2 sirens to sound for missile attack drill

Public encouraged to drill their responses to missile attack.

May 27, 2013 01:45
2 minute read.
Home Front Command earthquake drill

Home Front Command earthquake drill 300. (photo credit: Hadas Parush)

A national war drill simulating a missile attack on Israel from multiple fronts will begin on Monday.

Named Steadfast Home Front 1, the exercise will include two air raid sirens that will ring out on Monday.

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The first siren will sound at 12:30 p.m., and is aimed at schools, kindergartens and work places, while the second will be heard at 7:05 p.m., and will be aimed at getting families at home to practice seeking cover.

During the sirens, members of the public are encouraged to seek a pre-selected safe zone, and drill their responses to missile attack.

The IDF Home Front Command’s website has instructions on its website at www.oref.org.il/International/ 14-en/PAKAR.aspx on how to select a safe zone.

The exercise, which will last until Wednesday as part of national emergency week, will involve the Home Front Defense Ministry, the National Emergency Authority, local authorities, government ministries and all emergency responders.

“Israel is the most threatened state in the world,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting.

The threats against the Israeli home front have significantly increased in recent years, Netanyahu said, pointing to missile and rockets in the hands of Israel’s enemies.

“We are prepared for any scenario,” he said.

Defense experts estimate that there are some 200,000 rockets and missiles in the collective possession of Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas and Iran.

“In recent years, we have significantly increased the preparedness of the home front vis-à-vis such attacks,” Netanyahu said.

“We are investing billions so that the home front will be better protected and better prepared.

We are investing in the Iron Dome, sirens, shelters, structural reinforcement and improved early warning systems.

We will make legislative changes so as to adapt the legal reality in the State of Israel to the security reality.”

It is difficult to achieve complete protection, he said.

“In the end, no protection can be a substitute for the striking power of the IDF and the stamina and strength of the Israeli public in time of attack,” the prime minister added.

During the drill, authorities will practice responding to missile attacks from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, with some carrying chemical warheads. The “targets” will include population centers and strategic facilities.

The risk of an actual chemical attack on Israel is low, and the main threat remains a conventional missile attack, Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan said last week, during a press conference to announce the drill.

“Our enemies have despaired of trying to conquer Israel, and will try to exhaust and terrorize Israeli civilians instead,” the minister said.

“We once asked if the enemy would dare fire missiles on Ashkelon, Tel Aviv... and Haifa.

I think these questions no longer have a place. The answer is clear. The question now is, when will they fire on population centers? It can happen tonight, or next week.”

Members of the public who do not hear an air raid siren on Monday are asked to report this to the Home Front Command by dialing 1207.

Those who have questions on shared or public bomb shelters should contact the phone operators of their local authorities.

Netanyahu thanked the IDF, the Home Front Command, the involved ministries and the public for their cooperation.

“Through cooperation we will be better prepared,” he said.

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