Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told a closed meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee that the Israeli army (IDF) has conducted exercises that simulate the outbreak of fighting within the Arab Israeli community in the context of a war being waged on several fronts simultaneously, public broadcaster Kan reported on Monday.
The Israeli leader took part in the committee meeting last Tuesday. His statements confirm that the IDF is not only training to fight on the fronts, but also against Israel’s own Palestinian Arab citizens, who make up 20 per cent of all Israelis.
It is not known why such exercises are being conducted now, given that nothing more than peaceful protests and demonstrations has been organised within the Arab community to condemn the aggressive wars waged by Israel. However, the Israeli army’s preparations for such a scenario are reminiscent of the attempt to displace the residents of Kafr Qassem after a massacre there during the tripartite — British, French and Israeli — aggression against Egypt in 1956.
Kan noted that Netanyahu did not address this issue in his briefing to the committee, but rather during his answers to questions raised by committee members.
A question was asked about whether the Israeli army was preparing for the possibility that elements in the Arab community would “join the fight against the state”. Netanyahu replied, “This is a scenario the Israeli army is training for, as part of preparations for a multi-front war.”
In his answer to a question about whether there is readiness for an all-out war on several fronts that includes fighting by parties in the Arab community, Netanyahu said: “The Israeli army is preparing for this, and ten military battalions are training for this. Although they [the ten battalions] are not enough, they are preparing for this exact day.”