JERUSALEM, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The largest medical center in northern Israel held Thursday a military exercise mimicking a missile attack.
A spokesperson with Rambam Hospital in Haifa, a coastal city in northern Israel, said the drill was conducted with a scenario of a missile attack that forces the hospital to transfer operations to the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital.
This facility -- the largest of its kind in the world, according to the spokesperson -- normally operates as the hospital's parking lot, but in wartime, it can be transformed into a 2,000-bed medical facility within 72 hours.
"In a wartime scenario, this facility becomes the regional hospital for all wounded in the north," the spokesperson said in a statement.
In the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war, missiles hit the Haifa area and many injured soldiers and civilians were transferred to Rambam Hospital.
"That experience led to the construction of the underground facility, ensuring the ability to care for patients in a safe and secure environment," the hospital said.
The drill was also a first test of the functionality of Rambam's new underground command center from which all emergency activities were managed.
Observers of the drill included officials with the Home Front Command, the Emergency Division at the Health Ministry, Magen David Adom, or Israel's Red Crescent.
The exercise was held amidst tensions along the disputed border between Israel and Syria over Israel's repeated fatal airstrikes, which have reportedly been aimed at halting Iran from establishing a military presence in the war-torn country.