Tags: ML | Israel | Defense | Drill

Israel Holds Defense Drill Amid Regional Tension

Sunday, 23 May 2010 09:06 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Israel held a dress rehearsal for disaster Sunday, beginning a defense drill to test the response of soldiers, emergency crews and civilians to simulated missile barrages, terrorist attacks and chemical strikes.

Israel embarked on its fourth annual home front drill at a time when Iranian-backed militants are rearming to Israel's north and south, and Iran itself is suspected of developing nuclear arms, despite its denials.

The five-day exercise, the biggest in Israel's history, has raised allegations by the country's enemies that it is preparing for war — a concern Israel has sought to allay.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the drill is a "routine exercise that was scheduled long ago."

"I want to emphasize that this is not a result of any abnormal security development," he told his Cabinet on Sunday. "On the contrary, Israel wants quiet, stability and peace, but it is no secret that we live in a region that is under threat of missiles and rockets."

Israel began carrying out the annual exercise, code-named Turning Point, after its 2006 war with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon showed the country's bomb shelters, air raid sirens and civil defense authorities were unprepared. The exercise also incorporates lessons from Israel's 2009 war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks after Israel accused Syria of smuggling Scuds and other missiles to Hezbollah. Syria denied the charge.

Israeli media reported that Hezbollah heightened its alert status ahead of what it branded Israel's "war game."

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the drill proves Israel is not serious about wanting peace.

"Israel should reduce these maneuvers and return to the table to have serious talks about peace," Hariri said, according to a statement issued by his office. "If it wants peace, why does Israel resort to military maneuvers? And if it wants to negotiate with the Palestinians, why would it resort to military maneuvers?"

Israel has tried to allay regional concerns with assurances through diplomatic channels that the drill is not a cover for a military strike, defense officials said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

US Plans to Arm, Train Ukraine National Guard

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 23:20 PM

The Obama administration has notified Congress of its plans to train and arm the Ukrainian national guard next year, the . . .

House GOP Lauds Passage of 'Responsible' Border Bill

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 23:02 PM

House Republicans praised the passing of legislation that would give President Barack Obama $694 million to address the  . . .

Congress Approves $225 Million for Israeli 'Iron Dome' System

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 22:54 PM

Congress approved $225 million in emergency funding for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system on Friday, sending t . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved