Analysis: Dragging Israel into conflict

The Sunni jihadist group in Lebanon that fired rockets at the North on Thursday is the latest indication of al-Qaida-affiliated elements setting up shop near Israel’s borders seeking to drag Israel into conflict to serve their interests.

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August 23, 2013 05:45
1 minute read.
IDF troops survey the Golan Heights.

IDF troops survey golan heights 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The Sunni jihadist group in Lebanon that fired rockets at the North on Thursday is the latest indication of al-Qaida-affiliated elements setting up shop near Israel’s borders seeking to drag Israel into conflict to serve their interests.

It’s not unreasonable to assume that those who fired the rockets would be pleased to create the conditions that would suck the IDF into a conflict with Hezbollah. Their calculation could be that the IDF’s immense firepower will weaken the Shi’ite organization, which rules southern Lebanon and is involved neck-deep in the war against Sunni rebels in Syria.

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A weakened Hezbollah would in turn cripple the murderous Assad regime, and might shift the balance in favor of the Sunni rebels in Syria.

Some of the Sunni armed groups are part of a transnational pro-al-Qaida network of jihadist fighters, which extends from Lebanon to Iraq. Syria is acting as a production center for these groups, churning them out and spreading their ideology and weapons to neighboring states. The result might be a strengthened jihadist presence in the entire region.

In the Sinai Peninsula to Israel’s south, terrorists sharing the same ideology as their brethren in Syria fired a rocket at Eilat this month, probably in the hopes of provoking an incident that would undermine the Israel- Egypt peace treaty.

In light of these factors, Israel will be looking to calibrate its responses in such a way that does not serve the designs of jihadists, while firmly safeguarding the security of its citizens.

This does not mean the IDF will sit on the fence every time global jihadists fire a rocket at Israel. For the past few years, the military has been perfecting its ability to swiftly identify targets that appear and disappear beyond borders, and direct devastating accurate firepower at them. Combined with the right intelligence, these capabilities mean that the IDF is prepared to respond to the threats developing to the north and south. There is no reason to believe that a lack of response to one incident will be repeated the next time that rockets are directed at Israelis, or when a cross-border assault is launched.



Every day in this chaotic region will create situations for decision-makers to respond to.

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