UAV incident proves Israel’s military deterrence insufficient: Analyst

droan newBy Mohyeddin Sajedi

The majority of Israeli media have noted that the UAV penetration exposes the weakness of Israel’s army in establishing full-fledged deterrence. Even several days after the incident, the intelligence sources of the Israeli army were not sure about the UAV’s origin.”
In a Sunday (October 7, 2012) attack on the populous Gaza region, the Israeli Army injured 11 people, including five children. Wounding those children was Israel’s first reaction to penetration of a foreign aircraft into its airspace. The Israeli army announced that the strike on Gaza was carried out based on “accurate intelligence data.” The result of such “accurate data” was injuring the Palestinian children.

The Israeli army was supposed to provide an answer for the public opinion about its failure to prevent the infiltration of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and its half-hour delay to shoot down the interloper by US F-16 fighters. The strike on Gaza followed by Palestinians’ retaliatory missile attacks and, again, Israel’s reaction did not help the Israeli cabinet to plug its loopholes.

The majority of Israeli media have noted that the UAV penetration exposes the weakness of Israel’s army in establishing full-fledged deterrence. Even several days after the incident, the intelligence sources of the Israeli army were not sure about the UAV’s origin.

Previously, Lebanon’s Hezbollah Movement had twice dispatched such unarmed UAVs into the northern part of occupied Palestinian territories. Hezbollah reportedly took the measure within the framework of a psychological war against Israel in an attempt to reveal the regime’s vulnerability. This time, the third aircraft entered from south. Israeli official sources initially announced that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement dispatched the UAV from Gaza. It was even said that the aircraft was probably sent from the Sinai Peninsula. Finally, Lebanon and its resistance movement became the prime suspect.
Israel’s confusion surfaces despite the long record of exaggerated claims by the Israeli army which has repeatedly stated that it is watchful of any movement over the skies of Lebanon, Israel, Sinai Peninsula, Jordan and the 1967 occupied territories. At the Lebanese border, Israel’s white balloons have everything under surveillance and they even eavesdrop on telephone conversations of the Lebanese farmers. Based on such “highly accurate data,” the Israeli army arrests and takes away an individual at the border, who finally turns out to be a shepherd looking after his sheep near the borderline.

This time, the Israeli army says the UAV probably entered the Mediterranean sky from southern Lebanon, headed toward Gaza, entered the southern region and was eventually shot down near Dimona nuclear plant. How can the Israeli army repeatedly claim that its warships in the Mediterranean and along southern Lebanon keep every movement under surveillance? The US and German warships help Israel and send aid to the insurgents in Syria. How couldn’t these advanced warships intercept the interloper? Were they aware of the matter but refused to inform Israel? All of these come as the US and Israel are preparing themselves for an unprecedented joint military drill.

Israel says the UAV’s target was probably Dimona nuclear plant. Tel Aviv, however, refuses to mention its recent efforts to exploit a Mediterranean gas field which party belongs to Lebanon. This casts doubt on the security of this offshore facility.

After Israel’s failure in its attack against Lebanon in 2006, the regime’s army has tried to placate the public opinion by insisting that it has completed its deterrence power and that its missile systems are capable of countering any air or missile attack. Relying on that information, Israel assured its people that if it attacks the Iranian nuclear facilities, Iran’s retaliatory response cannot kill more than a few hundred Israelis. But Hezbollah Movement in Lebanon confidently talks about hundreds of thousands of Israeli casualties and that turns out to be more acceptable for the Israeli public.
The penetration of the low-speed aircraft into the Israeli airspace casts a serious doubt over all these claims and theories. Penetration of one aircraft will not bring about the Apocalypse, but what nightmare would await the Israeli army, if there are more of those interlopers in any potential war?

More importantly, Israel and its army have lost control over the situation. Up until recently, Israel used to be the one to determine the time and venue of military operations or be aware of them beforehand. In 1967, Israel initiated the attack. In 1973, Jordan’s king had informed Israel of the intentions of the Egyptian and Syrian armies to launch an attack. In 1982, it was Israel, which used the suspicious assassination of its ambassador in London to invade Lebanon and occupy its capital city. In 2005 and 2006, there were talks of a “hot summer” for Lebanon, but the equation revered. Israel was facing fait accompli and during an operation (recently broadcast by Al-Mayadeen network) Hezbollah members easily infiltrated into northern Israel killing and injuring a number of Israeli forces. Israel was not in control anymore.

Israel has been threatening to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities for years, accusing Tehran of planning to build nuclear bomb. Civilian and military officials have repeatedly announced that another war with Lebanon is inevitable. Israel will announce the time and venue of these strikes in order to be able to take the initiative for a surprise attack. Since 2006, however, it has been proved that other players can also take the initiative.

(Courtesy: Press TV)

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