Israel simulates chemical, missile attacks

Israeli military, government and rescue services, along with 80 municipalities and millions of civilians, recently participated in a simulated drill of a simultaneous mass missile strike across the country on Wednesday.

During the drill, the entire population was instructed to seek cover, CRI English reports. The test was part of the week-long "Turning Point 5" drill.

The scenario simulated the 13th day of a full-scale war after approximately 7,000 missiles had been lobbed toward Israel by their foes, hitting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other major population centers. This resulted in the simulated deaths of hundreds and left thousands wounded, Matan Vilnai, the Home Front Command minister, who lead the government's civilian responses to the mass attack, told CRI English.

Police and Israeli Defense Forces soldiers, as well as civilian first responders, dressed in chemical warfare protection suits to simulate mass intake and triage of citizens suffering from chemical weapons and burns.

"In last year's exercise, about 47 percent of the population entered protected areas," Col. Efi Mishov, head of the Home Front Command's Population Department, said, according to CRI English. "The past several years have seen a moderate increase in exercise participation, and this trend is expected to continue this year, but not in drastic numbers."

As part of the drill, sirens rang once to signal that it was part of a drill. Sirens malfunctioned in several cities, going off twice, scaring residents who thought it was a real attack. The government security cabinet met for the first time in a secret underground bunker in the Jerusalem area as part of the drill.

While the exercise was meant to ready the populace for the worst and to comprehensively synchronize crisis management responses to a rocket attack, it was also meant to warn potential foes that an attack like this would cause little damage to a government, public and military protected and ready for the worst.

"Our enemies know perfectly well that if they attack us, we will strike them with very tough blows, but we must prepare," Vilnai said, according to CRI English. "Because they have the capacity to fire missiles and rockets at all of our territory."