‘Surprise’ Negev Exercise Not a Sign of Trouble, IDF Says

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi EIzenkot seen during a visit at an army exercise of the Golani Brigade, in the Golan Heights on October 27, 2015. Photo by Gefen Reznik/IDF Spokesperson
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot visiting the Golani Brigade, in the Golan Heights on Oct. 27. (Gefen Reznik/IDF Spokesperson)

The IDF on Wednesday morning launched an unexpected, wide-ranging exercise throughout southern Israel. As part of the exercise, thousands of soldiers were mobilized and there were a significant number of military vehicles on the roads, and air force planes in the skies.

The area included in the exercise stretched from towns on the Sinai-Gaza border all the way up through the southern reaches of the center of the country, such as Rechovot and Gedera.

Although media reports said that the exercise was a “surprise,” the IDF said in a statement that it had been planned in advance, and did not reflect any specific threat, but was one of many exercises that the army conducts on a regular basis to ensure that its soldiers are able to handle any security threat.