Police Drill Response to Rioting

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Seven thousand police officers participated in the largest emergency drill ever held in Israel.

The multifaceted drill took place at the Tze'elim urban combat training facility in the western Negev.

Simultaneous scenarios included mass Arab rioting, hostage situations, Palestinians storming a border crossing with the Gaza Strip, shootouts and the like.

"These are not imaginary scenarios," Israel Police Operations Branch Commander Bentzi Sao said. "The Gaza cease-fire is soon ending and this is certainly an even that can trigger disorder," he said.

In fact, the cease-fire ended Friday.

"We have no concrete intelligence on mass incidents in the coming days, but we can't stay aloof to global incidents," he said, citing the riots in Athens and Paris.

Border Police Chief Commander Yisrael Yitzhak said the rioting that took place in the ancient port city of Acre - Akko - in October most definitely could happen again.

"Can the rioting of Acre happen again? It will happen again. It will happen in Jaffa, Ramle, Lod and other mixed - JEWISH AND ARAB - cities," Yitzhak said.

The mega-drill included sequences that could occur on any given day in Israel.

In the midst of dealing with simulated riots, shootings, arson, and road blockages, drill planners threw in unexpected complications.

In all, 54 policemen were injured during the drill, most lightly, though one officer suffered a broken hand.

Four policemen were airlifted to the hospital when their vehicle overturned in a ditch, but none were seriously hurt.

"The Israel Police are much more prepared to deal with mass disturbances and rioting now than they were this morning," Sao said when the drill ended.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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