Tags: Israel | Middle East | israel | hezbollah

Next Hezbollah War Likely to Take Much Heavier Toll on Israeli Civilians

By    |   Friday, 09 August 2013 06:43 AM


With tensions escalating along its northern borders, Israeli officials warn that the country’s next war with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah will take a much greater toll on the civilian population than any previous experience, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“What we witnessed in 2006 is the very tip of the iceberg,” an Israeli official told reporters Wednesday, referring to the summer fighting which began with a cross-border Hezbollah raid which killed 8 IDF soldiers and kidnapped two more.

The resulting war, which lasted less than five weeks, killed 117 Israel Defense Forces soldiers and forced a third of the country into bomb shelters while rockets rained down on northern Israel. In all, the country was hit by nearly 4,000 rockets, killing 43 Israeli civilians and causing widespread damage to property and the national economy.

Upwards of 2.3 million peoplea third of the country spent close to one month in bomb shelters as a result of the bombardment.

Today, Hezbollah is believed to have between 60,000 and 100,000 rockets with longer ranges, improved accuracy and warheads larger than in 2006.

“Israeli officials fear that as many as 2,000 rockets a day could be released against all parts of Israel,” according to the Times. “Most of the launching sites are in southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah militants use private homes and farms in about 100 villages.”

The jihadist group’s rocket capacity has turned Israeli civilians into a major target in the next conflict, with Hezbollah hoping that public fear could pressure the military into a more accommodating stance, the Israeli official said.

Although Israel lacks enough Iron Dome missile interceptors to prevent Hezbollah rocket barrages from reaching the civilian population, it has focused on improving defenses through emergency planning and mock drills.

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With tensions escalating along its northern borders, Israeli officials warn that the country’s next war with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah will take a much greater toll on the civilian population than any previous experience, the Los Angeles Times reports.
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Friday, 09 August 2013 06:43 AM
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