Home Front Command simulates chemical missile attack on Tel Aviv

IDF to distribute chemical protection kits in Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, and Holon as part of routine exercise.

July 23, 2013 19:40
2 minute read.
A DRILL at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba tests responses to a chemical weapons attack.

chemical weapons drill370 . (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson )

The IDF Home Front Command launched a three-day exercise on Tuesday simulating a chemical and conventional missile attack on Tel Aviv.

The drill, which concludes on Thursday, was planned last year, and is unrelated to any current events.

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During the exercise, the Home Front Command will distribute chemical protection kits in three areas – Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, and Holon.

Residents near the distribution centers have been notified by mail, and the names of the distribution stations are listed on the Home Front Command’s website.

On Wednesday, the Home Front Command will conduct a drill simulating chemical missile attacks on the IDF’s headquarters at the Kirya in Tel Aviv and on two east Tel Aviv residential neighborhoods, Bitzron and Ramat Yisrael.

The drill will include voluntary evacuations of residents who agree to cooperate in the exercise. The Home Front Command will initiate emergency radio transmissions on satellite TV channel 717 at 5 p.m.

City-wide sirens will be activated at 6:05 p.m. on Wednesday, and fireworks will be launched in Tel Aviv as part of the exercise.

“We’re holding this exercise in the context of a series of drills to improve our readiness,” a senior Home Front Command official said. A computer simulator was used to envisage the chemical attack, he added.

The source praised the high level of cooperation between the Home Front Command and the Tel Aviv Municipality, Israel Police, Magen David Adom and Fire and Rescue Service.

“We believe this very much increases readiness. We hope that civilians will cooperate,” he added.

The source expressed confidence in the Home Front Command’s ability to efficiently organize emergency services for a combined response in the event of a real attack. He said that the various organizations have discussed and trained how they would divide their tasks.

“Every organization knows its role during a chemical incident, and during a conventional attack. The Home Front Command will lead,” the source added.

He acknowledged the fact that many Israelis still have not received gas masks, but urged Tel Aviv residents to take advantage of the drill by acquiring the kits.

In May, the Home Front Command held a war drill based on the scenario of missiles pouring in from multiple fronts, with some carrying chemical warheads. The “targets” included population centers and strategic facilities.

Security officials say the chance of a chemical attack on Israel is very low.

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