Vilna'i: We must recapture rocket-launch zones

Deputy defense minister says mortar shells from Gaza still major threat to South; OC Home Front Command: Another Gaza op not unrealistic.

March 22, 2009 20:27
1 minute read.
Vilna'i: We must recapture rocket-launch zones

yair golan 248 88 . (photo credit: IDF [file])


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 analyses 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The IDF should take control of areas inside the Gaza Strip from which mortar shells are fired at the South, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i said Sunday evening. Vilna'i, speaking at a conference at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies on lessons for the home front from Operation Cast Lead, said the mortar fire remained a principal threat. "We must occupy places from which mortar shells are being fired," he said. "They are within a limited range of five to six kilometers [inside Gaza], and we simply need to be there." Vilna'i also said that the Iron Dome anti-missile system would become operational in the winter of 2010, and would be able to shoot down missiles headed for population centers. The Iron Dome is one layer of a tri-layered anti-missile umbrella the country is developing, and is designed to shoot down rockets with a range of 70 km. or less. Regarding the performance of the home front during the recent Gaza offensive, Vilna'i said the situation was much better than during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, when "almost everyone fled from the municipalities, including the government ministry workers." OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan also spoke at the conference, and addressed allegations that soldiers did not live up to the army's ethical standards during the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Golan said he visited the forces during the fighting and was impressed that the war was being waged in a moral manner. He siad that testimonies to the contrary were exaggerated. "The moral standards of the army are high," he said. "There were clear directives to maintain the distinction between civilians and fighters. "We are not the ones who chose this battlefield," he said. "We know who cynically exploits the [civilian] population." Turning to the home front, he said that the lessons from the Second Lebanon War had been learned. "Whoever thought that the age of the siren was over, was mistaken," Golan said, adding that the warning sirens proved effective during Operation Cast Lead. He said that while in the past the assumption was that a siren was needed for every 1,000 meters, now - with air conditioners and sealed windows - there was a need for a siren every 500 to 700 meters. Millions of shekels would be spent over the next two years improving this situation in the center of the country, he said.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town