On Sunday, the Israeli Security Cabinet convened for the third time in one month to discuss Israel’s increasingly complicated security situation.
The meeting took place more than a day after the Iranian proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza pounded the southern Israeli town of Sederot with a barrage of ten rockets which were all but one neutralized by the Iron Dome anti-missile shield.
Islamic Jihad is an Iran-trained and funded terrorist organization which is competing with Hamas in the effort to keep Israel under constant pressure in the war of attrition against the Jewish State which effectively began in March 2018 when Hamas and the other terrorist factions in Gaza decided to launch the ‘Great March of Return, the weekly orgy of violence along the Israeli border.
The missile barrage on Friday night came out of the blue and seemed to be a test ordered by Qassem Soleimani the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps who is interested in a continuing war of attrition against Israel.
PIJ tested the capabilities of the Iron Dome system earlier when it fired a large number of rockets at one target in Israel to see if Iron Dome could cope with it.
The missile attack showed again that the anti-missile shield is not waterproof because a house in Sederot took a direct hit while its occupants were safely hiding in the security room of the building.
Prior to the meeting of the Security Cabinet Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu warned that Israel is “in a very sensitive and volatile security period on several fronts – north, east and south.”
“We will continue to take action on all fronts for the security of the State of Israel, both openly and covertly, on land, sea, and in the air,” the caretaker PM added.
After the meeting media reported that the ministers were in consensus that the Israeli military should concentrate on the threat coming from the north but would not ignore attacks coming from Gaza.
The most dangerous foe Israel is facing is Iran concluded the security cabinet and Israel should prepare for a multi-front conflict with the Islamic Republic and its various proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Gaza.
Former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren just painted in chilling detail how such a multi-front war would test Israel’s resolve and the capabilities of the IDF and the Israeli air force (IAF).
In an article for The Atlantic the former Israeli envoy to the US revealed that the Israeli Security Cabinet ministers also examined a botched Iranian drone attack on Israel and a successful Iranian attack with drones and cruise missiles against Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in early September.
The Israeli military in the north has been “placed on war footing” as a result of the increasing Iranian threat Oren wrote, something which is in particular visible in the skies above northern Israel where IAF warplanes are constantly holding drills for more than one month now.
The Israeli military has recently also adopted an emergency plan code-named ‘Momentum’ to boost Israel’s missile defense capabilities and to further improve the intelligence gathering on Iran and its proxies while a decision was made to increase training of IDF soldiers for urban warfare.
“Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time,” according to Michael Oren.
The former Israeli diplomat then painted a very shilling picture of what Israel could expect when the long-anticipated war with Iran becomes a fact.
The Israeli military would have to cope with 4.000 incoming missiles and rockets daily during such a conflict and all of Israel would come under fire.
Many of these missiles would be aimed at vital military and civil infrastructure such as the Kiryah, the IDF’s headquarters in central Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel’s ports, electrical grids and possibly the Dimona nuclear reactor as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has indicated.
Hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens could be evacuated from the north to other parts of Israel and the tourist industry would effectively be shut down during the war as well as many companies, Oren expects.
Long-range ballistic missiles with large payloads would be launched at Israel from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Syria while Hamas and PIJ would lob their rocket arsenal on southern Israel.
You might ask if Israel’s impressive anti-missile defenses would not suffice to neutralize the incoming missiles.
The answer is no.
Iron Drome has an effective interception rate of 90 percent as the PIJ rocket attack this weekend once again proved meaning that out of every 100 incoming rockets 10 would reach their target, Oren says.
The David Sling interceptor has been tested in real-time conflict only once and costs more than $1 million per interception meaning Israel’s economy could also be damaged as a result of the missile war.
The whole scenario is not far-fetched according to Oren who says that the members of the Security Cabinet have been contemplating precisely this scenario repeatedly.
The ministers reportedly prefer to confront Iran now “than in five years, after Iran has completed its Middle East conquests encircled Israel, and acquired nuclear bombs,” according to Oren.
Another factor which may influence the decision making in the Security Cabinet is the fact that Israel is currently working with most pro-Israel US Administration ever and the US is expected to help Israel with its air defenses.