IDF Calls Up Thousands of Reserve Soldiers in Surprise West Bank Drill

Another 10,000 received phone calls putting them on alert in drill simulating clashes and protests in the West Bank.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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IDF soldiers in the West Bank, June 17, 2014.
IDF soldiers in the West Bank, June 17, 2014.Credit: AP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The IDF began a wide-scale drill on Sunday, simulating mass protests in the West Bank and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

As part of the drill, 3,000 reserve soldiers were called up to their units, and another 10,000 received phone calls putting them on alert.

In light of the Palestinian Authority's dire economic situation and regional instability, the IDF's Central Command has been preparing for the possibility of a conflict erupting in the West Bank, as soon as late March. A senior commander said that although the drill is not officially linked to this assessment, the decision to hold it in the West Bank is rooted in the understanding that forces "must be prepared in that theater."

The officer added that the IDF has relayed to the PA that this is solely a drill.

Speaking to reporters, the officer said that "this drill is unusual in its scope and taking part in it are all of the Central Command's operational forces." He added that the drill "includes air and intelligence units, large-scale cooperation with the Shin Bet security service an special units, and [includes preparation] for emergency scenarios such as kidnapping."

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