Defense Ministry seeks to end years of uncertainty over Israel's war preparedness

New bill would “regulate the division of labor and missions” between state institutions, local government, emergency services, and economic bodies, the ministry claims.

June 29, 2016 19:57
2 minute read.
 Merkava Mk. 4 tanks

Tank crews from the Seventh Brigade's 75th Battalion train with their new Merkava Mk. 4 tanks. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


After many years of uncertainty over who has jurisdiction in the home front during times of war, the Defense Ministry submitted a draft bill seeking to create order out of the chaos.

The bill, for the first time, would “regulate the division of labor and missions” between state institutions, local government, emergency services, and economic bodies, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

It would stipulate who is responsible for the strategic stockpiling of goods or resources for wartime, and name those tasked with maintaining services and daily life during national emergencies.

The bill comes in response to growing attempts by terrorist organizations to disrupt and paralyze the home front, as the wars of the past decade have demonstrated, the Defense Ministry said.

“This reality, in which terrorists focus their war efforts against the national home front, obligates us to prepare the civilian front accordingly for the possibility of future war events,” the ministry said.

According to the bill, the defense minister will lead preparations for emergency situations, and will be a “senior partner” in running the economy during the outbreak of hostilities.

According to the latest IDF assessments, any future largescale conflict would likely involve multiple fronts, and would see many thousands of rockets fired into the country.

The National Emergency Authority will coordinate activities among all bodies dealing with emergencies, and define their respective jurisdiction. The NEA will create a “national master plan for the next 10 years” that will form the basis or emergency preparations, including the need for local authorities and emergency services to prepare. The NEA will also prepare a budget for its decade long plan, before the cabinet votes on it.

Government ministries, local authorities, rescue services, and infrastructure providers will be responsible for preparing themselves under the plan, and ensure they are properly stocked with emergency reserves. The defense minister will be authorized to instruct factories vital to the economy to ensure the have sufficient emergency reserves, like fuel, and electric generators.

The IDF Home Front Command works with local authorities to prepare them for emergencies, and maintains its own search and rescue battalions that specialize in getting trapped civilians out of rubble.

On Sunday, the head of air defenses in the IAF warned that in any future war, Israel will be hit with the largest rocket salvos in its history.

Speaking at the Israel Air Missile Defense Conference at Rishon Lezion, which was organized by the iHLS website, Brig.-Gen. Zvika Haimovich said that Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas were carrying out joint research and development of rockets, adding, “We can see a lot of live tests in Gaza with Hamas, and with Iran and Hezbollah [in Lebanon]. They have put in a lot of effort into increasing and improving their skills.”

Hostile entities will seek to overwhelm air defenses with heavy salvos, Haimovich said. “In the future, we will meet and engage much bigger salvos,” he said. They will come from multiple directions, and a “regional war” is a more realistic scenario than a single- front escalation.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy.
April 19, 2019
Special U.S. Envoy Greenblatt: No reason to use 'two state' solution