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Israel should prepare for Iranian attack: Minister

Minister Rafi Eitan, also a former Mossad spy, said the authorities in Israel needed to refurbish or prepare numerous shelters.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 14:28 IST

Israel should prepare for a ballistic missile attack from arch rival Iran, a cabinet minister and former Mossad spy warned on Tuesday.

"Iran has threatened to attack us with its ballistic missiles and we should prepare behind our lines and civilians for such an attack," Pensioner Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan said in an interview broadcast by Israeli public radio.

Eitan, a member of the security cabinet and a former spy for Mossad, the country's overseas intelligence agency, said the authorities needed to "refurbish or prepare numerous shelters."

The director of the prime minister's office told the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper that by next Sunday he intended to present Ehud Olmert with a series of proposals to prepare the homefront for any future war.

Raanan Dinur made the remarks during a tour of the north, which was pounded by more than 4,000 rockets fired by the Iranian-backed Shiite militia Hezbollah during Israel's 34-day day war in Lebanon, killing 41 Israeli civilians.

One of Iran's top hardline clerics warned last week that if the Islamic republic is attacked by the United States and Israel, it will retaliate with ballistic missile strikes against Tel Aviv.

The regime's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be "wiped off the map" and called several times or the Jewish state to be moved somewhere else on the planet.

Iran is Israel's public enemy number one and has never recognised the Jewish state.