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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Report: 'Israel could be ready to attack Iran in a matter of hours'

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

No, Israel is not attacking Iran tonight.

But I have said in the past that I don't believe that the world will have a lot of warning before Israel decides to attack Iran. In fact, I have said that I would give the US (particularly President Obama) as little notice as possible out of fear that Obama would tell the Iranians it's coming. A report in Saturday's Times of London confirms my suspicions (and for those who are wondering, this story is not under Uzi Mahnaimi's byline).
The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government.

Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid requiring pinpoint aerial strikes are the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack.

Two nationwide civil defence drills will help to prepare the public for the retaliation that Israel could face.

Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,” one senior defence official told The Times.
As it happens, JPost reported this weekend that we are going to have a massive civil defense exercise in the near future, in which the entire country is going to participate.
Thursday, the Home Front Command kicked off a nationwide campaign aimed at teaching Israelis how to choose a secure room in their homes.

The campaign will culminate in a nationwide exercise that will, for the first time, include the entire population. The exercise - called Turning Point 3 - will be the third home front exercise to be held since the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and the founding of the Defense Ministry's National Emergency Administration (NEA), which is responsible for setting national emergency standards.

The drill will begin on May 31 in the various government ministries and will culminate with the sounding of a siren on June 2 at 11 a.m., during which civilians will be asked to enter secure rooms or bomb shelters.

"All of the State of Israel is within range of missiles, " Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i said Thursday. "The Syrians and Hizbullah have missiles that can reach any city in Israel, including in the Negev, and Israel needs to prepare for scenarios during which hundreds of rockets will hit the home front. Every person needs to know that there is a chance that at a time of war, a missile might land in their backyard."

As part of the campaign, the IDF will distribute magnets with a map of the country, detailing the amount of time the residents of each region - North, Gush Dan, Jerusalem, Negev - have to enter a secure room or bomb shelter from the moment a siren is sounded until impact.
Of course, the Times reports that Israel is still paying lip service to the idea of getting permission from the US:
“We would not make the threat [against Iran] without the force to back it. There has been a recent move, a number of on-the-ground preparations, that indicate Israel's willingness to act,” said another official from Israel's intelligence community.

He added that it was unlikely that Israel would carry out the attack without receiving at least tacit approval from America, which has struck a more reconciliatory tone in dealing with Iran under its new administration.

An Israeli attack on Iran would entail flying over Jordanian and Iraqi airspace, where US forces have a strong presence.

Ephraim Kam, the deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies, said it was unlikely that the Americans would approve an attack.

“The American defence establishment is unsure that the operation will be successful. And the results of the operation would only delay Iran's programme by two to four years,” he said.


“Many of the leaks or statements made by Israeli leaders and military commanders are meant for deterrence. The message is that if [the international community] is unable to solve the problem they need to take into account that we will solve it our way,” Mr Kam said.
Don't kid yourselves. If Israel believes that it has to act on its own, it will act on its own. Remember Osirak.

By the way, June 2 is four days after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. When Israel attacked Osirak, it was June 7, the eve of Shavuot.

What could go wrong?


At 1:14 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I would agree that I certainly hope that Israel isn't stupid enough to let Obama and the US know what they are doing before going after Iran. (and I'm an American).
Israel should not 'have' to ask for permission to exist and Iran's nuclear program is all about destroying Israel.
Everybody will say this as a preemptive strike, but I see Iran's program as an act of war and thus Iran is 'attacking' first, and Israel is only defending itself.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Prime Minister Menachem Begin didn't inform the Americans either before launching Israel's attack on Osirak. The Americans were furious. But when cooler heads prevailed, the world at last realized Israel did it a signal service.

Lots of things might go wrong but there is no alternative to defending Israel. To put it bluntly, if the Jews won't defend themselves, no one else will defend them. That is why I believe in the end, Israel will not be alone - Hashem will be beside her when she seeks to prevail over the enemy.th

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

All Israel will do if it strikes, is to unify irannians around the Islamic repulic to defend their country and deepen their hatred towards israel and ultimately the U.S. I think the more appropriate action is to give support to the oppositions (most people in Iran) to reform or overthrow the islamic repulic.


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