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Israel’s dilemma over its ‘war between wars’

Iran's transfer of its activity center from Syria to Lebanon and the American withdrawal from Syria have created for Israel a new, complex strategic challenge.
An Israeli soldier walks near the area where the Israeli army is excavating part of a cliff to create an additional barrier along its border with Lebanon, near the community of Shlomi in northern Israel April 6, 2016. Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Lieutenant-General Eli David, who serves as an engineering officer in a northern division, told Reuters on Wednesday that the army began work on the new barrier by exposing the cliff in January 2015, to help protect communities located close to the Lebanese border

Almost three years have passed since the onset of the deployment of what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) nicknamed “Mabam,” a Hebrew acronym for "the campaign between the wars," or "war between the wars." The goals of the campaign were well defined and precise: to prevent Iran from entrenching itself in the Syrian space and to stop Hezbollah from strengthening itself via Iranian resources. At the top of the list was the “guided precision missile project.” At the beginning, Israel was extremely careful not to refer to this campaign openly. But as time went on, Israeli officials — from the air force commander to the chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — began to brag about the number of assaults attributed to Israel in the Syrian space, and afterward in Iraqi territory as well.

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