02:02 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Israeli Army Launches Drills in Country's South

    © AFP 2019 / JALAA MAREY
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) launched on Sunday five-day military exercises in the country's south, the army's press service said.

    The drills are set to take place in the Kiryat Gatarea, as well as at the Tze'elim training base. The army noted that there would be an increased movement of security forces in the area as part of the exercises.

    The drills are held against the backdrop of growing tensions in the region, triggered by US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    Trump made the relevant announcement in early December and instructed the State Department to begin preparations for the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv. He also urged other countries to follow the US move.

    READ MORE: Israel to Submit Official Letter of Withdrawal From UNESCO by Year-End

    The step has prompted criticism from a number of states, first and foremost in the Middle East and Palestine, and triggered a wave of protests in the region.


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