Wednesday, September 14, 2011
IDF general: Likelihood of regional war growing
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Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating ties with Turkey are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East, IDF Home Front Command Chief, Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned Monday.
"It looks like the Arab Spring, but it can also be a radical Islamic winter," he said in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
"This leads us to the conclusion that through a long-term process, the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing," the IDF general said.
"Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite it true; it continues full steam ahead," he said. "In Egypt, the army is collapsing under the burden of regular security operations, and this is reflected in the loss of control in the Sinai and the turning of the border with Israel into a terror border, with the possibility that Sinai will fall under the control of an Islamic entity."
"In Lebanon, Hezbollah is growing stronger within government arms, but it has not lost its desire to harm Israel, and the ties with Turkey aren't at their best," Major General Eisenberg added.
Weapons of mass destruction?
Referring to what he characterized as the possibility of a "radical Islamic winter," Major-General Eisenberg said: "This raises the likelihood of an all-out, total war, with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being used."
During his address, the senior IDF official revealed that new, more lethal arms surfaced in the hands of Gaza terror groups during the latest round of fighting in the area. As result of the disturbing development, Israeli civilians were instructed to adopt greater precautions, he said.
"We discovered a new weapon, and as result of this we instructed the public to hide under two roofs, rather than only one," he said.
Eisenberg added that some 25% of local authorities in Israel are ill prepared to face emergency situations.
However, Major General Eisenberg's words infuriated some security and defense officials, who slammed the senior IDF officer for revealing classified information and provoking regional tensions.
"It's unclear why an IDF general heats up tensions in the region and why he exposes secret intelligence information about new Palestinian capabilities," one official said.
Notably, Eisenberg's remarks were approved for publication by censorship officials.