The IDF Northern Command has launched a mass exercise to increase operational readiness and cooperation with the army’s Home Front Command and National Emergency Authority.
By Erin Viner
The purpose of the nationwide drill dubbed “Even Gazit” (meaning “Hewn Stone” in English) is to “simulate multi-front, intensive and drawn-out combat” with participation of regular and reservist troops “from all Northern Command headquarters in cooperation with the General Staff directorates, Air, Naval, and Ground forces,” said an IDF statement obtained by TV7, adding that it will “include a combination of multi-branched and multi-dimensional capabilities; using cyber and spectral dimensions, fire support, defense capabilities, operating deep within enemy territory and intelligence capabilities.”
The drill was pre-planned as part of the 2021 training program and slated to be completed by 18 November, said the IDF.
Alarms and sirens will be sounded at various localities across Israel tomorrow, starting between 10:00- 11:00 AM in smaller towns and villages; and again at 6:00-7:00 PM in larger cities. The drill will test a new alert system including messages sent via the IDF Home Front Command application to residents’ smartphones, as well as notification by radio, television and some online sites.
The air raid sirens will be sounded twice in the event of an actual emergency,.
Civilians will be prepared for wartime scenarios that include potential electrical outages lasting as long as 24 to 72 hours, population evacuations, prolonged stays within adequately supplied bomb shelter and cyberattacks.
Simulations will include a missile strike on an Israeli industrial plant containing hazardous materials in the northern city Nahariya to test emergency response, the ability of police to cope with outbreak of violence in mixed Jewish-Arab cities and the provision of optimal care by hospitals in mass casualty situations..
A specific focus of Even Gazit is to prepare military and civilian readiness for a possible future war with the Hezbollah terror group based in Lebanon, just over Israel’s northern border.
The two sides last waged a war in 2006 – when 121 IDF soldiers, 44 Israeli civilians and 2 foreign nationals were killed, while 1,244 Israeli troops and 1,384 civilians were wounded.
Israel’s defense establishment believes that the Iran-backed proxy militia has stockpiled tens of thousands of precision missiles and is capable of firing 2,000 at civilian communities per day.