In Israel’s Next War, Domestic Unrest Could Be a Weapon in the Hands of Its Enemies

During the twelve-day conflict between the IDF and Hamas in the spring of last year, Arabs in usually peaceful Israeli cities with multiethnic populations rioted, deeply shaking the country’s general sense of safety. Yagil Henkin considers the possibility that, in the event of a larger war between Israel and, for instance, Hizballah, the latter could work with Palestinian groups to foment similar riots within Israel’s borders:

It is incorrect to regard the May 2021 events as civic disturbances or a series of individual episodes. As in any war, the enemy learns and searches for weaknesses to exploit. As a result, Israel should brace itself for a worst-case scenario in which ethnic and religious tensions are used to incite unrest and riots, disrupt army movements and reserve mobilization, cut off supply routes and access to military bases, inflict damage on military convoys, and use threats, propaganda, and possibly assassinations to force Arab and Muslim soldiers and policemen to leave the military and law enforcement. Following [the 2021 conflict], Hizballah escalated its efforts to transfer weaponry and ammunition to Israeli Arabs for use in a future conflict.

Notably, from the perspective of Iran and Hizballah, Israeli Arabs assaulting Jews and the reverse would be welcomed outcomes. Such attacks would force the police to disperse their forces and assign some of them to suppress Jewish riots rather than supporting Israeli offensive moves, limiting Israel’s freedom of action. The suspicion and tensions would undermine citizens’ sense of security and trust in government agencies, leading to further escalation and inter-communal strife. Therefore, Israel’s opponents may view any outcome as advantageous and work hard to bring about such outcomes through financial backing, disinformation, arming radicals, radicalizing youth, etc.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Arabs, Israeli Security

Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology