Photo Credit: Ayal Margolin/Flash90
The Israeli military "Sky Dew" detection and warning system seen near the Israeli border with Lebanon, January 6, 2024.

In a recent press conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at the country’s involvement in countering Iranian influence across various fronts. The comment shed a little light on what Israel’s security establishment and media refer to as the “multi-arena campaign,” a complex geopolitical challenge that Israel finds itself entangled in.

Asked by a reporter why Israel was attacking Iran’s proxies and not Iran, Netanyahu replied, “Who told you that we do not attack in Iran”.


Israel, traditionally discreet about such operations, is now openly acknowledging its involvement in a multi-arena campaign. Declarations by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and military Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi affirm Israeli activities in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Red Sea.

“Israel is gradually finding itself facing a multi-arena campaign, as evidenced by a series of assassinations attributed to it,” a high-ranking source in the Israeli security establishment told the Tazpit Press Service.

In Lebanon, the most recent events include the assassination of two members of Hezbollah’s security unit in Southern Lebanon, as well as the elimination of Ali Haderaj, who was responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Hamas. The highest profile strike was the January assassination of Saleh Arouri, killed at the Hamas headquarters in southern Beirut’s Dahiya district, a Hezbollah stronghold.

Syria has also witnessed a surge in attacks attributed to Israel. On Saturday, an air strike attributed to Israel killed five Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps figures. Most senior among them was Gen. Sadegh Omidzadeh, who held the Iranian intelligence file in Syria.

Iran’s extensive network of militias in Iraq, including the popular “Hashd al-Shaabi,” “Ahl al-Haq,” and “Badr” militias, pose a significant challenge. Fueled by Iranian funds and influenced by the IRGC, these militias are actively marking Israeli cities and strategic targets as part of Iran’s broader regional strategy. Their primary goal is safeguarding Iran’s land bridge which allows Tehran to move weapons across Iraq to eastern Syria, and from there, to Lebanon, or even Mediterranean ports.

These Iraqi militias have fired missiles at Israel, and are responsible for numerous attacks on US bases. Since October 7, 70 US servicemen have been injured in escalating rocket attacks on bases in Iraq and southeastern Syria.

Most complex of all, however, is Yemen, where Iran-backed Houthis vowed in early December to target any Israel-bound ship in the Red Sea, regardless of its ownership. However, the majority of vessels attacked have not have any apparent connections to Israel.

According to Sky News in Arabic, joint American and British operations against Houthi strongholds in Yemen resulted in the death of at least 75 terrorist operatives, including members of Hezbollah and advisers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Recent reports indicate Iran and Hezbollah’s collaboration in assisting the Yemeni Houthis in establishing a Red Sea outpost, providing weapons, drones, missiles, intelligence, and personnel.

The ongoing war in the Gaza Strip is putting pressure on Jordan, as Iran’s proxy militias seek access to Israel’s eastern border. Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel is deeply unpopular, and an Islamist takeover of Jordan would add another arena for Israel to deal with.


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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.