The Middle East Newsline reports that Israel’s military expects the next war to include intense rocket and missile attacks on the Jewish state, which will emanate from Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.

“We experienced thousands of rockets in the second Lebanon war,” Brig. Gen. Daniel Milo, commander of air defense forces, said. “We will experience more in the next war. This is clear to us.”

In the 34-day war that ended in August 2006, Hezbollah fired an estimated 4,500 short- and medium-range rockets into Israel.

In an address to a missile seminar at Tel Aviv University on Tuesday, Milo suggested that the military might not be more effective in a future war with Hezbollah, which is expected as early as mid-2007. He said the air force could not detect Katyusha or other short-range rockets concealed in underbrush or in bunkers.

“If the Katyusha is under the bushes or sand, no F-15 [fighter-jet] will find it,” Milo said.

Dr. Michael Widlanski, a journalist who holds a Ph.D. in Arabic language media assessment, has been carefully listening to the Hezbollah broadcasts in Arabic, and reports what Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of the Hezbollah terror organization, declared this week, “We are prepared for the possibility of another adventure or the demand of American policy that might push the IDF [the Israeli Defense Force] in that direction.”

Widlanski explains that “adventure” is the term used by Hezbollah to describe an Israeli preemptive strike, and that Qassem’s claims “are taken seriously by Western analysts, including the director of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin. Iran, Hezbollah and Syria, he believes, are preparing for war this summer.”

Qassem has been a deputy to Hassan Nasrallah, for more than a decade, and his remarks telegraph the policy of Hezbollah and its Iranian overlords.

Widlanski reports that IDF analysts say Hezbollah has already replenished stocks of arms, explosives and rockets lost during last summer’s war with Israel. During that war, Hezbollah invaded Israel, killed several IDF soldiers and abducted two others, setting off several weeks of fighting. Israeli intelligence officials say the Lebanese-based and Iranian-run terror organization has brought in thousands of Katyusha and Grad rockets, like those fired at Israeli cities last summer. In addition, Hezbollah has replenished its stocks of anti-tank munitions, apparently intended to stave off a deep-penetration Israeli assault to uproot well-entrenched Hezbollah gunners in cement-lined tunnel complexes throughout southern Lebanon.

Widlanski recently conducted his own tour of the Israeli-Lebanese border and saw what he called “worrisome signs,” reporting that “although Hezbollah has not put armed men on the fence, its men and informers are deployed all along the area.

The new factor that Widlanski reports is that Fatah, led by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has now aligned itself with Iran.

Widlanski quotes a source in Israeli intelligence, Brig. Gen. Shalom Harari, who estimates that 40 percent of the various Palestinian organizations were directly funded by Iran. “There is a growing strategic alliance between Iran and the radical Palestinian forces in the territories,” noted Harari during a recent briefing. “Iran is involved in supporting both the Islamic factions and Fatah as well. Today, at least 40 percent of Fatah’s different fighting groups are also paid by Hezbollah and Iran. Hamas thinks it can build a new southern Lebanon in Gaza, and this is what it is busy doing.”

One theory discussed in Israeli intelligence circles is that Iran is desperately trying to create a distraction, to divert attention from its nuclear development projects.

That would mean one thing: Israel would really be at war with Iran, not only with its neighboring Arab states.

David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2007

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.