[eDebate] israel says "100 Iranian Revolutionary Guard" in Lebanon
Sat Jul 15 13:15:10 CDT 2006
clean break working like a charm --- the big war is unstoppable and the weak
war critics are to blame:
Hezbollah Could Hit Tel Aviv With Iranian Missiles, Israel Says
Saturday, July 15, 2006
JERUSALEM ? Hezbollah guerrillas have Iranian missiles that could hit
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, major Israeli cities that sit up to 124 miles from
the Lebanese border, Israeli officials warned Saturday.
They also said that members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards have been helping
the militant group.
In almost four days of fighting, Hezbollah has fired longer range rockets
that have hit Tiberias ? a resort city on the Sea of Galilee, where
tradition says Jesus performed some of his best-known miracles ? and
Israel's third-largest city, Haifa, both about 25 miles from the border.
Elite Iranian troops helped Hezbollah fire a radar-guided missile at an
Israeli warship, Israeli officials said, raising the stakes in fierce
fighting in which Lebanese guerrillas until now only used low-tech weapons.
Initially, it was believed an unmanned drone laden with explosives had hit
the warship, but it later became clear Hezbollah had used an Iranian-made,
radar-guided C-802 to hit the ship late Friday, an Israeli intelligence
official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive
nature of the information.
One Israeli sailor was killed and three were missing after the attack.
In total, Hezbollah has fired more than 700 rockets at Israel since fighting
erupted on Wednesday, the army said. But Hezbollah has so far refrained from
using the approximately 20 longer-range rockets it has at its disposal, a
move that would likely broaden the scope of fighting to include Syria, and
possibly even Iran.
"They might attack Tel Aviv with their long-range rockets. This is in the
(military's) assessment," a senior Israeli intelligence said on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. It is unclear why
Hezbollah had not yet used the longer-range rockets, he said.
In a meeting of police, rescue and municipal officials in Tel Aviv on
Friday, it was decided to increase the readiness of the rescue services due
to the possibility that Hezbollah could attack the city, officials said.
Ambulance drivers were instructed to be near their vehicles at all times,
Israeli officials have repeatedly accused Syria and Iran of assisting
Hezbollah and other militant groups, including Hamas. On Saturday, military
officials said Iranian troops were directly involved in an attack late
Friday on an Israeli warship that killed four soldiers.
About 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon and helped fire the Iranian-made,
radar-guided C-802 missile at the ship that was cruising off the coast of
Lebanon when it was hit, the official said. The troops involved in firing
the missiles are from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the official added.
The missile has a range of approximately 60 miles.
Initially, it was thought that Hezbollah used a drone to attack the ship.
The Israeli intelligence official said Hezbollah also has Iranian-made
drones, and warned they are more accurate than missiles.
"We can confirm that it (the ship) was hit by an Iranian-made missile
launched by Hezbollah. We see this as very profound fingerprint of Iranian
involvement in Hezbollah," Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan said in an interview
with The Associated Press.
Another Hezbollah missile also hit and sank a nearby civilian merchant ship
at around the same time, Nehushtan said. He said that ship apparently was
Egyptian, but he had no other information about it.
The Israeli warship was on its way to its home port in Israel on Saturday,
the army said. Initially, Israeli TV footage showed a ship sailing into the
Haifa port and reported it was the damaged warship the Saar 5-class missile
ship, named the "Spear," sailing into port.
The army said the "Spear" was still sailing toward Israel and had not yet
A military official said the ship is one of the most technologically
advanced in the Israeli fleet, boasting an array of Harpoon and Gabriel
missiles, along with a system for electronically jamming attacking missiles
and other threats.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity
of the information, said the missile detection and deflection system was not
operating apparently because the sailors did not anticipate such an attack
The current round of Hezbollah-Israeli fighting erupted Wednesday after the
guerrillas attacked an Israeli military patrol, killing eight soldiers and
capturing two others. Since then, more than 105 Lebanese, most of them
civilians, and four Israeli civilians have been killed.
Israel has bombarded Lebanon's airport and main roads in the most intensive
offensive against the country in 24 years, while Hezbollah has fired an
almost nonstop barrage of rockets at northern Israeli towns and cities.
In Haifa on Saturday, the Israeli army deployed a Patriot missile battery,
the army said. The missile defense system cannot destroy Katyusha rockets?
hundreds of which have been fired at Israel from Lebanon in recent days ?
but could protect against surface-to-surface missiles, such as those
possessed by Syria, the army said.
The deployment of the U.S.-made defense system appeared to signify that
Israel was bracing for the possibility that fighting could spread to Syria.
On Saturday, Hezbollah rockets hit Tiberias three times, the first attack on
the city since the 1973 Mideast war. At least two houses were directly hit,
but only a few light injuries were reported, medics said.
Residents were ordered into bomb shelters, and Israeli media reported that
hundreds of tourists were fleeing the city. Police used megaphones to urge
bathers at the Sea of Galilee to seek shelter.
Tourism in northern Israel and Tiberias, favorite vacation destinations for
Israeli and foreign travelers, was expected to suffer a serious blow due to
the rocket attacks.
Asher Yaish, former mayor of Tiberias, said he never expected rockets to hit
"I never thought, until the day that I die, that this would happen in
Tiberias," Yaish told Channel 10 TV. "If we see Tiberias residents fleeing
the city, psychologically this will have a great impact on the country."
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