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Israeli army holds ‘wide-scale drill’ for invasion of Gaza City

Smoke and fire rises above buildings during an Israeli air strike on Gaza City on 14 July 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Smoke and fire rises above buildings during an Israeli air strike on Gaza City on 14 July 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

The Israeli army is to hold “a wide-scale drill ‎simulating a ground operation” in the occupied Gaza Strip, reported Israel Hayom.

The military confirmed that a scheduled “wide-scale ‎exercise simulating a ‎ground incursion of Gaza City” by the Southern Command’s 162nd ‎Division will indeed go ahead this week.

Gaza City is the largest city in the blockaded territory.

According to the news site, “Armoured, Infantry, ‎Engineering and Artillery corps’ troops will drill ‎various urban warfare scenarios using areas in ‎Beersheba and several Negev Bedouin towns”.

Israel Hayom added that the exercise “is the first of its kind in years”, and that Southern Command officials believe the drill to be “of great ‎importance to the troops’ combat readiness”.

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“GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi met last ‎‎week with Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich and ‎‎briefed him of the exercise’s objectives. Danilovich ‎‎‎said the municipality would lend the IDF any ‎‎assistance necessary”, the report continued.

According to a senior ‎Southern Command officer, “in an event of ‎further security escalation between Israel and ‎Hamas, the 162nd Division would be scrambled to the ‎border”.

Last month, Israeli media reported that the military had prepared plans for a full-scale invasion of the occupied Gaza Strip, in the event of a serious escalation in the south.

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