Hezbollah ‘the most serious military threat facing Israel’
I-24 NEWS – With its formidable arsenal of missiles trained on the Jewish State, the Lebanon-based Shiite group Hezbollah remains the most serious military threat facing Israel, a national security think tank claimed in a report released Monday.
The Tel Aviv-university affiliated Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) noted, however, that the chance of another conflagration with Hamas, the de-facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, is higher than that of a war with Israel’s neighbor to the north.
Israel’s military believes Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.
Israel fought a devastating war with the Shiite militia Hezbollah in 2006, and closely monitors the group’s activities.
More recently, the Iranian-funded Lebanese Shiite movement has been fighting alongside Assad’s forces in Syria’s civil war.
The militia never disarmed after Lebanon’s devastating 1975-90 civil war and is the country’s most powerful armed force.
Detractors accuse it of being a “state within a state” and Washington has designated it a “terrorist” group since 1995, accusing it of a long list of attacks including the bombing of the US embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983.
Washington supplies equipment to Lebanon’s army and a State Department spokeswoman said this week that the US would be “gravely concerned” if it ended up in Hezbollah’s hands.
Regarding Iran, the INSS noted that in the long term, the Islamic Republic could secure international approval for a broad nuclear program.
The most series challenges potentially facing Israel according to the INSS are an enemy state possessing nuclear capabilities; the “one-state solution” to the Palestinian conflict; and the decline of Israel’s standing on the international arena.
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