ISRAEL - Strategic Security Has Improved Dramatically

Arno Froese

Israel’s strategic position has improved dramatically, an indication that Israeli deterrence is working on all fronts and is disrupting its enemies’ war doctrines. This is the bottom line presented by military intelligence’s top echelon to the cabinet.

Israel faces security challenges of various levels on six fronts: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and Egypt.

The situation in the West Bank is fragile but manageable. For 50 years, some 2.5 million Palestinians have lived under Israeli occupation in the shadow of the construction of more Jewish settlements. Their daily life is controlled by the bureaucratic whims of the Israeli army with roadblocks everywhere.

What also contributed to Israeli success was a smart policy, advised by the security establishment and accepted by the government to allow nearly 100,000 Palestinian workers to continue working in Israel. In other words, Israel succeeded in fighting the violence by isolating the perpetrators from the rest of the population with minimal “collective punishment.”

Three times the IDF invaded Gaza, a small enclave of 365 square kilometers with 2 million Palestinian inhabitants—one of the most densely populated and poor areas in the world. Three times the invasions have wreaked havoc, causing heavy damage to the limited infrastructure, killing thousands of civilians and injuring many more. Each invasion dealt a heavy blow to the military strength of Hamas but the group somehow managed to rebuild—usually at the expense of the population’s basic needs of water, electricity and food.

After each round, the Israeli government was strongly condemned by the international community. Yet, the Israeli will was not broken.

Rather, it is Hamas that has found itself in a shaky situation.

After the last war, Hamas ended up isolated as never before as the Israeli-Egyptian-Palestinian alliance eroded its status.

Yet Hamas has shown a great deal of pragmatism in trying to reconcile with its arch rival, the PA; improving relations with Egypt; disconnecting from Iran (though it still gets an annual infusion of $70 million for its military wing); and most importantly, reducing the digging of tunnels inside Israel, and excavating more bunkers and tunnels for defensive purposes in Gaza.

It also means, as Israeli intelligence estimates, that Hamas is being deterred and as a result is not interested in a new round of fighting.

In the north, according to Israeli intelligence, Hezbollah, like Hamas, has changed its war doctrine because of Israeli deterrence and superiority.

Realizing that Israel has improved its intelligence and fire power, Hezbollah now understands that prolonging a war would be counterproductive and enable Israel to cause unprecedented damage to Lebanon, as Israeli military and political leaders talk about “pushing Lebanon back into the Stone Age.”

It seems that here, too, Israeli deterrence is working, and neither Hezbollah nor Iranian troops no longer dare to take up positions close to the Israeli border. However, Israeli intelligence assessments emphasize that, despite the current tranquility, the risk of an unexpected confrontation in one or two arenas—Gaza and/or Lebanon—is still relatively high.

“The situation is fragile,” a senior military officer told me, “and any minor incident can get out of hand.”

All parties involved don’t want another round of violence, so war is not on the horizon; still the danger remains that a miscalculation by one or the other could trigger a slide into an unwanted confrontation., 31 October 2017

Arno's commentary

Palestinian Arabs, with their allies—whether it be Hamas or Hezbollah—have little to no chance of winning a confrontation with Israel.

While Egypt and Jordan have signed a peace agreement with Israel, this only came into being after they were defeated on the battlefield repeatedly.

But there is another enemy; it’s called the “international community.” They apparently have learned nothing. When Israel defended herself during the three confrontations with Gaza, the article states: “the Israeli government was strongly condemned by the international community.”

Besides the amazing successes of the state of Israel on the intellectual level, most of the so-called international community benefits from Israel’s inventions, whether in agriculture, medicine, or defense.

Yet one thing is still lacking and most desired by Israel, and that is “shalom”—real peace with its neighbors. This peace is what Jesus spoke of in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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