A senior IDF official on Tuesday told reporters that the Air Force attack last month—during which the Assad regime army fired SA-5 missiles at Israeli attack planes—targeted some 100 missiles destined for Hezbollah. He did not specify which type those missiles were. At the time, no Israeli aircraft was hit, but Israel was forced to launch its new Arrow missile to down a Syrian missile north of Jerusalem.
The IDF official suggested that the Assad military’s new sense of confidence, daring to shoot at Israeli planes, “attests to a change in the security concept of the Syrian regime, and its growing confidence, as a result of the support it receives from Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.”
The official endorsed Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s recent demand that Hamas hand over control of the Gaza Strip to the PA, or he would stop all money transfers to the Hamas government. However, he cautioned that the choice Hamas is facing now – to continue investing its money in military expenditures or divert it to supplement the reduced income of government employees due to PA sanctions – could lead to a third, predictable choice, create a new eruption against Israel.
The official noted that since the beginning of the current year, most of the Israelis killed in terror attacks were killed by terrorists who carried Israeli, blue ID cards. He also criticized the forgiving treatment of “violent Jewish rioters” in Judea and Samaria by security forces, as in the case last Friday where some 50 Jewish civilians who had been engaged in a brawl with Arabs from Huwara village in Samaria reportedly threw stones at the IDF and Border Guard force arriving on the scene, injuring one officer. The official suggested Jewish settlers should not be released on the same day security forces pick them up at such an event, but spend long terms in prison instead.
The IDF official suggested that the Trump Administration’s increased involvement with the North Korean nuclear threat could lead to reducing its interest and involvement in the Middle East in general and the “peace process” in particular.
Finally, according to the official, the IDF is planning in the coming months to conduct the largest corps exercises in 19 years, involving between four and five divisions.