A future war can begin with an attack by enemy missiles on Israel Defense Force (IDF) General Staff headquarters in Tel Aviv, or a cyber attack on Israel’s traffic light system, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Center’s conference, called Israel’s Perils and Prospects, held at Bar-Ilan University, Gantz began by noting the massive instability rocking the region, which he said “guides us every morning when we in the IDF wake up.”
“It becomes even more dramatic when examined through a geopolitical lens,” Gantz said.
Egypt has seen two presidents overthrown in less than three years, while Gaza, which obtained its “terrorist oxygen” from tunnels and arms smuggling, is now “facing doors it did not think would close before it, and is forced to develop new creative directions it did not require in the past,” Gantz said.
“Instability on a daily basis is a part of the daily routine of every commander in every sector today,” he continued.
“We cannot commit to knowing ahead of time how today [or any other day] will end,” he said.
On any given day, strategic weapons could fall into the wrong hands, a bomb tunnel leading to the entrance of an Israeli community can be exposed, or a border patrol can come under a bomb attack.
A future chief of staff will face an enemy with more advanced capabilities, which is more decentralized, camouflaged and embedded into the civilian population.
“In a future war, conflict could begin with an accurate missile attack on the IDF General Staff building in the heart of Tel Aviv, or a cyber-attack on a website providing daily services to Israel – traffic lights could cease to work, or banks could be taken out of action. A bomb tunnel leading to the collapse of a kindergarten or mass storming of a community near a border” could be triggers too, Gantz said.