Photo: Ohad Zoigenberg
File photo of an IDF drill
Photo: Ohad Zoigenberg

IDF calls surprise drill in tension-ridden north

Division, 2,000 reservists called up; official denies link between timing of exercise and regional unrest

The IDF launched on Tuesday a major exercise at the north of the country, calling up an entire division and some 2,000 reservists for the drill.


The IDF reportedly decided to hold the exercise in view of the sensitive security situation over the threats issuing from Lebanon and Syria. The exercise is intended to go on until the weekend.


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However, a senior source in the Northern Command denied the drill's timing was dictated by regional unrest, saying it was scheduled in advance.


According to reports, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon was not informed about the drill, but sources affiliated with the Defense Ministry said that the exercise was part of many similar routine training drills, of the likes of which the defense minister is not informed.


Meanwhile, London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper published statements by a Lebanese source claiming that Hezbollah is prepared for any military development.


According to the source, this is in light of the meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, a meeting in which the two coordinated their stances regarding the support of Damascus.


The report stated that sources in Lebanon believed that a war would break out within six weeks, involving Lebanon, Syria and possibly Iran.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that regional developments were disconcerting, especially in view of the multiplicity of threats issuing from Israel's Arab neighbors.


"Israel watches with keen interest and concern the latest developments in Syria and Lebanon," said the prime minister. "Syria is breaking down and Lebanon is unstable. Both places posit considerable threats to Israel's security."


"Syria represents two direct threats," Netanyahu further added. "First, the possibility that advanced weapons wind up with terrorist organizations. The second is penetration by individual terrorists through the border to carry out shooting attacks at Israelis. We are handling both issues. The State of Israel will curb any threat emanating from Syria and Lebanon, whether by land, sea or air."  



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פרסום ראשון: 04.30.13, 17:33
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