Inside A Bomb-Proof Israeli Hospital
It’s unreal that we still live in a world where bomb proofing hospitals are still necessary. I had hoped that things like this, bomb shelters, etc would have gone away after the Cold War ended.
The underground hospital in Tel Aviv is located underneath the Ted Arrison Medical Tower, which is currently in use.
Will Israel take military action against Iran to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon?
It is a question that has been asked and answered in dozens of different ways over the last year, with heated discussion of red lines, enrichment percentages, centrifuge output capabilities, bunker-busting bombs and the fuel capacity of Israeli bombers.
The Iranians deny that they even intend to build such a weapon, saying that their nuclear program is a peaceful, civilian operation, aimed at medical research and cheap energy.
But despite the questions, Israel is without a doubt preparing for the possibility of a strike on its cities in case it does decide to hit Iran’s enrichment facilities.
Margaret Warner and her NewsHour team visited a place in Tel Aviv designed to protect against just such a strike: a four-story hospital built almost entirely underground. In case of a conventional, chemical or biological missile attack against the city, the hospital can be totally self sustaining for up to seven days.
The director of the facility, Dr. Gabriel Barbash, told Warner that he is certain the facility will be needed one day.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll have to use this facility,” he said.
His fears are not unfounded. If Israel were to take out Iran’s nuclear development facilities, the response could be fearsome.
From Lebanon in the north, Iran-sponsored Hezbollah could rain rockets on Israeli cities. Down south in Gaza, Hamas — which has already proven their willingness to fire on Israeli, even into Tel Aviv — could also mobilize.
Iran “will not be like Saddam Hussein or Bashar al-Assad,” said former Israeli Gen. Amos Yadlin in an interview with Warner. Yadlin was referring to two other incidents where Israel neutralized budding nuclear programs in their neighborhood. The first, in 1981, was when Israeli jets took out a nuclear reactor at Osirak. Yadlin, then a young pilot, flew a fighter jet on that mission. The second, was in 2007, when when the Israeli air force again destroyed a nuclear reactor, this one in Syria. Neither Arab country mounted a response, but Yadlin says that Iran won’t remain quiet.
Iran “will retaliate,” he said. “No doubt about it. They’ve (been) preparing for it for the last five, six, seven years.”
That — in the eyes of the Israeli government — is reason enough for an underground hospital.