Sunday, June 2, 2013

Israel prepares "as war clouds gather"

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.