While the reservists who were called up were not informed about the drill ahead of time, the IDF is stressing that the exercise is part of the 2018 training schedule.

IDF forces in the north

IDF forces in the north Photo Credit: Basel Awidat/Flash 90

The IDF announced on Sunday that it has launched a wide-ranging military drill in the Golan Heights. The military spokesperson said that the exercise was planned in advance as part of the IDF’s training schedule but confirmed that the reservists who were called up for the drill were not made aware of it prior to today. The spokesperson added that the drill was designed to “maintain the readiness and preparedness of the forces.”

The exercise will last a few days and increased traffic in the Golan Heights is expected as a result of it. In addition, explosions will likely be heard in the area.

Forces in the north

Forces in the north Photo Credit: Ancho Gosh/Flash 90

On Thursday of last week, the Israeli Air Force completed a week-long exercise simulating a two-front battle along Israel’s southern and northern borders. Hundreds of fighter jets, helicopters and transport aircraft participated in the large-scale drill.

The IAF exercise was carried out as Israeli forces were preparing for intense clashes along the Israeli-Gaza border ahead of the last Friday of Ramadan, which coincided with the week of Naksa Day. However, according to IDF reports, Hamas was disappointed with the low turnout for Friday’s protests. Estimates put the number of participants at around 15,000.

The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza claimed that four were killed by IDF fire and about 500 were injured. The protesters threw stones at IDF soldiers, who responded by using riot control measures to disperse the crowds. In extreme cases of immediate danger, Israeli snipers who were stationed in the area responded to eliminate the threats. One IDF soldier was slightly injured due to smoke inhalation after a flaming kite sparked a fire in a field across from southern Gaza.