The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has taken a series of new measures in the occupied West Bank, where many reservist forces are undergoing intensive training to confront Palestinian factions and Lebanon's guerrilla group Hizbullah, the Beirut leftist daily AS SAFIR reported Monday. "These changes came in line with wide-scale military training and plans that the IDF began following the July 2006 war on Lebanon," the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported.
The paper quoted a senior IDF officer as saying, "These reservist forces will remain in the West Bank until a new war erupts on the northern front with Hizbullah or the southern front with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where some of them will join up fighting units." According to the report, the IDF is adopting these measures to prevent any "resistance activity" in the West Bank or the spread of Palestinian military operations to Israeli territory in the event the army was occupied in a war with a militant faction such as Hamas or Hizbullah.
"The reservist units in the West Bank will carry out a number of duties, which will be for the security interest of Israel," the unnamed Israeli officer pointed out, adding that the work of the reservists aims to prevent resistance or suicide operations in Israeli territories including Tel Aviv. Reservists' training included first aid to the injured, transporting the wounded from the battlefield, as well as the use of live bullets.
Yediot Ahronot had reported a recent meeting between IDF leaders who discussed new plans in preparation for a "forthcoming and comprehensive war." The Israeli paper quoted the officers as saying the IDF is "on guard to retaliate to any attack against Israel whether from Hizbullah, Hamas, or Iran."