Rocket sirens wail across Israel as part of national drill

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rocket sirens wailed across Israel, part if an annual nationwide preparedness drill. The sirens on Tuesday morning also were broadcast on television and radio. Civilians were told to head to their bomb shelters and schoolchildren took cover. A second siren is scheduled for Tuesday evening. Sirens did not sound in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip, however, which heard thousands of sirens during last summer’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza. The siren drills come on the last day of a three-day national exercise called Turning Point 15, which simulated coordinated attacks from Gaza, Syria and Lebanon, and involved nearly every government ministry and national security forces including the military, police, Homefront Command and fire services. Some exercises will continue through Thursday. This year’s drill has focused on the ability of the national infrastructure, including electricity, water, gas and computer systems, to withstand an emergency, according to Ynet “I must say that alongside the development of our offensive capabilities, which is in a very impressive high gear, most of which is known to the public, we are also busy with preparing the home front for future campaigns because we have discovered that that home front is a front line,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the national exercise. “There has been very great success; we saw this in Operation Protective Edge and at other times, in developments that we have made in both active and passive defense. Adequate preparation is important because planning well will pay off in the end.” Israel reportedly in recent days sent messages to Iran and Hezbollah to reassure them that the Turning Point exercise is strictly a drill. The first Turning Point drill took place in 2007, in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War. Powered By | Full Text RSS Feed