IDF holds surprise drill on Gaza border

Gaza border IDF

IDF forces as seen from the Gaza side of the border fence. (Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The IDF, in an effort to remain prepared for any scenario, has been holding spontaneous training exercises.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were tested Sunday morning in a surprise drill to examine the soldiers’ preparedness, an army spokesman announced.

The IDF said that the drill would take place throughout the day and continue into the late night hours. Both land and air forces are participating in the exercise.

An IDF spokesperson clarified that the drill was planned in advance as part of ongoing security activities and was not conducted in response to developments in the vicinity.

The Gaza border has been fairly quiet recently, although it has seen minor security-related incidents.

IDF forces uncovered on Wednesday an explosive device, concealed in the vicinity of the security fence on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, and dismantled it.

Last Sunday, security forces apprehended a Palestinian who illegally scaled the Gaza border fence and entered Israel. He was carrying a knife on his body.

The IDF did not discuss the motive behind this infiltration attempt. There is a growing trend, however, among Palestinians who cross the border in order to be arrested and serve time in Israeli prisons, which offer better living conditions than that of the Gaza Strip.

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Hamas military training exercises and test-rocket launches have become a common occurrence, already eroding the deterrence achieved during Operation Protective Edge.

Hamas recently announced that it has rearmed and rebuilt its forces and terror infrastructure and that it is ready for another round of hostilities against Israel.

“We are prepared for any scenario, from a sniper attack like the one that occurred two months ago, to a terrorist attack from a cave that could involve several terrorists,” an officer from the IDF’s Gaza Division told Ynet News. “That’s why we practice these scenarios often and do not let the relative calm mislead us. For us, the preparations are for an attack with no warning signs in advance.”