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Maj. Gen. (ret.) Ben Yisrael: 'Iranians Are Convinced That Israel-U.S. Will Attack Iran's Nuclear Installations, If They Start Producing Weapons-Grade Uranium'

'Israeli Air Force Has Capability to Attack Any Target In Middle East'

IAF Commander Eshel: 'If Russia Goes Through With Delivery of S-300 Anti-aircraft Missiles To Syria, We Will Have Many Solutions - The Question Is What Price We Will Have To Pay'

Iranian missiles (photo: MEHR)

 If anyone has any doubts about Israel's determination to prevent Iran from developing A-bombs, two top Israeli generals have set the record straight. Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yitzak Ben Yisrael and Israel Air Force Commander  Amir Eshel are two of the very few Israeli officials who know the full story of Israel's capabilities and intentions. It appears that they have made clear that Israel can and will strike Iran, if it tries to break out for the Bomb. 

 No Middle East target too far...

Iran to use new and improved centrifuges in its uranium enrichment

 Gen. and Prof. Yitzak Ben Yisrael is possibly Israel's top military strategist, and is in the loop on Iran's nuclear weapons program. Speaking at a public gathering, Ben Yisrael stated there was no target in the Middle East or no Iranian nuclear installation that Israel's Air force could not attack. However, unlike the nuclear reactors destroyed in Iraq and Syria, the Iranians have the capability to rebuild their nuclear facilities within two or three years. This is because the Iranians are not dependent on outside aid and can rebuild nuclear facilities on their own. 

 Ben Yisrael, who heads the National Council on Research & Development, disagreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu's position about a red line or a point of return for halting Iran's nuclear weapons project. He contended the Iranians would require several months, if they took the decision to rev up their nuclear activities to develop their first A-bomb. But they have not done so because they believe that if they enriched uranium to weapons grade (93%), Israel/U.S. would strike their nuclear installations. This standoff could last for 'another one hundred years'.    

 Syrian cyber-attack... 

 Ben Yisrael also revealed that an electronic unit in the Syrian Army launched a cyber-attack against the city of Haifa's water system two weeks ago. This was in retaliation for two Israeli air strikes in Syria against another shipment of sophisticated missiles on their way to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and a Syrian army 'research centre' near Damascus. However, Israeli counter-measures kicked in and neutralized the Syrian cyber attempt.

 Assad's call...

 After Syria's President Bashar Assad warned that he would retaliate for any future air strikes on Syria, Syrian troops on the Golan Heights opened fire on an IDF vehicle travelling inside Israeli territory. Although the vehicle was hit, none of the soldiers were wounded. An Israeli missile promptly knocked out the Syrian position that had opened fire. IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Benny Gantz issued a public warning to Assad that if he heated up the Golan, the regime would pay the price. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has pledged to come to Assad's aid if he does open a new front against Israel on the Golan. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon declares Israel has no intention of intervening in the Syrian civil war, but will not watch from the sidelines as Syria transfers sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Although neither Israel nor Syria's President is interested in war, will the current tension flare out of control? At present, it's Assad's call - if he tries to send more advanced missiles to Hezbollah, Israeli jets will, again, bomb them on the way. And if he orders his Syrian forces and Hezbollah to fire into Israel, the IDF will hit back hard.  

 S-300 threatens Israel's air superiority...  

 Another flash point is Russia's announcement to supply those S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Those state-of-the-art weapons can track up to 100 jets in the air, and engage 12 simultaneously at a range of 120 miles (193 km.) This would seriously challenge Israel's air superiority, not only over Syria and Lebanon, but even over much of Israel itself.  IAF commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said the missiles have not arrived yet in Syria. But if they do: 'They will create greater self-confidence and far greater aggressive behavior by Israel's enemies who will think they have a defensive umbrella from the IAF. If they feel well-protected by the S-300 they will risk attacks they would not risk today'. And the IAF commander added: 'We will have solutions for the S-300; there is no weapons system that does not have an answer - the question is what price we'll have to pay'. 

 Total war footing in hours...

 On another score, Gen. Eshel said the IAF must be prepared to go on total war footing within hours. If Syria toppled tomorrow, Israel could find itself in the middle of the conflagration because the Syrian army's huge arsenals, including chemical weapons, would be looted by hostile forces to Israel. And he added: 'This was not to say that Israel would act, but we must be prepared to do so'. The situation demanded that the IAF maintain a very high state of preparedness to cope with three potential fronts: (including the north and from Hamas in Gaza). Bearing in mind the tens of thousands of rockets in Syria, Iran, and in the hands of Hezbollah and Hamas means that the Israeli home-front would be hit no matter how hard the IDF tried to defend it. The mission would be to employ massive fire-power and to win the war within days. Gen. Eshel concluded that it was possible and the IAF would play a dominant role.

 P.S. - Today Israel's civil defense is conducting a drill in the event of a chemical weapons attack.  

David Essing

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