A senior Israel Defense Force (IDF) commander believes that Tel Aviv is certain to be hit by enemy missiles in Israel's next war. "Missiles and rockets from all fronts will reach Tel Aviv next time around. Tens of missiles of various kinds will reach Tel Aviv time around," said Col. Dan Zussman, head of the IDF Home Front Command for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
The first missile to hit Tel Aviv "will startle people sitting at local cafes," Zussman predicted. "Tens of missiles of various kinds will hit the city, likely causing hundreds of casualties, damage to buildings and infrastructures," he added. "It's crucial for everyone to be equipped with protection kits [containing personal items for use in the event of a nuclear, biological or chemical attack] and prepare a protected area in their homes. All private and public bodies must do the same as well."
Meanwhile, new information from IDF suggests that improvements in Hizballah and Hamas missile-launching capabilities have already eroded the nation's deterrent against missile attack. Ha'aretz reported Monday that the Home Front Command has decided to shorten the warning time for Tel Aviv and Gush Dan residents from two minutes to 90 seconds.
"Hamas and Hezbollah can launch longer-range missiles with heightened precision. They possess more missiles than ever before, concealed in buildings and underground bunkers," the paper added. "This has prompted not only the 25 percent reduction in warning time, but also a modification of emergency Home Front Command protocol. This protocol will be passed on to each municipality, with a guidebook detailing the number of missiles that could hit the district as well as the level of damage and number of injured each municipality would potentially have to deal with."
Ha'aretz quotes security sources as saying that Israel will not have an effective deterrent for medium-range missiles (the kind Hizballah and Hamas are expected to fire at Tel Aviv ) until 2013.