EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Time and again in recent decades, Iran has used its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to attempt to deprive Israel of calm borders with its neighbors. As this problem is likely to recur in the context of the Gaza Strip, it is essential – and by no means impossible – to root it out from that area.
Iran considers Israel an archenemy, and it is a highly sophisticated and clever antagonist. While in Lebanon and Syria, the rooting out of the Iranian threat is extremely complicated, it is an achievable goal in the Gaza Strip (with Egyptian assistance).Iran has employed a consistent pattern in its long battle against Israel. In January 2000, a senior IDF intelligence officer told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee: “Consequent to the ongoing peace process between Israel and Syria, there is now, already, an appreciable Iranian-induced escalation of Hezbollah activity in Lebanon against Israel. And along with the progress of the Israeli-Syrian peace process, Iran will increase its terror activities against Israel, and there will be an elevation in sabotage events.” This is what indeed happened.
On October 27, 2018, while intensive contacts were being led by Egypt and the UN to reach an arrangement between Israel and Hamas, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International Media Branch at the IDF Spokesperson’s office, said (relying on IDF intelligence) that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) had delivered heavy barrages of dozens of rockets from the Gaza Strip while working “under guidance, instructions, and incentives from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, based in Damascus.” In other words, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force directly ordered Islamic Jihad and orchestrated the rocket fire. And while Hamas is regarded as responsible for all violence and provocations stemming from Gaza, by way of its control of the Strip since 2007, IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis pointed out that “Islamic Jihad did not wait to get a green light from Hamas” to fire the rockets. Its activator was Iran, which precluded the necessity for Hamas approval.