Eye on the Enemy: Hizbullah Threat Prompts Security for Ashkenazi
Hizbullah Threat Prompts Security for Ashkenazi
The "Israeli" Army has decided to renew its security over former chief of staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi has renewed his security detail amid concerns that he could be targeted by Hizbullah.
Our military affairs correspondent reported that the "defense" department that's responsible of protecting former senior officers has decided to renew security over Gabi Ashkenazi. Ashkenazi retired from the "Israeli" Army in February and continued to be protected until about four months ago. Several weeks ago, however, the "Israeli" army decided to renew his security for several reasons.
Our correspondent added that Hizbullah might be planning to target Gabi Ashkenazi and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan in retaliation for Hizbullah's commander Imad Moghnieh, ahead of the fourth anniversary of his assassination. Gabi Ashkenazi is certainly under a threat.
Moreover, Walla news portal reported that in a weekly assessment session, a senior officer in the "Israeli" army said that warnings concerning the revenge for Moghnieh "come in waves" and stressed that lately "there is a lot of frustration and alertness." Therefore it was decided to appoint a new position called Director of personal security in "Israel" and abroad. An officer from the Personal Security Unit Headquarters is coordinating the assessment sessions and he holds them on weekly basis, during which flights of senior officials are reviewed and special measures are taken.
The senior officer added that the army generals' homes are being secured, yet current assessment sessions are held every week, during which the intelligence assessments and "defense" concerns are reviewed. According to the officer, "for example, all the Counter-Terrorism Bureau guidelines are not to be discussed and we deal with them as orders that no one should breach." The officer said that every journey of an officer with the rank of a colonel and above receives a different treatment." We get, few weeks before, the destination and schedule of the target, and we send a quick implicit and explicit response in the country and abroad."
Home Front Command Holds a Drill Simulating Rocket Attack
"Israeli" Satellite Channel
Home Front Command in the "Israeli" army has finished yesterday Sunday a two-day drill in Jerusalem and in dozens of cities and villages situated in the internal plains area.
According to the correspondent of the satellite channel Yossi Givati, the Home Front Command in the "Israeli" army ended yesterday afternoon in cooperation with the authority of the Emergency Committee of the Department of "Defense", a two-day drill. Evacuation and rescue units, the Magen David Adom, the Fire station, and the police which operate under the command of the Home Front Command participated in the drill.
The drill stimulated a scenario where some neighborhoods in the city of "Rishon Lezion" were attacked by conventional rockets. The first day of the drill included a simulation of a scenario where the Jerusalem College of Engineering is hit by non-conventional missiles. The exercise also included testing the readiness of the sirens, as two stations were opened for the distribution of masks in two cities of "Modi'in and Yavne".
U.S. Doubles Aid to "Israel's" Defense Systems
"Israeli" Channel 2
Despite the budget crunch in the United States and the ongoing fight between Republicans and Democrats on the cuts in the budget, the House and Senate's Committees on Appropriations doubled the special aid it gives "Israel" for the development and implementation of anti-missile systems. The House and Senate's Committees on Appropriations approved the aid following a request by the U.S. Administration to approve aid totaling $106.1 million for the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic long-range air defense system, for the program to improve the basic capabilities of the Arrow systems, and for the David's Sling mid-range anti-missile system.
Both Appropriations Committees went far beyond the request, the report noted, and raised the amount of aid from $129 million to $235.7 million in 2012. The report is based on information first published on the Inside Defense website. The assistance to all three programs is based on an assumption that "Israel" would allocate identical amounts in its budget to all three programs as both parties in Washington and Jerusalem agreed.
Michael Oren, "Israel's" ambassador to the United States, and Aviv Ezra, Counselor for Congressional Affairs at the Embassy of "Israel" in Washington D.C., played an important role in talks with lawmakers in the months prior to the decision.
Steve Rothman, the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 9th congressional district and a member of the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, said that the "Israel's" anti-missile programs advance U.S. interests in the Middle East. "The growing distribution of missiles and rockets around the globe, starting with Iran and Hizbullah and ending with Gaza and Syria is a direct threat to U.S. national security," Rothman said.
"Our enemies know they cannot cope with the combined power of the world's only military superpower and the most powerful military force in the Middle East. This aid is the latest illustration of the unprecedented level of military cooperation and intelligence between the two countries."
"Given America's significant budget challenges, every single dollar that is spent by the federal government must be given the highest level of scrutiny, including funds toward the defense of the United States and its allies," Rothman said. "It is a mark of the importance of these jointly developed missile defense programs -- Arrow 2, Arrow 3, and David's Sling -- that they were all so robustly funded."
The biggest beneficiary is the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense Program, informally known as David's Sling, just like those used by Hizbullah against "Israel" in the 2006 summer conflict.
In fact, these missiles were used by the "terrorist organization" as a strategic effect weapon. The Pentagon's request for this project of $41.1 million was increased by House and Senate appropriators by $69.4 million, a nearly 70 percent increase.
Rafael, an "Israeli" defense firm, is the prime contractor for David's Sling. Pentagon budget documents indicated that plans for the David's Sling program were to conduct three intercept tests to "assess [the] viability of its system". The Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP), for which the Missile Defense Agency requested $11.7 million, would see a $47.2 million increase in the Pentagon spending bill.
House and Senate appropriators also added $13 million for the Arrow 3 project -- a move that would bring total U.S. spending on the effort to $66.2 million in the fiscal year of 2012. The United States has spent more than $1 billion on cooperative missile and rocket defense programs with "Israel" since 2007, according to Rothman.
Source: Hebrew Press, translated by moqawama.org