Iran Has Turned Northern Israel into a Testing Ground for Its Latest Weapons

Yesterday’s newsletter noted that eleven people were injured in the Hizballah drone attack on the Druze village of Hurfeish in northern Israel. Subsequently, one of them—Sergeant Refael Kauders—died from his wounds. Yoav Zitun describes the sophisticated way in which the Lebanon-based terrorist group used its drones to evade Israeli defenses, demonstrating

to what extent Hizballah and Iran have in the last eight months turned the Galilee not only into a land abandoned by its residents, but also into a research and development laboratory for weapons, to create accurate and deadly weapons in preparation for an extensive confrontation with Israel.

So far, nearly 1,000 rockets and drones have been launched from Lebanon, before a “real war” has even broken out in the north. Most of the launches are in daylight, because that way it is easier to aim and hit. The research and development of the Hizballah-Iran axis also surprises the Israeli side, so much so that the accurate and long-range anti-tank missiles have already [appeared in] a third-generation version in the last month.

The response of the IDF is not only defensive in the face of these threats but also offensive in the form of hundreds of bombings of weapons centers, [some] deep inside Lebanon, but Hizballah has used since the outbreak of the war quantities of weapons that could testify to a huge arsenal, possibly beyond what Israeli intelligence knows.

As the Israeli news website Walla reports, IDF officers believe they have “caused massive damage to Hizballah” with these airstrikes, yet the terrorist group still retains the ability to launch more significant and coordinated attacks. More worrisome still is their assessment that Hizballah’s supply of the most advanced missiles remains intact.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy