Preparing for War, Israel's North Looks to Lessons from 2006

(JTA) Ben Sales - When missiles rained down on northern Israel from Lebanon six years ago, surgeons at Rambam Hospital in Haifa worked, terrified, on the building's eighth floor. "There wasn't even a bomb shelter because we thought they'd never bomb a hospital," said David Ratner, Rambam's spokesman. Missiles struck fewer than 20 yards away. Rambam's wartime operating room is now the third level of an underground parking garage that will become, should bombs fall again, one of the world's largest emergency hospitals. Israeli cities and institutions like Rambam are planning for a potential repeat of the missile fire seen during Israel's 2006 war with Hizbullah, in which more than 4,000 missiles were fired at Israel over 34 days. American Jewish communities have supported the efforts of the National Emergency Authority, a division of the Home Front ministry, through the Jewish Federations of North America. Since 2006, U.S. Jewish federations have raised $350 million for the North, much of which has gone to renovating bomb shelters.

2012-10-19 00:00:00

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