'Hezbollah prepared to send 100 missiles daily at Tel Aviv'

WikiLeaks: Leaked cable says Hezbollah prepared for long conflict with Israel, has 20,00 rocket arsenal; Diskin: Israeli-Arabs take "rights too far."

April 8, 2011 11:11
3 minute read.
Hezbollah rocket launcher

Hezbollah rocket launcher 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

Hezbollah would be able to strike Tel Aviv directly from an arsenal of more than 20,000 missiles a recent WikiLeaks cable revealed to the Israeli press by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

During Joint Political Military Group meeting in November 2009, Israeli intelligence officials told their US counterparts that "Hezbollah was preparing for a long conflict with Israel in which it hopes to launch a massive number of rockets at Israel per day," with plans to send "400-600 rockets and missiles...per day, 100 of which will be aimed at Tel Aviv."

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Tel Aviv's mayor Ron Holdai responded to the claim that Hezbollah could slam the city with sustained rocket fire during the Tel Aviv Marathon, saying "we live in Israel, and we have threats made to us all the time. If something were to happen we could cope," Israel Radio reported.

Bahraini-Israeli relations and fears of unstable Arab regimes

The slew of leaked cables revealed much about Israel's relationship between enemies and friends in the region. In one such cable revealed that the King of Bahrain had links with members of the Mossad.

The cable revealed a meeting between King Hamad and US ambassador Monore, where the king revealed that "Bahrain already has contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level nd indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas." King Hamad, according to the cable , also encouraged Bahraini officials to refrain from employing the common monikers "Zionist entity" and "enemy" for the Jewish state in official statements.

Another cable from 2007 said that Assad's regime would not survive a serious military confrontation with Israel. Former head of the Mossad Meir Dagan expressed a lack of stability amongst the regional Arab regimes, fearing the dubious situation of the Egyptian, Jordan, Syrian, and Lebanese regimes.

Yuval Diskin: Israeli-Arabs take "their rights too far"

Some of the leaked cables also detail regular confidential talks between US officials and outgoing Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, who in one November 2009 cable commented on the sensitivity of the Hamas role in Gaza.

According to Diskin, Hamas needed to be "strong enough to enfore a de facto ceasefire and prevent the firing of rockets and mortars into Israel." Diskin added, however, that strengthening Hamas was a "short-term priority," and that the "medium priority of preventing Hamas from consolidating its hold on Gaza; and a longer-term priority of avoiding a return of Israeli control of Gaza and full responsibility for the wellbeing of Gaza's civilian population" were not being considered enough by "Israel's political leadership."

Diskin also criticized Israel's Arab citizens in a May 2008 cable, saying that they "take their rights too far," commenting that "most of the Israeli-Arabs who have caused problems were refugees who were given permits to re-enter Israel in order to reunify with family members." Diskin said that Israel's allowance of Beduin to take wives from Gaza into Israel "foolish," adding that it has been "hard for us to absorb large quantities of people."

Despite his criticism, however, Diskin related that most of the Arab population has been loyal to Israel throughout the "previous 60 years, even including the 1967 and 1973 wars, and ‘waves of terror’ that followed.”

The Shin Bet chief soon to resign, added that their quality of life in Israel is better than it would be in most of the neighboring countries, and told President Shimon Peres that Israel should work to further integrate the Arab population by creating more high-tech jobs, university placements, and vocational training centers in an attempt to "connect" the population group more strongly with the Jewish state.

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