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Tel Aviv to Simulate Terror Attack

June 3, 2002

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JERUSALEM (AP) _ Applying lessons that New York City firefighters learned Sept. 11, a Tel Aviv suburb is staging a large drill simulating the aftermath of a plane crashing into a 30-story building.

Israeli officials have said a terror attack on a tall building in Israel is a possibility. A plot by Palestinian militants to plant a bomb underneath the twin Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv, among the tallest buildings in Israel, was thwarted this year.

Hundreds of firefighters, police officer and emergency workers will participate in the exercise in the town of Givataim on Tuesday, said fire department chief Efraim Maaravi.

The drill also includes an attempted bombing in the underground parking lot of the high-rise _ the method used in the first terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center in 1993 that killed six people.

Emergency service workers will practice rescuing people from the top floors of the building, as large amounts of smoke are being released into the air.

Maaravi said he underwent training for attacks on high-rises in New York City following the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center.

The drill will be dedicated to New York City firefighters who were killed in the Sept. 11 terror attack.

``They taught us all about how to fight fires in tall buildings, what equipment is needed and how such buildings act when they are on fire,″ Maaravi said. ``We are remembering them in this drill.″

Meanwhile, Israeli intelligence officials said radical Palestinian groups in Lebanon are preparing hanggliders to be used possibly in cross-border suicide attacks.

Israel fears the hanggliders could also be sold to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for use in attacks on Israelis, the military officials said on condition of anonymity.

In 1987, a Palestinian militant flying a hangglider flew from Lebanon into northern Israel and killed several Israeli soldiers in an attack on an army base.

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