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Ben Eliezer: Strike by Iran Would Spell Its End

Infrastructures Minister tells staff he expects that in the first strike Israel will be hit by hundreds of Syrian and Hizbullah missiles.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/7/2008, 2:23 PM

National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Monday that "an Iranian attack will lead to a harsh response by Israel, which will cause the destruction of the Iranian nation."

Ben Eliezer visited the National Infrastructures Ministry war room as part of the national emergency response exercise and said: "I expect that in the first strike Israel will be hit by hundreds of missiles. There will be no place in the country that will be outside the range of Syria's and Hizbullah's missiles and rockets."

He told the war room staff: "We, as a ministry, need to prepare for the possibility that missiles will hit Israel's strategic spots, for which our ministry is responsible. You must use your heads and prepare for the worst scenarios."

'They keep provoking us'
"However," Ben Eliezer added, "this exercise is not intended to threaten any of the countries surrounding us. Its single purpose is to be prepared for anything. The Iranians will not rush to attack Israel so quickly, because they understand the meaning of that. However, they keep on provoking us through their allies, Syria and Hizbullah, and supplying them with large amounts of weapons, and this is what we have to deal with."

The ministry's war room for the exercise, dubbed "Turning Point 2," is staffed by representative
"There will be no place in the country that will be outside the range of Syria's and Hizbullah's missiles and rockets."
s of the ministry's Fuel Administration, Electricity Administration, Gas Authority and Sewage Authority.

Iran: exercise for internal consumption
The spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, Muhammad Ali Husseini, said earlier Monday that "the countries of the region need to follow the Israeli exercise. These provocative acts must be raised before the senior officials in charge of these matters in the international community."

Echoing a statement Sunday by Hizbullah's deputy chief Sheikh Naeem Kassem, Husseini said the Israeli Home Front exercise was being held "in order to rehabilitate and raise the morale of the [Israeli] military commanders and the soldiers."

Alluding to the recent visit to the area by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, he remarked: "Unfortunately, after every visit by senior Americans in the region and the conquered territories, we see actions like this by the Zionist regime."