Sunday, May 23, 2010

War Preparations

The build-up to war in the Middle East continues: This time, we see how Israel continues their preparations with a nationwide drill.

Joel Rosenberg weighs in:

"Israel begins five day nationwide drill to prepare for war"

“Israel’s annual national home front exercise begins on Sunday, as Hezbollah plays up fears in Lebanon that the drill means a conflict might loom with its southern neighbor,” reports Haaretz. “The exercise, ‘Turning Point 4,’ is due to last five days and be carried out in all parts of the country. During the first three days the drill will involve the Israel Defense Forces’ various command centers, the police, emergency services, ministries and other government offices. The exercise, which is held annually in May, will be broadened on Wednesday to include civilians, with a siren sounded at 11 A.M. throughout the country. Civilians will have to seek cover in shelters or other secure areas.”

“The exercise will focus this year on the ability of municipalities to respond to the launching of thousands of missiles and rockets on Israel. Most municipal authorities, where around 70 percent of the country’s people live, will hold drills as part of the national effort, conducted by Home Front Command, the National Emergency Authority and the Defense Ministry.
“Hundreds of police officers are scheduled to take part in the exercise; they will practice their three main tasks in the event of missile attacks: routine security, guiding traffic and maintaining order.

“The police will be tested on how they respond to local emergencies while the force is spread out all over the country.

“The main scenario for the police will be a strike on Be’er Sheva by missiles fitted with chemical warheads.

“Another aspect of the drill will be surprise strikes at home front targets.

“Many different elements of defense and rescue will be practiced. For the first time, for example, Israel will test its response to a blow to its computer and electronic-communications infrastructure after a cyber attack.

“The authorities will also examine their ability to evacuate hundreds of thousands of civilians from areas hit by missile barrages or strikes by unconventional weapons.

“The distribution of gas masks, something already underway over the past three months, will be expedited during the drill to include other parts of the country. Home Front Command will be tested on its ability to shift to emergency distribution on a national level.

“Extensive participation by volunteers, nongovernment organizations and youth movements is expected to be part of the drill, especially in helping local authorities reach people and communities in distress or needing special assistance.”

We also see related articles:

"Israel holds defense drill amid regional tension"

The five-day exercise, the biggest in Israel's history, has raised allegations by the country's enemies that it is preparing for war — a concern Israel has sought to allay.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks after Israel accused Syria of smuggling Scuds and other missiles to Hezbollah. Syria denied the charge.

Israeli media reported that Hezbollah heightened its alert status ahead of what it branded Israel's "war game." And they quoted Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri as saying the Israeli exercise defies peacemaking efforts.

"IDF prepared for all-out war within hours"

Council heads north to meet with Northern Command chief on backdrop of Hezbollah alert and home front drill, ask him to convey calming message to public. 'Countries and organizations cannot be deterred from growing stronger,' Eisenkot responds

Northern council heads met Sunday with Northern Command Chief Gadi Eisenkot on the backdrop of this week's wide-scale home front command drill and the heightened state of alert declared by Hezbollah, and asked the Israel Defense Forces to convey a clear and calming message to the public during the days of the exercise.

"I hope this summer will be hot only in terms of its weather, and not in terms of war," said Hatzor Haglilit Mayor Shimon Swisa. Eisenkot, on his part, said that the IDF was prepared for an all-out war within hours.

Wars and rumors of war indeed.

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