'Hezbollah aiming 60-70 thousand rockets at Israel'

Amos Gilad says next war will be against the home front; Meridor: Arabs questioning congruence between Western, Islamic values.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 10, 2012 18:35
1 minute read.
Hezbollah supporters in Beirut [file]

Hezbollah supporters in Beirut 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Hezbollah has between 60 and 70 thousand rockets aimed at Israel, Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Security chief Amos Gilad said Monday.

Speaking at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's World Summit, Gilad said the Lebanese terrorist organization has stockpiled rockets of various types, and its arsenal is far more robust than the one it had prior to the Second Lebanon War. "The next war will be aimed against the home front," Gilad warned.

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Gilad also blamed Hezbollah for a number of successful and unsuccessful terrorist attacks abroad.

Though admitting that the threat from Lebanon is growing, Gilad was largely optimistic about Israel's security situation, citing positive developments in Syria, Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

"In Syria, there is good news," Gilad said. "The Golan Heights remains the quietest region in the entire Middle East. Our deterrence capabilities are sufficiently, for the time being, keeping out warring parties in Syria." Gilad also warned that al-Qaida is starting to rear its head in Syria, with a view that the fall of Assad will allow it to open a new terror front against Israel.

Turning to Egypt, Gilad said that though there are many terrorist groups actively trying to strike Israel from the Sinai, recently-elected President Mohamad Morsy and his officials remain committed to peace.

Gilad called the situation in Gaza "relatively restrained," with Hamas generally holding other Palestinian terror groups back from striking Israel.

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Gilad also stated that Israel is currently not facing a conventional military threat, a massive improvement over Israel's historical security situation.

Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, who lectured at the same conference, said that the Arab Spring is forcing populations across the Middle East to answer difficult questions about the congruence between Western and Islamic values.

"What happens when the majority does not want democracy?" Meridor asked rhetorically. "What happens when the majority does not believe a woman is equal to a man? What happens what it wants the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Meridor said the Middle East is experiencing a "battle between Western ideals of freedom and democracy versus traditional conservative and Islamic values."

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