IDF Intelligence Briefing

[Ha'aretz] Ari Shavit - According to the head of Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, Israel faces five threats: Hizbullah, Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. Hizbullah: "There is a massive Hizbullah presence south of the Litani River....They have rockets south of the Litani. They have combat forces south of the Litani. They have observation points and intelligence in the villages along the border." "Hizbullah's steep-trajectory munitions now cover large areas of Israel," including "metropolitan Tel Aviv and even farther south." "If there is a future flare-up, Hizbullah will try to attack Israel not only from the area south of the Litani but from deep inside Lebanon as well." "Hizbullah did not intend to take over Lebanon last week. If it wanted to do that, it could. It has the capability to conquer the whole of Beirut within days. But it understands that if it seizes full control of the government it will bear a situation in which it possesses the power but not the authority is convenient for it." "The Iranian influence in Lebanon was greatly strengthened after the departure of the Syrians in 2005: the vacuum left by Syria was filled by Iranian ideology, financing, weapons and know-how." Iran: "I suggest that we do not talk about a nuclear Iran, but about the ways to prevent Iran from nuclearizing. Iran is not only a threat to Israel; it is a threat to a large number of states in the Middle East. And above all, Iran is a global threat. The Iranians are developing missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Europe, and in the future of crossing the Atlantic." "An extremist regime with extremist weapons is an existential threat to the State of Israel - at this stage, a potential threat. Still, we must not exaggerate. We must not treat this threat as one that is going to end thousands of years of existence of the Jewish people. Absolutely not. Israel is capable and will be capable of coping with that threat in all dimensions." Syria: "Iran, which became Syria's strategic prop, now has Damascus in a bear hug, in terms of weapons supplies, training and money. Thus Bashar Assad's ability to sever himself from Iran and from Hizbullah is far more limited." Hamas: "Hamas is now preoccupied mainly with trying to smuggle standard-issue rockets into the Gaza Strip. The range of those rockets - 122 mm Katyushas - is generally about 20 kilometers....However, Hamas does not want to stop there. It wants to obtain rockets with a longer range....Given the present developments, every place that is within a range of up to 40 kilometers is liable to be targeted. Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, even Beersheba." "Hamas' long-term strategic goal is for the State of Israel to disappear and for the Palestinian state that will succeed it to be an Islamic theocracy. But Hamas has more immediate goals: to consolidate its rule in Gaza, to break the siege of Gaza, to seize control of Palestinian politics, to create deterrence against Israel and to continue the fighting against Israel. Take note of the order."

2008-05-19 01:00:00

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