Airforce plane in Italy 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy: IDF Spokesman)
A senior IDF said on Thursday that the test launching of a missile and a
joint Air Force exercise with Italy had no connection to the public
discussion currently taking place on the possibility of an Israeli
strike on Iran, Israel Radio reported. The radio station quoted unnamed IDF
official as calling such speculation "absolute nonsense."
All of the exercises and the test launch, the source said, were planned long in advance.
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A flurry of media attention
has been focused in recent days and weeks on the possibility that the
government is advancing preparations for a military strike on Iran. The
IDF exercises and the test launch were put into the context of a strike
on Iran by media outlets and commentators both in Israel and overseas.
addition to a missile test and the announcement of the Air Force
exercise, air-raid sirens rang out across the greater Tel Aviv area on
Thursday morning as part of an extensive drill conducted by the IDF Home Front Command simulating a missile
The public was given little
warning of the exercise, which involved all the emergency services and the
handing out of gas masks.
Meanwhile, details of the Air Force exercise were
released on Wednesday, in the shadow of intensive and controversial media
reports over a possible Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear
The same day, Israel test-fired a missile from the Palmahim Air Force Base
south of Rishon Lezion that was heralded by Defense Minister Ehud Barak as an
important success in the nation’s strategic capabilities.
reports said the missile was likely a Jericho 3 missile capable of carrying a
The smoke trail from the launch was seen by many
residents of the Central region in the sunny morning sky.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report