When it comes to rocket attacks, Israel is no stranger. Military Intelligence Chief Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi announced at the INSS conference that even though the number of missiles and rockets threatening Israel has decreased, their level of precision has increased dramatically.
Kochavi referred to the time period Israel is in now as an “era of fire.” He added that Israel was “surrounded 360 degrees with active enemies. The conventional threats have not disappeared.” While he did note that neighboring countries do not have conflict with Israel high on their priority list, he did acknowledge that the threat is still there are “they have not given up.”
Kochavi said that the rockets and missiles are “much more precise and a lot more lethal.” He also pointed out that “the enemy has the capability to land mass amounts of arms on Israeli cities.” However, the most startling news announced by Kochavi had to do with the amount of rockets aimed at Israel. “Some 170,000 rockets and missiles are threatening the State of Israel from all regions. Up until recently, the number was much greater and it has decreased, but it will go up again.”
Regarding Hezbollah, Kochavi argued that the world needs to stop referring to the organization as a simple terror group. “There are also many terror groups, including semi-military terror groups. We can’t keep referring to Hezbollah as a terror group in the simple sense of the term – an organization that possesses more than 100,000 rockets, including hundreds of different kinds of advanced antitank missiles, and advanced mortar shells can no longer be referred to as a terror group in the simple sense of the term. And the same goes for Hamas.”
On Iran, Kochavi spoke out against the interim nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1. He said that the Iranian military nuclear program has the potential to produce nuclear weapons. Should Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei give the order, Iran would be able to quickly produce “one bomb or more.”
Speaking on Syria, Kochavi stated that Syria is now a bastion for Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda affiliated groups. Radical militants, who have bases in Turkey, cross back and forth into Syria. From Turkey, radicals are also able to easily access the rest of Europe. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly denied his country is harboring any radical militants. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had no comment.