These days in Israel, preparations for the war are being made by the general population, government, and military. In the 1991 Gulf War, Israel was attacked with Scud missiles that were launched from Iraq.

The possibility of Iraq damaging Israel with non-conventional warfare

Being hit with non-conventional warfare is the major concern in Israel. News sources claim that Iraq did in fact try to launch non-conventional attack planes against Israel back in the Gulf War. These attacks failed prematurely and the planes did not even reach the Israeli airspace.

The requirements for this situation to build up are:

  • Iraq really possesses such non-conventional weapons. Currently it is unclear, despite the work of the UN weapons inspectors. It is possible that Iraq possesses chemical, biological, and even atomic warheads.
  • Considering they have such weapons, it is uncertain that these weapons are still operable after 12 years of no training. This is also true concering Iraqi war planes, and their ability for operational flight toward Israel.
  • Saddam Hussein is willing to cause great damage to Israel, ignoring the consequences of his actions. It is possible that he would not try this option, at least in the beginning of the conflict.
  • The Iraqi chain of command would not fail. As opposed to the Gulf War, the US with its psychological warfare is working to convince commanders of the Iraqi army to stand off, not to pull the trigger, and perhaps surrender. It is possible that an order by Saddam to attack Israel with non conventional weapons, and even conventional weapons, would not pass.
  • The US will fail in the destruction of Iraq's missile and attack planes launch abilities. In the Israeli-American conversations that were held this month, The US promised to disable Iraq's long range launch abilities.
  • Israel's anti-missile defenses, the Patriot and the Hetz, will fail during the Iraqi attack.

The population

The greatest concern of the populace is the non-conventional warfare such as chemical and biological warfares. Half of the populace have already refreshed and undusted their gas masks and relevant protection equipment. Some even store food and others prepare for flight arrangements. Eilat, in the southest point of the country, is preparing its hotels for the welcome of frightened citizens from the country's center, which received most of the hits during the Gulf war.

The government

In the 1991 Gulf War, the US deployed Patriot Missiles batteries in Israel in order to defend the country against the Scud missiles that Iraq launched toward Israel. The US insisted that Israel would not respond to the Iraq attacks.

This month, Israeli Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz met with Secretary Rumsfeld. The two leaders discussed defense issues of mutual interest. For this war, the US still insist that Israel would not respond to an Iraqi attack. They argue that if Israel attacks back, it will show to the world as an Israeli-American conspiracy against the Arab world. Israel's stand on the issue is that it trusts the US to prevent Iraq from launching missiles toward Israel, but if non-conventional weapons are successfully hitting Israel, the country will counter-strike, in order to not show weakness. In such aggressive Israeli retaliation in Iraq, there will be heavy damage.

The military

Patriot Missiles were already deployed. Israeli Hetz missiles, which are superior to the Patriot, are also deployed. The US sent over 1000 soldiers for training in the country's Negev. An American Air Force officer will work to set up a collaboration unit between Israel and the US, to keep Israel in the picture. Israel will be notified on the first US attack in advance.

Health

Israeli doctors are receiving small pox vaccines. The government is considering giving vaccines to all soliders.

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