Though the Israeli Security Council has issued a “severe terror alert” for Jews and Israelis traveling abroad, no such threat exists for Israel itself, according to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Ya’alon’s comments came during a briefing Tuesday with journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.
He predicts an intense year for Israeli security forces because of a festering situation in Gaza, ongoing Syrian strife, Iranian nuclear pretensions, and heightened Hezbollah activity in Lebanon. Still, Ya’alon said, despite the Islamic State (ISIS) insurrection elsewhere in the Middle East, it “[poses] no immediate threat to Israel, or to Jordan.”
According to Ya’alon, “The organization operates far from Israel, in eastern Syria,” and thus presents no menace to Israeli interests at the moment. Nonetheless, Ya’alon does not rule out intelligence sharing with the international community in its struggle against ISIS. “If we have information,” he explained, “we pass it along just as we would with any other news.”
Just a week ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a meeting to discuss the possibility of infiltration by the Islamic State militants into Israel and the West Bank, according to a senior official in Jerusalem. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was out of the country at the time and thus was not present at the meeting.
On September 3, Ya’alon had called the Islamic State an “unauthorized organization,” seeming to suggest the possibility that the Islamic State cells might be working within Israeli borders or in the West Bank and that Israel was prepared to take the necessary security measures to combat its activity.