The IDF is on constant alert for escalation from Gaza, Maariv revealed Friday, in a special report revealing the inner workings of the IDF's "war room."
In the wake of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer, Southern Command chief Sami Turgeman opened the "war room" for constant readiness against the terror threat.
In this special set of rooms, elite IDF soldiers and commanders, Israel Security Agency (ISA) agents, an internal panel of international law experts, Israel Air Force (IAF) pilots, and IDF research specialists work side-by-side to monitor developments across the border fence.
"If you wake up these soldiers in the middle of the night, they'd be able to tell you everything you want about the current activities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad," Col. Eyal Rosen, commander of the center, stated to the daily. "They sit here with one mission […] this is a multiculturalism of sorts, where everyone speaks a different language and are creating a new and common one."
Monitoring teams track every small terrorist movement around the clock on a map, watching the region as if it's the popular Israeli reality TV hit "Big Brother." Every move is calculated carefully to allow for an immediate entrance into Gaza.
"After Protective Edge we realized we don't have the ability to just do anything we want," Rosen reflected. As a result, he said, the "war room" focuses heavily on the information from Brigade Commanders on the ground for decision-making – not solely on the analysis of higher-ranking officials.
"As part of the lessons learned, we saw the need for decentralization of fire, so that any forces in the field can carry out its own mission using its comparative advantage," he explained, noting that officers can then direct different units to different areas as needed. "We realized that we had to put aside our egos and understand where our comparative advantage lies, because in the end – a brigade commander in the area can see what's happening better than anyone else."
One year later, he added, the "war room" model has proved successful – and could be adapted to meet any challenge.
"The place is built to be generic to all sectors," Rosen said. "If tomorrow we need to respond along the Egyptian border area, for example, we do not need to change anything here; we only replace our people with experts on the Egyptian border area."
"It's just a matter of changing seats."