'Home front drill scenario not fiction'

Ahead of Turning Point 3 home front drill, Vilna'i says Israelis should be prepared for all-out war.

matan vilnai 248 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
matan vilnai 248 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Israel will likely suffer simultaneous missile strikes and terrorist attacks in the next outbreak of war, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. That is why the Home Front Command is conducting a five-day drill next week, dubbed Turning Point 3, which will send Israelis running for their bomb shelters on June 2. "This isn't an imaginary situation. This isn't detached from reality and if there is a war, it's very likely that this is what will happen," Vilnai said, during the committee hearing. On the third day of the drill, at 11 a.m., a siren will go off throughout the entire country, and everyone is expected to immediately head to the nearest shelter or protected space. The time suggested for reaching the protected space differs depending upon location. Those living in the Golan Heights and some other northern cities have less than 30 seconds to find shelter while those in Tel Aviv have two minutes and in Jerusalem, three minutes. "If someone attacks us, we will be ready," said Vilna'i, in an interview after the Knesset session. "The concept is 'as protected as possible.'" Turning Point 3 has been called the largest drill in Israel's history. Schools across the country will interrupt studies to get students into shelters on time. Security personnel at Jerusalem's Malha Mall will try to bring all its customers to the mall's shelters and secured areas. Only hospitals will not disrupt activities for the drill, as per Health Ministry instructions. The Home Front Command has been promoting the massive drill on TV, radio, and in newspapers, and has mailed instructions to the homes of haredi families that might not see the ads in the general media. Further information about the drill can be obtained from the Home Front Command's Web site, www.oref.org.il, or by dialing 1207 from any phone. Anyone who has a problem with a shelter should contact his or her municipality.