Saudi-Israeli Normalization Won’t Hurt Palestinians

Last week, U.S. media reported that the head of the Mossad came to Washington in July and met with senior American officials about the possibility of establishing formal diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Riyadh—also the apparent subject of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s recent visit to the kingdom. The response to these developments from some quarters, including pro-Israel ones, is that such an agreement might “throw the Palestinians under the bus,” as one headline put it. Hussain Abdul-Hussain strongly disagrees:

Saudi Arabia has come to recognize a basic truth about the Israel-Palestinian conflict: the Arab world can do little to help Palestinians unless they are willing to help themselves. Palestinian salvation starts from within and requires a clear vision of peace with Israel that Palestinian leaders have thus far spurned.

Last week, Palestinian factions held a conference in Egypt. In their final statement, the factions said that the Palestine Liberation Organization was the sole representative of all Palestinians and that its vision for a two-state solution was their only plan. Such a position guarantees that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and many other armed factions will remain at odds with the Palestinian Authority. Palestinians still have no credible representative or interlocutor who can negotiate peace with Israel, let alone uphold any agreements with the Jewish state.

With all tools of confrontation against Israel exhausted, and with Palestinians’ inability to speak with one voice and agree on one vision, Arab countries are left with two choices: either continue boycotting Israel, at a considerable economic cost and without a clear objective or outcome, or normalize with the Jewish state.

Neither an Arab boycott nor Arab peace with Israel will affect Palestinians. The Arabs have tried boycott and war for 75 years and have achieved little. Perhaps signing [an agreement] and reasoning with Israel over the best way to mitigate Palestinian misery can help.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Abraham Accords, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Saudi Arabia

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security