TEL AVIV (Jul. 17)
The Israel Defense Force is preparing for renewed Iraqi attacks on Israel, even though the probability is small.
The military is duty-bound to be ready for any eventuality, according to “Brig. Gen. S.,” who was identified only as a senior official of the operations and planning division at IDF General Headquarters.
Writing in the army weekly Bamachaneh, the general said he believes measures taken by the United States will prevent Iraq from posing a threat to Israel for the next 10 years.
But he stressed the importance of a vigorous U.S. campaign to make sure that Saddam Hussein’s non-conventional weaponry and ballistic missiles programs are destroyed.
A lengthy analysis of Iraq’s nuclear capability and delivery systems published Tuesday in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv found that while Hussein has no nuclear capacity at the moment, he has the potential to acquire it.
Ma’ariv also claimed that despite U.N. supervision, Iraq concealed more missiles than it destroyed and secretly retained chemical materials and chemical warheads.
Missile attack is believed to be virtually the only way Iraq can reach Israel, unless and until Iran returns Iraq’s best combat aircraft, which were flown to Iran for safekeeping during the Persian Gulf War. Iran impounded the planes.
The Iraqis still have their Soviet-made Tupelov bombers but they are considered obsolete and no match for Israeli air defenses.