The IDF is preparing for an imminent attack on Israel’s northern border in the coming days, Yisrael Hayom reported on Sunday.
The report follows heightened tensions on the northern border following an airstrike on Damascus last week attributed to Israel which killed Hezbollah member Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad. On Friday evening, the IDF carried out airstrikes on military targets on Syria in response to fire from Syria toward the Golan Heights on Friday afternoon.
Hezbollah wants to attack Israel by sea and is developing methods to do in the future, outgoing commander of the Israel Navy’s Haifa base, Brig. Gen. Gil Aginsky, who retired last week after 32 years of military service, said.
In an interview with Yisrael Hayom, Aginsky said that Israel is prepared for the challenge.
“The challenge we are grappling with is twofold – from the sea, and from under the sea. On the water, we know how to deal with any scenario, including some very complicated ones. When it comes to the underwater sphere, we are in the process of arming ourselves and dealing with a challenge that is unique to us,” Aginsky said.
“We’re talking about a ‘blue tunnel.’ You can blow up every terror tunnel under the Gaza Strip, but our tunnel is enormous. The basic assumption is that Hezbollah wants to infiltrate [Israel] via the sea. They aren’t there to grow flowers. They intend to prevent us from being here, and if they can execute that intention from the sea, they will.
“Our job is to prevent that. We are holding onto the northern border fast and covering the entire zone,” Aginsky said.
Aginsky added that the IDF has learned its lesson from the 2006 Lebanon war, when Hezbollah terrorists fired a missile at the INS Chanit Israeli Navy ship, killing four Israeli soldiers, an event which Hezbollah exulted over and became a symbol of Israel’s overconfidence.
A subsequent investigation found that IDF Navy officials didn’t believe that Hezbollah had access to sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles and failed to activate anti-missile systems that could have protected the ship.
— חדשות 13 (@newsisrael13) August 15, 2019
“We are better prepared and I have absolute faith in our tools,” Aginsky asserted. “The threat still exists, and it is significant, but we are looking to protect Israel’s gas rigs, above all else. If Hezbollah wants to cause strategic damage, it will try to attack the rigs, but if it hits a ship along the way, it won’t be sorry. In the end, the ship’s goal is to protect the rig.”
“We are expanding our powers in terms of vessels, infrastructure, or personnel. Our operational readiness is a top priority, given the changing strategic reality around us, down to the micro-tactical level, which changes every day.”
“A few things we’ve done with submarines have brought Shayetet 13 [naval commando unit] to groundbreaking new places. The new submarines are very important, and the Sa’ar 6 ships are no less important to the Israel Navy. These tools are nothing less than amazing. I hope we won’t be challenged, but if we are, the enemy will find itself facing the ultimate response.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated on Sunday: “Regarding the northern front, we are acting according to our consistent policy of not allowing Iran to entrench militarily on our northern border. Lebanon and Syria bear the responsibility for any attack against Israel emanating from their territories.”
“We will not allow our security to be undermined; neither will we allow our citizens to be threatened. We will not tolerate attacks on our forces.”
Together with the Defense Minister and the Chief-of-Staff, I am holding ongoing assessments of the situation. The IDF is prepared to respond to any threat.”
Regarding the northern front, we are acting according to our consistent policy of not allowing Iran to entrench militarily on our northern border. Lebanon and Syria bear the responsibility for any attack against Israel emanating from their territories.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 26, 2020
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)