A surprise military exercise involving thousands of troops was launched Saturday night, simulating a sudden outbreak of fighting on the northern frontier, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The IDF said the three-day drill, dubbed “Hot Winter 2,” was aimed at “strengthening the readiness” of fighting units and the army’s logistics “for sudden events and various scenarios in the northern arena,” referring to Lebanese formation Hezbollah group and other groups in the region.
Some 8,000 conscripts and 5,000 reservist troops are participating in the drill, the IDF said. The reservist troops were called up specifically for the drill, the IDF said.
Despite international criticism, Israel invaded the neighboring country in 1978 and in 1982 with the argument of fighting the Palestine Liberation Organization, then led by Yasser Arafat.
After 18 years of presence in the Lebanese south, the IDF left the occupied territory in May 2000 due to the numerous casualties and economic losses caused by the actions of the Lebanese formation Hezbollah.
In 2006 Tel Aviv again attacked the Shiite formation in an air and ground operation that devastated much of the so-called country of cedars. The campaign caused the death of more than a thousand Lebanese and 43 Israelis.
The army also began maneuvers this Sunday near the Gaza Strip, an area populated by more than two million Palestinians and a systematic target of attacks by Tel Aviv troops.
Last August the IDF launched a new wave of bombardments against the coastal enclave, governed by the Islamic Resistance Movement, which caused the death of 49 people, including minors.