In the next war, the IDF will mobilize reserve forces that will act in the civilian middle, to ensure that the army’s activities will not be disrupted by elements among Israeli Arabs.
The IDF is very disturbed by the events that accompanied Operation Wall Guard in May this year, which included not only violent clashes in the mixed cities but also terrorist attacks by Israeli Arabs on major roads and near sensitive facilities, including military bases. From the base – which is the largest of the Air Force bases – have been severely restricted, and in the past attempts have also been made to hit armored vehicles traveling on Route 6 and some traffic arteries in the north.
The fear is that in the next war this phenomenon will intensify, and will also include real attempts to disrupt the movement of forces, block arteries and even infiltrate bases in order to harm soldiers and sabotage sensitive equipment. “We are focused on offense, but may pay a heavy price on defense – which will disrupt our offensive plans,” a senior officer admitted.
In any war plan, the IDF will be required to move many forces north and south. Since in Israel there are a limited number of routes, the transfer of forces is visible and vulnerable to damage. In fact, it is a double threat: Fighting against Hezbollah); and on the part of Israeli Arabs, who may try to seize the opportunity to harm forces and weapons.
Against this background, the IDF is conducting extensive staff work, with the aim of preparing for the next war.
The new plan will include three parts: The first deals with the Border Police forces that are subordinate to the IDF. , But the intention now is to transfer them immediately upon the outbreak of the next conflict. This will require the IDF to immediately mobilize reserve forces in their place, which will operate in the territories.
The Border Police companies that will arrive from the IDF are intended mainly for policing in the cities involved. As part of the work of the headquarters, it has already been decided that the police will not be reinforced by military forces, in order to prevent a situation in which uniformed soldiers will be required to act against civilians in missions of public order.
The second part deals with the security of military missions. As mentioned, the main concerns are disruption of the movement of forces on the arteries, blocking of roads and attempts to damage bases. It is estimated that the police will be preoccupied mainly with what is happening in the cities themselves, and will also be required to assign police officers from all districts and positions – including traffic police – which will inevitably reduce the ability to secure deputies and spaces near bases.
Those who are supposed to take care of this are reserve battalions of the Home Front Command, which will be recruited immediately upon the start of the next campaign. The soldiers will be scattered in the various sectors and will operate in the military and civilian home front. Their main role will be to secure convoys and arteries and ensure their freedom of movement. “We understand that if in the past a driver of a tank carrier could have loaded a tank and traveled freely from north to south or vice versa, now he would need an escort,” the senior said.
Two weeks ago, in an interview with Maariv, the retiring head of the Technology and Logistics Division, Major General Itzik Turgeman, said that in the next war, the IDF will refrain from transferring forces in Wadi Ara, in order to avoid friction with the Arab residents. That Israel must not accept a situation in which the IDF cannot move freely in all parts of the country, but because the forces can be secured, or alternatively a curfew can be imposed on villages and civilians who fear that they will try to disrupt the free movement of forces and armored vehicles.
The new program will address exactly this issue. Its third part, which has not yet been finally agreed upon, is intended to find solutions that will increase the police SDK (order of forces) that will deal with what is happening inside Israel. In any case, as stated, this SDK will not include uniformed soldiers.
One of the key lessons from the Wall Guard is the need to make these moves quickly, right from the start of the campaign. In any future war outline, the IDF will be required to rapidly reinforce forces on the front, which will require extensive mobilization of forces from all over the country. To be prepared for it now so that he will not be surprised in the future, “the senior official concluded.