OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi toured the Golan Heights and the border with Syria on Wednesday, and warned that Syria was losing its sovereignty over territory close to the Israeli border.

“Battles between the Syrian army and [rebel] gunmen are no longer occurring far from the border, but are taking place just a few kilometers away,” Kochavi said. “The gnawing away of control by the Syrian regime and the increasing infiltration of jihadi elements are creating a new threat, which the IDF and Military Intelligence are preparing for.”

The core of Israeli preparations were in the intelligence sphere, Kochavi said, adding that Military Intelligence has a central role in the IDF’s ability to adjust itself to the new Middle East environment.

The tour of the Golan was aimed at creating a direct communications channel between senior Military Intelligence personnel and Armored Division 36, which guards the northern border.

Discussions were held on how armored vehicles could best be adjusted to fit regional changes, as well as intelligence gathering techniques.

In August, Kochavi said Israel will face a more unstable, tense and Islamist environment.

“It will be an environment that deals with a series of crises, regional and internal, which raises the level of sensitivity of all players, and which could lead, without prior planning, to an eruption,” he warned during a ceremony to present Military Intelligence’s annual intelligence evaluation.

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