WikiLeaks: Israel Races Missiles

According to a WikiLeaks document, missiles stockpiled in the Iranian arsenal would leave Israelis with 12 minutes to reach safety.

Chana Ya'ar, | updated: 12:30

Iranian Sejjil 2 missile test launch
Iranian Sejjil 2 missile test launch
Israel news photo: Ehsan

What can a person accomplish in 12 minutes? How far can you walk, or run?

If you are a resident of Israel as you are reading this, the question is more relevant, according to a cable leaked by the ubiquitous WikiLeaks group.

The cable, written by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, quoted outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as saying that Israel would only have 12 minutes in which to prepare for an Iranian missile attack. The cable was published in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

Ashkenazi told a U.S. Congressional delegation headed by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) in November 2009 that Iran possesses 300 long-range Shihab missiles that are able to reach most of Israel.

Iran launched the two-stage Sejjil-2 long-range intercontinental ballistic missile in May 2009. The 2,000 kilometer-range missile, powered by solid fuel, is seen as an upgrade from the Sejjil, its first high-speed, solid-fuel missile with a range of up to 1,930 kilometers (1,200 miles), launched in November 2008. Solid fuel missiles are reported to be more accurate than the liquid fuel variants. Both place southeastern Europe and all of Israel well within range, according to military experts.

Ashkenazi also told the delegation at the time that the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza and the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist group together pose a greater threat to Israel than Iran.

“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,” he reportedly said. “This is why Israel is putting such emphasis on rocket defense.”

The IDF refused to comment on the contents of the cable, according to AOL News.

Hizbullah's Iranian benefactor has generously replenished its arsenal since the end of its 2006 Second Lebanon War against Israel. The terrorist guerrilla group currently possesses at least 40,000 rockets and missiles of varying ranges – more than double its previous stockpile -- according to Israeli intelligence estimates.
 


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