Is Israel Prepared for a New Lebanon War?

Yesterday marked ten years since the Second Lebanon War with Israel. The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset marked the day with a debate on the lessons learned  from the war to see if the home front is prepared for a possible future conflict.

While the chief of staff for the IDF`s Home Front Command, Brig. Gen. Dedi Simchi, says of the 257 local authorities, 235 will be able to handle – with varying degrees of success – a future emergency situation, and that an “excellent culture of emergency has developed in the national home front,” several MK’s argued that a lot of work is needed to prepare for a future conflict.

MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) said the government must budget plans for fortification and the evacuation of civilians, if needed. “A war can – God forbid – leave us with thousands of people killed and damage to infrastructure to such an extent that we will have a hard time recuperating,” he stated. ”If we will not invest five billion shekels in fortification, we will sustain 50 billion shekel`s worth of damage.”

MK Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Camp) said a conflict in the north ”is almost inevitable” but the region ”is not prepared for a war with 1,200-1,500 missiles falling daily.”

Committee Chairman Dichter lauded the Home Front Command for drawing the necessary conclusions immediately after the war, and said the issue of the local authorities` preparedness for a future conflict must be addressed.

”We must not leave question marks that will be exposed only in an emergency,” he said, adding that ”Hezbollah`s current [dire situation] gives us time to prepare the north, and this must guide us from an operational perspective.”

Considering the recent Hezbollah drone that penetrated Israel’s airspace in the Golan and talks in the Knesset of the dangers Israel faces from its neighbors, it is an opportune time for Israel to step up its security measures for the civilian population.