Monday, February 15, 2016

Scanning Borders, Israel Surveys New Reality of Tunnels and Terror

Benjamin Netanyahu toured a new section of fence along 
the border with Jordan, near Eilat, in southern Israel, on
 Tuesday. Credit Pool photo by Marc Israel Sellem
Israel’s military commanders are rethinking their concept of border security as they watch the reality of what is happening on the other side changing in front of their eyes.
With new terrorism, violence and chaos engulfing the Middle East, it is clearer than ever to them that nonstate actors with sophisticated weapons and technology have replaced the threat from Arab armies, forcing Israel to weigh differently the advantages of preventive strikes against the risks of setting off the next war.
Israeli soldiers after a military exercise in the Golan
Heights in 2015. Credit Uriel Sinai/NYT
Given its lack of strategic depth, the Israeli military is investing in fences, surveillance and reconnaissance devices.
A top general recently told reporters that Israel must enhance its cross-border intelligence abilities and build on mutual interests and cooperation with Egypt and Jordan.
Security, said the military’s chief of operations, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, “should not start at the borderline.” With Israel facing multiple threats from all sides, he added, “we do not have the luxury of focusing just on the Golan Heights or Sinai or Gaza.”
From Israeli positions on the snowy, wind-whipped peaks here more than 7,000 feet above sea level, soldiers peer warily over the patchwork of villages their commanders now call “not Syria, but Syrias,” most of them in the hands of jihadist rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Israeli machinery searching for tunnels on the border with
the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. 
Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
In neighboring south Lebanon, the Shiite organization Hezbollah has amassed tens of thousands of increasingly accurate rockets that Israel says could threaten some of its crucial infrastructure.
Across Israel’s southern border, the Islamic State is battling Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula. And Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, boasted recently that it was rebuilding the tunnels that Israel destroyed during 50 days of deadly fighting in 2014. Residents of the Israeli border communities have recorded the clanging sounds of the tunnel diggers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, touring a new section of a fence along Israel’s border with Jordan this week, said the country would soon be surrounded by such fences and high-tech obstacles.
“In the environment in which we live, we have to protect ourselves from predators,” he said.
Read the rest of the story HERE and follow a link to a related story below:

Netanyahu: We'll Fence All Our Borders

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