The Israeli army is conducting military drills in the occupied West Bank as part of preparations to deal with possible deterioration in security conditions in the Palestinian territories, Press TV reports.
The level of military exercises has been unprecedented over the past 10 years, the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv quoted unidentified Israeli military sources as saying.
“The military exercises on this level definitely have a political message for Palestinians. They are aimed to show that Israel has the upper hand and its army has the power to deter attacks by Palestinian activists,” Esmat Mansour, an expert on the Middle East affairs, told Press TV.
Israeli soldiers have mistreated Palestinians during the exercises carried out in villages and near civilians’ houses, human rights organizations reported.
In one case, the soldiers broke into a house while a Palestinian family was inside.
“These exercises must not be carried out in areas where civilians live,” said Wasef Erekat, a military expert, adding, “Israel continues to terrify the Palestinian civilians.”
Tensions have recently been running high in the West Bank and East al-Quds Jerusalem over the desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli troops and the recent killing of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein.