Hezbollah has plans for Israel on the Golan يوسي يهوشوا من يدعوت احرونوت: حزب الله لديه خطط لإسرائيل في الجولان
Yossi Yehoshua/Ynetnews/February 13/19
Analysis: Israel had better pay attention to the emerging reality on its Syria border in the Golan Heights, where the Lebanese terror group is attempting to get a foothold; the Iranian-backed organization is up to its neck in problems at home and finds the Syrian frontier to be a more comfortable location from which to take on the Jewish state.
While Hamas attempts to incrementally turn up the heat in the riots among Israel’s Gaza border, the “Palestinian night squads” have resumed their evening protests along the security fence, disrupting the Israel Defense Forces’ routine activity. But Israel had better pay attention to the emerging reality on its Syria border in the Golan Heights where Hezbollah has been attempting to tighten its grip exactly as it did four years ago.
According to Syrian reports, IDF tanks on Monday evening fired artillery rounds at “a demolished hospital” in Syria’s southern Quneitra province near the border with Israel, causing material damage. It was also reported that Israel hit a military observation post in the border village of Jabta Elhashab. Some reports say the post belonged to “local activists,” but it more likely belonged to Hezbollah, which is trying to regain its hold in the Syrian Golan Heights.
While the IDF maintained a policy of ambiguity over Monday’s strike, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did confirm that Israel had attacked Iranian targets in Syria, just he assumed responsibility for previous attacks over the few past weeks.
Hezbollah is trying to entrench itself in Syria, after Syrian President Bashar Assad has reclaimed the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, precisely as it did between 2014-2015. This was when one of the terror organization’s more prominent members, Jihad Mughniyeh, was appointed by Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force to be in charge of the Golan Heights area and planning terror attacks against Israeli civilians.
But Jihad was killed in a 2015 airstrike attributed to Israel. His father, Hezbollah military and intelligence chief Imad Mughniyeh, was who also killed in an alleged Israeli operation in 2008.
In retribution for Jihad’s death, Hezbollah staged an ambush of an IDF convoy near the Har Dov area, in close proximity to the Lebanese border, firing Kornet anti-tank missiles at the passing troops. The strike was followed by mortar fire coming in from Lebanon onto Mount Hermon after the IDF responded to the attack. Giva’ati Company Commander Major Yohai Kalangel and Sergeant Dor Nini were killed and seven others were injured in the incident.
Hezbollah has recently announced it intends to release footage of that incident, which is considered the gravest since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
The IDF has yet to comment on the terrorist group’s announcement, however, the army has confirmed Hezbollah’s attempts to base itself across Syrian villages over the past few months, operating against Israel in an area that is not bound by UN resolutions, unlike the Israel-Lebanon border.
In addition, an increase in the number of incidents along the Syrian border was noted over the past two months, with the Israeli strikes in Syria for which no one assumed responsibility meant to signal the enemy that it is best not cross any red lines. This is similar to the message Jerusalem conveyed to Iran when it attempted to entrench itself in Syria and was pushed out of there after a series of Israeli airstrikes.
Unlike the situation of four years ago, Iran has a rare presence along the Syrian border, while Hezbollah is working to resume its confrontations with Israel. But since the organization is up to its neck in domestic problems and cannot allow itself to face Israel on the Lebanese front, it finds Syria to be a more comfortable staging ground from which to take on the Jewish state.
Israeli Intelligenc Estimate: New Iranian threat from Iraq. Gaza escalates. Moscow jumps on Palestinian issue من موقع دبيكا: المخابرات الإسرائيلية تقدر أن هناك خطر إيراني من العراق/غزة تصعد/وموسكو تدخل على خط المسألة الفلسطينية
Debeka File/February 13/19
Iranian forces are moving back from Israel’s border to northern and eastern Syria and arming Shiite proxies with surface missiles. This is reported in the Israeli Military Intelligence (AMAN) Estimate 2019, laid before the government two weeks ago and divided into two sections: pre- and post-election. The document foresees heightened tensions on the Gaza and northern fronts in the coming months.
After the April 9 general election, the next government will have to take a stand on President Donald Trump’s ”Deal of the Century” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a challenge which does not figure in any party campaign.
In the run-up to the election, AMAN predicts the following events:
The Gaza Strip will heat up. Already this week, thousands of Palestinians are gathering night after night on the Gaza border to attack Israeli troops with explosive devices and hand grenades. The explosions cause alarm in neighboring Israeli communities.
The northern front, including the Golan, will see escalating violence from across the Syrian border. The Iranian Al Qods Brigades and Hizballah will be choosing their moment to fire missiles into Israel, taking advantage of the Russian presence somewhat inhibiting Israeli payback.
Palestinian terrorists will raise the stakes in Judea and Samaria so as to cast a pall on Israel’s election, encouraged by Moscow’s first supportive intervention in the Palestinian arena. The first Palestinian unity conference is taking place this week with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the chair. DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that the Palestinians reckon that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, when he arrives in the Russian capital on Feb. 21, will find in the Kremlin a newly friendly face for the Palestinian cause. Therefore, Iran and Syria won’t be the only items on the agenda of his talks with President Vladimir Putin.
The Intelligence Estimate points to changes in Iran’s Syrian deployment. Its forces are described as pulling away from proximity with Israel’s northern border and regrouping in northern and eastern Syria. This redeployment is cause for concern in Israel. Rather than being driven back under the pressure of Israel’s aerial and missile assaults, Tehran aims to take advantage of the coming withdrawal of US troops from Syria to extend its strategic depth into Iraq, from which Iranian missiles can reach Israel. The Iranians are expected to leave their Shiite militias behind for dealing with the Israel front and arm them with ground-to-ground, short-range ballistic missiles. Israel’s northern front is therefore not moving farther away, it is expanding into Iraq and, in addition to the rockets piled up by Hizballah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Israel is now faced with ballistic missiles from Iraq and close by.