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      Hizbullah Charges Massive Israeli Defense Drill a Plan for War

      Israel’s annual self-defense drill is a camouflage for war plans, and an obstacle to peace with the PA, Hizbullah and Lebanon charge.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 5/23/2010, 9:07 AM / Last Update: 5/23/2010, 9:17 AM

      IDF

      Israel’s fourth annual massive self-defense drill against an attack from the north this week is a camouflage for war plans and an obstacle to peace with the PA, Hizbullah and Lebanon charge.  

      The National Home Front and the National Emergency Authority's “Turning Point 4” exercise begins Sunday and includes search and rescue forces, local Israeli authorities, government offices, security organizations and the education system. The exercise is aimed at improving national preparedness and responses of the home front to emergencies, and tests cooperation between the various organizations and institutions in the event of an attack on the country’s electronic, communications and Internet infrastructure.

      A 90-second siren will be heard throughout the country Wednesday morning, and the public will practice entering designated secured areas and staying there for approximately 10 minutes. The exercise will also examine warning systems on cellular phones and civilians in certain areas may therefore receive text messages that read "Have a nice day" signed by the Home Front Command.

      During the exercise, all essential services, including hospitals, public transportation, conventions and public events will continue to work as usual.

      The self-defense drill is viewed as an aggressive act by Lebanon and Hizbullah. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri said in Egypt on Sunday that that the annual drill “runs counter to peace efforts. “How can you launch peace negotiations with the Palestinians while holding military maneuvers?” he asked on the eve of his departure for his first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

      Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai tried to assure Israel’s northern enemies that the drills are not related to relations with Lebanon and Syria. However, Hizbullah, an increasingly dominant force in the Lebanese army and government, said it has placed its terrorists on high alert for an Israeli attack. The head of the IDF's Northern Command, Gadi Eisenkot, told northern leaders Sunday, "We are prepared for an all-out war within several hours."

      A Hizbullah spokesman said, "The Hizbullah fighters [are] completely ready to confront Israeli maneuvers on Sunday,” .  “In the event of any new attack on Lebanon, the Israelis will not find anywhere in Palestine to hide.”