Israeli Occupation Force Moves to Purchase New Battle Fort System As Part Of Lebanon War Preparations
- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 14:58
The Israeli occupation Force (IOF) is planning to purchase a new high-tech portable fortress system that allows soldiers to construct bunkers within enemy territory, reported Yaakov Katz, Janes Defence Weekly correspondent yesterday.
The forts are manufactured from collapsible steel mesh, which allows them to be transported and then erected within the battlefield. They are also designed to withstand more than just rifle fire, as Katz reports that ‘during the tests it was found that both the fort and the roof can withstand shelling from various mortar shells.’
The technology developed by Israeli company Y-Fence aims to replace the existing portable fortification technology used by the IOF, which is manufactured by British company HESCO and requires heavy machinery to construct where as the Y-Fence fort can be put together by hand.
Major Andrash Shenkar of the IOF's Combat Engineering Corps explains the efficiency of the process; "the new bunker can be built by an infantry platoon in very little time with no dependence on machinery since every part can be lifted by two soldiers,"
The technology was developed by Israeli company Y-Fence, which is a subsidiary of the Yehuda Group, a company that is directly involved in the occupation having constructed fences for Jewish-only roads and the settlements they lead to in the West Bank as well as constructing the wall that fences in the population of Gaza.
The IOF previously tested the technology in July, citing it as a success. The purchase of the technology is yet to be confirmed but the IOF is eyeing it keenly.
Whilst the IOF is a large consumer of arms purchased from the United States and other countries the test of the Y-Fort system fits in with a larger operation that is unfolding within the IOF.
Recently an IOF official, 91st Division Brigadier-General Hertzi Halevy, told journalists openly that they are planning for another war with Lebanon.
The reasons given by defence analysts range from re-establishing deterrence capacity amid the recent uprisings through the region to preventing alleged Syrian militants from operating within Lebanon.
Whilst the overriding factors behind the call for another war are up for debate the IOF have made no secret about how they plan to proceed.
Following the failure of the Israeli Air Force to inflict a defeat on the Hezbollah fighters in both 2000 and 2006, the IOF has been consciously building its capacity to proceed with a ground invasion. This preparation has taken the form of training special ground-combat units and purchasing new technologies such as portable rocket launching batteries capable of launching rockets to ‘almost any range the ground forces need - and beyond’ as an IOF artillery commander told Haaretz. The possible addition of the new Y-Fort system would be a part of this strategy enabling a greater Israeli ground-presence.
In April of this year Haaretz reporter Gili Cohen reported that ‘special Israeli units are preparing to take part in mass incursions into Lebanon if another round of fighting with Hezbollah breaks out’. He continues; “the ground forces are therefore expected to contribute much more to the war effort than in 2006, when Israel relied mainly on the IAF [Israeli Air Force]’ and that this would mean the need for ‘much more intense urban warfare’. He quotes a high official, who requested anonymity, as saying that "you need to seize a geographic space. This is the only way the concept of victory can be established."
In July Cohen revealed that IOF simulations of a possible third Lebanon war would involve ‘ground manoeuvres in villages…considered bastions of Shiite Hezbollah’ and cited a senior officer of the IOF Northern Command as saying that the ‘There is no choice but to fight against the enemy where he is, and that is in the heart of a populated area” and that ‘the damage will be enormous’.