Is Israel preparing for new war on Gaza?

8 Jul


Israeli soldiers are seen as they conduct a military drill in West Bank on April 4, 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Middle East Monitor, 7 July 2017 

Thousands of Israeli ground units have been carrying out large-scale military exercises in the occupied Golan Heights in preparation for a war on the Gaza Strip, Yedioth Ahronoth [Israeli newspaper]reported.

The website stated that the training, which started earlier this week and ended yesterday, involved soldiers from units 50, 931 and 932 as well as the mobile unit of the occupation army. According to the Israeli website, the army documented the training using cameras mounted on helmets and aircraft.

During the training, the troops simulated a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, which would be the largest since the Israeli attack on the Strip in 2014.

The Nahal Brigade, whose forces participated in the previous attack on Gaza and in ground incursions into Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia, participated in the training.

According to the Israeli newspaper, the troops simulated various combat scenarios and ground battles during the exercise, including “the occupation of a whole residential neighborhood” and “the clearance of multi-storey buildings”.

The exercises also included fighting in populated residential neighbourhoods, similar to those in the Gaza Strip. These exercises were held in the new settlement of Harish, which is being built in the heart of Wadi Ara on Palestinian land. More than 150,000 Israeli Jews will be settled.

The exercises also involved the 401 Brigade’s tanks and armors, engineering forces and unmanned drones. The exercises involved soldiers walking up to eight kilometers while carrying their military equipment.

The paper added that the Israeli army has also started experimenting with unmanned Hummers.

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