by: Brian Schrauger, Bridges for Peace
The retiring head of Israel’s Northern Command, Major General Yair Golan, has warned that the threat of war from Israel’s northern border is “many times greater” than Gaza. In an interview on Israel’s Army Radio, he said, “in case of war with the North, the threat will be significantly greater than what we have seen in the South.”
The source of the threat is Hezbollah—literally, “the Party of Allah”—a terrorist organization funded by Iran. Hezbollah is also a recognized political party in Lebanon, holding twelve seats in its Parliament and two in its Cabinet.
Reportedly, Hezbollah has built an arsenal of more than 65,000 missiles to use in an assault against Israel. Unlike rockets fired from Gaza this past summer, some of Hezbollah’s weapons are believed to have sophisticated guidance systems designed to thwart Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. Israel’s military also states that, unlike Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah has rockets that can strike anywhere in the country.
Golan told Army Radio that a conflict with Hezbollah will require the IDF to engage in “many more decisive acts and employ much more power” than was the case in Gaza.
In a conflict with Hezbollah, Golan said the IDF will not be able provide the same level of protection as it did during last summer’s Gaza conflict. Iron Dome, Israel’s sophisticated missile intercept system, should stop large, long-range missiles. But smaller rockets, he warned, are a different matter.
“I believe we will be able to intercept mainly heavy rockets and missiles, but less so regular rockets. Right now, the biggest challenge is explaining that a clash in the North will not look like a clash in the South. There will be many more hits to the home front.”
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