Iraq Launches Scud Missile to Israel in Persian Gulf War. The Iraqi government made no secret that it would attack Israel if invaded. Prior to the start of the war, Tariq Aziz, Iraq's English-speaking Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, was asked in the aftermath of the failed U.S.-Iraq peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland by a reporter. “Mr. Foreign Minister, if war starts...will you attack Israel?” the reporter asked. His response was, “Yes, absolutely, yes.”

Five hours after the first attacks, Iraq's state radio broadcast a voice identified as Saddam Hussein declaring that "The great duel, the mother of all battles has begun. The dawn of victory nears as this great showdown begins." Iraq responded by launching eight Al Hussein missiles into Israel the next day. These missile attacks on Israel were to continue throughout the six weeks of the war.

The Iraqis hoped that they would provoke a military response from Israel. It was expected that many Arab nations would withdraw from the coalition, as they would be reluctant to fight alongside Israel. Israel, at the request of the United States, did not launch counterstrikes, and all Arab states remained in the coalition. The potency of the Scud missiles was felt in the Dhahran missile attack, which killed 28 U.S. soldiers.

The Scud missiles targeting Israel were relatively ineffective, as firing at extreme range resulted in a dramatic reduction in accuracy and payload.

Two Israeli civilians died from these attacks, and approximately 230 were injured. Of the reported injuries, 10 were considered moderate injuries, while one was considered a severe injury. Several others suffered fatal heart attacks immediately following the missile strikes. Extensive property damage was also caused. It was also feared that Iraq would fire missiles filled with nerve agents or sarin. As a result, the Israeli government issued gas masks to its citizens. When the first Iraqi missiles hit Tel Aviv, some people injected themselves with an antidote for nerve gas. Israel was ready to respond with military force to these attacks, but agreed when asked not to by the U.S. Government, who feared that if Israel became involved, the other Arab nations would either desert from the coalition or join Iraq. It was also feared that if the Israeli Air Force used Syrian or Jordanian airspace to attack Iraq, then they would intervene in the war on Iraq's side or attack Israel. Israeli policy for the previous forty years had always been retaliation, but Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir showed restraint and agreed not to retaliate in response to requests from the United States to remain out of the conflict.

Israel was given two batteries of MIM-104 Patriot missiles for the protection of civilians. Allied air forces were also extensively exercised in "Scud hunts" in the Iraqi desert, trying to locate the camouflaged trucks before they fired their missiles at Israel or Saudi Arabia.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force also deployed Patriot missiles in both Turkey and Israel to counter the Scud threat. The Dutch Ministry of Defense later stated that the military use of the Patriot missile system was largely ineffective, but its psychological value was high.[59] It has been suggested that the sturdy construction techniques used in Israeli cities, coupled with the fact that Scuds were only launched at night, played an important role in limiting the number deaths and injuries from Scud attacks.

Three Scud missiles and a coalition Patriot that malfunctioned hit Ramat Gan in Israel on 22 January 1991, injuring 96 people, and possibly causing the deaths of three elderly people who died of heart attacks.

Forty-two Scud missiles were fired by Iraq into Israel during the seven weeks of the war. In addition, 44 Scud missiles were fired into Saudi Arabia, and one missile was fired at Bahrain and another at Qatar. The missiles were fired at both military and civilian targets. One Saudi civilian was killed, and 65 others were injured. No injuries were reported in Bahrain or Qatar.

On 25 February 1991, a Scud missile hit a U.S. Army barracks of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, out of Greensburg, PA, stationed in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 soldiers and injuring over 100.