Yet the most worrisome development has to do with a new component that Hizbullah is attempting to set up in Lebanon with Syrian assistance. We are talking about an anti-aircraft system that is aimed at limiting Israel’s ability to gather intelligence above Lebanon, and later make it more difficult for the Israeli Air Force to strike in Lebanon and Syria. Should Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah be able to establish a massive anti-aircraft system in Lebanon, this will fundamentally change the strategic balance of power.
Therefore, Jerusalem has embarked on a diplomatic-PR offensive in Europe and in the United States under the leadership of the army chief and defense minister, who recently visited Washington. Meanwhile, Olmert spoke about this with Sarkozy in Europe. The message to Syria, which is also being conveyed via Wednesday’s cabinet meeting and through other means, some of them clandestine, is as follows: Israel would not accept the establishment of an advanced anti-aircraft system in Lebanon; should it be set up, Israel will not hesitate to act against it.
Israel is also warning Lebanon against granting Hizbullah the freedom to act, in light of the latest government decision in Beirut that in fact defines Hizbullah as part of the national army. And the third issue: A warning to Hizbullah to refrain from carrying out acts of revenge for the killing of Imad Mugniyah; such acts would meet a “disproportional response.”
As noted, Israel prefers to convey messages rather than embarking on a confrontation and violating the stable ceasefires on both fronts, in the north and south. The government is aware that the security threats on both fronts are growing in a way that requires immediate action. However, in line with the “Barak doctrine,” it tries – by conveying diplomatic and media messages – to neutralize or at least delay the expansion of the threats, in the hopes of postponing the confrontation as much as is possible.
Out of the three alternatives – doing nothing, a military operation, or a diplomatic and media offensive – the government currently prefers the third option.
Un article de Ynet fait le point sur la situation actuelle d’Israël face au Hamas et au Hezbollah. Deux éléments:
- L’introduction supposé de missiles anti-avions modernes et sur plates-formes fixes par le Hezbollah avec l’aide de la Syrie et de l’Iran. Outre le fait que la couverture par des missiles SAM du Liban fut l’une des « lignes rouges » imposées à la Syrie par Israël, au début des années 1980 (et qui servit de casus-belli à Israël pour frapper les forces syriennes en 1982), l’action supposée du Hezbollah offre une opportunité d’action conjugée entre l’Europe,la Syrie, les USA et Israël.
- La volonté d’Israël de ne pas céder à la pression, fonction de l’instabilité gouvernementale actuelle, mais aussi, selon l’auteur, d’une « doctrine » proposée par le MD Barak. Le personnage est interessant, il est notamment l’une des rares personnalités du monde de la Défense israélien à n’avoir pas déclaré l’Iran « menace existentielle », il assurait dans un interview à Ynet il y a quelque mois, qu’Israël était le pays le plus puissant du Moyen-Orient et que rien ne pourrait changer celà. Ce sont des positions qui tranchent beaucoup avec le discours sécuritaire classique israélien. Si la figure politique du général en Israël est habituellement celle d’un homme fort, inflexible et capable de prendre à bras le corps les problèmes de sécurité actuels, Barak fut au contraire – et celà ne lui porta pas chance – le général qui pris un risque à Camp David, lors du retrait du Liban Sud, et qui temporisa durant le premier mois de la Seconde Intifada.
The Pentagon notified Congress over the weekend of a possible $1.9 billion sale of nine brand-new C-130 J model Hercules transport aircraft to Israel.
Defense officials said, however, that Israel was likely to only order six aircraft in a first stage and would spread out their delivery over several years, for financing purposes. The principal contractor on the aircraft will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
Israël possède actuellement 20 C-130 en service (25 au total), répartit sur 2 escadrons, 103e et 131e. La rénovation de la flotte de gros transporteurs des FAI fait partie de la programmation Tefen 2012.
Concerns that competing with American-backed defense industries would endanger Israeli-US relations led the Ministry of Defense to back down from submitting a bid for a $400 million deal to develop and manufacture a new tank for the Turkish Armed Forces.
According to sources in Israeli defense industries, Turkey informed the Israeli Defense Ministry of its interest in developing a new tank and asked if Israeli Military Industries would be interested in putting in a bid, which could have been for as much as $1 billion.
The sources said that SIBAT – the Defense Ministry’s Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Organization – decided not to submit a bid so as not to compete with the Americans and endanger Israeli-US defense relations.
Le veto des USA sur les ventes d’armes israéliennes est régulier. Il témoigne surtout de la volonté israélienne de pousser régulièrement les limites de sa relation privilégiée avec les USA. Le dernier scandale d’importance,en 2005, avait pour objet la vente de drones à la Chine. Israël passa la main.
The Israel Air Force on Tuesday unveiled prototypes of the missiles that will form the basis of two planned rocket interception systems – Iron Dome and David’s Sling [Programme Magic Wand].
Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept short-range rockets, is expected to be operational in the first half of 2010. Over the past few months, the system has been tested several times. All the tests were defined as successful, and the army is already allocating manpower to staff the planned Iron Dome batteries. The system is being developed by the Israeli firm Rafael.
David’s Sling, which is meant to counter medium-range rockets, is expected to be operational in 2012 or 2013.
The US Defense Department has pledged its support to help Israel develop and finance the Arrow 3, head of US Missile Defense Agency Lt.-Gen. Henry Obering III told Israeli defense officials he met with on Wednesday in Tel Aviv.
Obering was in Israel on a three-day visit during which he met with Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, head of the Homa Missile Defense Agency Arieh Herzog, IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan, Air Defense Forces Commander Brig.-Gen. Daniel Milo and officials from the Israeli Aerospace Industries.
The decision to help finance the multi-million dollar missile defense system did not come as a surprise. In May, The Jerusalem Post exclusively reported on a pledge US President George W. Bush had made to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, during his visit to Israel to celebrate Independence Day, to obtain funding for the project.