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An Israeli General: The Jihadists will Set the Golan on Fire against us

A prominent Israeli general has anticipated that the Islamic organisations that are in control in the Syrian Golan plateau will target the Israeli heartlands in the future.

Brigadier General Itai Baron, head of military intelligence in Israel “AMAN”, has said that these organisations, spearheaded by Al-Nusrah Front, are not working against Israel now because they are busy working for the objective of bringing the Assad regime down.

In an interview conducted with him by Israel Hayom yesterday, Baron noted that the ideology of these organisations clearly state that Damascus should be seized first and then they could proceed to liberating Jerusalem.

Baron added: “It is just a matter of time before these organisations begin to target us from the Golan Plateau according to their radical ideology.”

Baron stressed that the Israeli army has been readied for this development by initiating a wall along the borders in addition to launching a new military division that trained to deal with the new situation not to mention taking several measures in the field to reduce the damages that may result from this anticipated transformation.

Baron added that although the “Islamic State” organisation is far away from the borders with Israel there has been a dramatic development in the focus of the Israeli intelligence on the organisation. He pointed out that there has been a marked increase recently in the monitoring and surveillance of the organisation within the Israeli intelligence circles.

Baron stressed that all the outcomes of the Syrian situation are expected to be negative for Syria. He explained that the Assad regime today is controlling no more than a limited area of territory within Syrian.

It is worth noting that the Military Intelligence research division headed by Baron is considered the most important institution in the realm of making strategic recommendations to decision making circles in Israel.

Baron explained that the challenges facing the Israeli intelligence services emanate from the fact that the ongoing transformations inside the Arab world occur suddenly and it is not possible to forecast them.

He pointed out that the second problem facing the intelligence services is represented in the difficulty of obtaining intelligence because the “new enemy” works from within populated areas or from underground bunkers and it is no longer possible to obtain intelligence by means of the employment of filming planes.

Baron is of the opinion that this challenge necessitates increasing the efforts made in order to obtain intelligence data.

He pointed out that the challenge facing Israel is also represented in the rapid succession of events in addition to the fact that Israel’s enemies are employing missiles in the confrontation with it. This in turn, he added, has augmented the pressures exercised on decision making circles in Israel forcing them to take quick decision.

Yet, Baron also said that there has been one change that positively impacted on the work of the Israeli intelligence services. This is in reference to the employment of advanced technologies in collecting intelligence data, which has enabled Israel to collected unprecedented volumes of intelligence.

He added: “This change has forced another challenge on the intelligence services represented in the ability to discern significant data from insignificant ones.”

Baron added that the problem facing the intelligence services is no longer represented in uncovering the secrets harboured by the enemy but is represented in solving riddles for which we have no answers.

Baron gave as an example of the “riddles” for which there are no answers the following question: “When will Iran decide to become a nuclear power? Which party will succeed Bashar in governing Syria? What is likely to happen in Tahrir Square once we attack Gaza? When will a third intifada erupt in the West Bank against occupation?”

Although Baron admits that researchers in Military Intelligence seem to disagree regarding the future of the situation in the Arab world, he personally believes that the Arab world will continue to witness rapid tremors and that it has departed the zone of stability into a zone of prolonged instability.

Translated from Arabi21, 17 January, 2015

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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