The 5 Major Threats Facing Israel
The Egyptian Border: Quiet on the Southern Front
The Egyptian Sinai has witnessed a revival of terrorist activities since the beginning of 2010. The wave of violence reached a peak level last year. The Ansar Bait al-Maqdis extremist militant group – which recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State – has been active in the area, leading many attacks against Egyptian Security Force outposts spread out across the Sinai Peninsula, killing many in the process.
This resurgence of terrorist activity has forced the IDF to build a new security fence on the 200 km border between Israel and Egypt. The fence has recently been completed and is monitored 24 hours a day by the IDF’s highly trained personnel. Although it seems that the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis organization has chosen to focus its efforts on the Egyptian Security Forces, it may prove inevitable that they will try and attack Israel and the IDF troops standing guard on the border like other terrorist organizations have done in the past few years.
The Gaza Strip: Rebuilding Terror
Both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, the terrorist organizations in control of the Gaza Strip, have made significant efforts in the past months to rebuild their military capabilities destroyed by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge. Despite the lack of resources in the Gaza Strip, Hamas has allotted a huge amount of its funds, manpower and equipment to restoring its weapons arsenal. The military buildup is particularly shocking when considering the continuing delays in the reconstruction of the civilian infrastructure of the Gaza Strip. This clearly shows that Hamas’ main priority is the rehabilitation of its military and terrorist capabilities even at the expense of civilian needs.
Recruiting and training adolescents has also been one of Hamas’ top priorities. According to Hamas, the military training camps opened by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades has trained more than 17,000 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 17. They received basic and advanced military training (including the abduction of IDF soldiers and exiting terror tunnels) as well as intense religious indoctrination.
Similarly, senior Hamas officials recently emphasized the need to open new fronts against Israel in the next round of fighting and has encouraged the surrounding Arab nations to join the fighting. Special emphasis was placed on Syria and Lebanon: senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar called on the authorities in Syria and Lebanon to permit Hamas to set up military units in the refugee camps. He asked these authorities to do so in order to “manage the resistance from northern Palestine and participate with us in the liberation [of Palestine].” Furthermore, Hamas spokesmen have stated that during Operation Protective Edge, terrorists from the organization’s military wing already launched rockets into northern Israel from Lebanese territory, and implicitly called for the expansion of this phenomenon for the next confrontation.
Judea and Samaria: A Renewal of Palestinian Violence
Since Operation Brother’s Keeper, and the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, Hamas has tried to rebuild its infrastructures of terror in the Judea and Samaria area. Regular arrests of terrorist cells planning to kill Israeli civilians have taken place.
As a part of the wave of violence that began last October, on the morning of November 18 five Israelis were killed and seven injured when two terrorists carried out a massacre during morning prayers at a synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem.
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