“Israel’s annual national home front exercise begins on Sunday, as Hezbollah plays up fears in Lebanon that the drill means a conflict might loom with its southern neighbor,” reports Haaretz. “The exercise, ‘Turning Point 4,’ is due to last five days and be carried out in all parts of the country. During the first three days the drill will involve the Israel Defense Forces’ various command centers, the police, emergency services, ministries and other government offices. The exercise, which is held annually in May, will be broadened on Wednesday to include civilians, with a siren sounded at 11 A.M. throughout the country. Civilians will have to seek cover in shelters or other secure areas.”
- “The exercise will focus this year on the ability of municipalities to respond to the launching of thousands of missiles and rockets on Israel. Most municipal authorities, where around 70 percent of the country’s people live, will hold drills as part of the national effort, conducted by Home Front Command, the National Emergency Authority and the Defense Ministry.
- “Hundreds of police officers are scheduled to take part in the exercise; they will practice their three main tasks in the event of missile attacks: routine security, guiding traffic and maintaining order.
- “The police will be tested on how they respond to local emergencies while the force is spread out all over the country.
- “The main scenario for the police will be a strike on Be’er Sheva by missiles fitted with chemical warheads.
- “Another aspect of the drill will be surprise strikes at home front targets.
- “Many different elements of defense and rescue will be practiced. For the first time, for example, Israel will test its response to a blow to its computer and electronic-communications infrastructure after a cyber attack.
- “The authorities will also examine their ability to evacuate hundreds of thousands of civilians from areas hit by missile barrages or strikes by unconventional weapons.
- “The distribution of gas masks, something already underway over the past three months, will be expedited during the drill to include other parts of the country. Home Front Command will be tested on its ability to shift to emergency distribution on a national level.
- “Extensive participation by volunteers, nongovernment organizations and youth movements is expected to be part of the drill, especially in helping local authorities reach people and communities in distress or needing special assistance.”
- Ynet News: Israeli general says country prepared for all-out war within hours
- AP: Israel holds defense drill amid regional tension – “Israel held a dress rehearsal for disaster Sunday, beginning a defense drill to test the response of soldiers, emergency crews and civilians to simulated missile barrages, terrorist attacks and chemical strikes.”
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