Israel Prepares Mass Evacuations for Future Wars
CBN News Tzippe Barrow
JERUSALEM, Israel – Should war erupt on the northern border with Hezbollah or on the southern border with Hamas, Israel's Home Front Command is prepared to evacuate up to 250,000 civilians to safety.
The evacuation plan, called "Safe Distance," would rehouse civilians in the line of fire to hotels, schools or guest houses on kibbutzim.
"In places where we understand there is great danger to civilians…we will evacuate," Col. Itzik Bar with the Home Front Command told The Associated Press.
Bar said Hezbollah has honed its combat skills in Syria, fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces. "We want a meeting of army and Hezbollah forces and not civilians with Hezbollah forces," he said.
In the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets on northern Israel, while the IDF targeted military posts in southern Lebanon. A cross-border attack on an IDF base by a Hezbollah terror cell sparked the month-long war.
During Operation Protective Edge, the IDF's 51-day military incursion into the Gaza Strip during July and August 2014, thousands of Israelis living near the border left their homes.
Gaza-based jihadists fired more than 3,500 rockets at Israel, which included about 1,000 mortar shells and more than 60 long-range rockets capable of reaching major population centers, including Beersheva, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Iron Dome anti-missile batteries intercepted more than 600 rockets and missiles, a 90 percent success rate. With the recent addition of David's Sling, designed to intercept mid-range rockets, aircraft and cruise missies, and the Arrow 3 batteries for long-range missiles, Israel is better prepared than its ever been against rocket and missile attacks,
While Israel continues its preparations, both defensive and offensive, to meet any future confrontations, Hezbollah and Hamas say they've rebuilt their rocket arsenals.
Earlier this month, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said any future war with Hezbollah would send Lebanon "back to the Middle Ages."