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Israel ready to retaliate if Iraq fires Scud Missiles
Reuters AlertNet (www.alertnet.org) reports that Israel is ready to retaliate if Iraq chooses to fire Scud missiles targetting Israeli civilians.
Israel is more able to retaliate against Iraqi missile attacks now than during the 1991 Gulf War and has prepared new intelligence and anti-missile defence systems, an Israeli politician said on Monday.
Iraq launched dozens of Scud missiles against Israel after the US first attack on Iraq during the Gulf war. Yasser Arafat fully supported Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War and many Palestinians were seen dancing on their roofs while the Scuds were landing in the Israeli cities. Israel never retaliated.
I lived in Haifa in 1991 when I was attending college at the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology (similar to MIT).
There was much fear that Sadam Hussein was going to launch gas attacks against the Israeli civilian population so daily, during every attack from Iraq, all civilians, including kids, babies and women had to wear gas masks and run to the bomb shelter.
I copy the full article below.
Ex-defence chief says Israel ready if Iraq attacks
JERUSALEM, July 29 (Reuters) - Israel is more able to retaliate against Iraqi missile attacks now than during the 1991 Gulf War and has prepared new intelligence and anti-missile defence systems, an Israeli politician said on Monday.
Israel was the target of Iraqi Scud missile strikes in 1991, which caused extensive damage but killed just one person. The United States persuaded its ally not to retaliate, fearing such a move would alienate Arab members of the coalition it had mustered for the Gulf War.
As the possibility of another U.S. attack on Iraq looms, Israel is in a stronger position to retaliate if it again becomes an Iraqi target, said Moshe Arens, a member of parliament who was defence minister during the Gulf War.
"I think that some of the rationale for not doing anything at the time...does not exist at the present time," Arens said in response to a question about potential Israeli retaliation.
U.S. President George W. Bush said this month Washington would use all tools at its disposal to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but this time Washington has failed to rally broad Arab support.
Iraq says it will face down any U.S. offensive.
Arens said Iraq had a small number of Scuds with chemical and possibly biological capability as well as conventional warheads, but that Israel's new Arrow-2 missile defence system was up to the test.
Developed in conjunction with the U.S. "Star Wars" programme, and deployed through Israel in the past three years, the Arrow-2 system uses missiles to shoot down incoming missiles.
Another technological advantage Arens cited was the recently orbited Ofek-5 spy satellite. During the Gulf War, he said, the United States had stymied a planned Israeli operation against Scud launchers by not sharing satellite footage of western Iraq.
"Today if we are concerned about what is happening in the area from which missiles might be launched against Israel, we have our own intelligence capability," Arens told a briefing for foreign envoys and reporters.
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(According to digits.com)