On Feb. 25, the military concluded a command exercise that simulated a
two-front war with Hamas and Hizbullah. The exercise included a scenario of
massive missile and rocket strikes on Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza
Strip, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Israel has no interest in seeing escalation in the region," Ashkenazi
said. "Yet, we closely monitor developments and make sure to maintain a
prepared, deterring, and motivated military."
Officials said the military was preparing each of its major elements for
a regional war. In the latest exercise, the General Staff tested the response
and decisions of senior commanders in such areas as combat, intelligence,
logistics and media relations.
"During the exercise, forces were trained in the management of joint
combat methods," the military said. "Inter-branch operability procedures
amongst air, ground and naval forces were examined under various scenarios.
Multi-arena combat management were also tested, with the support of
logistics, intelligence, communications and home front coordination, as was
communication between the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli government."
Military intelligence has warned the government of Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu of the prospect of war in 2010. Officials said the
intelligence assessment said Iran could order a war by Hamas and Hizbullah
in an effort to divert Western attention from its campaign to halt Teheran's
"A wind of tension is blowing again in the north of the country," chief
armored officer Brig. Gen. Agai Yehezkel said. "Despite the fact that the
challenge might be more difficult than during Operation Cast Lead [Hamas war], we are prepared for it."
Officials said the next war would require a rapid Israeli ground advance
into the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. They said this would require the
integration of air, infantry and armored forces, with support from the navy
in coastal operations. Some of these goals were said to have been achieved
in the 22-day war with Hamas in 2009.
"The work is comprehensive, systematic and deep, with the ability to see
a general picture of headquarters operations, a necessary condition for
effective force operations," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.