Officials said Israel's military, police and emergency services have
been on high alert for an attack by Hizbullah, Syria or Iran, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the
current alert would last throughout April and did not rule out a
continuation of high combat-readiness for the rest of 2008.
Under the scenarios, hundreds of Israelis would be killed and thousands
injured in missile strikes on Tel Aviv. The enemy missiles would target
strategic facilities, including Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Syria was also expected to be a participant in the next war against
Israel. The intelligence community envisioned Hizbullah, Iran and Syria
coordinating strikes on northern and central Israel. The Hamas regime and
the Palestinian Authority would also fire rockets from the West Bank and
In one scenario, Iran would also attack the Jewish state. The
intelligence community did not expect Iran to fire nuclear, biological or
chemical weapons, but said such an attack could stem from Syria.
The Israeli casualty count would reach 230 in a conventional weapons
attack. In a chemical strike, the intelligence community envisioned up to
The intelligence community has also envisioned Iran's use of Hizbullah
as a proxy in a nonconventional weapons attack. One scenario was that
Hizbullah launches Iranian-origin Ababil unmanned aerial vehicles filled
with toxic chemicals to strike a school or government building.
Officials said the scenarios reflected the Israeli military's two
leading priorities — defending against missile threats as well as stopping
Iran's nuclear weapons program. They said the rocket and missile threat was
meant to be resolved through the development of defensive systems rather
than offensive military campaigns.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said anti-missile systems would enable
Israel to avoid a war of attrition and consider withdrawal from the West
Bank as well as the Golan Heights. A short-range missile and rocket system,
termed Iron Dome, was not expected to be ready until at least 2010.