Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Israel: massive war drill next week

The drill, which is being organized by the newly-established National Emergency Authority, will take place over five days starting on Sunday, April 6. (NewsMax)

By Stan Goodenough (JerusalemNewsWire)
April 02, 2008

Tens of thousands of Israelis are to participate next week in a nationwide emergency drill that will simulate a massive missile strike on the country's population centers.

The exercise was approved by Israel's security cabinet Wednesday and will be launched with a cabinet meeting conducted as if Israel was at war, and the sounding of air raid sirens throughout the land.

Sectors to be involved will include the Israel Defense Forces, all government ministries, local authorities and the educational services.

Such a missile strike from Syria, the Lebanese Hizb'allah and perhaps even Iran is considered likely in the next Arab-Israeli war, which high-ranking IDF reserve officers have said will make the 2006 Second Lebanon War look like child's play in comparison.

That war, between Israel and the Hizb'allah - the Iranian- and Syrian-supported terror group which launched missiles only against the north of the country - drove more than a million Israelis to abandon their homes and move south out of rocket-range.

Last week IDF officials reported that the Hizb'allah now has more rockets than it did before the last war, and that it is now equipped with missiles that can hit much deeper into Israel, even as far south as Dimona, the site of Israel's nuclear facility.

Syria is armed with even more powerful and more accurate missiles, and is known to have non-conventional warheads including those with VX nerve gas in its arsenal.

Earlier, before the Security Cabinet gave the green light for the drill, Israeli media reported that Syria was calling up its reserve troops fearing an Israeli attack.

Also on the same day, in an apparently unrelated development, the Israeli defense establishment announced that it s non-conventional protection kits - against atomic, biological and chemical attacks - are to be upgraded and redistributed to the public.


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