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Israel gears up to tackle thousands of rockets in future war

Iron Dome is capable of intercepting short-range rockets fired from 4 km to 70 km away Photograph: (AFP)

Jerusalem, Israel Sep 16, 2016, 06.12 PM (IST)

Israel will undergo a four-day civil defence drill from Sunday onwards to prepare itself for a possible war in future.

The drill will take into account the fact that 1,500 rockets are estimated to bombard the country every day if there's a possible war any time soon. 

The civil defence drill is to ensure the public remains unharmed during any such eventuality.

The rockets could be launched simultaneously by Lebanon's Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza.

Although Hamas' threat eroded considerably after the 2014 Gaza war with Israel, it still has thousands of rockets in its arsenal. Hezbollah, the other hand, has at least 100,000 in its armoury, unnamed military sources told AFP.

The civil-defence drill gained importance after the 2006 war with Hezbollah. The militant group's relentless bombardment raised questions about Israel's preparedness to protect its civilians.

Hezbollah rockets had killed 43 civilians and 12 soldiers during the 34-day war.

Since then, Israel has tightened its air defence system. They operationalised Iron Dome in 2011. Iron Dome is capable of intercepting short-range rockets fired from 4 km to 70 km away.

Military sources say that only 1 per cent of rockets can now strike a civilian building.

The Home Front Command — the agency responsible for the drill — has also strengthened its rocket alert system since the 2006 war. The system alerts civilians to run for safety if a rocket is heading in their direction. 

Now, people in Tel Aviv have a minute's time to run to the closest bomb shelter if the alert siren is sounded. 

The siren will be sounded across the country over the four days of the drill.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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