- The Washington Times - Monday, December 28, 2020

A group of Palestinian militant factions in Gaza that operate as a quasi-army against Israel is set to kick off joint military exercises in an effort to ready groups for a possible future conflict, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Washington, D.C. think tank’s “Long War Journal” said the maneuvers, dubbed “Strong Supporter,” are set to begin on Dec. 29, 2020.

“Palestinian factions have been heavily promoting the event by publishing material detailing the militant groups involved in the exercise including the creation of a Telegram channel dedicated to the upcoming event,” the Long War Journal said.

The last such large-scale battle drills in Gaza occurred in 2018 and were conducted by the al-Qassam Brigades. In one of the exercises, their fighters assaulted a mock Israeli Merkava IV main battle tank and captured the soldiers operating it.

“In another exercise, explosions and anti-aircraft fire from an al-Qassam Brigades position unintentionally triggered Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system which launched multiple interceptor missiles against the airspace above Gaza,” the Long War Journal said.

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