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Israel’s Main Security Concerns Aren’t Found in the Iranian Arena
Hizbullah supporters take part in a mass rally in Beirut's southern suburb as Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Lebanon's Iran-allied Hizbullah movement, delivers a televised speech to mark the birth of Islam's Prophet Muhammad on October 22, 2021. (Marwan Naamani/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Israel’s Main Security Concerns Aren’t Found in the Iranian Arena

Ma’ariv, Israel, July 20

Iran, Iran, and more Iran – this is what we’ve heard so much in recent weeks, especially during the visit here of US President Joe Biden to Israel. There is no doubt that the Iranian nuclear threat is an existential threat to the State of Israel that has been terrorizing us for quite some time. But while the eyes of Israel are anxiously set to the East, toward Iran, the security focus must first be refocused toward two other threats present at the doorstep of the State of Israel. In his speech in recent days, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah stated that Israel must resolve its maritime border dispute with Lebanon by September; the date at which Israel is expected to start producing gas from the Karish and Tanin gas fields located about 80 km west of Haifa’s shores. History has taught us that the threats of Nasrallah must not be underestimated. In the 16 years that have passed since the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah has grown its power considerably, posing very significant threats to the State of Israel today – including tens of thousands of missiles of all kinds, some of which are precision tactical missiles capable of hitting Israel’s strategic targets. Recently, Iran has also equipped Hizbullah with armed UAVs capable of hitting Israel’s gas rigs. This is a strategic threat that requires the Israeli defense system to invest extensive resources and effort in intelligence, as well as in defensive capabilities, knowing full well that the Israeli homefront could suffer a very severe blow in the next war with Hizbullah. Hizbullah is intended to be Iran’s iron fist closest to Israel’s heart, with the aim of largely neutralizing Israel’s capabilities vis-à-vis Iran. What will happen if one bright morning Hizbullah decides to use its missile and UAV arsenal against the State of Israel? Meanwhile, the second threat is 87-year-old Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), who has been president of the Palestinian Authority for about 17 years. Abu Mazen is an unhealthy person who could die at any time. Abu Mazen’s departure will lead to a difficult struggle for succession. Hamas has been preparing for this for some time, with a hope of taking control over the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. This will certainly have a major impact on the security situation within Israel, with the likely rise in terror attacks, missile fire, and clashes with the Israel Defense Forces. Are the State of Israel and the IDF prepared to deal with these two threats, which can surprise us at any time? –Efraim Ganor (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

 

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