Israeli newspaper Jerusalem post quoted IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi as saying that Iran has over 300 missiles that could reach Israel within 10-12 minutes, according to cables released by WikiLeaks on Sunday.
During a November 15, 2009 meeting with a US Congress delegation led by Ike Skelton (D-MO), Ashkenazi added that that Israel was prepared for a major war against Hamas.
“I’m preparing the Israeli army in a major war, since it is easier to scale down to a smaller operation than to do the opposite,” he said.
Ashkenazi told the delegation that “rocket threat against Israel is more serious than ever. Therefore, Israel has a strong emphasis on missile defense.”
He added that although the Iranian threat is serious, the threat from Hamas and Hezbollah, which are funded by Iran, is most acute. Their rockets are more accurate than Iran’s, due to their proximity to Israel.
“We therefore believe,” Ashkenazi said, “that the next war will take place in the same areas where the previous wars occurred,” Lebanon and Gaza.
According to the cables, Ashkenazi said that Hezbollah has over 40,000 rockets, most of which can reach any point within Israel, and Hamas has the ability to strike Tel Aviv.