Police: Hizbullah could still reach TA

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July 24, 2006 23:42
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The largest and most powerful missiles in Hizbullah's arsenal - which could reach the Tel Aviv area - have yet to be used, the deputy head of Haifa's bomb disposal unit, Michael Cardash, told reporters just north of Haifa Monday afternoon. Cardash said that most of the missiles that had hit Israel so far were produced in the former Soviet Union, Iran, Syria and China. "The future threat and what we are expecting" is the Zilzal missile with a 400-kg. warhead and a maximum range of 210 km., and the Fajr-5 with a maximum range of 75 km. and a warhead of 90 kg., he said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later told The Jerusalem Post the assumption is that IDF operations in Lebanon has so far prevented Hizbullah from firing those rockets. The police opened their doors to the media Monday to show how the command center just north of Haifa works. They displayed pieces from the 1,083 rockets they estimate have landed throughout northern Israel in the last two weeks. Haifa Police chief Nir Meriesh said he estimated that half of Haifa's 250,000 residents had left the city as a result of the barrages that have killed nine people there. Some of them returned on Sunday but left again after rockets continued to fall, he said. The normal routine of the city has stopped, he said. Most businesses are closed and residents have been asked to stay home or in bombs shelters, he said. Meriesh and Northern Region police chief Cmdr. Dan Ronen described the training emergency personnel had been undergoing for months to prepare for rockets attacks from Lebanon, saying they had completed their last exercise only two week before missiles began to fall. The biggest barrier facing emergency services before they could help the wounded was identifying the site of attacks, Ronen said. Emergency personnel are helped in this task by scouts stationed at lookout points throughout the city and the many observers who call the police's emergency 100 number, he said. In addition to evacuating the wounded, rescue crews search the wreckage of buildings for people who may be trapped in the rubble and police score the area for unexploded rockets, he said.

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