Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Israeli bunker-busters cause Mideast alarm

The disclosure that U.S. President Barack Obama approved the sale of 5,000-pound bunker-buster bombs to Israel, which wants them for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations, has sent ripples of alarm across the Middle East, including Israel itself.

Fears that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a right-wing hawk who has vowed to eliminate what hard-liners view as an existential Iranian threat to the Jewish state, could order a pre-emptive strike, have been emblazoned in headlines run by the liberal daily Haaretz in recent days.

"Netanyahu's messianism could launch attack on Iran," said one.

"Netanyahu must be stopped from attacking Iran," declared another.

Fifty-five U.S.-made bunker-busters, designated GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators, were secretly delivered to Israel in 2009.

But despite his determination to defang Iran, Netanyahu hasn't launched an attack on Iran, even though he had the weapons needed to blast underground nuclear facilities.

However, concerns he could unleash them remain. For one thing, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, himself a former prime minister and chief of staff, have in recent months carried out command changes on an unprecedented scale in Israel's military and intelligence arms.

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Israeli_bunker-busters_cause_Mideast_alarm_999.html