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Israel has staged a mass drill, simulating a missile attack in the centre of the country at a time of intense speculation that it could launch strikes on Iran, although the military dismissed any link.

Civil defence drills happen several times a year in Israel and the military said Thurday's exercise, which caused air-raid
sirens to ring out around the Tel Aviv area, had been planned months in advance.

There has been a week-long surge of speculation in Israeli media that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is working to
secure cabinet consensus for an attack on Iranian nuclear installations.

On Wednesday, Israel test-fired a long-range ballistic missile, its first in three years. Earlier in the week, the military was involved in joint exercises with the Italian air force near Sardinia.

The operations come ahead of a report on Iran's nuclear capabilities next week by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports from Jerusalem.

Source: Al Jazeera