An Israeli soldier runs to direct an armoured personal vehicle near the Syrian border in the Golan Heights, on May 10. (AFP)

January 18, 2018

Based an intensive strategic assessment at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, dozens of researchers, along with retired generals and intelligence chiefs, concluded that Israel was facing a real challenge, represented by a so-called “first North war” in which Iran, Syria and Hezbollah will align along the front extending from the Golan Heights till Ras al-Naqoura.

A group of researchers, including General Amos Yadlin, the executive director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, and former head of Israeli military presented their annual comprehensive assessment on Israel’s security situation to President Reuven Rivlin.

The report will also be submitted to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials.

The findings indicated that despite Israel being a militarily strong country with very good national immunity, it was facing difficult challenges. The report pointed to the presence of conditions that allow war to be fought for the simplest of reasons.

According to the report, the Israeli government has determined that Iran poses the biggest and most serious challenge, as it has not abandoned its nuclear plans on one hand, and is seeking to establish its influence in several countries in the region through proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

If war breaks out, Israel will be fighting on several fronts, especially taking into account the relations between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, as well as Iran’s increasing influence in Lebanon, the report emphasized.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.