Drill to simulate 'dirty-bomb' attack

Defense ministry test on Tuesday will measure response time to a mass casualty event in Tel Aviv.

August 31, 2008 23:33
1 minute read.
Drill to simulate 'dirty-bomb' attack

chemical war drill 224.8. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Defense Ministry will hold a first of its kind exercise this week aimed at preparing commanders for scenarios involving a radioactive attack in Tel Aviv with thousands of casualties. The drill is being run by the ministry's National Emergency Authority, which was established following the Second Lebanon War. The drill will be held on Tuesday at the ministry's headquarters in Tel Aviv. Senior IDF and Israel Police officers will meet with officials from various government ministries to drill a variety of scenarios and their responses. The exercise was scheduled at the beginning of the year with the establishment of the new authority. "This is the first time that all of the country's relevant authorities will be tested in real time on how to respond to a dirty bomb and not a missile attack," a defense official said. The goal of the exercise will be to test authorities' ability to quickly identify a contaminated scene, isolate it, neutralize the chemical or biological agent, and treat and evacuate the wounded. "There are a number of scenarios that are all extreme," the official said. "They include the contamination of our water system as well as the detonation of a suitcase carrying radioactive material." According to the official, such attacks could kill several thousand people. Syria is believed to have an advanced chemical and biological weapons program, including sarin and mustard gas and the VX neurotoxic chemical warfare agent. A defense official said that while there was a fear that after obtaining a nuclear capability, Iran would fire a ballistic missile at Israel, there was an even greater concern that the Islamic Republic would supply a dirty bomb to one of its proxies - Hizbullah, Hamas or Islamic Jihad - for use in an attack against Israel. "We need to be ready for every possible scenario, particularly at a time when our enemies are building up nonconventional capabilities," another official said.

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