Israel to hold massive emergency drill

Exclusive: Organized by new Nat'l Emergency Authority, 5-day exercise to include air-raid sirens.

March 17, 2008 01:54
2 minute read.
Israel to hold massive emergency drill

kassam drill 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


In the face of a possible escalation with Syria and Iran's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, parts of the country will shut down next month in what security officials say will be the largest emergency exercise in Israel's history. The drill, which is being organized by the newly-established National Emergency Authority, will take place over five days starting on Sunday, April 6. But first, on Tuesday, a first-of-its-kind hospital emergency exercise will take place to see how Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center would cope with a Grad missile hitting a five-story hospitalization building and an outpatient clinic's laboratory filled with toxic chemicals and a fire breaking out, requiring patients to be lowered from the roof. Around 100 firemen, 10 fire service vehicles and various other equipment, as well as doctors and nurses, will participate in the drill, to be held between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Preparations for the April exercise are being overseen by Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i. On the first day of the drill, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will convene the cabinet in Jerusalem in response to an "enemy attack" and to decide on an Israeli response. Based on a lesson learned in the Second Lebanon War and in preparation for Iranian nuclear bombs and enemy use of chemical and biological weapons, the Israel Police, IDF Home Front Command and other military branches, all of the country's hospitals, the Fire and Rescue Service, Magen David Adom and other rescue services will all participate in the drill. According to officials involved in the planning, sirens will blast throughout the country. The rescue services will drill mass evacuations from "hit zones" - including mock chemical and biological attacks - and hospitals will drill their ability to provide medical treatment to thousands of wounded. One hospital that will practice dealing with a chemical attack will be Ha'emek Medical Center in Afula. "This is the biggest exercise in Israel's history," said a high-ranking defense official involved in the planning, while stressing that the exercise was not being conducted due to intelligence that war was imminent but rather as part of the lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War. Last Thursday, Vilna'i convened a meeting of directors-general from government ministries as well as their spokesmen to prepare the public relations side of the drill, and Israeli public relations during a real war. "This is not being done since we think there will be a war, but rather since we need to be prepared," the official said, adding that the government planned to hold such an exercise annually. All government ministries will participate in the exercise and they will hold a drill on one day during which they will direct all of their personnel to enter bomb shelters. Civilians will be asked to locate the public bomb shelter closest to their homes. Judy Siegel contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town