Syrian Missile Hits Southern Israel, Exposes Lack of Strategic Depth

Shrapnel from anti-aircraft missile launch far to the north lands in Bedouin town of Rahat in Israel’s Negev desert.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Syria
Shrapnel from the Syrian missile in Rahat, Israel on July 2, 2023. Source: Twitter
Shrapnel from the Syrian missile in Rahat, Israel on July 2, 2023. Source: Twitter

Strategic depth, together with a qualitative military advantage, were for decades the cornerstones of Israel’s defensive strategy. The Jewish state would never have more troops than her enemies, but given enough time and the right weapons, it felt the IDF could defeat any foe before it had a chance to do any real harm to the Israeli Homefront.

The age of advanced missile technology has had a big impact on that thinking, which is why Israel now invests so heavily in sophisticated and multi-tiered missile defense shields.

Overnight a Syrian anti-aircraft battery launched an interceptor missile that exploded over and rained shrapnel on southern Israel.

The battery was located in northwestern Syria, to the north of Lebanon. The interceptor missile traveled the entire length of Lebanon and half of Israel before detonating and dropping wreckage on the Bedouin town of Rahat, just to the north of Beersheba in the northern Negev region.

The IDF said that there were no casualties, and no special instructions were issued following the incident. No sirens were activated. Residents of the south and center reported hearing the explosion.

“It fell right next to the children’s bedroom, we were very lucky,” a Rahat resident was quoted as saying by Kan News.

Rahat is some 257 miles from Homs and around 142 miles from the Syrian border. Reports indicated that the Syrian missile was a Russian-made S-200 long-range surface-to-air missile.

The distances involved demonstrate why Israel is so concerned by its enemies possessing even medium-range ballistic missiles. It doesn’t take much to be able to hit any part of the Jewish state, and particularly the major population centers.


Islamic Jihad ‘downs’ IDF drone in Jenin

In related news, a military drone fell in Jenin in Samaria on Saturday night, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group claimed to have shot down the UAV, publishing a video that they said showed the downed drone, of the quadcopter type.

The incident is under investigation, according to the IDF.

On June 26, Hezbollah claimed to have shot down an Israeli military drone in Lebanese territory. The IDF confirmed the report, adding that no sensitive information was leaked.

The Jenin incident occurred in the backdrop of escalating security tensions in the Palestinian city and across northern Samaria.

The Israeli military on June 22 eliminated a three-man terror cell in Samaria via a drone strike on their vehicle.

The cell had fired on a military checkpoint near Jalamah in the Jenin area, and was responsible for a number of attacks on Judea and Samaria communities, according to the IDF. It was the first drone strike carried out by the Israeli military in Judea and Samaria since 2006.

On June 19, the IDF deployed an Apache gunship to evacuate wounded soldiers hit by an improvised explosive device in Jenin. It was the first Israeli airstrike in Judea and Samaria since the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.

PIJ claimed responsibility for the roadside bombing in Jenin. Its leader, Ziad al-Nakhaleh, said in an interview published on Saturday in the Iranian Arabic-language newspaper Al-Vefagh that the Iran-backed terror group was setting up “combat battalions” in Palestinian cities across Judea and Samaria.

With reporting by JNS.


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