Israel to ready public for 'all-out war'

Senior officer: We are getting ready for a range of possibilities.

IDFtank shellGaza 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
IDFtank shellGaza 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
With Iran racing toward nuclear power and IDF preparations for the possibility of a conflict with Syria and Hizbullah in high gear, the Home Front Command plans to launch a publicity campaign to prepare the public for war. Within a few weeks it intends to inform the public about what people need to do in the event of attack. The campaign was not connected to a specific event or threat but was meant to brace the public for war in general, senior IDF officers said. "Our job is to prepare for an all-out war," Col. Hilik Sofer, head of the Home Front Command Population Division, told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday. "We prepare for a wide range of possibilities since it doesn't make a difference where the threat comes from." Several weeks ago, the Home Front Command distributed pamphlets in Netivot and Ashkelon explaining how to behave during a Kassam attack. Both cities are within 15 kilometers of the Gaza Strip. The IDF has deployed early warning systems outside Netivot and Ashkelon. They have not been activated, pending government approval. Next week, Sofer will meet with heads of government offices and local councils to discuss ways to improve service to the public at a time of emergency. "We know that the Palestinians have Kassams that can reach 12-kilometer distances and even farther," Sofer said. "And even though Kassams have yet to fall there, we'd best be prepared." In March, the Home Front Command, the Israel Police, Magen David Adom, the Fire and Rescue Services and other emergency services held a two-day exercise throughout the country that dealt with extreme scenarios, including mega-terrorist attacks and nonconventional missile attacks. The drill was the country's largest ever and implemented lessons from the Second Lebanon War last summer.