Israel stages nationwide war drill

Date: 05-14-07

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel on Monday began a nationwide war drill aimed at implementing lessons learned from last year's war with the Lebanese Hezbollah militant movement.

Israeli public radio reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Miniser Amir Peretz and his deputy Ephraim Sneh would all watch the four-day drill.

The exercise is being staged after an official commission last month condemned serious failures by Israel's political and military leadership during last summer's war with Hezbollah.

"This large scale exercise based on a general war scenario started (Monday morning)," an army spokeswoman told AFP.

"It is aimed at checking coordination between army chiefs of staff and commanders in different military regions and with the political leadership," said reserve General Giora Eiland.

Eiland said the drill would take into account lessons learned from the July-August 2006 war with Hezbollah.

The Shiite movement fired over 4,000 rockets at northern Israel, forcing a million Israelis to flee their homes and head south.


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