Israel’s three-week long high military alert along its northern borders with Syria and Lebanon peaked Sunday night, May 6, as polling stations closed in Lebanon’s first election in nine years. Israeli political and military strategists calculate that, now the election is over, Iran will make good on its vow of vengeance at any time between now and the May 14 inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Naqba Day on May 15 is another date to watch. All the signs, including intelligence input, indicate that Iranian and Hizballah units have completed their preparations for a missile attack and are standing ready in their positions. Israel estimates that Iran will go for military targets mainly in northern Israel, although civilian locations may also be threatened. Its air force and the entire range of air defense weaponry is on the highest alert.
Iran’s leaders are clearly determined to punish Israel for three attacks on Iranian Revolutionary Guards targets in Syria on February 10, and on April 9 and 29, in one of which, at Syria’s T-4 air base, seven Iranian servicemen were killed. DEBKAfile’s military sources note that no Israeli officials or military chiefs have given out any details on how the IDF will respond to an Iranian or Hizballah attack. However, there can be no doubt that the presumed missile offensive can be cut short only by destroying the launchers deep inside Syria and possibly in Lebanon too. This sort of operation may spread over several days with no certainty about how it may develop. The Israeli security cabinet was convened Sunday for briefings on the forecast and preparations.