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Daily Israel Report

IAF Chief Concerned over Hizbullah's UAVs

Israel's greatest concern is increased attempts by Hizbullah to attain accomplishments by sending UAVs into Israel, says IAF Commander.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/20/2012, 4:44 AM

Amir Eshel
Amir Eshel
Flash 90

Israel's greatest concern is of increased attempts by Hizbullah to attain accomplishments by inserting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into Israeli territory, the Israeli Air Force said on Wednesday, according to a report on the Israel Defense website.

According to the IAF, Hizbullah is encouraged by the successful entry of its UAV into Israeli territory in October, and senior IAF officers said that up to 50 kilograms of explosives can be loaded onto a UAV which would serve as a precise rocket.

IAF Commander Major General Amir Eshel refused to say whether the IDF or the air force were connected to the series of explosions in Hizbullah's weapon warehouses which occurred recently, and would only say that "it's dangerous to sleep with rockets at home - whatever happens, happens.”

A huge explosion rocked Lebanon near the border Monday morning, and Hizbullah immediately accused Israel of carrying out an aerial bombing.

The explosion apparently was in an ammunition depot east of the port city of Tyre. Similar explosions have occurred in the same area in the past two years. Hizbullah has denied that it stores weapons and ammunition in southern Lebanon, but Israel estimates that the terrorist organization not only stockpiles ammunition and guns but also has built up an arsenal of more than 60,000 missiles.

Eshel also discussed the accomplishments of operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza last month. “The operation achieved accomplishments that are being studied throughout the region. This is a red light or a warning to anyone that attempts to operate,” Eshel said, according to Israel Defense. “However, we must not rest on our laurels.”

He added that “The IAF will be put to much more difficult tests than what was presented in Pillar of Defense. The enemy will utilize more force, and we will use more force.”

Eshel also referred to the issue of the deteriorating standing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying, "Syria's process of disintegration is an existing fact. It’s in our back yard. There are stockpiles of advanced weapons there, including unconventional capabilities. I don’t know what will be on the day after. Beyond the questions, we have a key role to play and it is to deal with the unconventional weapons. This is an issue for Israel, one that stands before the decision-makers, and it is a very complex issue.”