Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thousands of Rockets to Pound Israel in Future War


"17/05/2008 The Israeli Air Force's outgoing commander-in-chief has said that during a future war the home front is likely to be bombarded with thousands of missiles and rockets in the possession of Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria.

Major General Eliezer Shkedi made the comments in an interview with Israel Radio which was aired Saturday. He also said that the strengthening of Syria and Hezbollah is very worrying.

Hezbollah resistance fighters fired some 4,000 Katyusha rockets at northern occupied territories throughout the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Shkedi told Israel Radio that during the war, Hezbollah attempted to launch armed drones which the IAF succeeded in downing. The threat of this form of attack still exists, he said, and while its answer is complicated the air force has improved its capability of discovering and identifying unmanned aerial vehicles.

The outgoing Israeli commander also noted that there is no complete solution to rocket fire, while adding that great efforts are being made in order to find a way to deal with the problem.

For over seven years, southern Zionist entity has been pounded with rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday, one such attack on a shopping mall in Ashkelon wounded around 90 settlers, four of whom seriously.

Shkedi also stated that Hamas routinely fires at IAF aircraft flying over Gaza and that his forces face a growing risk. The air force routinely carries out missile strikes against militants in Gaza.

So far, there was only a single incident earlier this year in which an IAF helicopter gunship was struck and damaged by Hamas fire. However, Shkedi said that it is a "risk that is increasing all the time and they [Hamas] are firing at us all the time."

Shkedi and Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told Israel Radio in separate interviews that Hamas is rapidly arming itself. Dichter says Hamas in Gaza has almost obtained the military capacity of a state. "

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