Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Israel Could Empty Cities in Face of Missile Strike
A senior Israeli military officer said his government could remove inhabitants from the nation's capital and other urban centers in the face of a strike involving missiles tipped with WMD or conventional payloads, Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday (see GSN, May 9).
"In case of a missile attack on the center of Israel, especially unconventional, the population from Tel Aviv and other cities will be evacuated and relocated in other areas of the country," said Col. Adam Zusman, Gush Dan region leader for the Israeli Defense Forces' Home Front Command.
"Massive evacuations will take place in case of unconventional attacks and if buildings are destroyed by a missile," said Zusman, whose region incorporates the Tel Aviv.
"We estimate that in case of war, hundreds of missiles will hit Tel Aviv and its nearby cities. As a result of these attacks, there will be hundreds of Israeli casualties," the officer told AFP.
"In the next war, nobody will be able to drink a coffee in Dizengoff," he added in reference to a highly trafficked Tel Aviv thoroughfare. "Israeli civilians will have to face the threat. Today, every civilian is threatened in Israel."
Israel cannot depend on a single defensive mechanism, though its air defense units are among the "most sophisticated" across the globe, according to the official.
"We are getting ready for the worst-case scenario."
Vulnerabilities persist, Zusman admitted; roughly one-third of people in his jurisdiction do not possess gas masks (see GSN, March 22). Still, the officer referred to initiatives such as the routine execution of exercises and the readying of medical centers to handle individuals killed or injured in a potential strike (Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, June 12).
Preparations for clearing Israeli urban areas over a large-scale missile attack or other crisis are slated for review next week by Israel's Home Front Affairs Ministerial Committee, Ynetnews.com reported on Monday. Iran, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and the Palestinian political organization Hamas have identified Tel Aviv and Haifa as potential targets, according to the report (Yoav Zitun, Ynetnews.com, June 11).
A new subterranean “fortified hospital” announced last week in Haifa is intended to provide protection against chemical or biological armaments and to accommodate as many as 2,000 patients, the Times of Israel reported (David Shamah, Times of Israel, June 8).
This article provides an overview of Israel's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.