The IDF’s Gaza Division of the Southern Command completed its largest annual training exercise near the Gaza Strip on Friday.
According to the army, hundreds of soldiers, including reservists, participated in the five-day drill, which simulated among other things a massive infiltration by Hamas commando units into communities in southern Israel.
In the simulation, which was planned as part of the 2017 training programs, large numbers of Hamas commandos managed to infiltrate Israeli communities via tunnels, by para-gliders and from the sea.
During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, five Hamas naval commandos tried to infiltrate Kibbutz Zikim before they were killed by the IDF.
Israel’s defense establishment has warned that the IDF must pay special attention to the strengthening of Hamas’s naval commando unit, which is reported to have more divers than before the conflict two years ago.
IDF special forces units, as well as infantry and armored brigades, navy, air force and Home Front Command took part in the exercise.
According to Gaza Division commander Brig.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, “The Gaza Division exercise was an excellent opportunity to strengthen the preparedness of both active duty and reserve battalions.”