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Erdan: Hezbollah Has 200,000 New Rockets, and the Same Goal

Israel’s enemies now aim to instill fear and chaos rather than to conquer land. Israel’s job is to stop them, minister says.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/9/2013, 10:37 AM

Hamas terrorists train for rocket attacks
Hamas terrorists train for rocket attacks
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israel’s enemies are taking a new approach to warfare, and Israel must be ready, Minister of Home Front Defense Gilad Erdan said Tuesday, speaking at a conference at Bar Ilan University.

“Our enemies have abandoned the idea of conquering territory in the land of Israel. What remains is their desire to defeat Israel by threatening the homefront,” he explained.

The preparations Israel’s enemies have made clearly show that their aim in a future battle would be to attack civilians and civilian infrastructure, he said.

Hezbollah in particular has focused on stockpiling missiles and increasing their accuracy, Erdan said. The group now has over 200,000 rockets, he warned, “Every tenth house in Lebanon has either a rocket launcher, or ammunition in storage."

A future battle would likely be similar to the Second Lebanon War, but on a larger scale, he said, “Three weeks in which thousands of rockets are fired at the Israeli homefront, at the entire country.”

Hezbollah would use its most accurate rockets carefully, he said. “They’ll try to aim those where it would do the most harm to daily life,” he said.

This new style of battle – a war of terror targeting the civilian population – has radically changed the importance of the Home Front, Erdan said. The homefront was once important in times of war due to its ability to produce goods that were needed on the battlefront, he said.

“Today, the importance of the homefront has increased dramatically, and is almost equal to that of the IDF on the battlefront,” he declared. “It’s a completely different way of thinking.”

Israel’s enemies plan to defeat Israel by breaking its citizens’ spirit, he said. Israel’s job is not to let them do that.

“My job, and that of my ministry, is to bring the Home Front to a level of preparedness… to create an apparatus that ensures that whatever happens, we will continue to function,” he said. Daily life must continue, and will continue, even if Israel comes under attack, he stated.

Erdan noted that while he sees Hezbollah’s massive rocket arsenal as a “realistic scenario,” he does not believe that Israel’s enemies will use chemical weapons.