(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Police held a series of large-scale exercises on Tuesday across Jerusalem and the West Bank, in what they said were efforts to improve operational readiness in case of a mass-casualty incident.
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Large numbers of anti-terror “YAMAM” police officers took part in the drills, as did officers from the Border Police, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the IDF.
The drills began in Ma’aleh Adumim in the morning, before moving to Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood, where police set up a field command center on top of a hill overlooking the main depot of the Jerusalem light rail.
Shortly afterward, the drill moved downtown, where YAMAM officers put on white haz-mat suits outside the Foreign Ministry building before being called to deal with a mock hostage situation at the Prime Minister’s Office. As a helicopter circled overhead, paramedics treated “casualties” as police in gas masks and the haz-mat smocks prepared to raid the building.
On the street outside the bureau, Shin Bet officers in dark shades watched the drills from vans parked on the street.
During the drill, a loudspeaker implored employees inside the Foreign Ministry to stay inside the building.
Last Friday, Israel Radio’s military correspondent Carmela Menashe
reported that security forces had held a large-scale exercise in the
North the day before that simulated dealing with terror attacks and
Israeli Arab riots in the wake of a population exchange agreement with
the Palestinian Authority.
According to Menashe, the exercise
included the establishment of a detention camp at the Golani junction to
deal with Arab detainees.