The Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command will be conducting a nation-wide drill Tuesday, testing the country’s level of preparedness in the case of a conventional rocket attack. As part of the exercise, two test sirens will be heard across Israel, the first at 11:05 A.M. and then again at 7:05 P.M.
The IDF will also make use of the Cell Broadcast system, and messages about the impending sirens will be sent mobile phones that carry the service a half an hour before time. Warnings will also be broadcast on Israel’s radio and television channels, as well as online.
“The goal of the siren drill is to train residents to enter the shelter of their choice, either at home or at work, and thus examine the effectiveness of the national siren system,” the IDF said in a statement. They further noted that on the off chance of actual rocket fire during the drill, an additional siren will be sounded and a special message will be sent out through the media.
The defense establishment has decided not to conduct the drill in Gaza border communities, as residents have no lack in experience in finding and entering a bomb shelter, and the sounding of sirens could inspire tensions in wake of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge. The Home Front Command stressed that basic services like hospitals will continue to run during the drill and traffic should not be halted during the sirens.
As part of exercises slated to be conducted this week as part of the drill, the IDF will practice evacuating casualties from rubble, a simulation of the possible outcome of massive rocket fire on Israel from multiple fronts. Another scenario that will be played out is that of a cyberattack and an attack on Israel’s vital infrastructure.
The Home Front Command says that in the future they also plan to test the ability to relocate parts of the population in the case that cities are evacuated in wake of rocket fire on battles.
The drill, called by the command “Turing Point”, was scheduled to take place last year but was called off, citing “budgetary constraints.” When the drill was announced anew by the Home Front Command this year, no budgetary details were disclosed.