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Israel Military Maneuvers End; Ben Gurion and Army Chief Praise Troops and Reservists

As Israel’s first major war games ended here last night David Ben Gurion, in his capacity of Defense Minister, praised the response of the nation’s army, Navy, Air Force and civilian reserve to the seven-day exercises.

Mr. Ben Gurion singled out the general staff of the Army for special praise, adding that the maneuvers proved that Israel had one of the best armies and general staffs in the world. He also revealed that over 95 percent of all reservists called up responded. The total number of men and women involved in “Operation First Harvest,” he disclosed, was in excess of 75,000.

Brig. Yigal Yadin, Chief of Staff, lauded the loyalty of the troops and civilian units, asserting that their loyalty was equal to that displayed during the late war. He said that the aim of the maneuvers was to test the high commands planning methods and the strength of the reserve. The test, he said, proved that the reserve is “powerful.”

Within seven days, he stressed, thousands of reservists were called up, equipped at reception centers, sent into the field to engage in “battle” and then returned “victorious.” The coordination of the three major services was “exemplary,” he added.