1,000 Arab missiles can hit Israel, panel told


By Gideon Alon

The Arab countries surrounding Israel have some 1,000 missiles that can fire a total of some 500 tons of explosives at any spot in the country, the former head of the Defense Ministry department responsible for ballistic missile defense warned yesterday.

"This is a missile threat equivalent to a simultaneous attack of some 120 fighter jets," Uzi Rubin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He was one of several missile experts who testified before the committee yesterday on the missile threat in the Middle East and its influence on Israeli security.

"If Israel does not present a credible response, the missile threat will endanger the security of its citizens, limit its military and political freedom of action, constitute a serious obstacle to any political agreement and endanger the stability of any agreement that is reached," Rubin said.

Syria has the largest military force in the region, including 400-500 missiles, Rubin said. Syria has SS-21 missiles with a range of 120 kilometers, Scud Bs with a 300-kilometer range, Scud Cs with a 500-kilometer range and Scud Ds with a 700-kilometer range, he said.