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Chemical terror attack to be simulated on Tel Aviv light rail

Defense Ministry holding joint drill with army, police, fire services, health ministry and municipality at various points along soon-to-open transport system

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The new Allenby underground station of the light rail Red Line in Tel Aviv, June 23, 2022. Some of the mass transit system runs underground. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
The new Allenby underground station of the light rail Red Line in Tel Aviv, June 23, 2022. Some of the mass transit system runs underground. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Israeli authorities will hold a drill at the soon-to-open Tel Aviv light rail on Tuesday, simulating a chemical terror attack.

The joint drill is to be held by the Defense Ministry, military, police, fire services, Health Ministry, and Tel Aviv municipality.

According to the Defense Ministry, the drill will take place at various points along the new light rail system, at both above-ground and underground stations.

The main part of the exercise will take place at the Allenby underground station in Tel Aviv, the ministry said.

Residents have been notified that a large number of security and emergency forces will be seen in the area during the drill, expected to take place Tuesday evening.

The ministry said the drill was preplanned, meaning it did not stem from a new assessment.

The chemical terror attack exercise is part of a series of drills “to improve national preparedness for a terror incident,” the ministry said Sunday.

Construction at the Allenby underground station of the light rail, part of the red line in Tel Aviv, July 14, 2021. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

The Tel Aviv light rail’s Red Line is expected to open in mid-2023, after numerous delays.

The Red Line, which will run from Petah Tikva to southern Bat Yam via Tel Aviv, is the first of three planned light rail lines, which will include underground sections, along with the proposed addition of three subway lines.

When completed, the light rail and subway network will cover the entire Tel Aviv metro area with 240 kilometers (149 miles) of track and hundreds of stations, linking Ra’anana and Kfar Saba north of the city to Rishon Lezion and Rehovot to its south, as well as Lod, Ramle, Ben Gurion Airport and everywhere in between.

The six planned lines are slated to be completed sometime in the next decade at a cost of NIS 18 billion and counting. It is Israel’s largest-ever infrastructure project.

Danielle Nagler contributed to this report. 

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