The Israeli army has called up some 13,000 reservists, sending 3,000 to a surprise training mission in the occupied West Bank, in preparation for a possible escalation of violence in the Palestinian Territories. Israeli central command called for the massive surprise training exercise on Sunday, the Palestinian News Network (PNN) reports.

The drill was allegedly held to test reservists’ alertness, and to prepare for the possibility of a possible escalation in the West Bank. Of further note, the drill is the first in three years and takes place only two weeks after the new Chief of Staff took control of the army.

According to Israeli officials, “the drill came on the day that Palestinians said they would consider dissolving security cooperation with Israel over Israel’s recent suspension of tax revenue transfers”. A military spokeswoman contradicted the implication by stating that it was ‘not necessarily linked to anything specific’… Israel’s last such exercise in the West Bank was in 2012, and drills ‘are held from time to time”.

See: Abbas Vows ‘Harsh Steps’ over Israeli Withholding of PA Tax Revenues for details.