Hizballah’s Plan for a Subterranean Attack on Israel

On Tuesday, the IDF announced that it had located and destroyed a tunnel dug by Hizballah operatives under Israeli territory, intended to move troops from Lebanon to behind Israeli lines. Israel has also initiated a major operation to destroy or plug up a network of similar tunnels. Shimon Shapira explains:

One of the main lessons Hizballah learned from the Second Lebanon War in 2006 was the necessity of changing the aims of its next war with Israel. The new goals included building up its defensive capabilities and developing methods of attack that would allow Hizballah to bring the war to Israeli territory. Hizballah’s military commander [at the time], Imad Mughniyeh, led this process of integrating these lessons. [Mughniyeh was assassinated by the CIA in 2008.] He asserted that during the next war, Hizballah would invade the northern Israeli Galilee region and conquer it, [giving its forces] topographical superiority in comparison with Israel’s inferior topographical positions near the border.

The tunnels, [unlike those dug by Hamas near the Gaza Strip], are intended for the movement of several hundred fighters, not to abduct soldiers or civilians. . . .

Hizballah’s operational plan also includes the construction of facilities to launch massive missile attacks on population centers and strategic sites around Haifa in the north, Tel Aviv in the center, and Dimona in the south. . . . From Hizballah’s perspective, the aerial attacks would attract the entire attention of Israel’s military, thereby simultaneously enabling Hizballah to activate its plan for “the conquest of the Galilee” using its special forces.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Galilee, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Lebanon

Maintaining Security Cooperation with the PA Shouldn’t Require Ignoring Its Support for Terror

In accordance with legislation passed last year, the Israeli government has begun to deduct from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) an amount proportional to what the PA pays to terrorists and their families. Last year, a similar law went into effect in the U.S., suspending all payments to the PA so long as it continues its “pay-for-slay” policy. The PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, has retaliated by refusing to accept any tax revenue collected by Israel—raising concerns that the PA will become insolvent and collapse—while insisting that payments to terrorists and their families are sacrosanct. To Yossi Kuperwasser, Abbas’s behavior amounts to mere extortion—which has already worked on the Europeans to the tune of 35 million euros. He urges Israel and the U.S. not to submit:

Abbas [believes] that influential Israeli and European circles, including the security establishment, view strengthening the Palestinian Authority, and certainly preventing its collapse, as being in Israel and Europe’s best interests. They will therefore give in to the pressure he exerts through the creation of an artificial economic crisis. . . .

[T]he PA leadership’s insistence on continuing wage payments to terrorists and their families, even at the price of an artificial economic crisis, shows once again that . . . the Oslo Accords did not reflect a substantive change in Palestinian national aspirations or in the methods employed to achieve them. . . . If paying wages to terrorists (including the many terrorists whose attacks took place after the Oslo Accords were in force) is the raison d’être for the PA’s establishment, as Abbas seems to be saying, . . . one cannot help asking whether Israel has to insist on maintaining the PA’s existence at any price.

True, Israel cooperates on security issues with the PA, but that serves the interests of both sides. . . . The short-term benefits Israel gains from this security cooperation, [however], are of less value than the benefits enjoyed by the Palestinians, and worth even less when measured against the long-term strategic damage resulting from Israel’s resigning itself to the constant incitement, the promotion of terror, and the political struggle against Israel carried out by the PA. Israel should not do anything to hasten the PA’s breakdown, because it has no desire to rule over the Palestinians and run their day to day lives, but it also should not feel more obligated to the PA’s continued existence than do the Palestinians themselves, thereby leaving itself open to continuous extortion.

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Read more at Israel Institute for Strategic Studies

More about: Israeli Security, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror