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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
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National Emergency Drill Prepares for the Worst

The annual Home Front Drill is quite routine. This year there are more reasons for Israelis to take it more seriously, such as Assad, Hezbollah and chemical weapons, for starters. Hope for the best.

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Police in Home Front Drill testing Israel's preparedness

Police in Home Front Drill testing Israel's preparedness
Photo Credit: IDF



Israelis will get a real time drill next week, including how to act in a chemical weapons attack, in the annual Home Front national Emergency Preparedness drill.

Tensions on the northern border postponed the drill, which was supposed to take place three weeks ago.

“Our opponents hold long-range missiles with large warheads and a carrying capacity of hundreds of pounds,” and a “large volume of rocket fire” is a certainty in the event of an attack from the north, said Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg.

The last time Israel was under an aerial attack was last November, before the Pillar of Defense counterterrorist campaign ended Gaza terrorist missiles attacks that struck as far north as Tel Aviv and in the Jerusalem area.

In 2006, Hezbollah pounded the Galilee area, Haifa and Hadera with approximately 4,000 missiles and rockets that killed 44 civilians and more than 120 soldiers.

Since then, Hezbollah is estimate to have increased its stockpile of rockets to more than 60,000 missiles.

IDF officers have said it is only a matter of time until Hamas and/or Hezbollah put their missile stockpiles to work. “The question is no longer will rockets be fired at the large populated areas in Israel, the question is when it’ll happen,” according to Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan.

Next week’s drill will test Israel’s preparedness, especially in urban areas such as metropolitan Tel Aviv.

Sirens will sound at 12:30 p.m. and 19:05 p.m. on Monday, and citizens will be instructed to enter bomb shelters or protected rooms for 10 minutes.

The annual drill is going high-tech this year and will include text messaging and social networks.

“Everyone will hear the siren,” the Home Front said in a preparatory message to Israelis. “There will be announcements on television and radio.  A ‘personal message’ will be sent to all those with cell phones that are capable of receiving them and cell phone providers that participate in the program.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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