TEL AVIV (Aug. 25)
Israel began a 24-hour mobilization test at noon today with radio and television broadcasting special code names for the units being called up. In Tel Aviv, a small transport plane flew over the city dropping thousands of leaflets signed by Gen. Herzl Shafir, head of the general staff department, announcing the call-up and listing the code names.
The news of the expected exercise was also relayed by the citizens themselves, and shortly after official announcements were made, reserve soldiers belonging to units with such code names as “Listening Ear,’ “Young Lions,” “Pair of Shoes,” “Insurance Policy,” “Samson and Delilah,” “Matriculation Certificate,” and “Slaughtered Men,” were on their way to assembly points or their unit meeting places. The soldiers, who left their work, stores and offices, travelled by private cars or by public bus transportation using special vouchers.
For many of the reservists the call-up took less than the 24 hours announced. Reservists were beginning to return only a few hours after the mobilization began. The soldiers called reported to their assembly point, registered and then were released for home. Attempts are being made to keep inconvenience to the public at a minimum, although there is expected to be a shortage of buses today. Those not being called up are also asked to give reservists lifts to their stations.
Before the mobilization call, Israel assured the foreign legations here and the United Nations Emergency Force that the mobilization will not take more than 24 hours.
In an interview with Davar last Friday, Defense Minister Shimon Peres stressed that Israel learned from the Yom Kippur War that the country must not be caught napping again and that both the people and the army must be prepared for any eventuality.
Peres also called for a bigger standing army for Israel. “The scope of the Israel Defense Forces should be broadened, cooperation among the various divisions should be increased and (the Army) should be armed with equipment which will be suitable for future confrontations in the Middle East,” he said.
Meanwhile, Syrian newspapers reported that the Syrian armed forces were being mobilised in reaction to the Israeli call-up. However, it was reliably learned here that no special movements of any kind had been observed on either the Syrian or Egyptian fronts.