Israel’s security is currently challenged on multiple fronts, and the government’s present policy could lead to a large-scale war in the region if it is not updated in the near future, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) said in its annual report on Monday.
The report was delivered by INSS executive director Amos Yadlin to President Reuven Rivlin on Monday.
“At the center of the 2020 strategic assessment is a tension between the clear strength of Israel and its impressive successes in several areas and the possibility that this positive situation will turn out to be temporary and precarious,” the INSS said in a statement.
The report stressed that the absence of a stable government in the coming months will hurt Israel’s ability to achieve its national security and diplomatic objectives, due to the country’s inability to develop a relevant strategy to cope with the unique challenges it faces without a stable government.
After working on the report for a prolonged period, INSS researchers recently added a section that discusses the targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and one of the most significant figures in the Islamic Republic.
The report discussed the ramifications of the killing to Israel’s national security, and included policy suggestions for the government following the surprising American move.
“The elimination of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s Quds Force commander, in a US attack in early 2020, strengthened our assessment of the possibility of escalation and the need to formulate a new Israeli strategy. This event creates a new situation and holds the potential for a strategic shift,” the INSS said.
The report lists Israel’s northern border as the region which harbors “the most significant conventional military threat currently posed to Israel, by Iran and its proxies: first and foremost by Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well from the Assad regime, semi-military militias operating in Syria and Iraq under Iranian instruction and Iranian (and Hezbollah) forces operating in Syria.”
After receiving the report, Rivlin said that Israel is facing a major threat at a particularly sensitive time, when Israel’s political system is “paralyzed.”
“The political paralysis in Israel is coming at an especially terrible point in time. Instead of shaking hands and coming together to meet the Iranian threat, we have entered into a very problematic internal struggle. Unfortunately, the main political players are well aware of the danger, but refrain from joining hands and trying to work out their differences,” he said.
“I do not know what will happen, and what the results of the third elections will be. But whatever the results are, and assuming that a government will be formed, and a fourth election cycle will not take place, this government will be tasked with effectively dealing with the Iranian threat and dealing with the worsening political polarization, a polarization that undermines our national resilience,” President Rivlin said.