web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Israel Prepares for Jihadis

As thousands of radical jihadis have moved into Syria and the Sinai, Israel is perfecting its ability to neutralize these targets.
IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz observes an exercise in the Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, in November 2011.

IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz observes an exercise in the Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, in November 2011.
Photo Credit: IDF

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

As al-Qaeda-affiliated radical forces pour into areas bordering Israel’s north and south, the Israeli defense establishment is adjusting itself to prepare for a new, post “Arab spring” reality.

According to Israeli security assessments, thousands of radical jihadis have moved into Syria from abroad, and joined radicalized local fighters to create the largest pro-al-Qaeda presence in the region.

The concern now is that Syria will act a springboard for jihad [holy war in the service of Islam] and that terrorists will move from Syria to nearby states — Lebanon, Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt — to create zones of extremism and violence.

This trend has already begun to take shape in Syria’s neighbor, Iraq, where, since the spring months, thousands of people have been murdered in bombings and shootings in resurgent al-Qaeda attacks, mainly on Shi’ite targets.

The newly empowered Iraqi al-Qaeda elements are tied to Syria’s largest al-Qaeda-affiliated group, the Al Nusra Front.

If or when the regime of Bashar Assad crumbles and these rebels seize Damascus, Israel and the US would immediately have to answer the question of how to secure Syria’s enormous chemical weapons arsenal. Allowing those and other weapons to fall into radical hands is unthinkable.

Meanwhile, to Israel’s south, thousands of jihadi fighters have turned the Sinai Peninsula into a terrorist base. The Egyptian military, although occupied with efforts to stabilize Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities, has internalized the scope of the new threat in Sinai, and is busy preparing a large counter-terrorism offensive to rein in the radicals. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Egypt will likely launch the operation in the near future, and that it will proceed for a long period of time.

Despite increased Egyptian counter-terrorism efforts, senior Israel Defense Force [IDF] officials have stated that they expect the terrorists in Sinai sooner or later to attack Israel again.

These attacks could take two forms. First, they could fire rockets at Israeli population centers, such as the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, which relies heavily on tourism, and is located a stone’s throw from the Sinai Peninsula.

Eilat has been already been targeted several times in recent years by Sinai terrorists firing rockets; the IDF recently mobilized an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery near the city to protect it from future rocket threats.

The second type of threat involves a ground raid by cells of terrorists armed with bombs, shoulder-held rockets, and automatic weapons, and with a view to penetrating the Israeli frontier and striking either a high-value target or a civilian population center inside the country.

Due to the increase in regional jihadi activity, as time goes by the chance of such incidents increases.

The IDF, not resting on its laurels, has put into action a large-scale plan to prepare Israel’s northern and southern borders for the new threats they face.

On both borders, fences with sophisticated electronic sensors have been erected. Infantry brigades are being mobilized for border patrols in growing numbers. And commanders have increased the number of Artillery Corps and Armored Corps units.

As a direct response to the rising threat, the IDF held its largest Paratroopers Brigade exercise this week, in which, to practice mobilizing large forces behind enemy lines at a moment’s notice, a thousand soldiers parachuted at night from Hercules transport planes to the ground. After landing, the paratroopers practiced how to form quickly into battalions, link up at staging grounds and launch assaults on enemy targets.

A senior IDF source said the exercise was taking place because “the enemies around us are gathering near our borders.” He described the ability to parachute a thousand paratroopers behind enemy lines as a “huge advantage.”

Col. Eliezer Toledano, Commander of the Paratroopers Brigade, said, “Many eyes are watching us in this drill: The eyes of the Israeli people, who must know that when Israel decides to, it can send 1,000 combat soldiers deep into enemy territory at a moment’s notice; the eyes of IDF senior command, who knows it needs only mark the spot, and we’ll already be there; and the eyes of our enemies, who will know that any moment, more than 1,000 paratroopers keen for battle will spit fire behind their lines.”

About the Author: Yaakov Lappin is a journalist for the Jerusalem Post, where he covers police and national security affairs, and author of the book The Virtual Caliphate. He is also a visiting fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

7 Responses to “Israel Prepares for Jihadis”

  1. Maybe they could meet up with the Palestinian terrorists being released and attack Israel from within its own borders.

  2. Maybe they could meet up with the Palestinian terrorists being released and attack Israel from within its own borders.

  3. Fouad Merik says:

    Sounds like a good plan

  4. The only way is the IDF has to take over the Sinai, Egypt would be very thank full, when in Egypt get calm the situation Irael should give bck the Sinai.

  5. The only way is the IDF has to take over the Sinai, Egypt would be very thank full, when in Egypt get calm the situation Irael should give bck the Sinai.

  6. It's a good idea to plan for the enemy before time.

  7. He's in the Golan Heights and looking south? What, were you trained in America by Homeland Security? Turn around look north!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Indepth Stories
Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Cliff Rieders

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

The only way to become humble is honesty about our experiences; it’s the only path to true humility

Obama’s approach to evildoers echoes Gandhi’s fatuous and muddleheaded pleas to his “friend” Hitler

More Articles from Yaakov Lappin
This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas recently stated publicly that a new explosion of violence against Israel is imminent.

Islamic Jihad blames Israel for breaking the ceasefire because it did not accept terrorists' demands to destroy Israel.

There are also 4,000 or so members of smaller well-armed Gazan terror groups, not just Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

One out of every ten homes in Lebanon now has a rocket launcher or Hezbollah weapons stored in it, according to Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Home Front Defense Minister.

Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy.

Jihad will spread outwards to the region, then threaten global security — possibly with biological and chemical weapons.

Near the Sinai peninsula, the Israeli Defense Forces continue on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

As thousands of radical jihadis have moved into Syria and the Sinai, Israel is perfecting its ability to neutralize these targets.

Israel, which is more threatened by Iran’s nuclear program than is the U.S., has less time to make its up mind on how and when to proceed to avert a threat to its existence.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israel-prepares-for-jihadis/2013/07/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: