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Daily Israel Report

IDF Training for Ground Invasion of Lebanon

Army reveals it is rehearsing for 'Afghanistan-type' resistance to IDF takeover of Lebanese villages.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/3/2014, 7:07 PM

IDF tanks (illustrative)
IDF tanks (illustrative)
Flash90

The IDF is rehearsing scenarios of mass rioting combined with guerrilla warfare, which it may encounter if and when it invades Lebanon and takes over villages there. The disclosure was made by IDF officers in a report featured on the IDF's official website – and can safely be assumed to be an intentional warning to Lebanon and Hezbollah that the IDF is capable of a ground invasion of Israel's northern neighbor.

The report says that the IDF is preparing for the possibility that in a spontaneous reaction to the conquest of a village by Israeli forces, the residents will stage a massive riot.

"We are preparing for a similar reality to the one Americans are encountering in Afghanistan,” 7th Regiment Commander, Col. Nadav Lotan, explained recently, according to the IDF Website report. “That is – we take over a village, and the riots begin.” The rioting is expected to involve local-level violence as well as more professional weaponry and tactics.

"These will not be your typical disturbances, of the type we see in Judea and Samaria,” Lotan told commanders in an exercise practicing urban warfare. “It is possible, rather, that we will see riots that include IEDs and light weapons fire.”

“The longer the IDF stays in the village, the greater the ferment,” explained Lt. Col. Neria Yeshurun, commander of the regiment's 82nd Battalion.

"It is important to be prepared for everything,” Yeshurun told the IDF Website. Planning for this contingency includes logistical preparation of the tanks that will be involved in the urban warfare scenario.

Tensio between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah has been high lately, following attacks by Hezbollah along Israel's northern border. 

The IDF Northern Command announced last week that it was changing its orders regarding opening fire in areas along the Golan border fence. Anyone from the Syrian side who comes near the fence should expect to be shot, the IDF said.

The new orders were issued in response to recent attacks against the IDF. In mid March, IDF forces clashed with terrorists, opening fire on Hezbollah after terrorists placed an explosive on the border fence with Syria. A group of suspicious figures approached the fence in the middle of the night, and attempted to blow up the barrier. The IDF responded by shooting from light weapons and firing artillery shells to wipe out the terror attempt.

Previously, soldiers would fire in the air to warn off and ward off suspicious figures. No longer; now, soldiers will immediately open fire in the direction of suspicious looking characters.