Israel prepares as war clouds gather
Russia’s insistence that it will supply Syria with S300 missiles has heightened fears that they could fall into the hands of Hezbollah
SUNDAY 02 JUNE 2013
From the window of Shrifa Schlomitz’s dental surgery at the top of a high rise in the Stella Maris area of Haifa, you can clearly see the three Patriot missile batteries pointing over the Mediterranean Sea towards the Lebanese border, just 30km away.
Dr Schlomitz has no interest in seeing them removed at the moment. Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group with which Israel fought a six-week long war in 2006 – a war that brought Haifa into the firing line of Hezbollah rockets – is too close for comfort again and the group’s deepening involvement in the Syrian civil war has increased the threat of new attacks, according to some.
“The rockets make us feel safer – it gives some kind of security. If they weren’t there people would be asking the government ‘what are you doing to defend us?’,” he says.
“I don’t think they will dare attack us. We would respond immediately and erase them from the map. But we’re in a standby situation; people know what can happen. People know there is potential danger, but also we have to live our normal lives at the same time. We know the situation can change very quickly.