by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 | A day after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) discovered another underground attack tunnel penetrating into Israel from Gaza, Hamas conducted a surprise military drill on Tuesday involving each of its military organizations and escalated its forces to the highest alert level.
The Ministry of Interior based in Gaza said in a statement that the emergency exercise simulated “a sudden security threat in the context of the readiness of the forces and the security services.” The Gaza joint operations unit considered the exercise a success, Ynetnews reported.
Movement in the Strip was restricted for the duration of the exercise, as land crossings were closed and fishermen were called in from the Mediterranean and restricted from going out to sea until the drill ended.
The tension along the border almost reached its boiling point at the end of last month as nearly a hundred fires blazed throughout Israeli communities bordering Gaza, many of which were started by incendiary devices launched from the enclave. The two sides reached a tentative cease-fire that included an agreement from Gaza not to send any more incendiary devices over the border into Israel. The terror arson has reportedly quieted considerably, though not completely.
The Times of Israel reported that Hamas officials told the media that yesterday’s military exercise was to test preparedness for an infiltration by Israeli forces. Other media outlets have connected the drill to Israel’s undercover operation in Gaza that ended in the death of an IDF lieutenant colonel last November by accidental friendly fire.
The findings of the investigation into that operation were presented to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi last week. According to the IDF website, the chief of staff commended the heroism by those involved in the operation but said the operation was not successfully completed.
“The IDF will continue to investigate itself in a thorough and penetrating manner, to learn lessons, to learn and to improve, in order to carry out its mission precisely and completely,” the IDF Spokesperson said.
Posted on July 10, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 10, 2019)
Photo Credit: Ruptly/YouTube/screenshot
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