Hanan Greenberg / Isreal News & Roee Nahmias / Israel News – 2008-04-02 22:26:49
Barak Authorizes Nationwide Emergency Drill
Hanan Greenberg / Isreal News
TEL AVIV (March 30, 2008) — Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized on Sunday evening the plans for a national emergency drill, which is scheduled to take place in two weeks time.
The exercise, which will be led by Barak’s deputy Matan Vilnai, was conceived as part of the lessons learned following the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and will incorporate all government offices and public bodies.
The drill will simulate a series of emergency situations and require those participating — ranging from local municipalities, schools, firefighters and paramedics, the IDF Home Front Command and even the cabinet itself — to respond to the developing events.
The Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv took part in a drill simulating a chemical missile attack several days ago.
Both Home Front Command and Health Ministry officials stressed the importance of preparing for any possible scenario.
Syrian Reservists Called Up for Fear of Israeli Strike
Roee Nahmias / Israel News
London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper quotes sources in Damascus as saying Syria views Israeli media reports, IDF commanders’ statements as incitement, attempt to prepare public opinion for war. According to report, Syrian army on heightened alert, conducting wide-scale drills
TEL AVIV (April 2, 2008) — Syria is preparing for a comprehensive Israeli strike which will be combined with an attack on Hizbullah, sources in Damascus have told the London-based Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.
The sources, which refused to reveal their identity, reported that Syria was closely monitoring the movement of Israeli forces along the northern border.
The newspaper reported Wednesday that Damascus viewed the Israeli media reports and statements made by senior Israel Defense Forces officials as incitement and attempts to prepare the Israeli and global public opinion for a war against Syria.
The sources added that the Syrian forces were conducting wide-scale military maneuvers and have called up reservists in preparation for an Israeli attack.
In addition to the military preparations, the sources said, Damascus has raised its security alert level for fear that Israeli forces would infiltrate its territories through one of its bordering countries, mainly referring to Lebanon.
Over the past few weeks, the Syrians have stationed three armored divisions, special forces and nine mechanized infantry divisions opposite Lebanon’s western valley, as the Syrians estimate that a ground Israeli invasion may take place in that area.
The area is not only a strategic territory for Hizbullah, but also a problematic area for Syria, as it would not take the IDF long to place its cannons opposite the Syrian capital and control the Beirut-Damascus route.
Results of Mughniyah Murder Probe Expected
These reinforcements are being conducted as Syrian sources report that the interior ministry in Damascus will announce the results of the investigation into the assassination of top Hizbullah commander Imad Mugniyah this weekend.
The probe is expected to point at the Israeli Mossad as being behind the assassination, with the help of Arab elements.
Mugniyah’s assassination in the heart of Damascus has caused senior members of the Palestinian organizations to boost their caution measures. One of the operatives told the newspaper, “If Israel managed to reach Mugniyah, senior Islamic Jihad and Hamas operatives will be an easy target.”
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Saturday at the opening of the Arab League summit in Damascus that “Israel has proved, in every chance it got, that is not interested in peace, and has done so in front of the whole world.
“We must stress — no security can be guaranteed unless through peace… and peace will come only after (Israel) withdraws from occupied Arab lands.”
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