Nationwide missile attack drill in Israel
On Tuesday, Israel held a nationwide drill simulating simultaneous attacks in different places across the country. The Israel Police and all security and rescue forces, including fire brigades, as well as the government offices and some local authorities took part in the drill.
In an operation meant to demonstrate lessons security and rescue forces learned from last summer's war with the Lebanese-based Hizbullah fighters, unconventional rocket attacks were simulated. These attacks included a chemical assault on a school in the southern city of Beer Sheva, a rocket strike on a Tel Aviv power station, landing of dozens of Qassam rockets on a Sderot school, and Palestinian prisoners' riots in Ashkelon's Shikma Prison, where many Hamas members involved in firing rockets at the area are jailed.
According to Ynet News, the drill was temporarily halted in the center of Israel Tuesday morning after security forces received a warning on Palestinians' plans to carry out a bombing attack and large police forces were dispatched to the area.
As part of the exercise, an emergency siren was sounded throughout central Israel. Because the northern border is still tense following the war, sirens were not heard there for fear they would spark panic. Nor were they heard in southern Israel, where rockets shot by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip frequently fall.
According to critics, the army did not do enough to protect northern Israel from the nearly 4,000 rockets that Hizbullah rained on Israel during the war.