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May 27, 2013 8:59 am

Sirens Sound as National Defense Drill Reaches Peak in Israel

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Israeli children take cover under their desks in a classroom.

Air raid sirens rang out across Israel this afternoon as the country’s week-long nationwide home-front defense drill reached its peak. Code-named “Home Front Eitan 1,” according to the Times of Israel, the exercise is drilling the civilian population as well as military and emergency services for a possible war scenario, primarily with Syria and/or Lebanon.

The first siren, which went off across the country at 12:30 p.m. was aimed at drilling civilians in finding appropriate safe areas during their workdays. The second was set for 7:05 p.m.  and was meant for home drilling. Along with the sirens, citizens received messages on cellphones, TV and social networks.

The forces taking part in the drill this week will include: The Israel Defense Forces Home-front Command, Magen David Adom emergency medical service, police and firefighters.

“Israel faces the largest missile and rocket threat in the world,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting. “We are preparing for all possible scenarios. We are investing billions so that our homefront will be better protected and better prepared. We have invested in things ranging from Iron Dome systems to more sirens to added fortifications and improved detection systems. It will be hard to achieve perfect protection. Ultimately, no defense can replace the IDF’s military might and resilience of the public during an attack.”

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