Israel prepares for invasion

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The Israel Defense Forces called up six battalions of reservists and deployed them along the borders with Syria and Egypt. This event, like many before it, suggests that Israel is afraid that the Arabs will re-invade them.

Israel reserve call-up

Normally, the Tzahal (literally, Defensive Armies of Israel) can call up any one unit of troops one year in three. They can also call them up for short training sessions in the in-between years.

But The Times of Israel reports that Rav Aluf Benny Gantz, IDF chief of staff, demanded and got authority from the Knesset to call up 22 reserve battalions on an emergent basis. He has called up six of them, and might call up the other sixteen. (See also here.)

Last month, the IDF canceled a tribute to reservists, and then a short-term training session. The reports on both stories blamed “budget cuts.” But now Rav Aluf Gantz has called up more troops to active duty.

Sources told The Times of Israel that Rav Aluf Gantz is plainly worried about Egypt and Syria. He might have good reason. The Egyptian regular army has almost lost control of the Sinai. Arab infiltrators got into the Negev last August and attacked a loaded bus before the IDF killed them. Some of the infiltrators wore Egyptian uniforms.

In Syria, 10 people living in a farming village died from mortar fire from government forces. A UN observer on the scene told the Associated Press that both sides (government and opposition forces) have violated the cease-fire that should have taken effect on April 12.

Background

Members of the Israel Defense Forces on the Golan Heights

Two Tzahal (Israel Defense Force) soldiers walk casually on the Golan Heights.

Even earlier, Rav Aluf Gantz canceled all leaves and passes for Passover. Passover is almost as important as the Day of Atonement in Israel. At that time, many observers wondered whether Gantz was getting ready to order a bombing raid against Iran. He didn’t do that, but said then that he wanted his troops ready for action.

Also last month, rumors, that CNAV could never conform, said that Egyptian troops had massed along the Camp David Treaty Line. According to those rumors, they were ready to cross as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood got a man elected President who would, Nasser-like, give the word.

Contacts in Israel, including archaeologists and others familiar with the region, could not verify any of this. But the commanding general in Israel would not call up reserve troops, when the country can barely afford to train them, without good reason.

Israel has already celebrated its Independence Day, according to the Hebrew calendar. But the Arabs mark that event on the Gregorian calendar. So they will mark Naqba (literally, “Catastrophe”) Day on May 14. So perhaps Gantz wants to be ready to meet any riot threat on that day, and on Naksa (“Setback”) Day on June 5, the anniversary of the Six-day War. (Israel will also mark Jerusalem Day on May 20. That is the anniversary, in the Hebrew calendar, of the Battle of East Jerusalem in the middle of the Six-day War.)

But why deploy the extra troops along the border? Why not deploy them instead in the “West Bank” region, where riots might most likely break out?

One deploys troops along a border to repel an invasion. That invasion could come from “irregulars,” meaning the sort of men who infiltrated the border in August of last year, or the rag-tag mobs who tried to storm the fences near the Golan Heights. Or it could come from regulars.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

16 Responses to Israel prepares for invasion

  1. JT says:

    Egypt and Syria?

    Look, I know you want there to be a Middle East war, because that’ll signal Armageddon for you, but bear in mind that Syria is busy tearing itself apart internally and Egypt is still sorting itself out after the Arab Spring.

    In other words, they have other things to worry about.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Syria? Maybe. But Egypt? They are about to elect a Muslim Brotherhood President. And the Muslim Brotherhood have vowed to abrogate the Camp David Treaty as soon as they can secure control of the army, set up the supply lines, and draw up battle plans. I’m sure they’ll strike, even if all they do is dust off the original battle plans of Jamal abd al-Nasr.

      • AlexM says:

        Do you have a source for that claim about the Muslim Brotherhood? Id be interested to read it.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          What claim is that? If you mean that HAMAS is a Muslim Brotherhood organization, their own charter says that.

          • AlexM says:

            Im asking about your claim regarding their “vow to abrogate the Camp David Treaty”. The Muslim Brotherhood has been very clear in stating that they will continue to adhere to the Camp David Accords and continue to acknowledge Israel’s existence. You claim that they actually mean otherwise. Im curious as to what your source is on that.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I cite their campaign speeches and various fatwat on the subject. Sign on to the Middle East Media Research Institute if you really want to understand what goes on in the Middle East today.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            MEMRI certainly has a wide variety of material, much of it very good. However I will caution that, as it was founded by a former colonel in the Israeli Army and an Israeli-born US citizen who frequently works for the Likud Party, it may not be the most objective of sources.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “even if all they do is dust off the original battle plans of Jamal abd al-Nasr.”

        Given the reforms to the Egyptian military since Nasser’s day you might find there’s a bit more work involved than simply pulling an old folder off a shelf.

        In any case Egypt is not going to attack Israel. The idea is absurd.

    • AlexM says:

      Saying “cite” doesn’t make something a citation. Im not necessarily doubting you, Im just actually curious as to the sources you used because I cant seem to find them. Journalists use sources for their information. You do consider yourself a journalist, do you not?

      • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

        You do know that you have just replied to a pingback?

        • AlexM says:

          You do know that you just replied to a reply on a pingback, and ignored the initial query that I posited?

          Ill post my question again and shall hit the correct “reply” button this time. Hopefully that will make it readable to you. As a amateur historian of world history I truly am interested to see this specific source of yours.

          Saying “cite” doesn’t make something a citation. Im not necessarily doubting you, Im just actually curious as to the sources you used because I cant seem to find them. Journalists use sources for their information. You do consider yourself a journalist, do you not?

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  3. TheEgyptian says:

    This is ridiculous. Egyptian forces are not planning to invade Israel, and it should be obvious to anyone that the Syrian army is a bit busy at the moment.

    Anyone who believes that the Egyptian forces will break a long standing peace treaty and invade Israel on the order of an Ikhwan president is woefully ignorant of the political reality in Egypt. There are many reasons for this.

    Stop fear-mongering and talking up the spectre of war. Egypt doesn’t want to fight, but the Isreali government is itching to start one in order to distract from the pressing social issues that the government neither can nor wants to solve, and has a window of opportunity in which to act due to regional disarray. However, this will only shed more of everyones blood to no purpose other than to allow those in power to get re-elected on a wave of fear and confusion.

  4. […] for months. Rav Aluf Benny Ganz, chief of staff of the Tzahal (Defensive Armies of Israel), earlier called up six battalions of reserve troops and has authority to call up sixteen […]

  5. […] Israel prepares for invasion […]

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