Leaked Documents Reveal Israel Preparing for Iranian Attack
Israel estimates 10-12 minutes warning if Iran was to attack.
Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper released U.S State Department documents on Sunday citing Israel’s belief it would have only 10-12 minutes' warning if Iran launched rockets, but that threats from Hamas and Hezbollah are of more concern. The cable from November 15, 2009 described a meeting between an American congressional delegation led by Ike Skelton (D-Missouri) and top officials from the Mossad, the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Aftenposten quoted Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as telling the delegation that Iran has 300 Shihab rockets which could reach Israel. Roughly a million Israelis would be at risk from attacks from the country's enemies in the region he opined.
Although the Iranian threat would be dire, Ashkenazi told the delegation that the threat from Hezbollah and Hamas, which were funded by Iran, was a more immediate threat due to their close proximity to Israel, rockets would be more accurate. Hezbollah took over most of southern Lebanon when Israel left in 2000. Hamas took over Gaza soon after Israel pulled out in 2005. According to the cable, Hezbollah has a stockpile of 40,000 missiles as well as a number of Iranian-made Ababil unmanned aerial vehicles that have a range of 150 km poised to bomb strategic targets in Israel.
In the document, Ashkenazi divulged how Israel gathers intelligence on Hezbollah, and locates targets in Lebanon Israel frequently sends drones over the country to identify potential targets, calling their use a “success” he said.
The cable comes from a mother lode of over 250,000 U.S. diplomatic documents that WikiLeaks has been making public over the past couple months. Aftenposten stated in December that it had obtained all the documents.