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Israeli military launches week-long drill across northern Israel

Earlier this week IDF held major exercise in south; army says training was scheduled in advance

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

An Israeli soldier stands near the fence on the Israeli border with Lebanon in Rosh Hanikra , October 14, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)
An Israeli soldier stands near the fence on the Israeli border with Lebanon in Rosh Hanikra , October 14, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday it had begun a week-long military drill across northern Israel, as tensions remained high with the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group.

The IDF said the exercise would end next Thursday. Explosions are expected to be heard in the area, it added.

The military said the drill was planned in advance, indicating that it did not stem from a new assessment.

Earlier this week, the IDF held a major drill in southern Israel.

The exercise, which lasted between Tuesday and Thursday, spanned the Negev desert, the Arava valley region and the southernmost city of Eilat.

According to the IDF, the drill in the south was held alongside all of Israel’s other emergency and security services, such as police, and fire services, among others.

Israeli soldiers seen during a military drill, near the border with Syria in the central Golan Heights, on September 19, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Tensions between Israel and Lebanon were high recently, amid a dispute over rights to offshore fields thought to hold riches of natural gas.

After over a year of US-brokered talks, both Israel and Lebanon’s governments backed a final text of the deal last week, seemingly lowering the tensions to a simmer.

Hezbollah had upped its rhetoric as Israel and Lebanon were engaged in talks, launching four unarmed drones at an Israeli gas installation in July.

Despite the sides reaching an agreement, and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah saying he welcomed the deal, the Israeli army remains on heightened alert along the northern border.

Hezbollah too said it would “remain on alert” until the agreement is signed.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid has insisted the agreement is a boon to Israel’s security and “staves off” war with Hezbollah.

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