* The Home Front Command on Tuesday launched a first-of-its-kind exercise simulating evacuation and rescue operations from three different unconventional rocket landing sites.
* MI chief: Region more unstable than in past-
'Israel will encounter environment that is more tense and Islamist,' Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi tells IDF leadership during annual military intelligence assessment.
The Home Front Command on Tuesday launched a first-of-its-kind exercise simulating evacuation and rescue operations from three different rocket landing sites.
As part of the wide-scale exercise, hundreds of soldiers from the Home Front Command's search and rescue Kedem Battalion simulated evacuation of casualties and removal of debris from several locations simultaneously.
One of the aims of the drill is to practice search and rescue operations in different geographical locations, based on the estimate that rocket salvos will hit different targets that are not necessarily nearby.
On Tuesday, the exercise will continue, simulating another rocket salvo, this time of unconventional rockets, which will hit the Bat Yam promenade. The "casualties" will be evacuated to the football stadium in Holon.
Lieutenant Colonel Gilad Farhi described the role of the soldiers in the event that rockets with chemical warheads fall on Israel: "One company will clear the poisonous gas, while the second company suppresses the chemical materials and the third decontaminates the vehicles leaving the area."
Jerusalem District Commander Colonel Chen Livni added: "We don't have the luxury of positioning an entire battalion in one rocket landing site."
Asked what is the likelihood that rockets will hit the capital, Livni said: "The claim that they won't fire rockets on Jerusalem because of the Temple Mount doesn't hold water because the enemy has missiles that are accurate enough to only hit the western part of the city.
The drill comes two weeks after the Home Front Command held a nationwide testing of the "Personal Message" alert system, during which hundreds of thousands of citizens received messages on their personal cellular phones.
MI chief: Region more unstable than in past-
Speaking at the annual Military Intelligence assessment, Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Major General Aviv Kochavi said: "We predict that in the next year, the State of Israel will encounter a regional environment that is more unstable, tense and Islamist than in the past.
"An environment dealing with a series of crises – regional and domestic – which raises the threshold of sensitivity of all the players and may lead – even without advance planning – to flare-ups," Kohavi noted.
The IDF Military Intelligence Directorate's annual situation assessment was presented Monday to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen.Benny Gantz and the General Staff Forum.
The annual report is intended to brief the IDF's senior leadership on strategic and operational regional developments and to identify key regional threats and opportunities, based on the Intelligence Directorate's assessment of the regional situation.
This assessment is a basis for decision-making at the national and military levels, as well as for the IDF's future operational plans.
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