Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has reassured Israelis that the threat of an Iraqi attack on Israel is much smaller now than during the Persian Gulf War.
He said this was the assessment of military authorities who briefed a Cabinet meeting Sunday in the wake of indications that the Western powers would seek this week to enforce an air exclusion zone over southern Iraq and shoot down any Iraqi military aircraft that violated it.
In a statement, the prime minister, who also holds the defense portfolio, said there is no need for the Israeli public to take any protective measures now.
During the Gulf crisis in January-February of 1991, Iraq launched 39 Scud missile attacks on Israel, causing extensive damage but few injuries.
With each attack, Israelis donned gas masks and barricaded themselves in airtight rooms, in case the Iraqi missiles had chemical warheads.
Rabin said the defense establishment would continue to track developments in air activity over the skies of southern Iraq.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.