IDF Soldiers
IDF SoldiersIsrael news photo: IDF

The Israeli army is staging a wide-scale exercise Sunday to test its ability to thwart a kidnapping attempt by terrorists.

The exercise is taking place in the wake of boasts by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations that they will kidnap soldiers as bartering tools to win the release of terrorists and prisoners serving time in Israeli jails.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas joined Hamas last month in stating that kidnapping and holding Sergeant Gilad Shalit as hostage for more than five years was “successful" because it brought about the release of the first batch of 1,027 terrorists to be freed by Israel. Nearly 500 were released in the first stage of the agreement, and the others are to be set free next month.

Sunday’s IDF exercise began with a mock report of kidnapping at an army checkpoint in the Jordan Valley. The “victim” was kidnapped and taken to Shechem, in northern Samaria.

At the same time, supposed terrorists infiltrated into a moshav in the Jordan Valley in an attempt at carrying out a knife attack.