Less than a month after Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released by Hamas after being abducted more than five years ago, the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday morning participated in a surprise simulation drill conducted by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz as part of an extensive operational review to test the IDF's preparedness for the possible sudden abduction of an Israeli soldier.
The drill was held at the IDF's 162 division in the Jordan Valley.
"This is the first time in years that such an exercise has been carried out at the general staff level," Army Radio quoted the head of the Operations Division's Inspection Department, Col. Shlomi Fayer, as saying on Sunday.
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The "Hannibal Protocol," which states that the abduction of a soldier must be prevented in every way possible, even if doing so endangers that soldier's life, was also practiced as part of the simulation drill.
The drill began at around 7 a.m. Sunday morning when general staff-level inspection teams headed by Fayer arrived at the Jordan Valley area and launched a simulation operation in which a soldier was "abducted" by Palestinian terrorists.
As part of the scenario, terrorists infiltrated an Israeli settlement and the Israeli soldier was transferred between several vehicles and areas in the Jordan Valley.
Several forces were deployed as part of the drill and attack helicopters were also used.
Gantz himself toured the area during the drill to examine the response of the IDF officers.
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