Hizbullah has an arsenal of approximately 15,000 rockets amassed on Lebanon's border with Israel, including some with a long enough range to hit the southern city of Eilat, Israeli envoy to the US Michael Oren told AFP on Friday.
"The Syrian-Iranian backed Hizbullah poses a very serious threat to Israel...Hizbullah today now has four times as many rockets as it had during the 2006 Lebanon war. These rockets are longer-range. Every city in Israel is within range right now, including Eilat," he said.
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Oren expressed Israeli concerns with Hizbullah's concealment of the weapons as well.
"In 2006, many of their missiles were basically out in the open, in
silos and the Israeli air force was able to neutralize a great number of
them...Today those same missiles have been placed under hospitals, and
homes and schools because Hizbullah knows full well if we try to defend
ourselves against them, we will be branded once again as war criminals."
This was not the first time that Oren has warned of the threat that
Hizbullah poses to Israel. Following a clash on the
between the Lebanese Army and IDF soldiers last
month, in which Lebanese soldiers opened fire on two IDF officers,
killing one and seriously wounding the other, Oren warned that the distinction
between Lebanon's Army and Hizbullah
has become "cloudy." He
expressed concerns that advanced weaponry given to the regular army
could find its way into the hands of the Islamist group.
Following the border clashes and Oren's warnings, the US Congress
voted to suspend
$100 million in aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces.Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report