Friday, October 10, 2008

IAF jets scramble on Lebanese border

A good year to everyone.

Thirty-five years to the day of the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, IAF jets scrambled on the Lebanese border after a suspicious aircraft was detected approaching the border.
Two jets and an attack helicopter were scrambled to the border one hour before the fast ended after an unidentified aircraft was spotted flying very close to the border. The aircraft, together with ground forces, conducted searches on the ground and shortly later returned to base after the plane turned around and flew back north into Lebanon.

The IDF was on a general high level of alert throughout the country over the holiday and particularly in the north, where intelligence officials have said it is possible that Hizbullah will carry out a cross-border attack during the holiday season to avenge the assassination of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh earlier this year.

A similar incident occurred in April when fighter jets were scrambled to Acre after an unidentified aircraft was spotted over the city raising fears that an enemy plane had infiltrated Israeli airspace. The plane turned out to be an Israeli civilian aircraft that had forgotten to coordinate its flight plan with aviation authorities.

While the IDF is concerned that Hizbullah will try to kidnap soldiers - as it has done in the past - current fears are that terrorists will cross into Israel, fly an explosives-laden drone into Israel like it tried during the Second Lebanon War or infiltrate a border community like Shlomi and barricade themselves inside a home with civilians.

The defense establishment is concerned that Hizbullah will use the holiday season, as well as the switchover in government - from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Kadima Party head Tzipi Livni - to launch an attack.
There's plenty to worry about, especially with both Olmert and Livni being gun shy and having zero deterrence value.

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.

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