IDF to hold drills in Golan Heights, West Bank
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IDF to hold drills in Golan Heights, West Bank

Exercises come amid heightened tensions with Syria, but army says maneuvers were planned in advance

Illustrative photo of an IDF exercise near the Gaza Border on November 19, 2014. (Amit Shechter/IDF Spokesperson's Unit/Flickr)
Illustrative photo of an IDF exercise near the Gaza Border on November 19, 2014. (Amit Shechter/IDF Spokesperson's Unit/Flickr)

The IDF is set to conduct extensive military drills in the Golan Heights and in the West Bank starting Sunday, an army spokesman said in a statement Saturday.

The exercises in the Golan Heights come at a time of increased tension with Syria, following several reported Israeli strikes on targets in Syria and a Syrian attempt to shoot down an Israeli warplane.

On Saturday a Lebanese paper reported that Syria had sent Israel a message via Russia, warning that it would fire Scud missiles at Israel in the event of further Israeli airstrikes.

Israel has said it would continue to act against attempts by Iran to send advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria.

However, the army emphasized in the statement that the drills were planned in advance as part of the army’s 2017 schedule, and that the exercises are intended to maintain the army’s preparedness.

Residents of both areas are advised to take note of the fact that security forces will be operating heavily in settlements and training grounds in the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and that explosions may be heard during the exercises, the statement added.

The exercises in both locations are expected to conclude by the end of the week.

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