The IDF Intelligence Branch has published its annual assessment for 2019. Among others, the intelligence assessment cites the increased likelihood of a military conflagration that may erupt in the Gaza Strip — an assessment that reportedly has prompted IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi to prioritize the IDF’s readiness for such a development.
According to Israeli intelligence officials, this year will be volatile in view of the high likelihood that Hamas will carry out offensive actions against IDF troops. The officials believe that the scope will be limited, should a conflagration materialize, but it is still liable to lead to a round of escalated-violence in the Gaza Strip. In addition to a possible escalation with the Islamist organization in Gaza, the Israeli intelligence assessment also reviewed the potential for a military conflagration in Syria and Lebanon, while pointing to the various contributing factors: “particularly Iran’s activity in the region.”
That said, the IDF Intelligence Branch believes that the American pressure on Iran has been most significant, and its substantial ramifications can already be seen on the ground. Contrary to the situation on the Gaza-frontier, Israeli Intelligence officials have been reluctant to anticipate whether the latest developments on the country’s northern frontier with Syria and Lebanon could result in a potential popular uprising in Iran, but it believes that Iranian civic discourse is changing.