The Israeli army has begun constructing a facility that resembles a Lebanese village, where Israeli soldiers would get training for a possible future war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.
Israeli media quoted a military statement as saying on Monday that the “Snir” training facility is being built in the occupied Golan Heights.
The center will have multiple entry points, a mock Hezbollah command and control headquarters, residential buildings, mosques, and public buildings.
It will be large enough to accommodate tanks and allow the use of live ammunition.
Israeli Brigadier General Einav Shalev said the facility is meant to prepare Israeli soldiers for urban warfare, including subterranean combat.
Meanwhile, a senior Israeli army official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said the army plans to have the center ready for use by the end of next year and construct three similar facilities in the coming years.
“[Snir] is a Lebanese village, showing the Lebanese challenge, which is growing greater... In the village, there are people acting as enemy fighters, who are very close to the types of threats that we expect from Hezbollah in the next round,” the official said.
Israel has previously built a similar facility called “Mali” at an army base in Tze’elim to simulate urban combat against Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement.
The Snir center will be built by the German construction engineering company M+W Group, which had also built the Mali facility.
Back in February, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz warned that all of Lebanon would be a target if Hezbollah fired on the occupied territories.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said in response that any Israeli attempt to violate Lebanon’s sovereignty would be met with the “appropriate response.”
Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy leader, stressed last month that the resistance movement’s high level of defense readiness has so far deterred Israel from launching a new act of aggression against the country, warning that any such war would end in a “guaranteed loss” for the regime.
Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, in both of which the resistance movement inflicted heavy losses on the regime’s military. About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, lost their lives in one of the wars, namely the 33-day war in the summer of 2006.