Analysts and journalists spent Wednesday assessing the geopolitical, diplomatic, and military significance of the overnight interdiction of an Iranian vessel carrying advanced missiles bound for the Gaza Strip, after reports began to trickle out of the Middle East early in the morning that the Panamanian-flagged Klos-C merchant ship had been boarded by elite Israeli commandos roughly 1,500 kilometers off the Israeli coast.
The Israeli Defense Forces released a torrent of information, including videos of the raid, throughout the day. The cargo of advanced M302 missiles – which have a range of 200km, enabling any group that possessed them to reach across Israel – reportedly originated in Syria, and then transited through Iran and Iraq, before eventually being intercepted on the high seas by Israel. Israel’s left-leaning Haaretz headlined its coverage of the intelligence coup with “In seizing Gaza-bound ship, Israel postponed the war no one wants,” suggesting that the successful delivery of the weapons to Gaza-based terrorists would have forced the Israelis to make moves aimed at militarily deterring their use or directly degrading them.
Veteran Jerusalem Post national security reporter Yaakov Lappin read the incident against the backdrop of a covert war between the Iranian government, which seeks to put advanced weapons in the hands of anti-Israel terror organizations, and Israeli intelligence agencies, which have moved to stem the flow of rockets, missiles, and other weapons.
Despite Israel’s considerable successes in this war-between wars, the rocket threat to the country’s soft underbelly – its cities, towns, and villages – grows. It seems fanciful to believe that the day will not come when Israel’s deterrence runs out. On that day, the IDF will have to activate its unprecedented firepower, to spare Israeli civilians from the rockets and missiles that Iran and its affiliated organizations are preparing for them.
[Photo: idfnadesk / YouTube]