The Israeli army has finished reviewing the structure of its infantry battalions in an effort to increase their "lethal" power in urban and guerrilla warfare.
The review was ordered by Israeli army Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi after the troops failed to achieve their tactical goals during the December 2008-January 2009 war against the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army has introduced several new weapons systems in its battalions to make them more lethal, particularly in offensives in urban settings like Gaza and villages in southern Lebanon, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The US-made sniper rifle HTR 2000 is one of the new weapons distributed to all infantry battalions. The new rifle enables Israeli soldiers to hit targets up to a distance of 1,000 meters and can accommodate a special night-vision add-on scope.
The Israeli army’s ground forces command, which oversaw the review, has also purchased dozens of Polaris all-terrain vehicles. The utility vehicle would enable the infantry to transport up to 700 kilograms of supplies behind enemy lines at a speed close to 80 kilometer per hour.
The battalions have, moreover, been equipped with explosives to knock down doors and walls independent of combat engineer units, while Matador anti-structure shoulder-launched missiles will give them an upper hand in dealing with targets inside fortified positions.
Meanwhile, the Israeli infantry are also undergoing special training to erect camouflaged positions for the battalion when necessary during operations.
Last month, the Israeli forces carried out joint military maneuvers with the US Marines in the Negev desert in southern Israel as part of a series of exercises on the Lebanese and Syrian borders.
Hinging on guerilla warfare, the drills reportedly involved fighting mock street battles with resistance fighters and the invasion of an Israeli military-built mock-up of a typical Palestinian village.