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February 24, 2019 1:13 pm

Newly Appointed Chief of Staff Orders Major Surprise Training Exercise for Israeli Military

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An Israeli Merkava tank pulls back from the Gaza Strip near the border with Israel on Aug. 3, 2014. Photo: Flash90.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began a major surprise training exercise on Sunday across Israel, just one month after a new chief of staff was appointed.

The exercise involved several branches of the military, with infantry, armor, artillery, and air force units all participating.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, the exercise is intended to demonstrate the IDF’s readiness both to the domestic population and neighboring countries. It will reportedly emphasize a possible conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

The exercise comes after Gen. Aviv Kochavi was sworn in as the new IDF chief of staff on January 15th. It is traditional for incoming chiefs of staff to undertake major training exercises following their installation.

Among other exercises, the IDF will evaluate its ability to maneuver units quickly between the Jewish state’s southern and northern borders, an indication that the army is taking seriously the possibility of a two-front war against Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south.

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