A UN observation tower is seen overlooking Syria, next to the Quneitra border crossing between the Golan Heights in Israel and Syria..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s North is at the center of the security challenges facing a region riven by upheaval, war and terrorism, and will be of crucial importance in the coming years, incoming OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said Sunday, as he accepted the position from outgoing chief Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan.
“The Northern Command is at the center of the storm raging in the Middle East, and in the North we can see a concentration of the different processes that are affecting the region and the world. This area shows the struggle between religions, ethnicities and superpowers and it reflects a region that has become more disintegrated, less controlled, and more Islamist and violent,” Kochavi said, adding: “All of these issues promise a continued instability in the area.”
Kochavi was the commander of the Gaza Division during the 2005 disengagement, and from November 2010 to September 2014 served as the IDF Military Intelligence chief.
Kochavi said Sunday that while the Northern Command has always faced threats from Israel’s longtime enemies, terror groups now running amok in the war-scarred countries of the Arab Middle East may present a new threat.
“The radical axis of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, which operated for many years to harm the State of Israel, may be joined by the threat of terror organizations that possess an extremist ideology and can change their goals and begin targeting the State of Israel,” Kochavi said.