Israel plans for next Mideast conflict

Nov. 9, 2010 at 8:16 AM
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JERUSALEM, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- In the next conflict with Hamas or Hezbollah, civilian populations will have to be evacuated, Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said.

"In the future, we will not meet the enemy on the traditional battlefield," Ashkenazi said. "Hamas chooses to fight within an urban setting ...," The Jerusalem Post quoted him saying Tuesday.

Speaking at the Fire and Combined Arms in an Urban Terrain conference, Israel's top military chief said in a future conflict, the army will use both ground forces and standoff firepower, the Post said.

"It would be elegant if we could stop rocket and missile fire with just standoff firepower," Ashkenazi said. "But it is not possible and we will need to combine our capabilities and also to maneuver on the ground."

The army is establishing new target banks in preparation for a future conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Ashkenazi said. This will prevent armed forces from searching for the enemy among the civilian population at the beginning of any future conflict, the daily said.

Ashkenazi said the army plans to purchase rockets to improve the capabilities of ground forces in future conflicts.

"In a future conflict we will need new weapons systems that are large enough to destroy targets but are small enough to minimize collateral damage," he said.

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