IDF gets ready for Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border

The IDF changes — led by the 91st Galilee Division – were done in recent months, in which the unit carried out significant measures to step up its preparedness.

IDF gets ready for Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border (photo credit: IDF)
IDF gets ready for Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border
(photo credit: IDF)
The IDF has reorganized the way it responds to alerts and deploys troops along the border with Lebanon amid growing concern of a possible confrontation with Hezbollah, senior officers told The Jerusalem Post.
The IDF changes — led by the 91st Galilee Division – were done in recent months, in which the unit carried out significant measures to step up its preparedness.
The purview of the 91st Division, which consists of the 300th Brigade in the West and the 769th Brigade in the East, spans the entire Israeli-Lebanese border.
As part of its preparation, the division rearranged the way it deploys its troops. It formed new tactical units of infantry, tanks, missile batteries, engineering corps, and others in order to increase its firepower capabilities, and to “exact a higher price” when it responds to an enemy attack.
IDF gets ready for Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border. (IDF)IDF gets ready for Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border. (IDF)
In order to more rapidly respond to incidents, the division recently created a new mechanism to tighten cooperation between different units, including the Navy and the Air Force units that operate in the area.
This new deployment was practiced in the recent “Lightning Storm” division drill completed two weeks ago. A major part of the drill was joint work on the “Circle of Fire” – the ability to have multiple units focus on a target and attack it at the earliest possible time.
The IDF Intelligence Directorate maintains that the Lebanese front is the most sensitive among all of Israel’s frontiers. It said in its recent annual assessment that Hezbollah is still seeking to avenge the death of an operative who was killed in an attack attributed to the Israel Air Force.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech in late August that “Israel needs to understand… If they kill one of ours, we’ll kill one of yours.” That came a month after the organization accused Israel of killing one of its members, Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad, near Damascus.
Hezbollah sees the situation as an “open tab,” and according to Nasrallah’s remarks, it is believed that it will try to kill an Israeli soldier in order to maintain the “equation.”
As part of the 300th Brigade’s rearrangement efforts and the steps that were taken to make it more efficient, the IDF decided to reinforce the observation units along the border. That step, along with the reinforcement of its firepower capabilities, was made to avoid sending troops to the fence when the mission could be completed by other means.
The idea is to avoid creating targets for the enemy and to use technological tools more efficiently.
Among these tools are observation devices, operated by the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps’s 869th Battalion.
This co-ed battalion, in charge of collecting intelligence along the Lebanese border, uses a wide range of reconnaissance devices including drones. The unit specializes in operating these tools without being exposed to the enemy, and without their knowing that the soldiers are even there.
IDF gets ready for Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border. (IDF)IDF gets ready for Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border. (IDF)
Some of the drones are simple ones that can be purchased online, but all have undergone significant upgrades by the IDF. For example, their range of vision is improved and they can see both during the day and at night.
Capt. Ido Wasserstein, OC of the company situated at Rosh Hanikra and in charge of observation within the 300th Brigade, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview at the northern base that if something happens along the border, their duty is to scan for threats and to make sure that ground forces approaching the fence are safe.
“If we have a drone that can scan along the fence, instead of a force going down to the fence, this is our contribution,” he said. “The IDF, in general, tries to use technology as much as possible instead of [using] soldiers that would come directly to the fence.”
Along with using drones to collect intelligence, the company also provides ambushes near the border.
“We can do this in a quick manner,” Wasserstein said. “I have an independent squad that could provide an updated, sharp, high-quality intelligence image whenever we are asked.”
Wasserstein mentioned that due to the rapid improvement efforts, the soldiers in the field who are part of the development are in constant contact with the IDF technology units.
“We tell them what our problems and needs are, and they take care of it,” he said. “We tell them what is the [intelligence] product we need, and they improve it accordingly.
“Or, let’s say, we want to create a product in which we need to see far, and we want to identify the license plate [of the objective], we will ask for it,” he said.
When it comes to maintaining the ability to fly drones, Wasserstein said that he keeps his soldiers in the best shape possible.
“I keep them fit like Air Force pilots,” he said. “All of them have notepads in which it says what is their qualification, which drones they can fly, how many flights they did and when. It is important to know. We have a precious tool here, and we need to know how to control it in different scenarios and weather. These drones are highly valuable for [protecting] the area, and the people behind it should be in the highest level of proficiency.”