ANALYSIS: Israel's New Strategy in the War Against Iran

Thursday, December 13, 2018 |  Yochanan Visser

With “Operation Northern Shield” entering its second week and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) working to destroy a third Hezbollah attack tunnel underneath the border with Lebanon it has become increasingly clear Israel is waging a psychological war against Iran and its proxies.

This is done by using cutting edge technology, exact intelligence gathering and by developing out-of-the-box solutions which give the Israeli military a decisive edge over its opponents and which aim to demoralize the enemy as we will see.

Take, for example, what happened on the first day of “Operation Northern Shield” when the IDF released a video which showed how two Hezbollah terrorists wanted to inspect a robot which was brought into a Hezbollah attack tunnel near the northern Israeli city of Metulla.

The camera of the robot recorded how one of the Hezbollah men was approaching the device after which a small explosive device exploded causing the terrorist to flee.

The publication of the video was clearly meant to humiliate Hezbollah that had just suffered a devastating blow when the IDF started to destroy its attack tunnels.

The tunnels were meant to serve as the most important element in Hezbollah’s operational plan for the next war with Israel which would include the invasion of the Galilee. 

Already in 2014, the IDF learned – by using seismic sensors - about the existence of the tunnels underneath the Israeli border but the Israeli military waited until Hezbollah, with Iranian and North Korean help, was about to finish the project before destroying it.

By waiting with the destruction of the tunnels Israel achieved two things.

First, Iran and Hezbollah spent huge amounts of money on the tunnel project, money that otherwise would have been used to produce or purchase weapons which would be used against Israel.

Secondly, by destroying the tunnels at the moment Hezbollah was about to finish them the IDF scored a decisive victory in the psychological war with Hezbollah and Iran.

The first time Israel used what I call ‘sophisticated and intelligent warfare’ to counter the asymmetric warfare deployed by the Iranian axis was at the end of January 2018 when a large Mossad team stole a large part of Iran’s secret nuclear archive in Tehran without being detected or apprehended by the Iranians.

The Mossad operation made clear Israel has excellent intelligence capacities and most likely a large network of collaborators in enemy countries.

Less than four months later the Iranians were again humiliated when they fell in an Israeli trap in the night of May 10.

After the IAF carried out a series of attacks on Iranian weapon convoys bound for Hezbollah and the Quds Force in Syria in March and April 2018, Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps ordered missile attacks on northern Israel.

Twenty Grad and Fajr missiles were launched in the direction of northern Israel from Syrian soil, but they failed to reach their targets.

Using 28 IAF F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the IAF then destroyed more than 50 Iran-related targets in Syria, among them intelligence facilities, logistic headquarters, observation posts, weapon-storage facilities, rocket launchers and air defense batteries.

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manlis later explained the Israeli army had plundered Iran’s capabilities in Syria during the previous months.

“They were dragged back because of the activity we carried out for over a month and during these past weeks,” Manlis explained while adding “Qassem Soleimani and the Quds Force paid a heavy price,” during what the IDF dubbed “Operation Chess.”

The IDF spokesman then stressed that the Israeli army had been “preparing for this night, and the plan for what was going to be done was carried out as we wanted it to be.”

In the ongoing war against the Palestinian terror groups in Gaza the Israeli army is also using sophisticated and intelligent warfare to counter the asymmetric warfare used by the terror organizations.

Those terror groups have been turned into Iranian proxies by the Islamist regime in Tehran.

Islamic Jihad, for example, receives annually $70 million from Iran while Hamas has boasted Iran is its main sponsor which maintains “strong powerful and warm ties” with the Sunni Islamist terror group.

In 2012, the Quds Force of the IRGC even established a copy of Hezbollah in Gaza when it founded the terror organization Harakat al-Sabireen Nasran li-Filastin,” or “The Movement of the Patient Ones for the Liberation of Palestine.” 

Sabireen is a Shiite faction in Gaza and has between 400 and 3,000 fighters at its disposal while it receives $10 million annually from the Mullah’s.

When the Iranian proxies in Gaza (or was it Qassem Soleimani?) decided to start a new missile war against Israel last November the media mainly focussed on the 460 projectiles the Gazan terror groups lobbed at Israel. 

However, the real onslaught was taking place in Gaza where the Israeli air force launched 150 strikes and destroyed much of the terror infrastructure in less than two days without causing civilian casualties and without the IDF launching a ground operation this time. 

Hamas subsequently begged for a ceasefire according to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

The devastating IAF strikes came on the heels of a daring intelligence gathering operation by an IDF special forces unit which had set up a base inside the Gaza Strip and operated for more than two months in the coastal enclave before being forced to leave after Hamas stopped the team’s car at a checkpoint.

The southern front has been quite ever since but Hamas now tries to ignite the front in Samaria and Judea most likely on orders from Tehran.

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