IDF launches 2 drills in Israel’s south
Army says exercises not related to recent tensions with Gaza and Sinai
Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief
The Israel Defense Forces launched a surprise military drill for reserve forces Sunday morning.
The exercise is designed to test the preparedness of the Southern Command, and the called-up soldiers will practice various operational scenarios relevant to the threats faced in Israel’s south, the IDF said in a statement.
The IDF spokesperson said the exercise and another drill in the Negev desert were planned in advance and not tied to recent tensions with Gaza and jihadists in Sinai
A heavier than usual presence of army vehicles should be expected in the southern and central regions, the IDF said, and it requested that the public abide by instructions from the security forces.
The drill coincides with a separate exercise that the Home Front Command is running in the Negev region from Sunday to Wednesday. Unlike the Southern Command’s operation, the HFC drill was announced beforehand.
Since the beginning of 2016, Israel has conducted a series of military drills designed to test the preparedness of the army and emergency response teams.