The most extensive nationwide civil defense drill in Israel’s history will be launched starting next Sunday.

It will start with a “battle in Gaza” that will spread as a second front in the “war” opens in northern Israel. In addition, the forces will train for an uprising and rioting by Israel’s Arabs.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli media: “[T]his is a routine drill, which was planned several months ago and is held every year in order to coordinate between civil and military systems.”

The drill will begin on May 31 and will last five days.

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The Israeli Defense Ministry will coordinate the exercise with the assistance of the Israel National Emergency Authority. It aims to train the Israeli home front, from the government level down to the civilian level, and will simulate a comprehensive regional war.

According to the planned scenario, Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria will become involved in the war, while Palestinians will carry out terror attacks and Israel’s Arabs will riot en masse.

The Israeli government will announce various scenarios, while the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will mobilize forces as the events unfold. The proposed scenario simulates an escalation lasting three months, reaching its peak with an overall attack on Israel.

The outline of the drill has been presented to the government ministers. The overall war scenario will begin with a mock escalation in Gaza, which will lead to an Israeli military ground offensive. After 60 days of fighting in Gaza, tensions in the north will heat up. At that time, the scenario proposes forcing the army to enlist reserve forces and launch a war on the northern front.

During the war, barrages of missiles will hit the Israeli home front.

Simultaneously, a terror offensive will develop, and extensive riots will take place across the country.

Air raid sirens will sound across the country.

The drill will kick off on Sunday with an exercise involving Israeli government ministers at their weekly cabinet meeting.

Monday will involve the IDF’s Home Front Command, the Emergency Economy, the Israel Police, government ministries and local authorities.

On Tuesday, an air raid siren will sound across the country; roads will be blocked and citizens and school students will practice entering bomb shelters.

On Wednesday, the Israeli security cabinet and the national information system will go into full operation.

On Thursday, the last day of the drill, the Israeli military will hold field exercises, in coordination with the Israel Home Front Command headquarters.

As part of the drill, cooperation between departments of the Israeli government and the military will be examined.

In addition to war scenarios, Israel will also witness a simulated a major terror attack, natural disaster, epidemic malfunction in a hazardous materials facility.

Last week, the Israel Air Force (IAF) held a three-day drill that included various scenarios and staged fronts the force may have to handle.

Pilots also practiced a number of combat maneuvers. The drill incorporated scenarios relevant to the current threats faced by Israel. As part of the drill, members of the Israeli Air Force were briefed on Iran’s test-launch of its new missile, the Sajjil-2, which has been said to pose a threat to Israel’s security.

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.