Hamas Performs Exercise Simulating Israeli Invasion of Gaza (Photos)

Hamas, the Palestinian party that governs the Gaza Strip, performed a snap training exercise Tuesday morning that rehearsed an Israeli invasion of the enclave.

According to a Tuesday announcement by Hamas’ Interior Ministry, the drills aimed “to test the readiness” of its forces “for a scenario of an extensive attempt to harm public order and stability in the Gaza Strip.” The drill involved police, intelligence units and the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ paramilitary wing, the Times of israel reported.

“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.”

​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. Reserve personnel were mobilized, roadblocks were set up, and all land crossings and seaports were closed.

Observers noted the quick reactions by all parties. “In less than 10 minutes all troops were mobilized and the land and sea borders and the governorates and roads and the border were all closed,” an activist wrote on Twitter.

​At the climax of the drill, Gazan forces “captured” an Israeli special forces team that had penetrated the territory,…

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