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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lights out in Tel Aviv?

AFP is reporting that in the event of a missile attack on Tel Aviv, the entire city is to be evacuated.
Israel will evacuate the entire population of Tel Aviv if it is hit by missiles, particularly if they have unconventional warheads, the commander in charge of Israel's central region told Agence France Presse.

Colonel Adam Zusman, chief of the Home Front Command in Israel's Gush Dan region, which encompasses the city of Tel Aviv and its environs, said an attack on the center of the country would force massive evacuations.

"In case of a missile attack on the center of Israel, especially unconventional, the population from Tel Aviv and other cities will be evacuated and relocated in other areas of the country," Zusman told AFP in an interview at the weekend.

"Massive evacuations will take place in case of unconventional attacks and if buildings are destroyed by a missile."

Zusman said Israel continued to face serious threats from Iran and its allies, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Gaza's Hamas rulers.

"We estimate that in case of war, hundreds of missiles will hit Tel Aviv and its nearby cities. As a result of these attacks, there will be hundreds of Israeli casualties.

"In the next war, nobody will be able to drink a coffee in Dizengoff," he said, referring to a popular street in downtown Tel Aviv.

"Israeli civilians will have to face the threat. Today, every civilian is threatened in Israel."
I'm glad to see that the government has contingency plans in case of a war (although, frankly, they don't sound very realistic to me). But why weren't there any plans like that six years ago when the residents of the North were left to fend for themselves (and pay a fortune for hotels in the center of the country)? Why were there no such plans for Sderot in 2008-09? Oh, I forgot. The North and South are NotInMyBackYard.

By the way, there's another interview with Zussman from a year and a half ago here where he's not quite as fatalistic.

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