07/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Israel War Preparation Drill Biggest Ever

In what is being touted as Israel's most mass-scale war preparation drill ever, 'Turning Point 3' will over the course of five days involve both military and civilian participants practicing defensive protocols in a simulated attack scenario, CNN reports. According to CNN:

It will be conducted in public facilities, including schools, military bases and government offices. Students, soldiers and other civilians will practice how to gather at protected places during an emergency.

Officials said the drill will include simulated rockets, air raids and other attacks on infrastructure and essential facilities, and use of weapons on civilians.

Though the drill accounts for a number of possible attack scenarios, the primary concern is missile strikes, presumably from Iran, for which new forewarning technology is being tested. According to Jerusalem Post:

For the first time in such an exercise, the IDF Home Front Command will also test a new system that issues warning of incoming missile attacks to private cell phones. The IDF is also reviewing technology that would enable it to send little "pop-up" screens to computers that are connected to the Internet.

The critical moment of Turning Point 3 is set to be on Tuesday when air raid sirens will sound throughout the entire country, signaling every citizen to take cover within seconds, Al Jazeera reports. Also noted in the Al Jazeera report is that this is the third consecutive year that Israel has carried out a nationwide defense drill, though this year's is said to surpass previous drills in scale and intensity. From Al Jazeera:

The manoeuvres began in the aftermath of the July-August 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, which revealed major weaknesses in how Israel dealt with the rocket attacks on its territory.

Al Jazeera's James Bays, on the Lebanese border with Israel, said: "Israel said that this is something that was planned a long time ago. But on this side of the border, people are very suspicious."

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