Israel Prepares for Syria Strike

As Israel stations an Iron Dome anti-missile battery in Tel Aviv, Israelis fear missile attacks on their major cities and wonder: Will Israel be prepared?

al-monitor An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks out with his children after collecting gas mask kits at a distribution point in Jerusalem, Aug. 28, 2013. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

Topics covered

us, syria, sinai, rockets, infrastructures, gaza

Aug 30, 2013

Beneath the manicured sunken flower garden of Tel Aviv’s Habima Square lies Israel’s first municipal nuclear and chemical weapons shelter. While aboveground, Israel’s national theater and the newly renovated Philharmonic Hall border the square, down in the bunker, the walls are flanked by stacks of emergency water containers. Close to the ceiling, there’s just enough room for an air-filter system designed to repel the toxic gas from chemical weapons.  Almost three years after the start of the Arab Spring, the clouds of war are gathering around Israel. As the United States contemplates a strike on Syria, senior officials from Damascus and Tehran have threatened that Israel will bear the brunt of their wrath should the attack go ahead. But while the situation in Syria is the most imminent concern, Israel is also seeing other dangerously volatile fronts opening up.

Increasingly, opposition groups, political pundits and commentators are asking whether the best safety measure for Israel would be to embark on a new political course. Even senior cabinet members such as Justice Minister Tzipi Livni have warned against Israel’s growing isolation and vulnerability. Many others argue that the best security measure for Israel in the long term is to accelerate the peace process and encourage rapprochement not only with old foes and established adversaries but also with the new, emerging political factions around the country’s borders. 

Inna Lazareva is a British journalist and political analyst specializing in the Middle East and based in Tel Aviv. Read more of her writing on www.innalazareva.com. On Twitter: @InnaLaz

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