Major-General Yair Golan
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Michael Kramer
Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai
Photo: Michael Kramer

Home Front Command foresees greater rocket threat

Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan addresses National Security Institute panel, says Israel faces greater threat of missile attacks over next five years. 'This isn’t a catastrophe in waiting. We can handle it," he reassures audience

Home Front Command Chief Major-General Yair Golan warned Sunday that Israel may face an increasing threat from rockets over the next few years.


Speaking at a National Security Institute conference in Tel Aviv, Golan said that "in the next five years, our enemies may fire 200-300 tons on explosive's worth in rockets on Israel," adding that during the Second Lebanon War – for the sake of comparison –  the rockets fired at Israel amounted to 30 tons of explosives.


Golan spoke extensively on the growing rocket threat and stressed that the Israeli defense establishment was more than up for the challenge: "The numbers may seem high but this isn’t a catastrophe in waiting. We are more than capable of handling it," he said.


The Home Front Command, he added, has yet to change its protocols regarding the distribution of gas masks to the public, saying that budgetary concerns have led to the distribution to be postponed to January of 2009.


Another keynote speaker at the conference was Deputy Defense Minister MK Matan Vilnai (Labor). Over time, he told the audience, the missiles in the enemies' arsenal have become more sophisticated, long-ranged and they possess the ability to carry larger warheads.


The defense establishment, added Vilani, has begun revolutionizing home front readiness, as part of the lessons learned in the Second Lebanon War.


The deputy defense minister criticized several local authorities for failing to comply with new regulations: "They're just waiting for the artillery to come raining down instead of dealing with it now," he said.


Former Minister Dan Meridor, who also spoke at the conference, addressed the National Security Concept report, he and a team of specialists drafted about two years ago, at the request of then-Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.


Meridor noted that despite numerous discussions held by the political and military echelons after the report was submitted, no decision has been made as to its content or recommendations.  


פרסום ראשון: 10.26.08, 14:28
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