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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Jerusalem is in the line of fire

We Jerusalemites have been pretty smug until now, believing that the Arabs would never aim missiles at Jerusalem out of fear of hitting their own holy sites. No more, says the IDF Home Front Command. Jerusalem is in the line of fire.
For years, the defense establishment widely assumed that Israel’s enemies – primarily Hezbollah and Syria – would avoid targeting Jerusalem due to the relatively large Arab population in the city, and the fear that Muslim holy sites such as the Aksa Mosque would accidentally be hit.

“That is no longer the case,” a senior IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post. “We now believe that in a future war, there’s a possibility that Jerusalem will also come under missile fire even from the Gaza Strip.”

The Home Front Command recently presented the threat scenario to the Jerusalem Municipality.

According to the IDF, the capital, which is in the range of Syrian and Hezbollah missiles, could also come under fire during a smaller conflict with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Both terrorist organizations are believed to possess Iranian rockets that have the ability to strike Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.

City Councilor Elisha Peleg (Likud), who holds the portfolio for Security, Emergency Services and Fire and Rescue, said the municipality was aware of the new relevant scenarios.


One of the major challenges in Jerusalem is the diverse population and the relatively old construction, leaving almost entire neighborhoods without bomb shelters and protected rooms.

To reach out to the haredi sector, the Home Front Command recently drafted 20 ultra-Orthodox soldiers who would be responsible for visiting haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem such as Mea She’arim, clearing out bomb shelters and preparing protected rooms.
The biggest problem in this city is that places that have bomb shelters usually use them for storage rooms.

The last time fire hit Jerusalem during a war was in 1967, when I understand from people who have been here longer than I have that several neighborhoods were hit with small arms fire and at least one neighborhood was shelled. But the city has grown greatly since then, and most of us are not that close to Muslim holy sites.

What could go wrong?

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At 4:20 PM, Blogger josef said...

Can anyone tell me why the Al Aksa Mosque wasn't blown up in 1967??
yes, there would have been an outcry, but after all, there was war.
Many not so nice things get done in a war.
I Really would appreciate, if someone has an answer for my question.


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