Israel simulated a mass-casualty missile attack in and around Tel Aviv on Thursday amid heightened expectation of military action against Iran.
– Israel simulates mass-casualty missile attack (Telegraph, Nov. 3, 2011):
Sirens wailed across the city and its suburbs during an exercise to test the response of the emergency services in the event of both conventional and non-conventional strikes against the city and its suburbs.
Hundreds of civilian volunteers were evacuated to hospitals by rescue teams dressed in chemical warfare suits. Military personnel were also involved in the drill.
The exercise came a day after Israel test-fired a long-range ballistic missile, capable of being fitted with a nuclear warhead, which could be used in an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Last week, the Israel Air Force staged an exercise at a Nato airbase in Sardinia that gave the appearance of simulating an attack on Iran.
Yesterday’s drill came as Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, reportedly ordered his domestic intelligence service, Shin Bet, to investigate suspected leaks about ministerial discussions connected to Iran.
In recent days Israeli newspapers have claimed that Mr Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, his defence minister, have lobbied cabinet colleagues to back Israeli military action against nuclear installations in Iran.
Some ministers have suggested that the Yuval Diskin, the former Shin Bet chief, and Meir Dagan, the ex-head of Mossad, were behind the leaks. Both men, who retired earlier this year, are vigorously opposed to unilateral Israeli strikes against Iran, with Mr Dagan describing such a course as “the stupidest idea I have ever heard”.
Israeli officials insisted that the drill was planned before speculation of a possible attack on Iran emerged at the end of last week.