|Photo by: REUTERS/Ammar Awad|
IDF predicts missile attacks on J'lem in future war
By YAAKOV KATZ AND MELANIE LIDMAN
Capital was previously believed to be safe due to its holy sites, large Arab population.
The army recently updated threat scenarios for every major city in Israel – and
for the first time predicted that missiles might hit Jerusalem, even in a
relatively minor conflict.
The threat scenarios – as they are called in
the IDF – are compiled by the Home Front Command and are based on intelligence
collected regarding the enemy’s intentions, as well as its capabilities. The
municipalities and local councils are then provided an estimated number of
missiles they can expect to face in a conflict and are advised on how they
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For years, the defense establishment widely assumed that
Israel’s enemies – primarily Hezbollah and Syria – would avoid targeting
Jerusalem due to the relatively large Arab population in the city, and the fear
that Muslim holy sites such as the Aksa Mosque would accidentally be
“That is no longer the case,” a senior IDF officer told The
Jerusalem Post. “We now believe that in a future war, there’s a
possibility that Jerusalem will also come under missile fire even from the Gaza
The Home Front Command recently presented the threat scenario to
the Jerusalem Municipality.
According to the IDF, the capital, which is
in the range of Syrian and Hezbollah missiles, could also come under fire during
a smaller conflict with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Both
terrorist organizations are believed to possess Iranian rockets that have the
ability to strike Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.
City Councilor Elisha Peleg (Likud), who holds the
portfolio for Security, Emergency Services and Fire and Rescue, said the
municipality was aware of the new relevant scenarios.
“We are getting
ready for all the scenarios, and residents will get the best security and
defense that they need,” he said.
Peleg added that the city was in the
process of finding money in the budget for more bomb shelters, though not
necessarily in response to the updated scenarios, but because the it was always
trying to build more public bomb shelters.
The preparations were not
unique to the capital, he said. “Now missiles can hit every place in the
country,” he said.
One of the major challenges in Jerusalem is the
diverse population and the relatively old construction, leaving almost entire
neighborhoods without bomb shelters and protected rooms.
To reach out to
the haredi sector, the Home Front Command recently drafted 20 ultra-Orthodox
soldiers who would be responsible for visiting haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem
such as Mea She’arim, clearing out bomb shelters and preparing protected rooms.