WikiLeaks: Israel Worried about Hizbullah, Hamas Military Capabilities

Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has said that despite the danger that Iran poses to Israel, he was more worried about the military capabilities of fighting forces closer to home, specifically Hamas and Hizbullah.
WikiLeaks, citing a 2009 diplomatic cable, said that Israel would have only between 10 and 12 minutes of warning in the event of an Iranian missile attack.

Ashkenazi, according to the cable sent to Washington by the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, told an American delegation that Iran possesses some 300 Shihab rockets that are capable of reaching Israel within minutes, leaving Israel with very little time to mount an effective defense.
While U.S. officials put the number of Hizbullah rockets at close to 50,000, Ashkenazi said that he believes Hizbullah possesses 40,000 rockets.

 Ashkenazi reportedly told the American delegation in November 2009 that Israel was preparing for a large-scale war with Hamas or Hizbullah.
"I am preparing the Israeli army for a large scale war, since it is easier to scale down to a smaller operation than to do the opposite," Ashkenazi said. "The rocket threat against Israel is more serious than ever. That is why Israel is putting such emphasis on rocket defense."

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