The Zionist Home Front Command has a contingency plan to evacuate hundreds of thousands of settlers who live on the border with Lebanon, a senior IDF officer in the command told The Jerusalem Post.
Close to a million Zionist settlers live in the North; an estimated quarter of a million could be evacuated in case a war breaks out with Hezbollah.
“In the past we didn’t think of needing to evacuate whole communities, but now we understand that we will have to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people,” the senior officer said.
Hezbollah’s technological abilities and battlefield experience have grown as it fights in Syria, JPost added.
“There have been significant regional changes that no one expected to happen,” the senior officer said, adding that “the changes on Israel’s borders have made it so that the IDF needs to prepare for wars against groups and not armies.”
According to him, the Home Front Command today is not the Home Front Command of five years ago, due to those changes.
“We always need to ask if we are relevant and prepared,” he said, and that is why it is not only the threat posed by Hezbollah rocket barrages that concern the IDF and the Home Front Command but the very real possibility of ground attacks by the group against civilian communities.
“We listen to everything that Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah says, and we understand that there is a real meaning behind his threats. In the past we used to tell the civilians to go to their bomb shelters, but now we know that it is not smart to have civilians on the front lines in times of war,” he said.
“It is impossible to evacuate all one million residents, but we are working with the communities as well as emergency services to prepare those living in communities directly on the border for the possibility of a mass evacuation.”
The communities that would be evacuated would be housed in hotels, schools or guest houses of other communities, such as those in the Jordan Valley, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Eilat, as well as in West Bank settlements, away from the front lines in the North, in their entirety, he said, adding that, depending on the situation, whole communities could be housed together.
The paper quoted some Israeli analysts as saying that the next war with Hezbollah might see 1,500-2,000 rockets shot into ‘Israel’ per day, compared to the 150-180 per day during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Source: Israeli media