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Israel prepares for short, intense war to deliver ‘knock-out blow’ to Hizbullah

Special to WorldTribune.com

TEL AVIV — Israel’s military has been preparing for a brief and decisive war against Hizbullah, a report said.

The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies asserted that Israel’s military has invested heavily in new capabilities to ensure a brief war against Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Israeli tanks take part in war games.

A report said Israel is prepared for a large-scale ground operation against Hizbullah in southern Lebanon.

In a report, Israeli analyst Yaakov Lappin said Israel was preparing for air and ground operations that would destroy Hizbullah’s strategic capabilities.

“The Israel Defense Forces has prepared for a combined air and large-scale ground operation, driven by new intelligence and precision-firepower capabilities, to deliver a knock-out blow and eliminate Hizbullah as a fighting force for years to come,” the report, titled “Israel vs. the Iran-Hizbullah Axis,” said.

The report, released before the latest attacks from Lebanon, said both Israel and Hizbullah were engaged in a long-term military buildup. Lappin, a defense reporter for the Jerusalem Post, said the buildup was meant to prepare for an imminent war that could include massive Hizbullah missile and rocket strikes on the Jewish state.

Hizbullah, aided by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was said
to have accumulated an arsenal of more than 80,000 missiles and rockets.
Lappin said the arsenal as well as Hizbullah capabilities were growing
despite its intervention in the civil war in Syria. Israel and Hizbullah
fought an inconclusive 34-day war in 2006.

“With one out of every 10 homes in Lebanon used as a rocket launcher or
weapons storage depot, Hizbullah and Iran have hidden the core of their
firepower in the midst of the Lebanese civilian population, endangering its
safety in a future war,” the report said.

At the same time, Israel was preparing for what the report termed
unprecedented air power capabilities to counter Hizbullah. Lappin said the
Israeli military intended a rapid invasion of Lebanon based on augmented
intelligence as well as a combat air fleet that could destroy hundreds of
Hizbullah targets per day.

“The IDF’s new capabilities also lean on a network-centered
technological revolution that allows the three branches of the IDF — Air
Force, ground forces, and Navy — to coordinate their strikes, and stay
linked in to Military Intelligence in real time,” the report, released in
November, said. “The new technology also allows both the General Staff
and the commanding levels in the field — at the division, brigade, and
battalion command levels — to enjoy enhanced command and control
abilities.”

Still, Israel’s plans could be hampered by infighting and budget
constraints. The report cited the suspension of production of the Namer
armored personnel carrier, designed to withstand Hizbullah mines and
anti-tank missiles.

“The ground forces, stung badly by its poor performance during the 2006
Second Lebanon War, has been preparing for new conflict with Hizbullah by
drilling a blitz invasion of southern Lebanon and the destruction of
Hizbullah infrastructure, using a massive combination of tanks, infantry,
artillery, and engineering corps,” the report said.

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