Following reports of the firing of a rocket from Lebanese territory toward Metula and keeping in mind Israeli worries of the flow of advanced weaponry from Syria to Hezbollah, the Home Front Command has called on citizens to actively participate in the exercise and enter protected spaces.
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For the first time, the Home Front Command will be utilizing text messages, posts on social networks and broadcast networks to warn civilians to enter protected areas.
Additionally, beginning Monday, search and rescue forces of the IDF Home Front Command will train alongside police, Magen David Adom, fire fighters and local authorities. They will also simulate working in “collapsed buildings” in Nazareth and Jerusalem. According to the exercise scenarios, there will be ‘direct hits’ on the Knesset in Jerusalem.
Search and rescue practice, archives (Photo: Holon Fire Department)
Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan urged citizens to actively participate in the drill and to define ahead of time the closest protected areas. "You must remember the real scenario of thousands of rockets falling on Israel from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, as the exercise will simulate. The Iron Dome system will not give full coverage," said Arden.
Erdan (second from left), beside IDF chief Benny Gantz (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)
Major-General Eyal Eisenberg, commander of Home Front Command also warned, "Weapons in the hands of our enemies are long-range, with large warheads weighing hundreds of kilograms. A campaign such as this on the Israeli home front has not been experienced before."
The sirens scheduled to sound throughout the country will overlook one area of the Home Front Command – that bordering Gaza. Residents had threatened not to send their children to school if the sirens would be operated and it was decided to accept this demand.
Drill in Bint Jbeil
Meanwhile, a similar drill was also held in Lebanon. Codenamed "Loyalty," the home front exercise in the city of Bint Jbeil included rescue operations, first aid, casualty evacuation and extinguishing of fires.
During the course of the drill, which was held in the city's main bazaar, participants sang both the Lebanese and Hezbollah's anthems.
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