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Security and rescue forces planned to conduct broad-scale emergency exercises on Tuesday and Wednesday in an effort to sharpen response procedures in the event of both conventional and unconventional attacks.
The drills will be the largest of their kind ever conducted in Israel, and they are intended to implement lessons learned from last summer's war in Lebanon.
Accordingly, they are expected to include simulated missile attacks in various locations throughout the country.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, a siren signaling the beginning of the training will sound at 2 p.m. for one and a half minutes in the Center and the South of the country. The Home Front Command decided not to sound the siren in the North or around the Gaza periphery for fear it would cause panic.
Multiple first-response units will participate in the two-day event, including forces from the Israel Police, all of the different ambulance services, firefighting crews and a number of local governmental agencies.
During the training, heavy emphasis will be placed on correcting mistakes made during last summer's war. As such, security forces will simulate a missile attack on a three-story building in Netanya, where they will be required to save trapped civilians.
Other drills will include a simulated missile attack on a power station in Tel Aviv, as well as missile attacks in Petah Tikva, Jaffa, and Beersheba.
Meanwhile, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was expected to convene the IDF top brass on Monday for the first time since taking over the post of army chief.
At the meeting, the senior staff is expected to present Ashkenazi with plans for rehabilitating the army and for IDF operations in the coming years. Ashkenazi, in turn, is expected to present his plans for the IDF over the next year.
In the afternoon, a discussion will take place on the subject of the Home Front Command's readiness for war. OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh and other senior defense officials will participate in the discussion.
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