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Beyond Gaza: Israel’s strategic shift to address seven fronts

Dec 31,2023 - Last updated at Dec 31,2023

In a recent address, Israel’s defence minister, Yoav Gallant, shed light on the remarkable security challenges that Israel is currently confronting. Strikingly, Israel believes to be under attack on seven fronts, including Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran. Gallant asserts that addressing this multi-front assault is not merely incidental but is deemed a necessary strategy for ensuring Israel’s security in a region fraught with volatility.

The ongoing conflict in Gaza has already spread, prompting Israel to broaden its strategic focus to address potential threats emanating from abroad. Regions like Lebanon, Syria, and specific Iranian targets are now under heightened scrutiny. The recent high-profile assassination of a key figure in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp further underscores the intensity of this escalating situation. It appears that targeted intelligence operations against individuals perceived as significant threats to Israel’s security are part of a broader strategy to assert control over regional challenges.

This new phase introduces a layer of complexity and risk that extends beyond Israel’s borders, impacting the entire region. Of particular concern is the Red Sea issue, notably the involvement of the Houthis, which has garnered international attention. The prospect of forming an international coalition to assist Israel in countering these diverse threats gains significance, especially considering the broader ramifications on global trade and navigation system instability on numerous countries.

While confronting threats on multiple fronts is undeniably daunting, Israel’s approach seems to align with a military doctrine that anticipates and prepares for such multifaceted scenarios. Previous joint drills and training exercises with strategic partners, such as the US, have specifically equipped Israeli forces to respond effectively to situations involving open fronts and diverse regions. With the Gaza conflict gradually de-escalating, this juncture could be strategically opportune for Israel to proactively address risks emanating from abroad. 

Simultaneously, the situation in Gaza remains a persistent and deeply troubling humanitarian crisis. The extensive damage to infrastructure has rendered the region increasingly uninhabitable. Encouragingly, proposals are emerging to address this crisis, involving technocrats, governments and international collaboration. These evolving solutions are becoming not only realistic but essential for fostering stability and addressing the plight of the affected population. 

Beyond immediate security concerns, Israel’s national security considerations extend to the situation in Syria and the intricate connections between Tehran and Beirut. Disrupting the flow of weapons, money, and fighters between these regions is deemed crucial in the overarching strategy to mitigate risks and ensure the long-term security of Israel. The adoption of a seven-front approach, while complex, reflects a comprehensive effort to safeguard the country amid evolving regional dynamics. 

As conflicts escalate in the region, their far-reaching impacts extend to various nations, including neighbouring Jordan. The imperative for Jordan lies in securing its borders and developing a national security strategy that can anticipate and effectively address potential consequences. The evolving nature of this conflict, extending beyond Gaza, especially from the escalation in the West Bank, underscores the pressing need for comprehensive regional development and proactive conflict management. In navigating these challenges, Jordan’s cooperation and engagement with its allies on all levels, intel, military and political becomes paramount.

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