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The role of the Homefront Command

Civil defense during routine and emergencies

The Homefront Command (PAKAR/HFC) is entrusted with civil defense in routine times and in emergencies. Its purpose is to reinforce national resilience and save lives by preparing the civilian home front before a conflict, support it through lifesaving and rescue activities when that front is under attack, and, once the conflict is over, assist with the rapid rehabilitation of the civilian home front.

The purpose of the Command and its role as CD (Civil Defense) service are embodied in the Civil Defense Law (1951) as well as a long series of regulations and government decisions.  Civil defense is defined in law as follows: “The measures taken to defend against any attack, or the danger the attack poses to the civil population, or to minimize the outcome of such an attack to remove weaponry which is not for self-defense.”

The objective of the Homefront Command is to save lives, minimize the damage to lives and infrastructure, and provide assistance in conjunction with emergency organizations, local authorities, government ministries, and public bodies on the civil front in maintaining the State of Israel’s endurance and essential services, as well as supporting the offensive effort. This is all to enable routine during emergencies, which will contribute to achieving victory in this campaign.

Fields of responsibility of the Homefront Command
• To draft and publish the rulebook of civil defense.
• To prepare and execute plans for civil defense for the entire country and all its territory.
• To train, guide, and operate Magen David Adom in Israel (MDA), the firefighting and rescue services, and the other assistant organizations regarding the fulfilment of their duties in the field of civil defense.
• To guide the population on the home front as well as all officials in the home front theater during attacks or unique situations on the home front as well as issue appropriate instructions.
• To guide local authorities as regards the fulfilment of their duties as regards issues of civil defense.
• To coordinate the activities of government ministries, private factories, national infrastructure, and emergency organizations on issues related to civil defense.
• To draft policies for civil defense for all areas and in coordination with area commands.
• To serve as the competent authority, as defined by law, for the issue of shelter and to serve as an authority, as defined by the Civil Defense Regulations for the matter of dangerous materials.
• To determine the way citizens are alerted, including specifying sirens and all-clear signals, their distribution, and their operation through various methods.
• To construct a system to detect, identify, and decontaminate areas affected by chemical or biological warfare on the home front and to operate that system during incidents of civil defense.
• To store and distribute personal defensive kits to the population in accordance with the regulations in the Civil Defense Regulations (defense kits) 5741-1990 and in accordance with government decisions.
• To operate the necessary powers to execute rescue and lifesaving activities as determined by law.

Actions during routine and emergencies
During routine, the Homefront Command works to train the population on conduct during emergencies, as well as guiding and directing local authorities, government ministries, and bodies in charge of infrastructure on how to carry out their tasks in areas of civil defense during emergencies.

During emergencies, the Homefront Command directs the rescue and lifesaving forces, alerts the population of the threat, informs the populace how to act, and guides local authorities and government ministries on how to carry out their tasks in areas of civil defense.

In addition to assessments by security officials, who provide a response to various incidents, only citizens can prepare themselves and their families for an emergency.