Chief of Staff Kochavi (C)
Chief of Staff Kochavi (C) IDF Spokesman

For the first time yesterday, some of IDF General Staff generals were exposed to the sovereignty map drawn up by Israel and the United States for next month's sovereignty being officially declared in parts of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley.

A few hours later, Defense Minister Benny Gantz instructed the Chief of Staff to prepare military steps. The IDF did not wait for the Defense Minister's instructions but used the recent weeks in preparation for steps toward annexation.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who continues discussions with the U.S. government about the sovereignty plan, has not yet announced whether sovereignty will apply only to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria or also to agricultural fields in the area, including those worked by "Palestinians". It is also possible that sovereignty will be applied to the entire Jordan Valley area, Jewish communities, Arab settlements, and agricultural land.

Accordingly, the IDF is preparing for several scenarios: the "easy" scenario that will include protests and clashes around the checkpoints. The second scenario talks about hostile operations on the roads, while the most difficult scenario sees integration of tens of thousands of armed Tanzim and Fatah fighters joining a general uprising, which would mean a strategic change.

In light of all this, the IDF will be holding a wide-scale war game this Wednesday to deal with the possibility of escalation following annexation.

The new IDF Central Region Commander Tamir Yiddi is not expected to enjoy even a hundred days of grace, as the reality in the field with cancelled PA security coordination has complicated matters and with annexation making things even more difficult. But the defense establishment knows that in any case, arrests and operations will continue even in the event of deterioration.