A fatal attack on Israelis abroad could spark war with Iran and Hizballah
This time, no one was killed although Talya Yehoshua- KIoren, wife of the Defense Ministry representative in India, and three others were injured by a sticky bomb planted on her Innova SUV in New Delhi Monday, Feb. 13, at almost exactly the same time as a similar device was safely defused in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
In recent weeks, terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets were foiled in Thailand, Azerbaijan and Argentina. However much they deny this, Iran and Hizballah are clearly determined to keep on trying until they achieve their objective of killing targeted Israelis.
debkafile’s military sources say that the odds are on their eventual success, after failing in four out of five tries.
On this assumption, Israel’s chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz summoned three senior staff officers to a conference as soon as the first reports came in from New Delhi and Tbilisi at around noon Monday. It was attended by Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavy, Air Force commander Ido Nehushtan and Operations Division chief Maj. Gen. Yaakov Ayash. The meeting’s level indicated that it was not limited to discussing the immediate import of the two bombing attacks but focused rather on the broader ramifications of a potential attack with Israeli fatalities and its impact on the prospects of war.
This assumption does not look far-fetched when it is recalled that deadly terrorist attacks in the past plunged Israel into two major wars.
On June 3, 1982, four terrorists gunned down Israeli ambassador Shlomo Argov outside the Dorchester in London. He was in a coma until his death 21 years later. Three days after the attack, Israeli troops invaded Lebanon to fight the Palestinians and Syria.
Twenty-four years later, on July 12, 2006, Hizballah raiders crossed into Israel and attacked an IDF patrol. They killed three of its members and dragged two back into Lebanon to be held as hostages. Before the day ended, Israel was at war, this time with Hizballah.
So the agenda on Gen. Gantz’s urgent discussion with the IDF’s intelligence, air force and operations chiefs
was obviously not about plans to fly Israeli troops to New Delhi or Tbilisi, but for a calculus of the proximity of a full-scale war at some point in the ongoing wave of terror.
For some weeks now, the Middle East has been teetering at the edge of a precipice. A sudden shove could push it over the edge into full-blown armed hostilities without President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or even Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei being in control. The atmosphere is already dangerously charged over the crisis in Syria, reciprocal US and Iranian threats over the Strait of Hormuz, and US and Israeli preparations to strike Iran’s nuclear sites.
But wars may be ignited without notice by a small spark or a terrorist attack far from Middle East shores that would cause enough Israeli fatalities to satisfy its instigators in Tehran and Beirut and provoke an Israeli military response. This was dangerously close to happening in New Delhi Monday.