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Israel security cabinet 'meets in nuclear bunker'

Israel's security cabinet on Wednesday met for the first time in a secret nuclear bunker in Jerusalem, officials and press reports said, as part of a massive nationwide defence exercise.

As air raid sirens cut through the air at 11:00 am (0800 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) See UTC.

GMT - Universal Time 1
), the 14-member security cabinet was safely ensconced en·sconce  
tr.v. en·sconced, en·sconc·ing, en·sconc·es
1. To settle (oneself) securely or comfortably: She ensconced herself in an armchair.

 inside the underground bunker which is located somewhere in the hills around Jerusalem, Israel's main newspapers and radio stations reported.

"The security cabinet met for a special session in the new national command centre in Jerusalem," a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said, without giving further details.

Details of the recently-built facility were splashed across the tabloids on Wednesday, which said the "situation room" was kitted out with cutting-edge anti-missile defences and communications technology Noun 1. communications technology - the activity of designing and constructing and maintaining communication systems
engineering, technology - the practical application of science to commerce or industry
 which could withstand both a conventional and a non-conventional attack.

Ministers in the security cabinet were only informed about the meeting on Tuesday and were ferried over there without aides or mobile phones, the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper said.

Elsewhere, people across the country were holed up inside designated safe areas in their homes, schools or or work places where they were asked to remain for 10 minutes. An identical siren test will be staged in the early evening.

The drill is the peak of a major five-day home front defence exercise called Turning Point 5, which began on Sunday with the aim of preparing for a possible wave of massive missile attacks on the Jewish state.

Described as "the largest home front defence exercise in the world," the drill includes simulated scenarios of multiple rockets and missile attacks raining down on Israel from four fronts.

Simulated non-conventional attacks have also been built into the exercise, as well as an attack on the Knesset, or parliament building, in Jerusalem.

Israel came under heavy rocket fire during its 2006 war with Lebanese militant group
For the Trotskyist entrist group active in the 1970s and 1980s, see the Militant tendency.

The Militant Group was an early British Trotskyist group, formed in 1935 by Denzil Dean Harber, former leader of the Marxist Group, as an entrist group
 Hezbollah, and the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip Gaza Strip (gäz`ə), (2003 est. pop. 1,330,000) rectangular coastal area, c.140 sq mi (370 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea adjoining Egypt and Israel, in what was formerly SW Palestine.  have also frequently been hit by rockets from the enclave.
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Author:Staff Reporter
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Jun 22, 2011
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