February 7, 2012
The news media in Israel this evening reports foreign embassies are organizing contingency plans for the evacuation of their nationals and diplomats and are requesting gas masks from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Diplomats and their families are worried about a missile strike that may prompt a mass evacuation of Israeli citizens with passports. The European Union does not currently have the resources to undertake an evacuation of its citizens in a short period of time.
Iran’s Zelzal missile.
Israeli officials have provided embassies with a list of public bomb shelters in the country and an instructional pamphlet produced by the IDF, Ynetnews.com reports.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Iran will not ask the group to retaliate if Israel strikes Iran. He said by video link to supporters that Hezbollah would make the decision in the event of an Israeli attack.
“There is speculation about what wound happen if Israel bombed Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Nasrallah said. “I tell you that the Iranian leadership will not ask Hezbollah to do anything. On that day, we will sit, think and decide what we will do.”
According to estimates, Hezbollah has more than 40,000 rockets in its arsenal. Most are of the Katyusha variety with a range under 100 kilometers. It also possesses several hundred Iranian Zelzal-2 missiles with a range between 100 and 400 kilometers.
In 2010, the Pentagon reported the Shi’ite group also has 40 to 50 Fatah-110 missiles and 10 Scud-D missiles. The Fatah can be accurately target and reach most of Israel, including Tel Aviv.
In November 2009, it was estimated that if war broke out, Hezbollah would launch 400 to 600 rockets a day and would be able to sustain the attacks for at least two months.
During the 2006 Lebanon War Hezbollah fired about 3,699 rockets into Israel.