The truce with Hamas is holding for now, but the Home Front Command and
officials from the Netivot municipality recently upgraded their preparations for
the possibility of future rocket attacks.
The Home Front Command is in
the midst of testing a new three dimensional simulator, which enables local
authorities to drill their responses to rocket and missile attacks, a senior
official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Col. Doron Mor-Yosef, head
of the command’s southern district, said the first use of the simulator was in
Netivot on Thursday – home to some 30,000 people – which has experienced many
Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza in the past.
developed for the Home Front Command by Elbit, allows local authority
representatives, Home Front Command officials, and government responders to view
a rocket strike on a computer-generated image of the town, which is accurate
down to the last street.
The drill was attended by former Home Front
defense minister Avi Dichter and Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar.
drill, the heads of all public service departments in Netivot spent a day and a
half preparing themselves for a rocket threat scenario.
gathered inside the simulator to view an “attack” on a central location in their
town. The simulator showed images of damages and casualties.
acting as emergency services on the ground sent in reports as well, updating the
officials on developments such as fires. Government representatives acted as
liaisons to local officials, coordinating national responses, Mor-Yosef
“The simulator is based on images of the entire town, from one end
to the other. It is like the topography simulator used by pilots,” Mor-Yosef
said. “We recorded the simulation, and played it back to the officials... They
were able to study their own responses.”
“We want every local authority
to be able to provide solutions, in both emergencies and routine times,”
Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar described the drill as a
success, adding that it contributed to his town’s preparations.
Lezion, where over 230,000 residents live, will be the next pilot for the
simulator, at the end of 2013.
“This pilot is being held in the southern
district because of the incidents in our area.
Netivot is a very strong
local authority in terms of its emergency responses. The ability to generate a
quality pilot is very important,” Mor- Yosef said.
Next year, the Home
Front Command will seek to expand the program to all relevant local authorities