Gaza-belt communities to hold rocket attack drill

Vilna'i: Quiet [from Gaza] has not made us calm; exercise to simulate mass rocket, mortar attacks.

Gaza mortar fire 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Gaza mortar fire 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
A number of nightmare security scenarios will be drilled Sunday by the IDF Home Front Command and rescue services, following a directive from Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i. The exercise will simulate mass rocket and mortar attacks on Gaza-border communities that prompt panic and a large-scale evacuation. "The quiet [from Gaza] has not made us calm," Vilna'i said. "We continue to prepare at an increased pace. We are responsible for being prepared for any possibility of escalation." One of the scenarios includes "parents searching for their children... abandoned work places and roads jammed with civilians seeking to evacuate affected areas," as well as "thousands of families leaving the South for the center of the country." Firefighters, Magen David Adom and the National Emergency Authority will take part in the drill. They will be joined by local officials from Ashkelon, Ashdod, Netivot and Kiryat Gat. "We've encountered similar situations in the past during the Second Lebanon War, and since then the Home Front Command has undergone an upgrade," a defense source said. "A great deal of effort has been invested to learn how all of these bodies can work together."