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Israel Establishes Army Command to Handle Civil Defense Matters

A year after the Persian Gulf War was launched, the Israel Defense Force has established a Civil Defense Command under a major-general, on the assumption that in future wars, population centers will be targets.

Brig. Gen. Ze’ev Livne, currently deputy chief of the General Staff Operations Branch, has been appointed to head the newly established Civil Defense (Rear Areas) Command. His promotion to major-general will take effect when he assumes his new post.

The decision to establish a civil defense command as a division of the IDF resulted from an analysis of the lessons of the Gulf war and the Iraqi Scud missile attacks on Israel that accompanied it.

Civilian areas became, in effect, a front line.

The new command will be responsible for all aspects of civil defense. It will integrate military units, police, fire brigades, medical teams and chemical warfare detection units under a single leadership.

Basically, the new setup will relieve IDF combat commanders of responsibility for the safety of the civilian population in their areas of operations.

A 30-year veteran of the IDF, Livne was born in Siberia and brought to Palestine at age 2. He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and of the U.S. Army’s Command and Staff College. He holds a master’s degree from Haifa University.

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