by WorldTribune Staff, December 10, 2018
The entirety of Israel is now within the range of Hizbullah’s missiles, the terror organization’s deputy commander said on Dec. 9.
“There is not a single point in the occupied territories out of reach of Hizbullah’s missiles,” deputy secretary-general Sheikh Naim Qassem told al-Vefagh – an Iranian Arabic-language newspaper.
“The Zionists cannot tolerate such a high level of threats in confrontation with Hizbullah, which is why they have no motive for entering another war with Lebanon,” Qassem said.
Iran-backed Hizbullah has an arsenal of an estimated 130,000-150,000 short to long-range rocket and missiles.
According to Qassem, the missiles have created a deterrence which has prevented Israel from taking any action against Lebanon since 2006.
“Even when they threaten they say, ‘If Hizbullah attacks us’ they will react, because the rules of engagement created in Lebanon by Hezbollah have made it very difficult for Israel to even consider launching a war against Lebanon,” he said.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) last week launched Operation Northern Shield, which is aimed at locating and destroying tunnels dug by Hizbullah from Lebanon into Israeli territory.
A senior IDF officer told reporters that one recently-discovered tunnel extended 40 meters inside Israeli territory but was not yet operational. The officer said the tunnel would have been used by Hizbullah’s elite Radwan unit to cut off Metulla from Route 90 and kill as many civilians and troops as possible.
A second tunnel, beginning in the Lebanese village of Ramiyeh and crossing near Moshav Zar’it in the Ma’ale Yosef Regional Council, was identified by the IDF on Dec. 6. The IDF asked UN peacekeeping troops from UNIFIL to work with the Lebanese Armed Forces to destroy the tunnel.
On Dec. 8, the IDF announced that a third tunnel was discovered and that explosives have been placed in it in preparation for neutralization. The IDF hasn’t yet disclosed the tunnel’s location.
“The Israeli military believes that the tunnel infiltrations were meant to be used by Hizbullah as a surprise component of the next war alongside a mass salvo of rockets, missiles and mortar shells launched towards Israel,” The Jerusalem Post noted in a Dec. 9 report.
Israeli Prime Minister said that “Hizbullah has two tools [of attack]. One tool is tunnels, and we are depriving them of that. The other weapon is rockets, an imprecise weapon, but they also want precision weapons. This radically changes the balance of power.”
Netanyahu made the comments on Dec. 6 during an award ceremony for outstanding Mossad operatives at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
“According to Hizbullah’s plans, they were already supposed to be equipped with thousands of missiles, but right now they only have a few dozen [precision-guided missiles],” Netanyahu said. “The reason that they only have a few dozen is, among others, sitting here in this room.”
Israel has been carrying out airstrikes on Hizbullah weapons conveys and Iranian targets in Syria. Netanyahu has warned that Israel will not allow Hizbullah to acquire precision weapons which would threaten the Jewish state.