An Israeli police officer gestures in front of burning vehicles at the scene of a rocket attack in Haifa, August 13, 2006.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The military has made contingency plans in the eventuality that hostilities are reignited with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Residents of communities that are closest to the border would be evacuated. They would instead be used to quarter soldiers from elite units.
The decision to evacuate civilians in the North stems from expert assessments according to which the next round of fighting with the Shi’ite terrorist organization will seriously disrupt the daily routine within Israel.
Military planners are in the final stages of putting together detailed evacuation plans, which are due to be soon submitted to the political-civilian leadership for approval.
The plan, in its entirety, will be made public on Thursday in the IDF’s weekly magazine Bamahane.
The plan calls for residents from the North to be housed in hostels and bed and breakfasts.
From some communities, residents will have to walk a significant distance, while other municipalities will use buses to ferry people away from the danger zone.
“The threat level in the North has essentially changed, and the enemy with whom we are required to deal is no longer the same,” an IDF official told The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Ma’ariv. “This set of circumstances requires a different kind of preparation for the soldier whose job it is to protect towns, both on the professional level as well as on the mental level.”
GOC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi praised the contingent plan.
“The objective is to create a situation where instead of having soldiers perform their reserve duty in various brigades across the country, they will instead do it in one theater,” said the official.
While there aren’t many soldiers in the smaller frontier towns who served in elite units, because of their small population, there are many reservists from these units who live in Nahariya, Kiryat Shmona and Metulla. In the event of evacuation, these reservists will be stationed in the smaller localities.