“Rockets would rain on Israel; drones would crash into crucial facilities, military and civilian,” warns Michael Oren.
The Israeli Security Cabinet has met on at least a couple of occasions recently, a rare development considering the ongoing political instability in Israel but indicative of a precarious security situation challenging the Jewish State, in particular surrounding Iranian aggression.
There has been action behind the tough talk of cabinet ministers.
“The Israel Defense Forces, meanwhile, announced the adoption of an emergency plan, code-named Momentum, to significantly expand Israel’s missile defense capacity, its ability to gather intelligence on embedded enemy targets, and its soldiers’ preparation for urban warfare,” writes Michael Oren in The Atlantic.
Until recently, Oren served as an Israeli deputy minister. He was past Israeli ambassador to the U.S.
“Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time,” Oren writes, referring to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and Syria.
In Syria, Israel has been battling against Iranian entrenchment and in Lebanon, against Hezbollah, Tehran’s proxy terror group, whose headquarters is in Beirut.
“Israeli fighter jets have already conducted hundreds of bombing raids against Iranian targets in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq,” he writes.
Iran reportedly has expanded its operations aimed against Israel to Iraq, with the IDF already in hot pursuit. The Israeli military is already said to have attacked Iranian targets in Iraq as well.
Oren worries of a scenario in which “Israel miscalculates, hitting a particularly sensitive target; or perhaps politicians cannot resist taking credit.”
The result, he warns, could be “a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin,” says Oren.
“Rockets, many carrying tons of TNT, would rain on Israel; drones armed with payloads would crash into crucial facilities, military and civilian,” he adds.
The Armageddon-like scenario painted by Oren in the American magazine also envisions that “millions of Israelis would huddle in bomb shelters. Hundreds of thousands would be evacuated from border areas that terrorists are trying to infiltrate. The restaurants and hotels would be empty, along with the offices of the high-tech companies of the start-up nation.”
Acknowledging that the reader might be taken aback by his descriptions, Oren writes: “Does all this seem a little far-fetched? Not to the senior Israeli government ministers who have been contemplating precisely these sorts of scenarios. And over all of them looms a pressing question: How will the United States respond?”
Referring to a point over which Israeli officials have already expressed concern, the former deputy minister notes that “President Donald Trump failed to respond forcefully to the Iranian attacks on Saudi Arabia and on international shipping in the Gulf, or even for the downing of a U.S. Navy drone last June,” adding that “rather than a departure from long-standing policy, the hasty withdrawal of American troops from Syria appears to many in the Middle East as yet another American move that will strengthen Tehran.”
On a more positive note, Oren, who served as Israel’s ambassador to Washington from 2009 to 2013, says that “administration officials have repeatedly assured me that Israel is not Syria or Saudi Arabia, and that Israel can count on massive U.S. support if needed. I continue to believe that is true.”
On the other hand, he writes: “I also remember that, back in 1973, Egypt and Syria saw a president preoccupied with an impeachment procedure and concluded that Israel was vulnerable. In the subsequent war, Israel prevailed — but at an excruciating price. The next war could prove even costlier.”
Source: World Israel News