WATCH: IDF General Staff orders massive surprise drill in West Bank

Two-day exercise will test Central Command's ability to mobilize many forces in response to sudden security escalation.

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March 1, 2015 20:31
1 minute read.

Surprise IDF drill in West Bank

Surprise IDF drill in West Bank

The IDF launched a largescale surprise drill in Judea and Samaria on Sunday, simulating a rapid deterioration of the security situation and the eruption of wide-scale Palestinian rioting.

The two-day exercise, organized by the General Staff, is designed to improve military readiness, particularly that of the Central Command.

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Military sources said it had been planned before Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot became chief of staff.

The ground forces and navy will take part in the drill, which is being overseen by Brig.-Gen. Nadav Padan, commander of the 162th Armored Brigade.

The Civil Administration notified the Palestinian Authority to ensure it understood that the mobilizations were only an exercise.

A senior military source said surprise call-up notices started going out late Saturday to military units, including 3,000 reservists ordered to report for duty. Another 10,000 reservists were notified about the exercise.

Most of the conscripted forces that could be released from their operational activities will have a role in the exercise, the source said, practicing their transition from routine to emergency, though “we won’t see the whole army physically take part.”

Two live-fire, battalion-wide drills will take place during the exercise.

“It really is unusual in its scope,” the military source continued. “We activated all the operational forces that are part of the Central Command’s emergency response. This includes many ground forces, the air force, intelligence and extensive cooperation with the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency]. Special forces are involved, too.”

Residents of the territories can expect to see an increase in military traffic throughout Monday, the second day of the drill, the source said.

“We will mark the end on Monday evening, after battle procedures and physical drills end,” he added.

The array of scenarios in the drill have been shaped by intelligence assessments, the source said. Ultimately, it is about “the need to deploy large forces to the field” in the event of a rapid security escalation in the West Bank.


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