The northern border of Israel has always been one of the hotbeds of the State of Israel. From 1948, through the Six Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the first Lebanon War, the northern border of Israel has consistently been a hot border. But, the players who terrorized Israel from the North have not been a constant. In the Six Day War, it was Syria who joined Egypt and Jordan to invade Israel. In the Yom Kippur War, it was just Egypt and Syria. But in the 1st Lebanon War, the trouble came from Lebanon.
Through it all, Israel’s north has flourished. More and more communities have grown up near and around Israel’s northern border. Additionally, Israel has built up a formidable border strategy – especially on the Golan Heights. Interestingly, Israel has probably had more border crossings between it and Syria for humanitarian purposes than for terrorism over the last decade. The Syrian Civil War has taken place – at times – dangerously close to the Israeli border. Israel has responded by opening up it’s border to wounded Syrian civilians and soldiers, treating them, and then sending them back over the border.
But the story in Lebanon is quite a different story. The dominant player there is Iran. Iran has funded the Hizbullah to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in order to build up a massive missile threat right above Israel’s northern border. It is actually a time bomb that all of Israel knows about, yet hopes that somehow Israel’s deterrence capability will incentivize the Hizbullah to not dare begin another barrage as they did back in 2006. But it is always dangerous over there. Now that the Turkish invasion of northwestern Syria is undergoing, there is more instability from a new player in the region. The one thing that is perfectly clear from the mess up North is that Israel must take precautionary measures and never assume that what exists today will maintain tomorrow. It is a very unpredictable region of the world.