How must Israel prepare for what appear to be inevitable wars on one or both of its northern and southern fronts? The Institute for National Security Studies, based in Tel Aviv, has laid out a plan.
Former IDF Intelligence Director Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, who heads the Institute, writes that on both fronts, “Hezbollah and Hamas [have] institutionalized and taken on characteristics of states… [They] have not given up on the intent to destroy Israel, and both organizations regard military conflict as a central path to achieve this goal. Stopping them requires strong deterrence and damage to their respective military buildups.”
Yadlin mentions the “buildup issue” of Hezbollah’s arms and rocket arsenals in passing, noting that Israel is addressing it “carefully,” including by “focusing on preventing quality arms supplies to Hezbollah.”
He notes that the northern front is more stable than the south, because “despite limitations, Israel and Hezbollah can anticipate the other side’s moves and halt deterioration toward fighting with relative ease.” On the Hamas front, however, “there is constant friction, including restrictions on entering and exiting, a naval blockade, tunnel digging into Israel, and tension surrounding the humanitarian need to rebuild civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. In addition, the southern front is extremely complex due to its many players,” some of which occasionally fire at Israel, “more to defy Hamas than to harm Israel.”