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Israeli Military Home Front exercise to simulate DOMESTIC UNREST for first time

The National Home Front Exercise, which will begin on Sunday and last for five days, will involve practice by all relevant entities and agencies in a scenario where Israel has to deal with fighting on multiple fronts, including from within.

As part of the lessons of the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip in May, in which the security system was surprised by the intensity of clashes and disturbance of the peace in Israeli cities, particularly mixed and Arab localities, the National Home Front Exercise will open for the first time with a scenario led by the police.

In the simulation, a security incident causes clashes in Israeli cities and blockage of main transport arteries, peace disturbances and attempts to impede the Israel Defense Forces’ ability to mobilize to its required arena.

“A new reference was added to the scenario, that of the internal arena, which is a lesson from [the May operation in Gaza,] Guardian of the Walls,” explained Yoram Laredo, head of the National Emergency Management Authority.

“The first day of the exercise will be dedicated to Israel Police practicing violent disturbances against a multi-arena nationalist background, and that will be a day in which the police get a clearer view of the challenges facing them in terms of optimizing their force-building.”

The exercise will require Border Police platoons operating in the West Bank to report to friction points, after being relieved by IDF soldiers. Concurrently, the Border Police reserve call-up array will be practiced as part of the drill.

“This exercise is also an excellent opportunity for all government ministries to understand the implications, starting with disruptions in energy supplies. We’re talking about 24-hour country-wide power cuts,” Laredo added.

After criticism raised over the cooperation between the organizations since the Second Lebanon War and as presented in recent state’s comptroller reports, the exercise will be run by a joint administration of the emergency authority and the Home Front Command, Israel Police, The Fire Department, Magen David Adom, with all government ministries participating.

The IDF, through the Home Front Command, is expected to enter the exercise only a few days in.

In the first stage the army is expected to be managing fighting and preparations, whereas in the second stage it will begin assisting the civilian array.

Home Front Command Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Itzik Bar detailed the scenarios Israelis can expect in the next flare-up in the north in a conference call to military reporters. Including the familiar scenarios of “targeted fire on localities adjacent to the border,” he noted a new scenario for civilians living on the border with Lebanon.

“We’re talking about dangerous substances which the enemy has, medical substances that dissipate in the air that can impact the population if they come in contact.”

According to estimates, during fighting Israel is expected to be under a widespread missile attack, most of which will target the north, but the center of the country will also be under significant attack during the early days. “We will jointly exercise evacuation and intake of the population, extended stays in protected spaces due to the volume of fire,” said Bar.

“For the first time, we will deploy the civilian aid battalion as well, a logistics battalion solely devoted to supporting the civilian space, both to allow for supplies to civilians staying in shelter for extended periods, and for other issues.”

The forces will practice evacuating hospitals, retirement homes and special needs facilities.

“We’ll evacuate casualties, use soldiers to play wounded, road and chopper evac; we’ll practice the intake at hospitals around the country. We’ll practice the whole process – from planning to intake. We’re practicing because we realize that the hospitals will likely have to take quite a few casualties, both civilian and military,” Bar said.

Source: Yaniv Kubovich – HAARETZ