Knesset Members and staff in the legislature will take refuge in bomb shelters as part of this week’s massive military drill in preparation for an enemy attack from the north, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced Monday.
The legislators will set an example for the public on Wednesday, when a siren will be sounded nationwide at 11 a.m. The public has been asked to stop activities and enter the nearest bomb shelter, with the exception of security personnel and workers for several public facilities, such as bus drivers and airport employees.
Speaker Rivlin said he would begin the Knesset session at 11 a.m. Wednesday, and the legislators would immediately head for the shelters in the building as the sirens sound.
Syria, Lebanon and Hizbullah have denounced the annual exercise as a camouflage for preparations for an Israeli attack on its northern neighbors. However, while Israel is drilling civil defense measures in the event of an attack, HIzbullah is arming and drilling attacks on Israel.
Hizbullah is training its terrorist army to kidnap Israeli soldiers, Lebanese media reported Tuesday, nearly five years after Hizbullah terrorists abducted and murdered reserve IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, touching off the 34-day Second Lebanon War.
It ended with United Nations Security Council resolution 1701 that called on United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to disarm Hizbullah and prevent it from smuggling missiles into the region from Syria. However, UNIFIL commanders said they could not carry out the mandate, and Hizbullah has stockpiled more than three times as many missiles as it possessed before the war.
Hizbullah also has deployed its army throughout southern Lebanon, where the terrorist organization has created a “state within a state" and dominates educational, religious and social institutions.
The drill has attracted a large contingent of foreign journalists as well as approximately 100 officials of emergency and rescue agencies from 30 countries, includes those from NATO, the United Nations and the European Union.
"This is a one-of-a-kind exercise in the world," Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said Monday. "Israel is the only country which simultaneously drills security forces, hundreds of local authorities, dozens of organizations and thousands of volunteers.”