Ukraine war and US-China rivalry set to exacerbate Middle East security challenges, intelligence report says
The IDF's military intelligence directorate has prepared a report on global trends, Iran and Palestinian Arab terrorism, which will soon be presented at the political level. According to Israel Hayom, who had access to the report, if Iran remains the most serious threat, it is no longer the main concern of military intelligence. It is now seen as part of a larger set of challenges facing Israel.
Global instability, stemming from the US-China rivalry and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, is expected to continue and could worsen in the year ahead. The report also points to demographic trends in the United States that could negatively impact the relationship between the United States and Israel if that relationship is not properly nurtured and cultivated.
Global instability has affected the Middle East, with countries like Egypt and Jordan facing food shortages and economic crisis due to the war in Ukraine. Regarding Iran, the report focuses not only on the nuclear threat, but also on Iran's growing attempts to encourage acts of terrorism by residents of the Palestinian Authority.
Iran remains the sole financier of Islamic Jihad and the main financier of Hamas in Gaza. Iran has failed to install another threat on Israel's border with Syria, but continues to attempt to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon. Of particular concern are Iran's attempts to supply Hezbollah with the same precision missiles it supplied to Russia and which have been used against Ukraine in recent months.
Military intelligence also believes that Hezbollah will still be mired in Lebanon's internal problems in 2023 and therefore should not start a war with Israel. Iran will continue to slowly advance its nuclear weapons program, but should refrain from taking the final step of building a bomb.
Finally, for the first time in many years, military intelligence treated Gaza and the Palestinian Authority as one issue and not as separate challenges. The main concern is post-Abbas. The 87-year-old president of the Palestinian Authority is entering his 17th year in office. Israel fears that Hamas and other terrorist organizations will fill the void left by the Palestinian leader.