By Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen
September 4, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The creation of an Iranian military/terrorist axis along Israel’s northern and southern borders, comprising Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, lays the groundwork for the long-term multi-frontal attrition of the Jewish state.
The Arab upheavals of the past decade, especially the Syrian civil war, have given Israel a much-needed strategic respite, leading many Israeli security experts to the conviction that the Jewish state no longer faces an existential threat. But as this war draws to a close, a new existential challenge is rapidly emerging along Israel’s northern and southern borders: a military-terrorist axis led by Iran and comprising its Syrian, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad proxies/allies.
For the first time since the conclusion of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Israel faces the realistic likelihood of a simultaneous multi-frontal conflagration – Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip (as well as the possibility of terror attacks originating from the West Bank). This old-new existential challenge includes three main operational components:
- Full-scale threat of unprecedented proportions from advanced precision rockets and missiles. This massive arsenal is organized in offensive operational outlines that have already been set up to target strategic and infrastructure sites deep inside Israel, such as air force bases, military headquarters, power stations, airports, and population centers. This threat sees Israel flanked on all sides – from Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip, as well as, more recently, a Shiite militia base in Iraq.
- A new terrorist front on the Golan Heights comprising Iran’s Quds Force, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias.
- Clear and present danger to Israel’s towns and villages along the Lebanese and Gaza borders from commando forces well-trained for ground incursions into Israel.