IDF Wraps Up Large-Scale Drill Simulating War in Gaza

In this picture distributed by the IDF, Israeli soldiers from the Golani infantry brigade
Abir Sultan/IDF via Getty

TEL AVIV – The IDF on Wednesday wrapped up a large-scale exercise simulating war in the Gaza Strip days after the ruling Hamas terror group launched a snap drill simulating the capture of Israeli special forces. 

The drill took place under- and above-ground, in tunnels, open spaces and populated areas, and employed lessons learned from 2014’s 50-day conflict with Gaza, according to Capt. Noam Karavani from the 601st combat engineering battalion of the 40th armored brigade. The exercise also used many newer techniques and strategies, along with sophisticated technology, much of it aimed at combating the threat of Hamas-dug attack tunnels, Karavani said.

The drill was divided into two areas in the Gaza envelope, he added.

Officers were being trained “to deal with the mental challenges of war, of how they think professionally in order to win, and test[ing] how troops will face the challenges of the battlefield,” he told the Jerusalem Post.

“It really made me proud to see how the soldiers dealt with their challenges, physical and mental,” Karavani said. “They walked all throughout the night with weight on their back through dunes, and the next day continued to work. Without a doubt we are ready to win the next war.”

He added that even though relative calm has been restored to the Strip, the terror group was often engaged in silent warfare underground.

“We aren’t only training for when it’s loud, but also for when it’s quiet, so that they are never able to surprise us,” he said.

He added that the Hamas terror group was out of surprises.

“We know everything, even what [Hamas] is thinking we have an answer [to]. Drones, underground. There’s nothing we aren’t ready for.”

His remarks come a day after a Skylark military reconnaissance drone crashed in the central Gaza Strip, reportedly shot down by a Palestinian terror group. The IDF confirmed the downing of the drone but said it posed no security or intelligence risk.

In a rare move, Hamas last week launched a surprise military drill across Gaza simulating the capture of IDF forces operating in the territory. The drill saw the mobilization of reserve units, security personnel, police, intelligence units and soldiers from the terror group’s military brigade, Izzadin al-Qassam.

Iyad al-Bozm, spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza, said on Twitter: “The Interior and National Security Ministry is currently carrying out an emergency drill to simulate dealing with a sudden security threat. It is taking place in the framework of examining the preparedness of the security forces and services.”


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