Hezbollah using Lebanon crisis to boost its power and deepen Iran’s grip, IDF intelligence analysts warn; expert says group plans to seize gas profits.
Hezbollah is using the economic and political crisis in Lebanon to grow stronger, IDF analysts who closely monitor events in Lebanon say. Three senior intelligence officers shared their assessments in a briefing with Makor Rishon weekly.
Hezbollah’s economic situation is stable compared to the rest of Lebanon, as the group gets dollars in in cash from Iran, the IDF specialists said.
“Hezbollah are not leaving Lebanon.” one analyst said. “The crisis is an opportunity for them to gain strength in the public sphere as an alternative to the state.” The group views the crisis situation as chance to deepen Iran’s involvement in the country, she warned.
Another analyst said that the Lebanese public is in despair, and that young people are losing hope for change. “All their dreams are shattering,” she said. “You can see it in their expressions of despair on social media.”
Hezbollah eyes gas profits
In parallel, Hezbollah is also hoping to benefit from a potential agreement between Israel and Lebanon on their maritime border.
The group is allowing talks on the issue to proceed because of their significant economic potential, Middle East economic expert Doron Peskin says.
Hezbollah intends to seize a “significant portion” of expected future profits of gas projects in the Mediterranean, Peskin wrote. The group focuses on advancing its own economic interests, often at the expense of Lebanon’s interests, he said.