NATO forces are scheduled to participate, for the first time, in a home front drill that will be held in Israel next
In recent years, the IDF took part in several exercises held by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization abroad, but has never hosted its members in Israel.
The drill, dubbed "Turning Point 6," will simulate a massive earthquake leading to wide-scale destruction and large amounts of casualties.
Search and rescue units during drill (Archive photo: Roi Idan)
NATO Search and rescue units, as well as supporting units will arrive in Israel to take part in the drill, which will also include Israel's emergency services, the Police, Magen David Adom, fire services, as well as local authorities, governmental ministries, and representatives from the political echelon.
Two weeks ago, Minister for Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero in Brussels to discuss the details of the joint exercise.
During his visit, Vilnai also met with other senior members of the organization and officials from the European Union in order to discuss future cooperation between Israel and Europe on emergency and crisis management issues.
"We have a big interest in deepening and widening our ties with the Union and with NATO," said Vilnai, adding that "both Europe and Israel can benefit from steady cooperation on preparedness and response to emergencies and crises."