According to a Tuesday report in Yedioth Ahronoth, the unit chose to hold the drill in Meah Shearim due to the urban similarities it has with none other than the Qasbah in the West Bank city of Nablus.
The neighborhood's religious residents were startled to see dozens of armed IDF troops raid the streets.
The concern, raised on the backdrop of the raging debate over the demand for universal service, was soon eased, as the troops' commander called out that the "raid" was, in fact, a drill.
A Duvdevan officer explained that navigation in Arab towns and villages is complex and dangerous and that the military would rather hold drills in Jerusalem's narrow alleyways, which are very similar to those found in the West Bank.
"Meah Shearim helps us deal with situations where the conditions on the ground are not as they appear on the map," he added.
The residents' suspiciousness was soon replaced with friendliness, the officer said: "Children were curiously following us around, and shopkeepers offered us drinks. Most were just watching us with great interest."
Still, not all in the neighborhood looked upon the maneuvers favorably: "The soldiers of the Zionist military have no business here," a member of the area's Sicarii sect told the newspaper.
"This is a revolt against God. They should leave us alone. We will not allow them to turn our neighborhood into a training ground."
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