Members of the Knesset Honor Guard participated in a drill simulating a missile attack on the Israeli parliament necessitating rescue operations and medical assistance to legislators.
Thursday’s exercise, held while making use of the election recess, was conducted in a Home Front Command training center south of the coastal city of Ashkelon, the Ynet news site reported Friday.
The 35 members of the Guard were drilled on multiple scenarios requiring evacuations from beneath rubble and practiced communication, teamwork and preliminary medical assistance.
Though much of the Honor Guard’s work is ceremonial, it is also charged with the security of the Israeli legislature and Knesset members.
The simulated Knesset setting led to calls that used MKs’ real names. “Benny Gantz is trapped, he’s conscious but wounded. Bring a stretcher quick,” said one rescuer; “Naftali Bennett is in pain, send a doctor,” called another.
Avner Dagani, head of emergency response at the Knesset Guard, told Ynet: “We will provide initial assistance in any emergency incident, destruction or mass attack, so it’s important to train.”
Knesset director-general Albert Saharovich added: “The Knesset is a strategic site and one of Israel’s most significant government symbols. So there is great importance in maintaining the readiness of the Knesset and the professionalism of its staff in extreme situations.
“The election recess is a great time to [do this],” he said. “We all hope we’ll only continue to train and won’t need [to face] the moment of truth.”
Earlier this month the Knesset was disbanded for the second time in six months, as the country headed for new elections for the third time in less than a year amid ongoing political gridlock and a failure to form a government.