Fear Mongering? IDF Briefing Causes Alarm in Northern Galilee

September 15, 2014  

An unusual briefing by a senior IDF Northern Command officer caused concern throughout northern communities Sunday. The officer described scenarios for a possible war with Hezbollah in alarming detail, and said it was possible that Hezbollah would capture some Israeli territory before being repulsed by the IDF a few hours later.

He also said that Hezbollah incursions would be carried out by large units, numbering 50-70 fighters, and that the war could last four months.

According to Channel Two, numerous concerned residents called Upper Galilee Regional Council Head Giora Zaltz Sunday and asked what had changed to prompt the briefing. Zaltz spoke to Northern Command Head Major General Yair Golan, who reassured him that the briefing simply described scenarios for which the IDF trains and prepares, but that there is no change in the situation vis-a-vis Hezbollah.

Owners of tourist rooms in the north reported that some reservations were cancelled in the wake of the briefing, which made it sound like war was imminent. 

There has been speculation that the IDF is engaged in fearmongering because it seeks to avoid deep defense cuts in the upcoming budget debates in the Knesset.

The officer himself said in the briefing that if Hezbollah invaded Israeli territory, it would easily be pushed back out, but there would be an effect in terms of “the narrative.” Therefore, he explained, one “takes the sting out” of the possibility by talking about it.

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