IDF: 8,000 rockets, missiles could hit Israel if war erupts

Though it’s not predicting major war this year,IDF still wants gov’t to cancel planned defense cuts.

Hezbollah rocket launcher 311 (R) (photo credit: Reuters)
Hezbollah rocket launcher 311 (R)
(photo credit: Reuters)
While predicting that a large war will not break out in the coming year, the Israeli home front can expect in 2017 to come under fire from around 15,000 rockets and missiles in a future conflict with Hezbollah and Syria, senior officers warned on Tuesday.
The revelation regarding the missile threat to the Israeli home front came as the IDF holds negotiations with the government in an effort to cancel plans to cut the defense budget in 2012.RELATED:Iran test-fires 2 long range missilesIDF upgrades Patriot missile defense battery
The IDF was scheduled to implement a new multi-year plan for 2012-2017, but scrapped those plans after the government decided to cut the budget following the summer’s social protests.
Based on these assessments as well as Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran’s growing missile arsenals, a war in 2017 would likely include the firing of 15,000 rockets and missiles into Israeli cities, causing unprecedented devastation and casualties.
A study recently conducted by the Home Front Command concluded that a ratio of one casualty per 100 missiles can be expected. The IDF believes that most of the rockets will be short-range and another 5,500 will have a range over 70 km.
“The arsenals that surround us are increasing in their quantity, quality as well as in their accuracy,” a senior IDF officer said on Tuesday. For example, the officer said, by 2017 the IDF believes that Syria, Hezbollah and Iran will have close to 1,000 rockets with accuracy of a few dozen meters.
In addition, the IDF said Hezbollah has built up an arsenal of around 4,000 sophisticated Russian-made anti-tank missiles alongside 11,500 in Syria and several hundred in the Gaza Strip.
“The military’s ability to maneuver in enemy territory in a future war will be under threat,” the senior officer said.
According to the IDF, under the NIS 50 billion budget proposed by the government, close to NIS 7b. is still missing to continue training units, to procure new platforms and to effectively counter the growing threats in the region.
Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.- Gen. Yair Naveh recently appeared before the government and proposed that the IDF receive NIS 5b. and find within its budget the remaining NIS 2b. Naveh warned the government that if the money is not allocated, the IDF will not be able to procure new missile defense systems such as the Iron Dome for short-range rockets, David’s Sling for medium-range rockets, and the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 for long-range ballistic missiles.
The IDF believes that it will require around a dozen Iron Dome counter-rocket batteries to protect Israel from the short-range missile threat along its borders.
The gap in the budget, according to the IDF, stems from the government’s refusal in recent years to compensate it for the increase in the cost of living in Israel, such as the rising expenses of gas and food.
According to the Brodet Commission, which conducted a comprehensive audit of the defense budget in 2007, the IDF is supposed to receive compensation for these costs.
The Brodet Commission’s recommendations were approved by the government at the time.
The defense budget today makes up 14 percent of the state’s annual budget in comparison to 24% in 1992.
One of the commission’s recommendations, for example, was to cap the amount the IDF would pay in property tax at NIS 320 million. The Treasury has refused to implement that recommendation and today the IDF is paying over NIS 700m.