Outgoing Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin says Israel's next military conflict will cost more casualties than previous battles; NSC chief Uzi Dayan says Iran, Turkey, and terrorists are increasing dangers to Israel.
Yadlin, head of IDF Military Intelligence, gave a stark report on Tuesday in his briefing to the Knesset - the last one before leaving his post in the coming days. He warned of new, state-of-the-art Russian-made Syrian weaponry and two new Iranian nuclear sites.
National Security Council chief Uzi Dayan filled out the picture by warning that missiles from Gaza could hit Tel Aviv and that terrorists in Lebanon are digging further into and behind civilian populations.
“In the next war,” Dayan told Arutz-7’s Benny Tucker, “we have to be more concerned with our potential civilian casualties than military casualties.”
“Yadlin’s assessment means that uncertainty has returned to our region,” Dayan said. “Iran continues to build nuclear weapons [though at a slower pace than it had hoped, Yadlin said – ed.], Turkey has returned to the axis of evil, and the terrorist organizations continue to dig in.”
Only 40 Miles Wide
“The incoming IDF Chief of Staff, Gen. Yoav Galant, will have to deal with many challenges, beyond the issue of terrorism and Iran,” Dayan said. “We will have to prepare for an eastern front against us… .The Jordan Valley is one of our most critical areas. Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean there are only 64 kilometers (40 miles); this is our entire strategic depth, and we must not give it up. We must have defensible borders. This position must be presented in the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.”
The dangers in Gaza and southern Lebanon must be neutralized, Dayan said, and this is done by capturing territory. “Gaza is in danger of becoming an Iranian stronghold, in terms of missiles directed at Tel Aviv. We must conquer enemy territory [in Gaza] and demilitarize it; the same in southern Lebanon. The terrorists today take cover amidst civilian populaces, assuming that we will not capture that territory. We must uproot that type of thinking.”
Soldiers Protect Citizens, Not Vice-Versa
Dayan feels that it is very dangerous to plan wars by worrying about military casualties at the expense of civilian casualties: “In Operation Cast Lead [two years ago, when Israel last fought against Hamas in Gaza, following some 8,000 rockets fired at Sderot, Ashkelon and environs – ed.], we should have caused the collapse of Hamas… I hope that we have learned the lessons of that war and of the Second Lebanon War; we must punish the terrorist organizations harshly… I want to remind us that the function of the army is to protect the citizens; we can’t have a situation where the public discourse about battles centers around the threats to the soldiers. The job of the army is to protect the citizenry, and if we have to count potential casualties, it has to be those of civilians and not soldiers.”