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April 18, 2016 2:14 pm

IDF Deputy Commander: Islamist Attacks Against Israel’s Northern Border Could Erupt at Moment’s Notice

avatar by Lea Speyer

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The border fence separating the Golan Heights from Syria. Photo: Wikipedia.

The border fence separating the Golan Heights from Syria. Photo: Wikipedia.

Violence along Israel’s northern border could erupt “with minimal warning,” an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deputy commander told the Israeli news website nrg last week.

Col. Ohad Najme, the deputy commander of the IDF’s Habashan Division, which is responsible for patrolling Israel’s northern border, said in an interview, “I wouldn’t fall off my chair if this happened right now. Violence can erupt suddenly…You have to be ready to go from zero to 100 in an instant.”

Najme’s comments came days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted that Israel carried out pre-emptive attacks in Syria and Lebanon. During a visit to the Golan Heights, Netanyahu said, “We act when needed, including here across the border, with dozens of strikes, in order to prevent game-changing weapons from falling into the hands of Hezbollah. We also act on other fronts, both near and far, but we do this sensibly.”

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According to security estimates cited by nrg, an attack against northern Israel is highly probable. Officials said they believe that the next such event being planned by Islamists is an infiltration of the border to attack Israeli communities near the security fence.

The Israeli defense establishment is preparing for all scenarios, the report said, gathering intelligence on possible methods of attack from propaganda videos released by terror organizations. One extreme scenario being prepared for is the use of booby-trapped vehicles to ram through the border, a method of attack already employed by ISIS terrorists in the Sinai. “We are trying to learn how they are organizing their attacks, thinking that a similar scenario could also happen here,” Najme said.

“We are in a period where a lot of things are changing,” Najme said. “Everyone is looking to see what is happening here.”

Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, Israel has been on alert where its northern border is concerned. The area has been of particular concern with the entrance of pro-Assad regime reinforcements from Russia and Iran — whose proxy, Hezbollah (against which Israel went to war in Lebanon in 2006) has set up bases of operation there — and as a result of the bloody battles being waged by rebel groups, chief among them ISIS.

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