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Israel Holds Biggest Civil Defense Drill In State History

  • The war drums are beating louder for a middle east war. Will this be the war that ends with a final 7 year peace treaty as stated in the bible? Haaretz reports :
     
    A five-day civil defense exercise, simulating an attack on the country, started on Sunday. Named Turning Point 3, the drills will be the most extensive ever held and practice new measures to safeguard civilians.
     
    On Tuesday the exercise will spread nationwide and include emergency sirens and air-raid shelters. The cabinet held a special session Sunday on moves during an attack; the ministries will then open their emergency headquarters to rehearse various scenarios.
     
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told cabinet ministers during the briefing that the drill was a “routine” procedure and not directed against any regional entity in particular. “This is a routine action intended to prepare the Home Front for emergency and has nothing to do with intelligence information of any kind,” he said.
     
    “We are required to defend Israel, its cities, various installations, from the possibility of attacks by missiles, rockets or other weapons,” he added. “I think the fact that Israel is preparing more from exercise to exercise and is capable of better protecting its citizens decreases the chance that we’ll have to use these tools.”
     
    A special emergency economic committee headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak was to convene after the cabinet session. The ministries’ directors-general and other officials will discuss maintaining civilian life under attack.
      
    Monday the government’s emergency headquarters will discuss coordination measures. Defense officials said the Turning Point series of exercises was designed to implement lessons learned from Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah, when the Lebanese militia fired nearly 4,000 Katyusha rockets across the border at Israel.
     
    The exercise will be conducted by the home front commander, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, and the head of the Defense Ministry’s National Emergency Authority, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Ze’ev Tzuk-Ram.
     
    At 11 A.M. on Tuesday, after a siren goes off nationwide, the public will be asked to enter protected spaces and shelters at home, work and schools. The local authorities will operate emergency headquarters and work according to scenarios set in advance.
     
    A special siren will be operated in ultra-Orthodox communities, and notices on billboards will tell people what to do once the siren goes off. Tuesday and Wednesday will see various scenarios exercised in a number of municipalities. In Haifa, for example, rescue services will practice freeing people after a missile strike. Emergency services will operate in keeping with the lessons learned during the Second Lebanon War.
     
    In Kiryat Gat in the south, Home Front Command rescue teams will practice freeing people trapped in the ruins of a building. In Rehovot, participants will respond to a simulated missile strike on a key factory. The municipality and emergency services in Rishon Letzion will practice evacuating people to underground parking lots, and Netanya will be divided into sectors for emergency volunteers to operate in.
     
    On Thursday the police will practice rescuing people trapped in high-rise buildings. Last week the regional councils rescinded their threat not to take part in the drill following the Defense Ministry’s consent to give them a special budget for defense services in border communities.
     
    Some 70 foreign officials and military representatives from countries including the United States, Turkey, Japan, France and Germany are expected to observe the drill. The defense authorities will then hold a symposium with the foreign delegates.
     
    Barak told Army Radio last week that the drill is a “routine” procedure. Some observers see this as an attempt to relieve concerns in Arab countries that Israel may use the drill to mask preparations to attack.
     
    “[Such a drill] takes place every year. It took place last year and two years ago,” Barak said. He added that unlike a drill by an infantry brigade, “in which there is no need to involve the nation, in a home front drill there is no choice but to involve the entire public.”
     

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June 1, 2009 - Posted by | EndTimes, GeoPolitics | ,

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