The IDF together with the Shin Bet, Israel Police and Magen David Adom held a
surprise drill on Sunday simulating a massive terrorist attack perpetrated by
global jihadi elements, involving multiple incidents and dozens of civilian
The drill began at 5 a.m. and ended toward 10 p.m. on
The simulated terror attacks were concentrated in three centers,
with each center representing a cluster of attacks.
“We practiced things
we think can happen, in very difficult circumstances,” the source
The unannounced exercise, which was sprung by the IDF’s Operations
Branch, was based on the scenario of terrorists infiltrating the country from a
neighboring state and targeting crowded areas such as hotels and a dining area
in a moshav.
A senior security source cited the crumbling Syrian state to
the north, where radical elements were increasingly active, and Egypt’s shaky
grip on the Sinai Peninsula, which is also home to jihadi elements, as factors
that led to the decision to hold the exercise.
“We understand that global
jihad forces are organizing themselves in these areas,” he
Terrorist incidents in the world, such as the deadly attack on
Algeria’s natural gas facility in January, also played a role in planning the
“We want to challenge ourselves, our perception, and our
conduct,” the source said.
“The exercise began quietly. Most units
were surprised, including the IDF General Staff, which is the supporting
component,” the source said.
The drill tested how long it would take for
the IDF General Staff to snap into action, and how effectively elite
counterterrorism units, such as Sayeret Matkal and the Border Police’s
Counterterrorism Unit, could mobilize to affected areas and engage
“We built the scenario in such a way that no one unit could
solve the problem alone. We forced all of them to cooperate, to remove
ego-driven obstacles which are healthy but are sometimes damaging. The units had
to cooperate and create a professional dialogue to solve the problem,” the
The source said inter-organizational cooperation between the
IDF, police and Magen David Adom paramedics is good. The Israel Air Force
also took part.
“These were extreme incidents that did not end with the
release of hostages. The enemy had to be engaged and killed, sometimes in
crowded areas. The incidents required medical responses. We created
chains of evacuation for the injured and brought extras to play various roles in
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and his
deputy, Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, took part in critical decisions during the
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