The Israeli army yesterday completed a series of large-scale military exercises near the Lebanese border, Hebrew radio station Kan reported. The drills aimed at preparing the military ahead of a potential confrontation with Lebanon’s Hezbollah on the northern front.
The commander of the military’s 188th Brigade, Colonel Gal Shohami said that the “Galilee Formation” carried out a drill in rapid deployment, fire capabilities and readiness to fight on the country’s northern borders.
“This past week we [Israeli troops] practiced significant scenarios with challenging obstacles in which we improved our operational, physical and mental readiness,” the Jerusalem Post quoted Shohami saying.
“Regular soldiers, along with reservists, took part in the exercise,” he noted.
He added that the brigade also held drills with troops from the armoured, engineering, infantry and artillery units. The exercises included practices on combining their expertise, field information gathering and logistical support.
“We [army] clearly saw how the connection between the armoured, engineering, infantry, reconnaissance and fire forces – combined with intelligence capabilities – all relying on the capabilities of computerisation and support of the various logistics fields will enable us to realise our mission in the exercise and on the battlefield,” he pointed out.
Early this week, the Israeli army’s spokesman said there had been a number of military drills along the northern border “to train the Israeli forces on a potential fight with Lebanon”.
Arab Member of the Knesset, Juma Azbarga, recently criticised Israel’s drills saying: “The Israeli army has stormed the Arab towns without neither prior permission nor coordination with the local authorities.”
“The army is ignoring the safety and security of the Arab citizens and turning their home towns into military barracks,” Azbarga said, calling for an “immediate halt” to the exercises.
He also demanded issuance of “stringent rules” to prevent the Israeli military from holding drills in populated areas.
The drills came in the wake of the increased tensions in the northern area following the recent clashes between the Israeli air force and the Syrian military earlier this month, in addition to the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Israel and Lebanon over their maritime border after a natural gas reserve was discovered.