The Druze repel an invasion of Israel 87

On the anniversary of its establishment, Israel has been attacked on four fronts: Gaza, the Golan Heights, Lebanon, and Jerusalem.

To the Arabs, it is “Nakba (catastrophe) Day”, which they regularly mark with violence against Israeli targets. Yet Israel was strangely unprepared for the attacks, or at least for the intensity of them. Did the Israeli government not expect that Arab leaders and rulers, threatened with overthrow, might try to divert the anger of their maltreated masses on to Israel?

DebkaFile reports:

The coalition organizing the exceptionally violent events of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) Day Sunday, marking the founding of Israeli in 1948, first tested the water in the morning: An Israeli Arab drove his truck at high speed through a Tel Aviv thoroughfare, slamming into more than a dozen vehicles and running over pedestrians. He had killed one civilian and injured 17 over a 2-kilometer stretch of road before he was overpowered and apprehended.

When Israel’s police chiefs declined to designate the attack an act of terror and insisted it could have been a traffic accident, Damascus, Hizballah and Hamas felt they were safe in letting their master plan go forward: There was no risk of a tough Israeli response. And indeed, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later admitted that local commanders and police chiefs were directed to deal with all fronts “with maximum restraint while defending Israel’s borders and sovereignty.”

Because of this directive, Israelis were shocked to discover at 13:30 that hundreds of Syrians, Palestinians and a Hizballah group had crossed the border and hoisted Syrian and Palestinian flags in the main square of the Israel Golan village of Majd al Shams. They had already been there for four hours and no one was stopping them crossing the border back and forth during that time. Throughout the day, only a small squad of soldiers had been left to guard this border because nothing untoward had been expected there.

It was only at 17:00 hours that tanks and reinforcements arrived.

The invaders had every reason to march around the village declaring they had recaptured the territory Syria had lost 44 years ago while attacking Israel.

By then, military spokesmen had got their act together. It was fortunate that we undermanned the Syrian border, they said, otherwise the incident would have ended with hundreds of dead. …

The Syrian interlopers were finally driven back across the border – not by Israeli troops – but by local Druze chiefs. Israel still does not know how many left and if any remained.

It is to be regretted that the IDF did not meet its fundamental duty to defend Israel’s Golan border by bringing up large reinforcements to surround Majdal Shams, seal the Syrian border and shoot trespassers. The Syrians should not have been released but held until Damascus forced the Hamas to free the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit.

Former Shin Bet director Israel Hasson … commented later Sunday that Israel must make it crystal clear to Damascus, Hizballah and Hamas that they will not be allowed to toss their internal problems into the Israeli court or violate Israeli sovereignty. …

Israel will pay a heavy price for its flaccid response and misplaced “maximum restraint.” Syrian President Bashar Assad can be counted on not to miss the chance of sending over to the Golan the Syrian and Palestinian terrorist teams he has held in reserve for more than a year for the right opportunity. That opportunity is clearly now at hand.

The Majd al-Shams invasion followed by violence by masked Palestinians in Jerusalem and a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. It was synchronized with mass incursions from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. This round is not over. It will not be stopped by military restraint.

Are these comparatively small waves, partly caused by Arab unrest washing against Israel’s shores, and will they soon subside?

Or are they the first signs of a political tsunami?


Post Script: According to Ynet News, some of the Palestinians who crossed the Golan border from Syria into Majd al-Shams on the Israeli side, were seeking asylum.