Peretz praises Israeli resilience

Defense Minister: Terrorists surprised to see a united nation.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 16, 2006 13:43
2 minute read.
mofaz 298.88

mofaz .298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

Defense Minister Amir Peretz praised the resilience of the Israeli populace Sunday in the face of continuing barrages of rockets. "The terror organizations counted on the weakness of the home front but they have been very surprised. They see a united nation. And it is that which will allow us to triumph." "Everyone who fights now, fights for their home," he added during a special meeting in Haifa. Peretz did not reveal many details of the IDF's Lebanon campaign choosing to speak more generally. "They have been surprised that we have dared to attack their most sensitive stronghold…Each and every source of fire that is identified will be dealt with. Peretz reiterated that Israel had no intentions of reconquering Gaza or Lebanon. "We do not intend to conquer Gaza nor to become mired in Gaza. Here too, we do not intend to conquer Lebanon nor to become mired in Lebanon." Transportation Minister and former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared on Sunday afternoon that the rocket which hit the train station in Haifa and killed eight was maunfactured by Syria. "The metal from the missile shows that it was made in Syria...We know that over the last few years, Syria has transferred ammunition to Hizbullah and that is what they used today," he said after touring the site of the attack. Other security sources, however, claimed the rocket was a Fajar-3 missile, an Iranian-made medium range ballistic missile successfully tested by Iran for the first time in April. Iran said at the time that the Fajar-3 was the most advanced missile in its arsenal, invisible to radar and capable of holding multiple warheads that could attack several targets at the same time. The Fajar-3 has a range of 45 kilometers and can carry a 45 kilogram warhead, making it far more deadly than the Katyusha rocket. Mofaz further declared that "Hizbullah is al-Qaeda and Nasrallah is bin Laden" and we have to fight them accordingly. He said the goals of the IDF's campaign were to push Hizbullah back from the border, impair its capabilities and get back the captured soldiers. He encouraged Lebanese President Fuad Siniora to bring the army to the south. He also expressed approval of the IDF's strategy thus far. "Hitting Dahiya in southern Beirut [where Hizbullah's stronghold is] is especially right," he stated. Mofaz accused Iran and Syria of providing Hizbullah with weapons. "Iranians are heavily involved with Hizbullah - they give them guns and money. Hizbullah is Iran's proxy. Syria also gave them weapons." Mofaz also said that the government had been aware of most of Hizbullah's capabilities. "Most of what is happening to us now was expected [in the event of a conflict with Hizbullah]," he concluded.


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