A drone flown by an Israeli man carries his national flag near the border fence with the Gaza Strip on May 29, 2018. (AFP photo)
JERUSALEM, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Israel's military said it launched a large military exercise on Sunday morning and will start another in the evening, amid heightened tensions with the Gaza Strip and Iran.
A military spokesperson said in a statement that both exercises were planned in advance as part of the military's routine training plans to maintain the preparedness and fitness of the forces.
One exercise will be carried out in southern Israel, including the regional council of Lakish, the cities of Kiryat Gat, Ashdod, and Ashkelon, as well as the community of Shomria.
The exercise will last through Wednesday.
"As part of the exercise, a large movement of ground troops, vehicles, air force aircraft and helicopters will be felt," the statement read.
The other exercise, which already began on Sunday morning, is being carried out by the air force, and will continue until Thursday.
The exercise involves all Israel's air force bases, according to the statement.
"As part of the exercise, a large movement of aircraft over the country's skies will be felt, explosions will be heard, and sirens will be activated for training purposes in air force bases and their vicinity," the spokesperson said.
The exercises come amid peak tensions along the security fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel, where Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, while the Gaza militants fired dozens of projectiles at southern Israel.
At least 122 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 30, the first day of the ongoing Palestinian "Great March of Return" rally against Israel's crippling blockade since 2007 and the U.S. embassy move to the disputed holy city of Jerusalem.