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IDF to Practice Shooting Hizbullah in Rubber Village

Israel's military is erecting a new rubber urban warfare center to prepare for another encounter with Lebanese terror militia Hizbullah.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 7/27/2009, 1:01 PM

Israel's military is erecting a new urban warfare center as part of ongoing military training, meant to ensure victory in the event of another encounter with the Lebanese terror militia Hizbullah.

In the wake of the botched 2006 Second Lebanon War against the jihadists and a resultant resurgence in Hizbullah's south Lebanese presence, Israel Defense Forces have significantly upgraded training maneuvers over the last few years.

The IDF is already conducting military exercises in a replica Hizbullah "nature reserve", complete with forests, underground bunkers, and enemy rocket launchers.

Now Israel is preparing for urban and guerilla warfare by constructing a mock Lebanese village to append to the forest.  Made of rubber, the 18-building village will absorb live ammunition as Israeli soldiers vanquish enemies from building to building.  Soldiers generally do not train with live ammunition in simulations, due to concerns that shrapnel from concrete training buildings will harm fighters.

The idea for the combination nature reserve and city came from recent findings that Hizbullah has created long tunnels from urban centers in southern Lebanon all the way to nearby nature reserves.

The first special training center will be erected in Elyakim with another soon to follow at the Lachish base near Beit Shemesh. They will include built-in camera systems enabling quick reviews of all the exercises.