A Patriot battery deployed near the Kinneret in northern Israel
A Patriot battery deployed near the Kinneret in northern Israel. Photo by Gil Eliyahu
Text size

A senior Israeli officer said Wednesday that the likelihood of Israel being attacked as a result of an American strike on Syria is low.

The officer said that "American action is imminent" but noted that the Israeli defense establishment has yet to receive information regarding the exact timing of such action. He said that Israel is preparing for the possibility that Western action in Syria could bring about missile attacks on Israel by its neighbors. "Even though the likelihood of such a scenario is low, we have a clear responsibility to prepare for any scenario in order to protect our citizens."

The Israel Air Force is preparing to increase its defenses in the coming days, which included the deployment of two Iron Dome batteries in northern Israel.

While Israel's security cabinet had agreed in principle to allow the Israel Defense Forces to recruit thousands of reserve troops, the army eventually decided to call up only a few hundred soldiers for forces defined as essential, including the air force, Military Intelligence and Home Front Command, as well as units operating the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

Meanwhile, the IDF stressed that the alert level has yet to be raised. "This will change only when the Americans launch an operation," the officer said, clarifying that "the units have not been given instructions."

Troops deployed in Israel's north, including the Golan Heights, will remain on standby over the weekend.  

Over the past 24 hours, the Home Front Command received some 20,000 requests for information about the distribution of gas mask kits. Despite the numbers of Israelis rushing to distribution stations, the IDF does not expect to open additional stations.

Where to get a gas mask in Israel

"We are taking these measures even though the likelihood of [Israel] being attacked is low," the officer said.