Israel admits Hezbollah can hit Tel Aviv
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Israel will be forced to evacuate the entire population of Tel Aviv if it is hit by missiles, including those from Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah, the commander in charge of Israel's central region has said.
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.
"Massive evacuations will take place in case of unconventional attacks and if buildings are destroyed by a missile."
When Israel bombed Lebanon in 2006, retaliatory Hezbollah missiles were able to hit targets in northern Israel but did not effect the city of Tel Aviv.
But Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has recently boasted about the group's increased military capacity, saying that targets across Israel were within the resistance movement's range.
“Today, we are capable of not only striking Tel Aviv as an area, but also capable of striking specific targets in Tel Aviv and any place in occupied Palestine,” he said last month.
Zusman appeared to admit Nasrallah's claims were accurate, saying that the number of casualties across the country would be high.
"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."