Today, the IDF Home Front Command played a central role in carrying out a nationwide civil-defense drill, i.e., “Turning Point 5”, throughout Israel. The drill was part of a week long exercise that trained civilians in facing various scenarios such as today’s simulated chemical missile attack on a northern Israeli city.
Today at 11 AM, Israeli classrooms, workplaces and street activity were interrupted by air raid sirens that wailed throughout Israel as millions of Israeli civilians took refuge in legally mandated bomb shelters. Throughout the day, thousands of Israeli soldiers partnered with emergency officials, helping civilians practice life-saving measures in simulated attacks. An additional air raid siren sounded at 7 PM so that Israeli families could practice entering the nearest bomb shelter within a minute and 30 seconds.
“The drill is just the beginning,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said. “This is not the first drill and won’t be the last and it is not particularly unusual. It is important to continue to train in order to be prepared.”
The week-long exercise is a significant step in Israel’s attempts to internalize lessons learned from the 2006 Second Lebanon War. During the war, IDF forces fought against Hezbollah guerrillas, while Israeli civilians suffered a total of 4,000 rocket attacks.