Israel has prepared a plan for a partial evacuation of communities near its border with Lebanon should growing tension with terror group Hezbollah erupt into a military conflict, a senior Israeli military official told The Media Line.
Lebanon-based Hezbollah, a declared foe of Israel, supposedly possesses over 100,000 rockets, some of which have ranges long enough to hit anywhere within the country. However, the official said that 90 percent of the rockets are short-range, putting Israeli communities close to the Israel-Lebanon border in the most danger.
About 1.4 million of Israel’s residents live in the northern region, which shares borders with both Lebanon and Syria. During the 2006 Lebanon war, Hezbollah fired an estimated 4,000 rockets at border communities, killing 165 Israelis, both soldiers and civilians. The conflict led to the hasty evacuation of 250,000 civilians from the north.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has increased threats to Israel of late, warning earlier in the month, “There will be no place that is out of reach of the rockets of the resistance or the boots of the resistance fighters.”
However, the Israeli official who spoke to The Media Line said that Nasrallah’s words were little more than “psychological warfare” against Israeli citizens.
“We also believe that Nasrallah is acting out of weakness because he has lost about 1,500 fighters in Syria,” he said.
Israel’s missile-defense system has advanced significantly since the last conflict with Lebanon. Last month, anti-missile system David’s Sling went operational, joining the Iron Dome and Arrow to form a three-tiered air defense arsenal which effectively protects Israel from short-, mid- and long-range enemy rockets.