How Israel Is Trying to Nip the Next Wave of Terror in the Bud

March 23 2023

According to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—a terrorist group with close ties to Iran—Israel killed one of its senior commanders in Damascus on March 19. Yoni Ben Menachem suggests this assassination is part of an attempt by Jerusalem to preempt a campaign of terror being planned for the month of Ramadan, which began yesterday:

Ali Ramzi Alaswad . . . was killed at the door to his house in the Qudsiya neighborhood of Damascus. Two men ambushed him in the morning near his car when he left his home, shooting him repeatedly. Alaswad was planning attacks against Israel in the coming weeks. Presumably, the Israeli Mossad followed him for a long time.

The Israeli security establishment is genuinely concerned about the continued growth of terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Islamic Jihad has established nine new armed terrorist groups there, which receive financial aid and weapons from Iran. [It] has been leading terrorist operations in the northern West Bank since the end of the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip in May 2021 and following the escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison (and their recapture) in September 2021. Five were from Islamic Jihad.

Israel is entering an extremely sensitive security period, and the targeted killings in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and abroad are an integral part of the tools that Israel uses to fight terrorists and for deterrence. Israel has a bank of targets at the top of the terrorist organizations: senior terrorists who plan to harm Israel’s citizens and its security forces.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian terror

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy