The four-day round of fighting between the IDF and the Gaza-based Palestinian Jihad Islami starting on March 9 gave Israeli military strategists a chance to test and improve three systems:
The brief campaign occasioned the most extensive cyber war Israel has ever conducted.
Experts disabled all the Iranian command center links to Middle East outlets including its centers in Lebanon and Syria and cut off all the Jihad Islami command posts in Gaza from each other and from their connections with the missile and weapons stores the organization has stashed away in northern Sinai.
They also shut down sections of Gaza’s mobile telephone networks, especially those registered to Jihad’s military wing.
Israeli intelligence hacked into Jihad’s television and radio stations, disrupted broadcasts and aired slanted segments to the population.
So powerful were the measures used in this digital campaign that Israel’s own radio, TV and telephone connections were affected.
A New Intelligence Command and Control System
The new intelligence control system introduced last week affords heads of command centers in a war offensive as well as every field soldier a precise picture composed in part of live images in real time of the situation in their own arena, in the field and on the enemy side of the battlefield. It then matches up the information with data incoming from other arenas.
The information is gathered by surveillance drones. The quality of information received and the measure of control attained over field operations are in the view of Western intelligence experts who have been monitoring it the most advanced achieved by any system of its kind.
The facility gives Israeli commanders complete control of the battlefield and enables them to deploy their forces appropriately.
Its proficiency is such that Defense Minister Ehud Barak couldn’t resist publicly admitting on March 11, that for the first time all the ranks taking part in battle had acquired the capability to control what was happening in the field.
Home Front Defense
With a million civilians confined to bomb shelters under missile attack for four days, Israel’s Home Front Defense was able to drill its civil defense system in real-life conditions in anticipation of a war with Iran.
Since the last such ordeal, there were many Improvements in the rescue, medical aid, food supply and firefighting services. The majority of the population found shelters available.
The new Iron Dome missile interception system improved popular morale, imparting a greater sense of security to the home front. Instead of the panic and chaos displayed during Israel’s 2006 Lebanon war with Hizballah, people this time were more composed and controlled.
The civil defense and first response systems worked so well that it was decided to carry out home defense exercises in other parts of the country liable to come under attack in a war with Iran.
Monday, March 12, shortly after the Gaza ceasefire was announced, the Home Front conducted two large-scale exercises – one in southern Israel and the other in Tel Aviv.
The second drill aimed at preparing the city for a missile attack without prior warning.