24 May 2010

"Have a Nice Day" = Air Raid Message?

Israel is practicing air/missile drills for the entire country.

Israel launched its biggest air raid exercise on Sunday to test its preparedness against possible missile strikes from Iranian-sponsored militant groups as international tensions rose over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Israel has called for strong economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear plans but, in a hint of possible military action, has said all options were on the table should diplomacy fail to resolve the dispute.

Israeli officials said the exercise, which will include sounding air raid sirens on Wednesday, would focus on municipal authorities' responses to a scenario in which missiles were launched from the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas Islamists, and by Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Both are allies of Iran.

In public remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Israel's biggest civil defence exercise as a routine, protective move and said the government sought only "quiet, stability and peace".

The air raid sirens will sound on Wednesday nationwide in a signal to Israelis to take cover in shelters or designated secure areas for 10 minutes, and much of the public is expected to take part in this drill.

In a test of an emergency warning system, the military's Home Front Command will also send text messages that read -- "Have a nice day" -- to cellphone owners in certain areas of the country, the army said in a statement to test communications.

By: Brant

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