Palestinian security services carried out large-scale security maneuvers in a number of West Bank cities, covering attacks, violence and emergencies.
The rare exercises took place in Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem and Jenin with the participation of all Palestinian security services.
Police closed several streets, and security forces conducted drills involving shootings, explosions and evacuation of hostages, dealing with riots and blocking of convoys, as well as earthquakes and fires.
They were held even as the security agencies suffer from budget cuts due to a halt of US aid and Israel’s seizure of Palestinian tax revenues.
Israeli security authorities have drawn up several scenarios on the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the spread of chaos.
However, the security maneuvers delivered a different message. Commander of Bethlehem Brigadier Nader Abu Omar said they aim at increasing efficiency and readiness and testing the level of coordination in the security forces.
He oversaw a scenario that simulates blocking the president’s convoy in Bethlehem.
The president's guards, national security, intelligence, preventive security, civil defense and military medical services participated in the hours-long exercises.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian security forces carried out joint field exercises in Jenin “simulating the dispersal of illegal gatherings to carry out acts of violence.”
“These maneuvers coincide in several major cities and involve several security services, in addition to the ambulance and civil defense teams,” said Jenin Governor Major General Akram Rajoub in a statement published by the state agency.
In al-Bireh, Ramallah, security services were trained on a scenario simulating a major fire in the city’s municipality building and containing a terrorist group holed up in a house in the town of Beitunia.
Officials in Ramallah said the exercise was aimed at ensuring the readiness of the security services to deal with emergency cases and the effectiveness of field integration among security services and with civilian institutions to boost their capabilities and address their weaknesses.
In Nablus, security services carried out an exercise to simulate earthquakes in the eastern area of the city.
Director of Public Relations in the Civil Defense Captain Mahmoud Musleh said this exercise comes within the framework of measuring the joint tool among emergency authorities in Nablus in case of disasters and earthquakes.