Israel's red line: 1,000 precision missiles in Hezbollah's hands

Senior defense officials divided on whether Israel should set red lines for Hezbollah's precision weapons project, or 'exploit opportunity' for a limited escalation on the northern border to target Hezbollah's precision capabilities.

Tags: Hezbollah
By Yoav Limor ,

Hezbollah ordnance
Hezbollah ordnance
Reuters

Senior Israeli defense officials are debating whether to exploit the current situation in order to eliminate Hezbollah's precision weapons, or to set a red line for the terror group's latest project, Israel Hayom reported.

Col. Eran Niv, the head of the IDF's Warfare Methods and Innovation Division has said that, "If Hezbollah crosses a quantitative or qualitative threshold for precision weapons, we will have to act against it. This is a serious decision, but one from which we cannot run away."

"Beyond Iran's nuclear program, this is the greatest threat to Israel today. This is the event, with a capital T. It is the focus of situational assessments. It is the scenario in training exercises. Everything is geared in that direction, but so is the response.

"In the meantime, we are trying to act in other creative ways, which won't allow [Hezbollah] to get there."

Recently, Military Intelligence Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Tamir Hayman said that Hezbollah presently has "a few dozen" precision-guided rockets and missiles.

According to Israel Hayom, former MID chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, who is currently head of the Institute for National Security Studies, has said that if Hezbollah accelerates its efforts, Israel should consider a preventative strike to negate the threat.

However, according to other defense officials, Israel should avoid initiating such a strike, since it would spark a war. According to them, Israel should consider "exploiting the opportunity" to carry out a limited operation on the northern border to target Hezbollah's precision capabilities.

At the same time, Israeli officials are troubled by Hezbollah's efforts to acquire a much larger arsenal of such weapons, which are capable of hitting high-quality targets in Israel in the next war, such as air force bases, infrastructure facilities and government buildings.

Earlier this month, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened: "We are not interested in a confrontation or a war, but if war is imposed on us, we will fight."

"After all the recent threats from Israel, no one can say that things will not deteriorate into war. The Israeli home front will see things it has not seen since the establishment of Israel."



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