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Israel Begins its Biggest Civil Defense Drill


Israel is holding the biggest civil-defense drill in its history.

Amid growing tensions with Iran, Israel is training soldiers, emergency crews, and civilians for the possibility of all-out war. Major Chezi Deutch is an officer in Israel's Home Front Command.

"It is part of the overall plan to increase preparedness and readiness in the country, dealing with civil defense and with emergencies in the civilian population," Deutch said.

The scenarios include massive missile attacks possibly with chemical or biological weapons.

"What we are expecting, what we would like to see is to have the population act as they would in time of a real crisis," Deutch said.

The crisis Israel fears is a massive rocket and missile barrage on all fronts: from Iran in the East, to Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas in the North, to the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel's southern border in the Gaza Strip.

That could happen if Israel carries out its threat to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. With the Iranian president threatening to wipe the Jewish state "off the map," Israel has warned time and again that it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. And the civil-defense drill seems to be a clear message to Teheran that the military option remains on the table.

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