Finance Ministry Holds First-Ever War Drill
Ministry rehearses for situation in which vital financial systems are damaged in wartime.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/8/2011, 6:50 PM / Last Update: 3/8/2011, 6:57 PM
Israel continues to prepare for war as regional upheavals create uncertainty on its borders and Iranian saber-rattling draws closer.
The Finance Ministry held a war drill Tuesday, rehearsing a scenario in which full scale war breaks out. The exercise tested the Ministry's economic readiness for emergency and its functioning in case of damage to vital market systems.
The Ministry practiced management of the Israeli market and services to citizens under war conditions.
The Finance Ministry drill was preceded by a period of protracted and extensive preparation, in cooperation with internal and external bodies that have relevance to the matter.
Among the people participating in the drill were Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Finance Minister Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen and Ministry Director Haim Shani. Each member of the Ministry's directorate rehearsed the reaction of the department under his or her supervision, and coordinated moves with the other branches and additional relevant bodies. The participants came up with various messages pertaining to the emergency situation and rehearsed how these messages would be passed on to the public and to international bodies.
The drill focused on coordination with financial bodies such as the Bank of Israel, the Federation of Industrialists, the Trade Bureau Union and others.
Directing the drill was the Ministry's Emergency and Security Department, which created a scenario based upon data it received from the Defense Ministry. The drill was reportedly useful in locating weak spots in the Ministry's emergency preparedness that need to be addressed.
Homeland Protection Minister Matan Vilnai complimented the drill's participants and noted that government ministries have avoided rehearsing war scenarios "for many years."
Tags: Civil Defense Drill