Montage ThreatsHamasHizballah Photo Debka dot com and Google Earth Map TITLEDIsrael today is facing four menacing and imminent threats. In order to address them and protect its people, it must focus on the present, not the past. And it must determine to eliminate the threats, not contain them.


In Israel, as in many Western states, there is a tendency to over-analyze past conflicts to the exclusion of today's threats.

Today Israel's State Comptroller's office is publishing its critique of the 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza. In spite of that war's success in ending ten years of missile fire into at Israeli citizens, politicians and military leaders here are already embroiled in "shoulda-coulda-woulda" recriminations and debate.

To the degree that Israel's leaders, the nation's press and its people are likely to obsess about hindsight perspectives, there is a there is a danger they will not admit, let alone address, immediate and very real threats from its enemies today.

In fact, there are at least four menacing realities that pose imminent danger to the Jewish State. According to the Israeli intelligence service, DEBKAfile, they are:

1. Assad's offer to Iran and Hezbollah

President Bashar Assad has just informed Iran that he is willing to place Syrian territory at the disposal of its Revolutionary Guards its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, for shooting missiles into Israel.

Accordingly, Hezbollah has been allowed to relocate a second strategic missile arsenal to the Qalamoun Mountains in Syria. It is an arsenal that includes advanced weapons systems from Iran. Notably, too, Hezbollah has gained significant combat skills on the Syrian battlefield, fighting for Assad. One of the most important skills it has acquired is the ability to coordinate and fight alongside a superpower's military force, such as the Russian army.

It is not surprising, then, to hear Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah bragging about his ability to vanquish Israel.

2. Hezbollah's arsenal

It is common knowledge that Hezbollah has as many as 150,000 missiles in its arsenal for war against Israel. The sheer number of rockets that will be fired by Hezbollah when it decides to go to war make it impossible for all of them to be intercepted. Hundreds are expected to rain down on across the state, killing thousands.

Now, with Assad's offer, Hezbollah will be able to launch those rockets from two countries: Lebanon and Syria.

3. Hezbollah's tunnels from Lebanon into Israel

As was the case in 2014, today's Israeli press has a lot to say about Hamas's tunnels from Gaza.

What about Hezbollah's tunnels from Lebanon?

After years of denial, Israel's military, the IDF, is ready to admit that Hezbollah has built two kinds of tunnels under the border into Israel.

One type is designed as pathways for Hezbollah's Radwan Force commandos to infiltrate northern Israel and seize Galilee villages and all the way Mediterranean town of Nahariya.

The other kind of tunnel Hezbollah has constructed are underground bombs. Their design is crafted to pack hundreds of kilos of explosives for remote detonation.

4. Drones

Less than a week ago, on Thursday, 23 February, an Israel Air Force fighter knocked down a miniature unmanned flying object over the Mediterranean coast of the Gaza Strip.

It is a given that drones of one type or another, and in large numbers, will serve the enemy in future wars, including cheap and easily available quadcopter pocket drones.

When dozens of pocket drones loaded with explosives are sent aloft, some will be intercepted, but not all of them. Because they are so small, defense systems like Iron Dome will not work.

What should Israel do in the face of these imminent dangers?

DEBKAfile argues it must eschew its current military doctrine of containment instead of winning.

It is incumbent on the IDF to discard the doctrine which holds that modern wars can never end in a straight victory or defeat. This preconception has ruled the thinking of Israeli generals in the 11 years since the 2006 Lebanon war, although it is alien to the Middle East conflict environment.

Take, for example, the Syrian civil war. The Russian, Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah armies have clearly won that war and preserved a victorious Assad in power.

In Yemen, too, the Saudi army and its Gulf allies are fighting to win the war against the Houthi rebels...

In 2014, the Islamic State beat the Iraqi army and captured vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. The jihadists are still holding onto most of this territory – even against US-backed military efforts three years later.

They will do so until they are vanquished on the battlefield.

Even so, the only way for the Jewish State to protect its citizens, and itself, is fight its enemies until they are defeated, in such a time as this.


Brian Schrauger is the Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Journal. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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