Oct. 14, 2016
- Current Strategic Military Threats Facing Israel – Yaakov Katz
At the onset of 5777, the new Jewish year, there is no conventional or existential military threat against the State of Israel. Just 43 years ago, Israel was getting clobbered in Sinai and on the Golan Heights in the Yom Kippur War. Today, there is peace with Egypt, and no Syrian military to speak of.
While in just a few years the Iran nuclear deal will enable Tehran to be just weeks away from a nuclear device, it has stopped Iran’s nuclear program, but not its nuclear desire. One day, probably sooner than later, Iran’s nuclear sites will again need to be considered as potential military targets.
At the same time, Israel is challenged on five different fronts simultaneously. In the West Bank it faces the stabbing intifada which started last October. The IDF says the PA security services are about 40% effective and they do carry out arrests against Hamas terrorists. Since 2014, Gazan terrorists have fired 47 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, 95% of which were launched by groups other than Hamas. In Sinai, Egypt seems to be doing a better job at cracking down on Islamic terrorist elements, but ISIS cells still operate freely throughout the peninsula. According to the IDF, many of the ISIS fighters in Sinai train with Hamas in Gaza, and receive funding, weapons and assistance from the Palestinian terrorist organization.
Israel is vulnerable to attacks from terrorist elements based in Syria like ISIS or Jabhat al-Nusra. In recent months, Israel has noticed terrorist elements fleeing northern Syria and moving to the south, where they could shift their focus to Israel. In Lebanon, Hizbullah’s 130,000 rockets and missiles represent Israel’s primary threat. War can come from any of these fronts at a moment’s notice, and for that, the IDF is always preparing. (Jerusalem Post)