Israeli Activity Near Lebanon Border; Mizrahi Predicts Major War Next Year

The Israeli daily Maariv reported Monday that the Israeli army will deploy the “Kfir” infantry brigade to the border with Lebanon further north.

Maariv said that the security situation in the West Bank, where the brigade has been operating for the past 20 years, has improved and other army units will replace the “Kfir” Brigade which will be sent to the north.

The daily added that the move comes in line with the strategic vision of General Avi Mizrahi, the commander of the central region, to improve the performance of the brigade. Mizrahi has given his orders to the “Kfir” brigade to move out of the West Bank next year to take part in the “major war” expected in the north, Maariv reported. It added that the infantry brigade will hold drills in a medium simulating Lebanon and Syria and that all exercises will include armored and artillery units. “Combatants will take part in operational activities next year on the northern border,” the Israeli daily said.

The “Kfir” brigade consists of six infantry detachments originally created in the early 1990s to support armored forces in the West Bank. During the second Intifada, they were transformed into combat forces inside Palestinian towns. In 2005, the detachments became under the leadership of one integrated and independent brigade. It was also a notorious brigade for violently suppressing Palestinians in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, security and media reports pointed at further changes occurring on Israel’s northern front, including the deployment of a big armored force to a region adjacent to the occupied Syrian Golan and the occupied Shebaa Farms in Lebanon.

The Kuwaiti “Al-Rai” newspaper said Monday that “Israel has deployed an armored unit to support an already existent armored unit positioned on the Golan Heights and around the Shebaa Farms. The move was accompanied by extensive flying of Israeli drones.”

On Monday, the Lebanese army said in a statement that Israeli reconnaissance planes had violated the Lebanese airspace for 17 consecutive hours as of 7:10 am Sunday.

The reports on the Israeli deployments and preparations for “the big war” in the north next year, comes as US occupation forces are pulling out their combat forces from Iraq.

The prospects have not been favorable for war recently, although the rhetoric attained maximum intensity prior to the inauguration of the Busheher nuclear plant in Iran. Attacking Iran’s uranium loaded nuclear plants today will be a reckless move that will have uncalculated results, including radioactive hazards that could harm American interests in the Gulf, as well as in Iraq where some 50 thousand US troops remain. According to observers, Israel and the US will seek to attack Iran’s main allies in the Middle East, Syria and Hezbollah, to weaken the Islamic Republic, isolate it, and then compel Tehran to succumb to the will of the international community and abandon its nuclear program.

In his Yedioth Aharonoth op-ed last Thursday, insider on US-Israel relations, Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, said: “The evacuation of Iraq turns attention to the exceptionally high security threshold required by Israel, resulting from the unpredictable, unstable, violent and volatile nature of the region and its regimes. The more thorough the US evacuation, the higher the level of threat and uncertainty, and therefore the deeper the security significance of the Judea & Samaria mountain ridges – the “Golan Heights” protecting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the 9-15 mile sliver of Israel along the Mediterranean… The lower the military profile of the US and the more volcanic the Middle East, the higher the added-value of the Jewish State as a credible, stable, battle-proven and democratic ally of America.”

Syria, Lebanon team up against Israel