World

August 18, 2012

Israel sees month long war after Iran strike

by Amy Teibel
Associated Press

An Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program could trigger a bloody month long war on multiple fronts, killing hundreds of Israelis or more, the Israeli Cabinet’s civil defense chief warned in an interview published Wednesday.

It was the most explicit assessment yet of how the government sees events unfolding in the aftermath of an Israeli attack.

Matan Vilnai, who is stepping down as the “home front” Cabinet minister to become Israel’s ambassador to China, described the scenarios to Israel’s Maariv daily at a time of heightened debate about the Iranian nuclear threat.

Vilnai, a retired general who was deputy military chief of staff, has spent the past five years overseeing upgrades of Israel’s civil defense systems, including air-raid sirens, bomb shelters and a public alert system.

In the Maariv interview, Vilnai said “the home front is ready as never before.” Nonetheless, he said the country must be braced for heavy casualties in the case of conflict with Iran.

Vilnai said the government has prepared for the possibility of hundreds of rockets and missiles falling on Israeli population centers each day, with the expectation of 500 deaths.

“It could be that there will be fewer fatalities, but it could be there will be more. That is the scenario that we are preparing for according to the best experts,” he said. “The assessments are for a war that will last 30 days on a number of fronts.”

Israel is convinced that archenemy Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, dismissing Tehran’s claims that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes. Israel considers nuclear-armed Iran to be a mortal danger. Iran backs anti-Israel militants with funds and weapons, and its leaders often call for Israel’s destruction.

In his latest pronouncement, Iranian Supreme leader Ali Khamenei said Israel will disappear from “the scene of geography.” Addressing war veterans in Tehran on Wednesday, he said Iran considers it its “religious duty to save this Islamic country (Palestine) from the clutches of the Zionist occupiers.”

Israel’s leaders have indicated an attack is a possibility if they conclude the international community has failed to halt the Iranian nuclear program.

Vilnai did not elaborate on how he reached his assessments, but his office relies on intelligence and other assessments about Iranian weapons capabilities and Israeli susceptibility. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has also said the Israeli death toll could be in the range of 500 in such a conflict.

“Just as the citizens of Japan have to realize that they can have earthquakes, so the citizens of Israel have to realize that if they live here, they have to be prepared to expect missiles on the home front,” Vilnai said. “It’s not pleasant for the home front, but decisions have to be made, and we have to be ready.”

Vilnai has made similar comments in other media outlets in recent days.

At a news briefing in Washington Aug. 14, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reaffirmed the U.S. assessment that Israel has not yet decided whether to strike, while the U.S. military chief, Gen. Martin Dempsey, echoed a widely held assessment that an Israeli operation would only set back, not destroy, Iran’s nuclear project.

Vilnai was stepping down Aug. 15 to take up his new post in China. He is being replaced by a former internal security service chief, Avi Dichter.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late¬†- Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 
 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 

 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ‚...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>