Hamas performed a snap training exercise Tuesday morning that rehearsed an Israeli invasion of the enclave. Hamas is the Palestinian party that governs the Gaza Strip.
According to the Times of Israel, the drill involved suddenly raising the alert level among all security agencies across the 25-mile-long territory, which at its widest is only six miles across.
“The Interior and National Security Ministry is currently carrying out an emergency drill to simulate dealing with a sudden security threat,” Interior Ministry spokesperson Iyad al-Bozm wrote on Twitter. “It is taking place in the framework of examining the preparedness of the security forces and services.”
The training exercise included a simulation of the capture of Israeli special forces operating in Gaza, as well as a general mobilization of reserve personnel to Hamas security services.
The drill involved police, intelligence units and the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ paramilitary wing, the Times of Israel reported.
The security and defense establishments are further working on an evacuation plan that would see natives being asked to leave their apartments during a “security escalation” situation, “thereby reducing Hamas’ ability to hit and damage buildings, which would have broad strategic ramifications,” reported Channel 12 news.
Israel “has seen the power of the resistance in the battle in Khan Younis, whose results continue to shake the foundations of the Israeli defense establishment and military,” Hamas said in a statement, according to the Times, adding that “the resistance has additional powerful capabilities it has not yet revealed.”
The drills also come less than a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was “preparing for a large-scale military operation, if necessary.”