Military drill simulates war between Israel and Hezbollah

Operations will prepare army for 'multiple terrorist infiltrations'


Israel is to conduct its largest military exercise for nearly 20 years on its northern border simulating a full-scale war with Hezbollah.

The exercise, which is expected to start on Tuesday and will last ten days, involves dozens of divisions and thousands of reserves and includes land, air and sea forces.

The major drill will include a scenario of instant escalation, in which the army has to defend Israel against multiple terrorist infiltrations in the north.

It comes as the Syrian army has been almost totally eroded by the long-running civil war and with Hezbollah viewed as Israel’s primary enemy in Lebanon.

The army will also practice an attack on Lebanon and practice an evacuation of Israeli towns by the border in anticipation of heavy missile attacks from the Shia militia.

“The purpose of the drill is to test the fitness of the Northern Command and the relevant battalions during an emergency,” a top IDF officer told Haaretz newspaper.

The officer added that the exercise would explore “the state in which Hezbollah either has no ability or desire to attack anymore”.

Hezbollah forces are said to have been put on “some state of alert” during the build up to the drill.

Other scenarios being explored in the exercise include militants entering a moshav 15 kilometers from the Lebanese border, from the sea, while "Hezbollah" forces stage an attack by Gesher Benot Yaakov in the Golan Heights

The last time the Israeli army held a drill of this size was in 1998. That exercise was commanded by Major General Meir Dagan, who went on to serve as the director of the Mossad, and it included a scenario of war with Syria.

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