Iran is making a huge effort to smuggle to the Palestinian Hamas Fajr-5 ground-to-ground rockets that bring Tel Aviv within range of the Gaza Strip. DEBKAfile’s military sources also disclose that Syria, Iran’s second ally with an Israeli border, has decided to transfer one-third of its missile stockpile to the Hizballah in Lebanon, topping up its arsenal with medium-range rockets that can cover central as well as northern Israel, which was heavily blitzed in the 2006 war.
Israel’s top strategists are studying these massive missile transfers to hostile entities to find answers to a number of key questions:
1. Syria has destined some 250 surface missiles of its stockpile of 800 for Hizballah. Are they Scuds B, C and D whose ranges exceed 800 kilometers, or Iranian-Syrian made projectiles whose range is shorter?
2. Do the transfers mean Iran and its allies are gearing up for a major Middle East conflict in the months ahead, possibly in early 2010?
3. Will Syria hand over to Hizballah some of its chemicals-tipped missiles?
4. Will some batteries be installed atop the mountain ranges running down central Lebanon, together with air defense systems supplied at the same time by Syria?
Israel is particularly concerned by the Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s recent decision to turn coat against the pro-Western camp led by Saad Hariri in favor of deals with Tehran and Damascus.
Incorporated in these under-the-counter deals are secret military clauses which permit Hizballah to deploy its missiles on highlands of his Druze fief. Israel would think twice at least before attacking areas populated by Druze villages.
In the south, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards terrorist arm, the Al Qods Brigades, its bending all its smuggling resources to getting the Fajr-5 missiles into the Gaza Strip, thereby extending Hamas’ rocket range to 75 kilometers and central Israel.
According to our intelligence sources, the rockets are traveling by sea from Iran to Hamas training bases in Sudan, dismantled into 8-10 segments , transported to the northern shores of the Gulf of Suez and unloaded in Sinai. From there the segments move through tunnels into the Gaza Strip.
Military sources wonder what the Netanyahu government is doing to halt the missile stranglehold tightening around Israel. Nothing is apparent as yet.