Israeli Nationwide Drill to Simulate War, Intifada


idf-egypt-israel-borderIsrael’s most extensive nationwide drill will be launched next Sunday with a “battle in Gaza”, spreading into a “war” in northern Israel as well. In addition, the forces will practice a scenario of uprising and rioting by Israel’s Arabs. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attempted to convey a calming message to Israel’s neighboring countries during yesterday’s cabinet meeting, saying that “this is a routine drill, which was planned several months ago and is held every year in order to coordinate between civil and military systems.”

The “Turning Point 3” exercise will begin on May 31 and will last five days. The drill will be operated by the Defense Ministry with the assistance of the National Emergency Authority. It is aimed at training the Israeli home front, from the government level down to the plain citizen level, and will simulate a comprehensive regional war.According to the scenario, the war will involve Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria. Palestinians will carry out terror attacks, and Israel’s Arabs will riot in masses.

The Political-Security Cabinet will practice the various scenarios, while the Israel Defense Forces will mobilize forces in accordance with the occurrences. The proposed scenario simulates an escalation lasting three months, reaching its peak with an overall attack on Israel.

The outline of the drill has been presented to the government ministers. The overall war scenario begins with an escalation on the Gaza front, which leads to an IDF ground offensive. After 60 days of fighting in Gaza, tensions in the north heat up. The army is forced to enlist reserve forces and launches a war on the northern front.

During the war, the Israeli home front will be hit by barrages of missiles. Simultaneously, a terror offensive will develop and extensive riots will take place across the country.

The drill will kick off on Sunday with an exercise to the ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting. Monday will see the IDF, Home Front Command, Emergency Economy, Israel Police, government ministries and local authorities take part in the drill.

On Tuesday, an air raid siren will be sounded across the country, roads will be blocked and citizens and school students will practice entering bomb shelters. The Political-Security Cabinet and national information system will take part in the drill on Wednesday. On Thursday, the last day of the drill, IDF corps will hold field exercises and the training of the Home Front Command headquarters will continue.

As part of the drill, the cooperation between organizations and the local authorities will be examined. In addition to the war scenarios, the forces will also practice a major terror attack, a natural disaster, an epidemic or an operational malfunction in a hazardous materials facility.

Last week, the Israel Air Force held a three-day drill that included various scenarios and staged fronts the force may have to handle. Pilots also practiced a number of combat maneuvers. The drill was annual, but incorporated scenarios relevant to the current threats faced by Israel. As part of the drill, members of the IAF were briefed on Iran’s test-launch of its new missile, the Sajjil-2, which has been said to pose a threat to Israel’s security.

{Ynet/Yair Israel}