PREPARING TO STRIKE GAZA, ISRAEL TO HOLD LARGEST EVER AREAL DRILLS

Monitors insist that these massive and continuous drills likely come in line with the Israeli efforts to prepare for a massive and deadly attack on the Gaza Strip

Likely preparing for deadly offensive on Gaza, Israeli air force is preparing for largest ever and most complex military drills later this year.

According to the Israeli public radio, about 100 fighters, other aircrafts and a few hundred soldiers and pilots, along with logistical support forces from the United States, Greece, Poland, France, Germany, India and Italy are expected to participate in the military exercise.

Israeli radio said the air force squadrons will meet in Tel-Aviv during autumn to carry out these joint exercises to maintain the readiness of the forces from the participating countries.

Over the course of two weeks during the exercise, pilots will train to fight air battles, hit ground targets and avoid missiles.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht, the Israeli Air Force’s chief of international affairs, said: “It will be a massive exercise; the biggest ever for the IAF. Seven nations plus Israel.”

He added: “People are seeing there is a lot to learn from Israel. In our tiny airspace and in the environment around us, things are so intense. The Russians are here…Many of the world’s air forces are passing through here on their way to operations in Syria and elsewhere in the region.

“So we provide a sort of battle lab in which forces can hone a spectrum of skills needed to combat growing threats.”

He explained that the so-called Blue Flag exercises would focus on cooperation rather than competition between the participating air Forces, as opposed to the Red Flag manoeuvers organised by the US Air Force each year at the Niles Air Force Base in Nevada.

Early this week, Israel called up 2,000 reserves and carried out large drills near the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.

Monitors insist that these massive and continuous drills likely come in line with the Israeli efforts to prepare for a massive and deadly attack on the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 24.03.2017)

Tags: ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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