A batch of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables shared with Israeli newspapers by WikiLeaks were published Friday. Summaries of conversations in 2009 between U.S. officials and Israeli intelligence officials show that Israel expects the next war with Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group, to last two months.
Israel long has complained that U.N. pledges in the wake of the 2006 Lebanon war to stem the flow of missiles into Lebanon have proved worthless, and that Hezbollah is stronger than it was before that war.
The group, which is now a leading party in Lebanon's government, "is preparing for a long conflict with Israel in which it hopes to launch a massive number of rockets at Israel per day," an Israeli officer is quoted in the cables as saying. "In the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Tel Aviv was left untouched − Hezbollah will try to change the equation during the next round and disrupt everyday life in Tel Aviv."
In other WikiLeaks revelations, released through Israel's daily Haaretz and Yediot Achronot, Israeli officials in 2009 accused Turkey of helping Iran evade sanctions, and describe Mohammed Tantawi, the Egyptian defense minister, as unreliable in the joint Egyptian-Israeli effort to stem arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. One U.S. cable alleges that Israel and the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain -- currently convulsed in unrest -- share intelligence ties.
Tantawi now chairs the military council leading Egypt in the wake of the revolution earlier this year.