Armed police and firefighters in biohazard suits swarm Israeli embassy in London in mock chemical te

Emergency teams in bio suits descended on the Israeli embassy in London in a training exercise to tackle a chemical terror attack.

Police, paramedics and fire crews all took part in the event to test their emergency service reaction to a toxic substance incident.

Ambulance crews treated pretend "casualties" who were put through decontamination showers during the mission at the building in central London, just yards from Kensington Palace.

It came as violence flared up in the Middle East after Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Commander Adrian Usher, head of the Met's Royalty and Specialist Protection, led the training exercise at the Israeli embassy in London.

He said heavy snow and icy conditions were an added challenge for the emergency service crews.

"The weather, which is exactly the sort of variable you can't predict, gave us challenges in terms of the number of staff that we could actually deploy from all of the emergency services," he added.

"Getting people to the scene was really tricky but that is exactly the sort of thing that throws up challenges that we would never plan for."

He said it is "absolutely vital" that emergency services can practise for a real crisis.

"Of course it's exactly the sort of exercise that everybody is praying never happens for real but if it does we take what we've learned from today and it puts us in a far, far better place to react should something like this happen in the real world," he added.

"A hazardous substance incident could have been caused by all sorts of reasons in the real world - some of them criminal, many not."

He continued: "Throughout this year we have seen many occasions when the emergency services have been tested for real and (this sort of exercise) has proved a really, really vital part of delivering these things safely for the public."

The exercise was planned months in advance and was not held in response to any specific threat.

It came amid tension in the Middle East over US president Mr Trump's announcement that he is recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The move sparked thousand of Palestinians to take the streets in what was called a "day of rage" on Friday.

Groups of protestors clashed with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem when trouble flared up.

A day later, four Palestinians were reportedly killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza after rockets were fired across the border from there.

In violence elsewhere, a gang of 21 masked men in Sweden threw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue as terrified Jewish students huddled inside.

No one was injured in the sickening attack in Gothenburg on Saturday and it is not known if it was linked to violence in the Middle East.

Commander Usher insisted the training exercise at the Israeli embassy in London was not linked to the recent trouble.

"This was not in any way connected with geo-political events - we are very, very grateful to the Israeli embassy to have agreed to step up and take part in this, to allow us to practice at a protected secure premises."

Israeli ambassador Mark Regev said: "This is an example of the cooperation between this embassy and the emergency services.

"It's a good manifestation of the sort of good and healthy cooperation we have and represents a very positive relationship we have between the two countries."

( Source )

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