Netanyahu attends chemical attack exercise
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Netanyahu attends chemical attack exercise

Prime minister says Israeli lives come before all other considerations

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Soldiers during an emergency drill at Mount Scopus Hospital on Wednesday, May 29 (photo credit: David Katz/The Israel Project)
Soldiers during an emergency drill at Mount Scopus Hospital on Wednesday, May 29 (photo credit: David Katz/The Israel Project)

Israel will continue to invest efforts and funds to protect its citizens from the dangers facing them, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday as he watched soldiers practice their response to a mock chemical attack in Jerusalem.

“The things we see here are meant to protect Israel from a horde of new threats,” Netanyahu said as soldiers played out the scenario of a chemical warhead-fitted missile landing in one of the capital’s residential neighborhoods. To face the changing reality, Netanyahu said, “we’re investing a lot of effort and conducting many drills.”

To properly prepare for the worst, Israel “will need to decide one simple thing — that lives comes before everything else,” the prime minister said. Preparation would be done through allocating budgets, carrying out drills and, if needed, changing legislation, he added.

“We can defend [the citizens of Israel]. It won’t always be perfect, armor is never hermetic, but protection for the citizens of Israel can be provided,” Netanyahu stated. “That’s what we’re practicing here and that’s what we’ll continue to do in the coming months and years.”

The Knesset’s emergency response crews were set to simulate a missile hitting the Israeli parliament later in the day. First response teams, as well as the army and police, were practice their roles in such an event.

The IDF Home Front Command launched a three-day nationwide drill, Turning Point 7, on Monday. The annual exercise aims to “focus on preparing the home front against the use of nonconventional weapons and preparing the home front for the appropriate government, civilian and military response,” according to an IDF statement.

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