In case of a missile attack
Trigger warning: A missile attack that would interfere with Israel's defenses and be difficult for the country to recover from is an extreme scenario, but one that Brig. Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel lays out in detail, without any whitewashing, in a report by the Institute of National Security Studies.
Until now, the threat of a massive missile attack and widespread damage to the Israeli home front was something that the public and media barely discussed. But starting in 2020 and now, at the start of 2021, Dekel and the INSS rank it high on the list of current threats.
While the nuclear threat from Iran is still higher, in the short-term, a war could break out to our north and east against a coalition led by Iran in which Hezbollah, Syria, pro-Iranian militias and other players would attack us from western Iraq.
Dekel, whose last job in the IDF was head of the strategy division in the General Staff's planning department, calls this possibility "definitely relevant" and describes the arsenal that would be unleashed on us if it were to come to pass.
"Among other things: missiles and drones from Syria and Lebanon [Hezbollah], ballistic missiles and cruise missile from Iran and Iraq," he says, and in a secondary scenario, "rockets, attack drones, and mortars from the Gaza Strip."
The concern, he says, is that "these coordinated forces will exploit the military capabilities they have to launch surprise missiles barrages and slews of drones in an attempt to take out many targets inside Israel."
"If the enemy succeeds in firing extensive barrages [of hundreds of missiles] at one time from different launching locations," Dekel says, noting that this is not implausible, "Israel's air defenses could be expected to have difficulty handling the threat. The result will be destruction, and in certain circumstances widespread casualties in population centers. This describes the threat of a massive attack on the primary cities and strategic sites using precision missiles, which is something Israel has never experienced," he says.
The INSS's extreme scenario was published a few days after the Defense Ministry announced that it was developing the Arrow 4 system in conjunction with the US, a system designed to be able to cope with ballistic missiles fired from Iran, among other things. Only recently did former IDF Ombudsman Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhik Brik define Israel as "the most threatened country in the world, on which hundreds of thousands of missiles are trained throughout the Middle East."