehensive war: “We are preparing for a comprehensive war and are discussing this in closed chambers with all the elements and components [of the resistance axis]that are connected to this war.” He added that the resistance axis has “the presence, the motivation and the desire for a regional war to occur, and has an interest in this.”[13]

In this context, the heads of the resistance axis held a series of meetings in Lebanon.[14] Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met in Beirut with PIJ Secretary-General Al-Nakhaleh, Hamas official Al-‘Arouri and other PIJ and Hamas senior officials. In the meeting Abdollahian stressed the statements of Supreme Leader Khamenei about the need “to help the West Bank” and about Iran’s “ongoing [commitment to]assisting the resistance with all its might.”[15]  He added that “the establishment of the joint Hamas-PIJ [war]room reflected a smart move on the part of the resistance.”[16]

Abdollahian also met with Hizbullah Secretary-General Nasrallah,[17] who then met with Al-‘Arouri and Al-Nakhaleh to “make a joint assessment of the situation in the West Bank, the escalation of the resistance activity and the latest Israeli threats.” The participants of this meeting underscored “the steadfastness and steadiness of all the forces of the resistance axis in the struggle against the Zionist enemy,” and the importance of coordination between the “resistance movements” in Palestine and Lebanon.[18]


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