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Syria to Target Gas Rigs in Next War, Warns Vilnai

Hundreds of heavy warheads will hit central Israel in the next war, says Homefront Minister.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/2/2011, 7:26 PM / Last Update: 6/2/2011, 7:56 PM

Minister of Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai described an exceedingly harsh scenario of the next war between Israel and its Arab neighbors Wednesday. Speaking to the heads of vital industries, Vilnai said that the next war will last at least a month and that Syria will target Israeli offshore gas fields.

Details of Vilnai’s speech were published by Globes.
 
In the next round of fighting, he said, hundreds of missiles with half-ton warheads will strike central Israel daily.  
 
In a conflagration with Hamas, the terror organization "will try very hard to hit Tel Aviv,” he assessed. “Not everything will reach here [Tel Aviv] and most will fall on the way, but some rockets will strike here too.”
 
Accurate Syrian missiles will target Israeli economic interests like the offshore gas fields, he warned. “The Syrians do not need to fire dozens of missiles at these facilities,” Vilnai explained. “Their systems are accurate enough that by firing a few missiles – everything goes up in the air. The offshore facilities are a soft underbelly.”
 
“The Arabs know how to learn lessons,” said Vilnai. “They are not cowards and they do not run away like we were all taught in the past. They know they cannot defeat the IDF in the field of battle so they intend to hit the heartland with missiles.”
 
“We need to prepare for a war with Syria, with Hizbullah and with Hamas,” he told the industrialists. “In an all-out war, most of your employees have been called up to the various fronts, and simultaneously, hundreds of missiles fall in central Israel. Not thousands, hundreds. We checked this and measured it. We calculated how many missiles they have, how many we can destroy in attacks we initiate, how many we can intercept in mid-flight and more. They will fire thousands of rockets and missiles daily and hundreds will hit central Israel. And this will take at least a month, including Fridays and Saturdays, without rest.”
 
The minister’s meeting with the heads of industry was coordinated with Industrialists’ Association chief Shraga Brosh, in preparation for a large scale home front drill that will include the vital industries.
 
The drill – Turning Point 5 -- will take place in three weeks’ time and will include nighttime air raid sirens. Turning Point 4 took place in 2010, and Turning Point 3 in 2009. Both were the largest civil defense drills held in Israel to date.