WikiLeaks papers shed light on Hizbollah's Israel plans

By Jennifer Lipman, April 8, 2011
Hizbollah members

Hizbollah members

A series of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks to Israeli newspapers have revealed previously unknown information about Hizbollah's capabilities and Israel's ties with the Gulf state of Bahrain.

According to one of four US embassy telegrams from November 2009, Israeli intelligence officials believed Hizbollah could launch up to 36,000 rockets across the border from Lebanon in the event of another war between the two.

The document, the result of a meeting involving American and Israeli officials, suggested that Hizbollah had planned for a "long" two-month conflict and intended to aim 100 missiles at Tel Aviv.

The author of the telegram said: "Hizbollah was preparing for a long conflict with Israel in which it hopes to launch a massive number of rockets at Israel per day.

"The IDF and Israel Defence Intelligence argued that Hizbollah's ultimate goal during any future conflict is to launch a massive number of missiles and rockets daily into Israeli territory, including those that can reach the Tel Aviv area."

One of the other documents from the same month showed Israel's view that the head of Egypt's ruling generals Mohammed Tantawi was "an obstacle" to the prevention of arms smuggling by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Another offered details of a private meeting in 2005 between the king of Bahrain and a US diplomat, in which the king revealed that "Bahrain already has contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level (ie with Mossad) and indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas."

It was announced this week that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will give a rare interview to Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. Last month Mr Assange provoked controversy after he allegedly told an interviewer that he believed there was "a Jewish conspiracy" working against him.

    Last updated: 2:54pm, April 8 2011