Israel does not take official responsibility for operations deep in enemy territory, yet if they are attributed to Israel by the international media it responds with silence and a wink. This was the case with the bombing of the Syrian reactor in September 2007 and with the “strange accident” at a Syrian missile factory. The same happened when Imad Mugniyah died and when a Syrian general named Suleiman, who was involved in the nuclear project and in coordination vis-à-vis Iran and Hizbullah, was mysteriously assassinated.
Since the early 1990s, Israeli officials have monitored with concern the takeover of radical Islamic elements on Sudan and the establishment of terror group training camps in the country. In recent years, Sudan has become one of the favorite smuggling routes for Iranian intelligence, with arms from Revolutionary Guard bases going through Sudan to Egypt, and then reaching Gaza via the Sinai desert and the underground tunnels at the Philadelphi Route.
Balance of terror no longer existsLike pouring oil on fire, the regime in Tehran attempts to fan the flames of the conflict. This activity has become critical for the Hamas movement, which has become Iran’s favorite protégé in the wake of the assassination of Sheikh Yassin (who was quite opposed to receiving support from Tehran.) This became particularly true following the outset of Operation Cast Lead and the serious harm caused to Hamas’ arms depots.
For example, Hamas leaders were surprised after the Air Force hit pits prepared in advance containing launchers armed with rockets. There rockets were supposed to be deployed via remote control or a fuse. The Air Force, thanks to accurate intelligence, managed to destroy most of these pits – and Hamas relayed urgent messages to Iran, asking it to renew the supply.
The balance of terror created by the two attacks in Argentina in the wake of the killing of former Hizbullah Chief Musawai prompted Israel to focus on operations against the Hizbullah group only, and not against its mother and father – Iran and Syria.
However, the recent operations attributed to Israel against Iranians arms in Sudan and against Syrian targets are more than a hint that this balance of terror no longer exists.
Ronen Bergman, a correspondent for Israel’s largest daily Yedioth Ahronoth, is the author of the “The Secret War With Iran”