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Official: Israel Unsuccessful in Preventing Hizbullah Rockets Buildup

An Israeli defense official said the Jewish state has not been able to stop the build up of Hizbullah's rocket arsenal.

Head of political-military affairs at Defense Ministry, Maj.-Gen Amos Gilad, told a security conference in Tel Aviv that Iran has overseen the construction of Hizbullah's arsenal of 100,000 rockets.

He also accused Tehran of spending billions of dollars to build up Hizbullah's firepower, which threatens all of Israel's territory.

"This is a military threat, not a terrorist one," Gilad said.

Israel has "not been successful in preventing a buildup (of rockets) in Lebanon," The Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.

Alleged Israeli action to prevent Hizbullah's armament program, as mentioned by foreign press reports, is the exception, Gilad told the conference.

Turning to Iran, he said the Islamic Republic can break out to nuclear weapons "very quickly" and Israel must maintain operational readiness for any threat that may arise.

Israel today "can defeat any combination of enemies," Gilad told the conference, but the moment Iran goes nuclear and triggers an Arab nuclear arms race, the region will turn into "hell," he warned.

G.K.

H.K.


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