Tensions Reaching Dangerous Heights

Recent violent clashes indicate that tensions are rising to dangerous levels in and around Israel.

In the north, on 18th and 19th November, Israeli tanks fired upon Syrian forces who had entered the demilitarized zone by the Golan Heights in violation of ceasefire agreements. The Syrians were said to be working on a military installation there.

IDF artillery on exercise in the Golan HeightsIDF mobile artillery in the Golan Heights (photo credit Jalaa Marey/AFP)

Then yesterday, the last day of November turned into a particularly violent day. A group of Israeli hikers reported being attacked by dozens of Palestinians throwing rocks. That prompted one of their security guards to shoot back, killing one of their assailants.

In what may have been retaliation for that shooting, in the evening a 19-year old Israeli soldier was stabbed to death whilst waiting for a bus. Israeli police are still searching for two men who fled the scene.

On the same day in the south of Israel, mortar rounds were fired at members of the IDF who were working on the border fence with Gaza. That prompted the Israelis to respond with tank fire and aircraft strikes against known militant positions within the Gaza Strip.

Israel typically strikes Hamas targets in Gaza, but this time it seems it was Islamic Jihad that was responsible for the attack, so the IDF struck two of their targets as well.

Combined with the political tensions in Lebanon and the Egyptian struggle with ISIS, these events show that tensions are dangerously high all around Israel.