Fact Check: Does Hezbollah have 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel?

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Hezbollah is a militant Shia Islamist organization with headquarters in Lebanon.

Foreign Affairs magazine, as well as Tony Badran of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post have also repeated the figure.

Commenting for PragerU, the conservative political organization that makes YouTube videos about political subjects, Badran said “Imagine you live in a small country [Israel] with more than 100,000 missiles pointed at it.”

What Is Hezbollah?

When listing the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations, why is it that Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram so quickly spring to mind, while Hezbollah is frequently forgotten? In this video, Tony Badran, Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains how the backing of Iran has served to legitimize Hezbollah on the world stage, while simultaneously making the group all the more dangerous.

Where did these sources get this information? It turns out it is from a senior intelligence official of Israel. The official, however, actually said (Times of Israel) that Hezbollah possesed 100,000 short range rockets and “several thousand missiles” capable of hitting Israel.

The distinction between a missile and a rocket is technical. Rockets are not guided while missiles are.

As Aerospaceweb.org, a website maintained by aerospace engineers and scientists noted,

If an unguided warhead is attached to some type of propulsion system, most often a solid rocket motor, the result is a rocket. A rocket has no form of guidance and remains a “dumb” weapon.

If we take this unguided rocket and now add a guidance system, the result is a missile. A missile contains all three of the elements we have discussed–a warhead, a propulsion system, and some form of guidance.

Claim:

Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel

Fact check:

This number appears to be from a single source, an anonymous Israeli official. As the Times of Israel claimed (see above source), he actually said Hezbollah possessed 100,000 short range rockets and several thousand missiles all capable of striking Israel. It is unclear how many of these weapons are “aimed” or “pointed” at Israel. Because of the conflation of missile and rocket and the lack of details on the rest of the claim, this claim is Likely False.

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