Issues

As Hezbollah Builds Arsenal, Israel Prepares for Future Fighting

 

With Hezbollah pointing more than 120,000 projectiles at Israeli cities, towns and villages, it is clear to emergency and defense planners that any eruption of a new armed conflict will not resemble previous wars.

The essence of Hezbollah’s war doctrine — and that of its patron, Iran — is to direct heavy fire at Israel’s soft underbelly: its civilian front.

On the military front, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is drawing up offensive plans to deal with this threat; at the same time, on the defensive front, the military is also working closely with emergency responders and local authorities to improve general readiness.

Col. Itzik Bar, head of the IDF Home Front Command’s Northern District, which prepares noncombatants for war, told JNS: “The home front will always be surprised. In war, even if you prepare and take steps to defend, there will be a change in perception among civilians. Our job, as part of the preparations, is to meet this challenge. To recover from surprises quickly and return things to full functionality.”

Bar provided a glimpse into the updated intelligence assessments of the threat from the north. In the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah fired 6,700 unguided rockets during the course of three weeks; none of them reached farther south than the northern city of Hadera.

“Today, they have the ability to hit all of Israel,” he said. “They are working on getting accurate rockets since unguided projectiles mostly fall in open areas. Accurate means more effective fire. Hezbollah could try to target national, sensitive infrastructure.”

Several hundred rockets per day could explode in northern Israel, Bar said, though this rate of fire “will be influenced by the things we do.”

Hezbollah’s projectiles have also gotten bigger. In 2006, it fired mostly 122-mm rockets with small warheads of 10 to 15 kilograms. Now, it is also stockpiling significantly bigger rockets with larger warheads.

Bar noted that in Syria, Hezbollah has gained valuable combat experience, which they would seek to use against Israel in the future by sending well-trained cells into Israel via land, and by making beach landings from the sea to conduct raids. “Over the past four years, Hezbollah has built up experience in Syria,” the commander stated.

“And we haven’t discussed the threat of cyber attacks,” he added.

In response, the Home Front Command has taken a series of steps to get civilians prepared.

According to Bar, these measures include training with and cooperating closely with local authorities over a three-year training cycle. Additionally, the command is installing “war rooms” (also known as command and control centers) in all local authorities, which will allow them to track and control units such as local police and rescue teams.

These rooms are being fitted with the means to keep them functional, such as incorporating electric generators.

Read More: Algeminer