Israeli army to practice 'vanquishing' Hezbollah in massive military drill
IDF Spokesman Unit
The Israeli army on Tuesday will rehearse a scenario in which the government has ordered that it "vanquish" the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, in what is billed as one of Israel's largest military drills in decades.
Over the following two weeks, The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will practice multiple simultaneous incursions into northern Israel from southern Lebanon, local media reported, as well as preparing for the evacuation of civilians in a handful of northern villages that would likely come under rocket bombardment in the event of war.
Israel last held an exercise on such a magnitude in 1998, it was reported. That drill simulated war with Syria and was led by Meir Dagan, who later became head of the Mossad. Tomorrow's exercises are named in his honor.
According to a senior IDF officer quoted by Haaretz, the purpose of the drill is to "test the fitness of the Northern Command and the relevant battalions during an emergency" and that during the drill, the forces will receive a mock command from the cabinet to liquidate Hezbollah's military capabilities, rather than just subduing the group, which last fought a war with Israel in the summer of 2016.
Another anonymous official told the paper that Hezbollah is watching the Israeli maneuvers closely and appears to be on a state of alert.
While a substantial rocket arsenal remains Hezbollah's most feared tool of war -- Israeli assessments say it has thousands of missiles, many of which are capable of reaching Tel Aviv -- the IDF also believes that the Shiite group will attempt small-scale infiltration of northern communities and military encampments close to the border.
The navy, air force, Communications Division, Cyber Defense Division and the Home Front Command will all take part in the simulations, which will see the Upper Galilee play the role of southern Lebanon, Ynet reported.
Thousands of reservists will reportedly be called up.
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