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Israel conducts drills to prepare for missile attacks

May 27, 2013 at 7:17 AM

JERUSALEM, May 27 (UPI) -- A three-day national drill to prepare government bodies and civilians for an unconventional weapons attack began Monday, the Israeli army said.

Dubbed "Turning Point 7," the nationwide exercise was being held amid a backdrop of threats faced by Israel. During the drill, security forces were simulating missile attacks on Israel from multiple fronts.

"This year, the national exercise will focus on preparing the home front for required government, civilian and military response to an unconventional weapons scenario within the home front," an Israeli army statement said. The drill will end Wednesday.

Israel is the most threatened country in the world, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the outset of the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday.

"The threats against the Israeli home front have significantly increased in recent years. Israel is the most threatened state in the world; it is under missile and rocket threats. We are prepared for any scenario," Israel's Channel One television quoted Netanyahu as saying.

Participants in the drill include the Home Front Defense Ministry, the National Emergency Authority, municipalities and local authorities, government offices, defense and rescue organizations, and the national school system, the army said. The Home Front Command was also testing its ability to alert civilians via their cellphones.

Two air raid sirens were to ring out Monday, the first at 12:30 p.m. during which the public was to be asked to enter shelters for 10 minutes. The exercise was for schools, kindergartens and work places. The second siren at 7:05 p.m. was to be for families at home to practice seeking cover.

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