Jerusalem –The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, has issued a stinging report which indicates that Iran could easily deliver radiation or nuclear weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah in an effort to bolster Teheran’s deterrence against Israel.
The report, authored a by a former Israeli senior official, Chuck Freilich, asserted that a nuclear weapon could be slipped into the Jewish state through airports, sea ports or over the land border.
“Hezbollah especially, but also Hamas in the future, might seek a minimal nuclear capability as a means of deterring Israel from attacking them, or from pursuing other objectives.”
The report, entitled “The Armageddon Scenario: Israel and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism,” said, “Furthermore, even a minimal nuclear capability would enable Hezbollah and Hamas to conduct ongoing low-level attacks — even severe ones — against Israel, in the confidence that Israel would be deterred from massive retaliation. This would require a declared capability, or at least a strongly suspected one.” Mr. Freilich, a former member of Israel’s National Security Council, said Hamas or Hezbollah could smuggle a bomb into Israel through ships, airlines or an unmanned aerial vehicle. Other options included the smuggling of a nuclear suitcase bomb or the firing of a nuclear missile into Israel.
“Rockets and missiles, such as those already in the possession of Hezbollah, could be fitted with nuclear warheads, a delivery threat which is largely unique to Israel,” the report said. “While the missiles’ small payloads and basic inaccuracy make them inappropriate delivery vehicles for ordinary nuclear-military purposes, they are effective weapons of terror. The large size of Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ rocket arsenal and their dispersal in civilian neighborhoods make detection and elimination of the threat a particularly severe problem.”
The report said a nuclear Hamas and Hezbollah would gain the confidence to sustain low-level attacks on Israel. Another scenario was that Egypt and Jordan would exploit a Hamas and Hezbollah nuclear threat and further weaken the Jewish state.
“Many Israelis believe that the Arab countries, even Egypt and Jordan, remain implacably opposed to Israel’s existence and that they are pursuing a long-term strategy designed to weaken Israel’s determination to live in the region as a Jewish and democratic state,” the report said. “A terrorist nuclear capability would certainly be commensurate with this perception and would greatly strengthen it.” Hamas and Hezbollah could also use nuclear weapons in an attempt to eliminate Israel’s political and military leadership. The report said the two Iranian proxies would also make Tel Aviv a leading target.
“The affects of the attack would be further magnified if the perpetrator could threaten additional military, symbolic, or normative targets,” the report said. “The nuclear reactor in Dimona is one such example. An attack could even be “justified” on the grounds that it was merely designed to eliminate the source of Israel’s alleged nuclear capability.”
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.