Nov. 29, 2018
Iran Prepares for Escalation on Israel’s Northern Border – Yoni Ben Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Israel is concerned that Iran is beginning preparations to inflame its northern border with Syria via Hizbullah. The Iranian leadership is sure that Israel is weak, and this is the right time to strike against it.
On Nov. 24, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei told the International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran: “The Zionist enemy crumpled against the Palestinian resistance [in Gaza] after only two days….All this proves that the Zionist regime is significantly weakened….The pace of weakening is increasing.”
Senior security sources in Israel suspect that Gen. Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria and Lebanon, is planning to deploy Hizbullah and pro-Iranian forces close to the border fence on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights to lay mines and IEDs, fire anti-tank missiles at IDF patrols, and launch mortar attacks on Israeli communities in the Golan Heights.
Iran will also seek to construct factories inside Lebanon to upgrade the missiles in the possession of Hizbullah to make them capable of hitting strategic targets deep in Israel more accurately. These targets include Ben-Gurion Airport, the atomic reactor in Dimona, refineries in Haifa, and IDF bases.
The writer, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center.