Hamas missiles could put Israel’s nuclear plant in target zone

January 2, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Israeli warplanes conducted fresh attacks against Hamas on the seventh day of bombing seeking to smash Hamas’s rocket-firing capability and topple the hardline Islamist regime. According to a TimesOnLine story there is growing fears in Israel that missiles one day could threaten its nuclear facility at Dimona.

Speculation is that Hamas has already acquired dozens of Iranian-made Fajr-3 missiles with an even longer range then the current rockets being launched today. Many fear that it may be only a matter of time before Hamas will get a bigger present from Iran  and the nuclear installation at Dimona, 20 miles east of Beersheba, falls within sight. Dimona houses Israel’s only nuclear reactor and is believed to be where nuclear warheads are stored.

Israel’s worst nightmare is that soon all its cities will be within range either of the Hezbollah Katyushas arrayed on the Lebanese border to the north or the increasingly sophisticated missiles stockpiled by Hamas to the south. Both groups have links to Israel’s archenemy Iran.

Thousands of Israeli soldiers are amassed on Gaza’s border, waiting for the signal to invade. Hamas’ survival could depend on how far Israel is willing to go to obtain its declared objective. Israel, which withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation, says it does not want to reoccupy the area. That suggests Hamas will be able to cling to power in Gaza, which it seized by force from moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007.

Hamas’ future hinges on the conditions of the cease-fire that will eventually be brokered. Gaza has been largely sealed off by Israel and Egypt since the Hamas takeover from moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007.  A plan promoted by Egypt and the U.S. would link opening of the borders in exchange for giving Abbas a new foothold in Gaza.  With Hamas losing much of its infrastructure to the Israeli assault, it might be more willing to cut a deal with Abbas. For now, Hamas has proven surprisingly resilient.


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