Bolstered by Iran, Hizbullah "Capable of Destruction on a Whole New Scale"

(France 24) Tom Wheeldon - The cross-border tunnel network is merely one manifestation of the threat Hizbullah poses to Israel. "Hizbullah is now way better equipped, so it has the capabilities to create destruction on a completely different scale from what we saw in 2006," Yossi Mekelberg, a Middle East specialist at Chatham House think-tank, told France 24. The Israel Defense Ministry estimates that Hizbullah more than doubled its number of fighters from 20,000 to 45,000 over the past dozen years. Its arsenal of missiles and rockets has grown more than tenfold, from 13,000 in 2006 to more than 120,000 in 2018. "In 2006 Hizbullah fired 3,500 rockets at Israel, whereas now it's estimated that it can fire 1,200 rockets a day," said Ehud Eilam, a former private contractor for the ministry. "So it can now fire the same quantity of rockets in 3 days as it did in that entire 34-day war." "Hizbullah's leadership is totally subject to the authority of the Iranian state, specifically of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei," said Ely Karmon, a defense analyst at the International Center for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya. "It says a lot that Hassan Nasrallah's first title is that of personal representative of Khamenei in Lebanon, not that of Hizbullah Secretary General."

2018-12-20 00:00:00

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