Home front drill
Photo: Home Front Command

Air raid siren sounds across Israel as part of drill

Israel's largest ever home front drill peaks with minute and-a-half siren heard all across the country; Knesset members also head for shelter

An air raid siren sounded across Israel at 11 am Wednesday for a minute and-a-half as part of the "Turning Point 4" drill examining the home front's preparedness for a state of emergency.


Upon hearing the siren, the public was required to enter the closest fortified area and remain inside for about 10 minutes.


Since the early morning hours dozens of emergency scenarios, including rocket attacks, were simulated in military and civilian facilities.


The Education Ministry exempted 500 schools from the "Turning Point 4" exercise because of nationwide standardized math assessment tests, but in the rest of Israel's educational institutions, as well as courthouses, government offices and the Knesset the drills were conducted as planned.


At the Knesset, deliberations began 10 minutes ahead of schedule - at 10:50 am - and at 11 Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin instructed the parliamentarians to head for the shelter.


During the exercise, the home front will also practice the distribution of gas masks to the public. Eight distribution centers will be opened towards this end.


Colonel Hilik Sofer, head of the Home Front Command's Population Branch, called "Turning point 4" a "breakthrough" as far as the cooperation between the IDF, rescue services and local governments is concerned.


The army has yet to formulate a plan for warning citizens in case of an attack with nonconventional missiles, because such an attack requires a different defense strategy.


"This is a complex issue, and we are looking into it in the hopes that we will be able to practice dealing with it in the next exercise," a security official told Ynet.


פרסום ראשון: 05.26.10, 11:59
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