Israeli Defense Officials Say Hezbollah has Dramatically Increased Rocket Range

Hezbollah supporters fix the party flag on top of their rocket models in Bourj Qalawi near the southern port city of Tyre, Lebanon in this July 10, 2007 file photo. With Iranian backing, Hezbollah guerrillas have dramatically increased their rocket range and now threaten most of Israel, senior Israeli defense officials said Wednesday, March 26, 2008. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari, File)
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Jerusalem (AP) Senior Israeli defense officials say Hezbollah has dramatically increased its arsenal of rockets and their range, threatening most of Israel.

Speaking off the record, officials say the Lebanese group has acquired new Iranian rockets with a range of around 186 miles. That means they can hit anywhere in Israel's heavily populated center and reach as far as Dimona, where Israel's nuclear reactor is

Hezbollah fired nearly 4,000 rockets into Israel during the monthlong conflict between them in 2006. Those rockets had a maximum range of about 43 miles.

The United Nations peacekeeping force dispatched to Lebanon after that war was meant to prevent Hezbollah from rearming. But Israeli officials say Hezbollah now has many more rockets in its arsenal than the 14,000 it had before the conflict.