Israel promises to 'take off the gloves' in next confrontation with Iran

A member of Israel's security cabinet, Minister of National Infrastructures and Political-Security Cabinet member Yoav Galant , recently warned that  Israel would "take of the gloves" if there was another confrontation with Iran.

Jewish Press:

Galant, who spoke at an event in the town of Yokneam, near Haifa, vowed that Israel would “dismantle the triangle of evil – Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.” He added that last time, during the February 10 confrontation, “we were careful. Next time we’ll take off the gloves.”

“Anyone who’s asking how big is the power of the State of Israel can read into that experience,” the minister said, suggesting: “I think the Syrians understand that it’s not worth their while.”

Galant noted that “today the Iranians are using Syrian land, often against the will of the Syrians, in order to gain assets for themselves. The Iranians want to take over the Middle East, establish an Iranian army in Syria, open a front on the Golan Heights – Hezbollah 2 – and use Syria as a springboard to deliver into Lebanon weapons that violate the balance of power.”

The minister promised, “We will not allow any of these things. This is true politically, and you can see the efforts of the government, especially the Prime Minister, in this area.”

This is an overt warning to Iran that they risk serious escalation if they try to test Israel again. Indeed, it may be the last warning Iran gets before Israel gets serious about degrading any military capabilities they are building in Syria.

Galant has described the strategic situation in Syria pretty well. With Turkey and Russia keeping the US occupied in Syria, Iran has been slowly building up its assets in Syria, including advanced anti-aircraft systems and possibly precision guided missiles that would be far more accurate than the homemade Qassam rockets used by the Palestinians in their attacks on Israel.

One of Israel's biggest fears is that these advanced weapons will end up in the hands of Lebanon's Hezb'allah, radically altering the strategic situation for Israel.

Newsweek:

Israel has largely attempted to avoid getting entangled in the Syrian civil war, but both Iran and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria and Hezbollah’s acquisition of advanced weaponry, potentially including a nascent precision strike capability, present a new and significant threat. Indeed, Israel estimates Hezbollah has up to 150,000 rockets and missiles ; a precision targeting capability would be a game changer, allowing Hezbollah to hold vital Israeli infrastructure and population centers at risk with far fewer weapons due to increased accuracy.

Of note, during this latest clash, Israel temporarily closed Ben Gurion Airport, its main transportation hub and point of access to the outside world, out of concern about a retaliatory attack.

Likewise, Iran and Hezbollah are not looking to escalate in the near term—both are still focused on the conflict in Syria. However, Iran’s willingness to penetrate Israeli airspace with a UAV, build facilities in Syria and continue attempting to transfer advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon, despite Israeli interdiction efforts, is highly provocative and increases the risk of miscalculation and war.

I don't think very many people doubt that there are red lines for Israel which include these advanced weapons system being transferred into the hands of Hezb'allah. For their own security, Israel cannot tolerate the continued build up and augmentation of Iran's capabilities in Syria.

Is war between Israel and Hezb'allah inevitable? 

If war breaks out between Israel on the one hand and Iran and Hezbollah on the other, it almost certainly will be far larger in scope and more destructive than the conflict in 2006. Hezbollah has a more capable military with a much larger rocket and long-range missile force that can strike deep into Israeli territory.

For its part, Israel will likely feel compelled to demonstrate a decisive victory on the battlefield, unlike in 2006, and try to eliminate Hezbollah’s military capabilities as fully as possible. Hezbollah strikes against key Israeli infrastructure and population centers would likely be met with a ferocious air campaign targeting Lebanese vital infrastructure, along with a wide range of Hezbollah targets. Any Israeli operation would almost certainly include a robust land campaign as well.

And unlike in 2006, this conflict probably would not remain contained to Lebanon and Israel. Given the Iranian and Hezbollah presence in Syria, Israeli attacks almost certainly would include targets in Syria as well.

Moreover, the presence of Russian, Iranian and U.S. forces in close proximity risks a broadening of the conflict. Israel could formally request U.S. military assistance in the event it is overwhelmed by Hezbollah rocket and missile strikes, potentially putting U.S. forces in contact with both Iranian and Russian ones.

Neither side wants that kind of a war so we are likely to see a low level conflict with occasional strikes by Israel and possible retaliation by Iran. The build up to war will be gradual with Iran probing Israel's defense for potential weaknesses and Israel launching ever more serious attacks on Syrian and Iranian facilities.  

War between Iran and Israel is not imminent nor is it likely. But mistakes and miscalculation can quickly turn into war in the right circumstances. Perhaps that's why Israel was being so blunt in its warnings to Iran. The Islamic Republic shouldn't have any false illusions about what challenging Israel means.

 

A member of Israel's security cabinet, Minister of National Infrastructures and Political-Security Cabinet member Yoav Galant , recently warned that  Israel would "take of the gloves" if there was another confrontation with Iran.

Jewish Press:

Galant, who spoke at an event in the town of Yokneam, near Haifa, vowed that Israel would “dismantle the triangle of evil – Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.” He added that last time, during the February 10 confrontation, “we were careful. Next time we’ll take off the gloves.”

“Anyone who’s asking how big is the power of the State of Israel can read into that experience,” the minister said, suggesting: “I think the Syrians understand that it’s not worth their while.”

Galant noted that “today the Iranians are using Syrian land, often against the will of the Syrians, in order to gain assets for themselves. The Iranians want to take over the Middle East, establish an Iranian army in Syria, open a front on the Golan Heights – Hezbollah 2 – and use Syria as a springboard to deliver into Lebanon weapons that violate the balance of power.”

The minister promised, “We will not allow any of these things. This is true politically, and you can see the efforts of the government, especially the Prime Minister, in this area.”

This is an overt warning to Iran that they risk serious escalation if they try to test Israel again. Indeed, it may be the last warning Iran gets before Israel gets serious about degrading any military capabilities they are building in Syria.

Galant has described the strategic situation in Syria pretty well. With Turkey and Russia keeping the US occupied in Syria, Iran has been slowly building up its assets in Syria, including advanced anti-aircraft systems and possibly precision guided missiles that would be far more accurate than the homemade Qassam rockets used by the Palestinians in their attacks on Israel.

One of Israel's biggest fears is that these advanced weapons will end up in the hands of Lebanon's Hezb'allah, radically altering the strategic situation for Israel.

Newsweek:

Israel has largely attempted to avoid getting entangled in the Syrian civil war, but both Iran and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria and Hezbollah’s acquisition of advanced weaponry, potentially including a nascent precision strike capability, present a new and significant threat. Indeed, Israel estimates Hezbollah has up to 150,000 rockets and missiles ; a precision targeting capability would be a game changer, allowing Hezbollah to hold vital Israeli infrastructure and population centers at risk with far fewer weapons due to increased accuracy.

Of note, during this latest clash, Israel temporarily closed Ben Gurion Airport, its main transportation hub and point of access to the outside world, out of concern about a retaliatory attack.

Likewise, Iran and Hezbollah are not looking to escalate in the near term—both are still focused on the conflict in Syria. However, Iran’s willingness to penetrate Israeli airspace with a UAV, build facilities in Syria and continue attempting to transfer advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon, despite Israeli interdiction efforts, is highly provocative and increases the risk of miscalculation and war.

I don't think very many people doubt that there are red lines for Israel which include these advanced weapons system being transferred into the hands of Hezb'allah. For their own security, Israel cannot tolerate the continued build up and augmentation of Iran's capabilities in Syria.

Is war between Israel and Hezb'allah inevitable? 

If war breaks out between Israel on the one hand and Iran and Hezbollah on the other, it almost certainly will be far larger in scope and more destructive than the conflict in 2006. Hezbollah has a more capable military with a much larger rocket and long-range missile force that can strike deep into Israeli territory.

For its part, Israel will likely feel compelled to demonstrate a decisive victory on the battlefield, unlike in 2006, and try to eliminate Hezbollah’s military capabilities as fully as possible. Hezbollah strikes against key Israeli infrastructure and population centers would likely be met with a ferocious air campaign targeting Lebanese vital infrastructure, along with a wide range of Hezbollah targets. Any Israeli operation would almost certainly include a robust land campaign as well.

And unlike in 2006, this conflict probably would not remain contained to Lebanon and Israel. Given the Iranian and Hezbollah presence in Syria, Israeli attacks almost certainly would include targets in Syria as well.

Moreover, the presence of Russian, Iranian and U.S. forces in close proximity risks a broadening of the conflict. Israel could formally request U.S. military assistance in the event it is overwhelmed by Hezbollah rocket and missile strikes, potentially putting U.S. forces in contact with both Iranian and Russian ones.

Neither side wants that kind of a war so we are likely to see a low level conflict with occasional strikes by Israel and possible retaliation by Iran. The build up to war will be gradual with Iran probing Israel's defense for potential weaknesses and Israel launching ever more serious attacks on Syrian and Iranian facilities.  

War between Iran and Israel is not imminent nor is it likely. But mistakes and miscalculation can quickly turn into war in the right circumstances. Perhaps that's why Israel was being so blunt in its warnings to Iran. The Islamic Republic shouldn't have any false illusions about what challenging Israel means.