Israel’s citizens will face unprecedented danger in a future war with Hezbollah, IDF commanders warn.
The Home Front is preparing for the scenario of hundreds of civilian casualties and 1,000-1,500 rockets raining on Israeli population centers daily during an eventual conflict with the Hezbollah terror organization.
The IDF recently concluded its assessment of a pending military outbreak in the north, and heads of municipalities are making preparations.
An IDF official said that 27 percent of Israeli citizens still do not have proper bomb shelters, and although Israel enjoyed the protection of the Iron Dome defense system during Operation Protective Edge, the sheer volume of rockets expected during a war with Hezbollah would limit the system’s efficiency.
Speaking at the Israel Air and Missile Defense Conference in Israel on Tuesday, IDF Col. Aviram Hasson, who is in charge of upper-tier missile defenses at HOMA – part of the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure – said that Iran was converting domestically produced unguided Zilzal rockets into guided M-600 projectiles by upgrading their warheads. They are providing these lethal weapons to Hezbollah, the Jerusalem Post quotes him as saying, “turning unguided rockets that had an accuracy range of kilometers into weapons that are accurate to within meters.”
Hezbollah, he continued, “is getting a lot of accurate weapons from Iran. It is in a very different place compared to the Second Lebanon War in 2006.”
“In a reality in which the borders between the battle field and the home front have been blurred, and in a reality in which the civilian public is exposed to the dangers of terrorism and enemy projectiles, the importance of the Home Front Command, as a strategic Command that is involved in every escalation or war, is rising,” IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said on Tuesday during a ceremony for outdoing Home Front Commander Major-General Eyal Eisenberg, who concluded his four-year stint.
“Israel’s home front will face difficult and complex trails in the future,” Eisenberg stated. “Our ability to contend with this challenges rests first and foremost with the citizens’ preparedness.”
“These scenarios [prepared by the IDF] are meant to enable us to build our forces to face the relevant threats as we identify it today,” he explained.
Eisenberg concluded by thanking Israel’s citizens for the resilience they exhibited in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, during which Hamas pounded Israeli civilian targets with some 4,500 rockets and other projectiles over the course of the 50-day war. “I saw you bite your lip, grind your teeth and maintain your force, and as we say – strong in the home front, strong on the front [battlefield].”