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March 26, 2023 2:49 pm

‘Israeli Deterrence Seen as Diminished by Political Crisis’

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avatar by i24 News

Female tank fighters in the Israeli military. Photo: IDF

i24 News – An unnamed senior Israeli defense official said on Sunday that Israel’s military deterrence is regarded by enemies as weakened by the ongoing rifts and crises over the government’s judicial overhaul.

“Our enemies have come to see Israel as weak and limited in its deterrence in light of the weakening of international support,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told local media, adding that his analysis was shared by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar, and Mossad chief David Barnea.

“The internal situation has also become a focus of attention, with everything pointing to Israel being in a serious crisis which, in the view of our enemies view, could lead to the state’s collapse. They know an opportunity when they see one. Due to the damage to our capacity for deterrence there are attacks being planned, on the assumption that Israel is paralyzed,” he says.

While the IDF is functioning at full capacity despite hundreds of reservists and dozens of active duty soldiers threatening boycott over the controversial reform, “continuing the legislative process without an agreement will result in competence being compromised.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, became the first to break ranks late Saturday by calling for the legislation to be frozen. Gallant cited the turmoil in the ranks of the military over the plan. But it was unclear whether others would follow him.

The package of reforms sought by Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist coalition have triggered weeks of unprecedented street demonstrations and stirred worries among Western allies who see a threat to the independence of Israel’s justice system.

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