Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the vice president of NEWSRAEL. served for 25 years in the IDF military intelligence specializing in Syria, Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups, and Israeli Arabs. He is an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups. He is fluent in Hebrew, Arabic, and English and has debated Muslims on Arab media in Arabic.
On Sunday, Dr. Kedar published an op-ed on the Hebrew-language Makor Rishon describing a shocking security situation developing in the region that represents a dire threat to Israel. Dr. Kedar began with a disclaimer:
“A note to my readers,” he wrote. “I hesitated quite a bit, debating whether to publish the things that appear below because of the panic they might cause in Israel. However, in the Middle East environment, particularly in Iraq, these things are known and serve as a topic of open discussion among quite a few, so it is impossible for the public in Israel not to be aware of them as well. Especially because these things concern Israel; its security and existence, much more than they concern the citizens of Iraq. These things come up occasionally in the Israeli media, so I decided to bring them up here.”
“A source I have known for years – an expatriate from the Middle East, a supporter of Israel, who lives in Europe and is in continuous contact with people in Iran and Iraq – conveyed to me his assessment that Iran is planning to launch a combined attack on Israel in the foreseeable future that will include all the forces at its disposal in the Arab countries.”
Dr. Kedar then detailed what these available Iranianian assets were in the region:
“In Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas have many thousands of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), some of them with precision guidance systems,” Dr. Kedar wrote. “In Syria – 17 combat units (“militias”) stand armed and ready: Liwa Fatemiyoun, the Zainebiyoun Brigade, the Harakat al-Nujaba, Hezbollah, the Abu Al-Fachal Brigade, Atsa’ab Ahl Al Haq, the Khorsani Brigade, and others. Iran transferred a very large number of missiles and UAVs to Syria and these are ready to be launched.”
Dr. Kedar’s prediction seems to be already materializing. On Thursday afternoon, 34 rockets were fired at northern Israel from Lebanon. Lantern in the evening several mortar shells impacted near the northern town of Metula. The IDF blamed Hamas forces in Lebanon for the attack but Israeli official sources said it would not have been carried out without Hezbollah’s consent. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is currently in Lebanon.
On Saturday night, six projectiles were launched at Israel from Syrian territory
“In Iraq, dozens of militias are armed with missiles and UAVs,” Dr. Kedar warned.
The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq which have frequently come under rocket attack by Iranian-backed militia.
“In Yemen – the Houthis have missiles and long-range UAVs that reach Israel,” Dr. Kedar continued.
Houthi drones have been used to devastating effect against Saudi Arabian targets.
“In Gaza, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have missiles capable of disabling the Israel Defense Forces and Air Force bases,” Dr. Kedar wrote. “It is likely that Iran will not send anything from its territory to Israel in order not to expose itself to retaliation.”
Dr. Kedar understood these facts in the current context of increasing tensions focused on the Temple Mount.
“Under the pretext of the duty of the Muslim world to save Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli occupation and oppression, Iran will conduct a staged, comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated attack on Israel,” Dr. Kedar wrote. “The first phase will be an aerial attack including a massive coordinated barrage of missiles and UAVs from all the aforementioned arenas.”\
Dr. Kedar explained that the Iranian strategy is that the stock of interceptors for the “Iron Dome” will run out within two to three hours of the beginning of the air attack, after which the Israeli skies will be open to further assault. The next phase will focus on the air force which will be damaged and grounded.”
“The initial aerial phase will be accompanied by a cyber attack on Israeli infrastructure systems,” Dr. Kedar wrote. “After a full day of a cyber attack, and a rain of missiles and UAVs that will hit air force bases, navy bases, army bases, electricity, computing, communication, road, and water infrastructures, the second phase will begin a coordinated ground attack from Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza by infantry. Forces mounted on conventional military vehicles as well as dirt bikes and ATVs equipped with anti-tank weapons they will cross the border and attack the Israeli ground forces in order to reach Jewish settlements as quickly as possible.”
“The strategy of the Iranians is that the mobilization of the reserves will take several days,” Dr. Kedar suggested. “They may even be counting on the call-up of the reserves to initially be only partially implemented because of the chaos that will be generated throughout the country due to the attacks; cyber and military. IDF reinforcements will not arrive in time to the various fronts and therefore the regular forces will collapse within hours in the face of the ground attack, just as happened in the Bar Lev Line and the Golan during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.”
“The invasion of ground forces from Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza will focus on Israeli settlements with the aim of demoralizing the Israeli public and forcing the government to surrender in order to save the lives of the many Israelis who will be captured by the Arab and Iranian militias. The Israeli media and especially the social media groups will increase the panic among the Israeli public.”
“It is not clear what role the Iranians ascribe to the Palestinians in the war,” Dr. Kedar writes. “However, it is likely that Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and the Islamic Jihad will push them to do everything in their power to harm Israelis, the army, the police, and civilians moving on the roads, in addition to attacks on settlements and military bases.”
“Also, the Iranians expect Arabs in Galilee and the Negev to carry out actions against the IDF and the state such as blocking roads, damaging bridges, spilling oil on roads, blocking intersections, damaging high-voltage lines, and attacking Jewish settlements. Because the National Guard is not yet operational, these operations will cause great damage to Israel and its ability to withstand the ground assault. Such an operation will require a minimal price for those carrying out these operations.”