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Israel war drill raises Mideast tensions

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Tobias Buck and Roula Khalaf
Financial Times
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

At 11am on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Israelis will hear a warning siren and dash to bunkers and safe rooms across the country. The army and rescue services will practise their response to a massive missile attack, marking the climax of an ambitious home-front exercise.

Despite government assurances that the drill is a yearly routine, political leaders in Lebanon and Syria have accused Israel of warmongering.

Whether by accident or design, the five-day exercise has fuelled speculation over a renewed military clash between Israel and Hizbollah, the Lebanese Shia group backed by Iran and Syria.

Israel’s northern neighbours are not alone in voicing concerns about the potential for more bloodshed. In recent weeks, Israeli politicians have repeatedly warned that the threat posed by Hizbollah’s rapidly improving arsenal is reaching a critical level.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 3:33 am

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