Knesset simulates attack and evacuation to alternate site

The Knesset simulated an attack on the building and the resumption of parliamentary activities at an alternate site, thus ensuring the continuity of Israeli government.

By: World Israel News Staff

The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Sunday conducted a drill simulating an attack on the building and the resumption of parliamentary activities at an alternate site, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.

The drill, dubbed “Always Knesset,” is conducted every few years to assess the Knesset`s preparedness to move its operations to a different site in the event of an attack on the parliament building. This readiness is crucial to ensure the continuity of government.

During the drill, which simulated a missile attack on the Knesset, the employees were evacuated to the nearby Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and, within four hours, all parliamentary activities were resumed, including a plenary session at the institute’s auditorium.

The decision on whether to transfer the Knesset’s activities to an alternate site is in the hands of the Speaker of the Knesset.

During Sunday’s drill, Speaker Yuli Edelstein approved the decision to activate the “Always Knesset” procedure after hearing an evaluation of the situation by Knesset Director-General Albert Sakharovich, Secretary-General Yardena Meller-Horowitz and Sergeant-at-Arms Yosef Grif.

Following the move to the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Sakharovich and Meller-Horowitz supervised activity from a situation room.

”Based on what we have seen here today, the Knesset’s level of preparedness is very high,” Sakharovich said after the drill.

The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute is the designated alternate site for the Knesset due to its proximity and because it has a fortified auditorium which serves as an alternate plenum hall and large offices which can be used by Knesset employees and the Knesset Guard.