Israel conducting largest civil defense exercise in anticipation of missile war
TEL AVIV — Israel has launched its largest civil defense exercise ever in preparation for a possible
war with Iran and Syria.
The five-day civil defense drill began on Sunday and is mobilizing the
military, police and emergency services. The exercise, conducted by the new
National Emergency Authority, was based on a range of scenarios, including a
massive missile strike on Israeli cities.
"The exercise was not planned in relation to any current events," a
military statement said. "The aim of the exercise is to prepare the
different services and institutes operating in the civilian environment for
various emergency situations."
But officials said the major scenario was that of missile strikes from
and Syria on Israeli cities. They said the scenario included missiles with
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The exercise has been directed by Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai,
a former military deputy chief of staff. The exercise also includes the
participation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak,
meant to review enemy attacks and order a response.
The height of the exercise takes place on April 8. At 10 a.m., a siren
was scheduled to sound throughout Israel to test the response of schools and
civil servants to an emergency.
The exercise was said to have been planned for nearly a year. Officials
nationwide drill marked a lesson from the war against Hizbullah in mid-2006,
when 4,500 rockets rained on Israel.
"Among the scenarios practiced: conventional and non-conventional
rockets hitting Israel, chemical-biological incidents, an exercise in HaEmek
hospital in Afula and different search and rescue drills," the military