Haifa braces for strategic attacks

Real danger exists that industrial zone installations may be struck.

Haifa Petro 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Haifa Petro 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A state of emergency was declared Sunday at the Haifa industrial zone after Katyusha rockets landed nearby, killing eight people and injuring at least 20 others. The continued rocket attacks on Haifa have raised fears that a real danger exists to strategic installations in the industrial zone, including an oil refinery. On Sunday, the Home Front Command shut down the Haifa Port, the main entrance to Israel by sea. Ships were not allowed into Haifa to unload fuel and other goods, and were being diverted to other Israeli ports. Ships were allowed to leave the port. In addition, the Haifa oil refinery was reducing petrol stock and was dumping oil out of fear that a rocket attack could spark a major blast and fire in the coastal city. The Haifa bay area is home to a number of storage and fuel installations as well as petrochemical plants and an oil refinery. The Hizbullah on Sunday announced that it planned to target strategic installations in the Haifa area. A high-ranking Home Front Command source said that the IDF was primarily concerned that ammonia tankers in the industrial zone would be targeted. An explosion of the tanker could cause severe damage to the entire bay area, the source said.