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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

The Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist organization is considering complicating Israel’s conflict with Hamas by launching an attack from the Jewish state’s northern border, according to an Egyptian intelligence official speaking to this column.

The official said that for the moment Hizbullah is confident that Hamas can face Israel independently, believing Hamas’s continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s intensive air raids against the terror group’s Gaza infrastructure is working to maintain Hamas’s deterrent posture. Hamas has been firing rockets deeper and deeper into Israeli territory.

The Egyptian intelligence official said the probability of Hizbullah directly engaging Israel is low, but said it is considering allowing Palestinian groups in South Lebanon to launch Katyusha rockets into Israel, in hopes of complicating the IDF’s focus on Gaza.

According to Lebanese newspaper reports, Israel Air Force warplanes have been buzzing South Lebanon, signaling for Hizbullah to stay out of the conflict. Hizbullah leaders for their part have restrained their direct involvement in the conflict to making heated pronouncements and organizing mass rallies decrying the Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza.

Dimona Within Hamas Rocket Range?

Egypt would not be surprised if Hamas has a number of rockets in the Gaza Strip capable of reaching Israel’s main nuclear power station, an Egyptian intelligence official said.

The official’s assessment, which could not immediately be confirmed by Israeli defense sources, is an informed one since Hamas routinely smuggles weaponry in tunnels that snake underneath the Gaza-Egypt border. He said he believes Hamas could have rockets that can reach Israel’s nuclear plant in Dimona, which is about 40 miles from the Egypt-Gaza border.

Hamas is known to possess 122mm Katyusha rockets, which have a range of about 18 miles, and has fired improved 122mm Katyushas, with a range of up to 30 miles. The Egyptian intelligence official said Hamas may be saving larger, 220mm rockets, with a range in the vicinity of 44 miles, which would place both Dimona and Tel Aviv within striking distance.

Hamas Leader Mum
On Rocket Potential

Asked to comment on his group’s rocket capabilities, Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’s so-called military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, would only tell this column, “We can reach deeper and deeper.”

Last week, Abu Abdullah and a leading member of a top, Hamas-allied terrorist group in Gaza both told this column they have “surprises” in store for Israel. Sources inside Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees hinted to WorldNetDaily that the “surprises” include the ability to hit Tel Aviv with rockets from Gaza.

Meanwhile, municipal authorities in Rishon Letzion, a town near Tel Aviv, reportedly told residents to begin preparing bomb shelters so they can be ready “for any possible scenario.” Additionally, Tel Aviv authorities decided to update their emergency response guidelines as a result of the fighting in Gaza, Haaretz reported. Tel Aviv authorities stressed the move does not mean the city is under the threat of attack.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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