Israel at War - Operation Just Reward

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Israel at War - Operation Just Reward

Timeline of attack

Two armored Hummer jeeps set out on a routine patrol of the border fence, carrying soldiers from a reservist battalion of Brigade 5. Hezbollah operatives ambush the patrol about 200 meters from the fence, on the Israeli side, between Shtula and Zarit.

The assailants attack the Israeli force with bombs and antitank missiles. Both Hummers are badly damaged. The soldiers do not return fire.

The outcome of the attack: three soldiers killed, two wounded and two kidnapped.

The Hezbollah operatives drag the two abducted soldiers into Lebanon. A vehicle awaits them on the other side of the fence, a few dozen meters into Lebanon, and it takes them northward, to an unknown location.

10 A.M.
The Air Force bombs bridges in the area to restrict the Hezbollah operatives' movements within Lebanon.

11 A.M.
An Israel Defense Forces tank that entered Lebanon drives over a bomb about 70 meters north of the border.

All four crew members are killed.

At the same time, the Air Force and the navy attack targets in Lebanon, including around Beirut.

3 P.M.
Soldiers from the Nahal Brigade enter Lebanon to retrieve the soldiers' bodies from the tank. One of the soldiers is killed in the rescue attempt and two others are wounded.

(emph. and links added by Riwka)

The kidnapped soldiers are:
Ehud Goldwasser, 31, of Nahariya, and Eldad Regev, 26, of Kiryat Motzkin

IAF and IDF is striking Hizbullah from land, sea and air in order to thwart the soldiers' abductors from escaping with the hostages further north, deeper into Lebanese territory.

IAF jets hit two bridges, including over the Litani River to stop escape, and at Hizbullah outposts, some only 200 meters from from the Israeli border.

Cabinet Communique (July 12):

"Israel views the sovereign Lebanese Government as responsible for the action that originated on its soil and for the return of the abducted soldiers to Israel. Israel demands that the Lebanese Government implement UN Security Council Resolution #1559."

PM Olmert (July 12):

"This morning's events were not a terrorist attack, but the action of a sovereign state that attacked Israel for no reason and without provocation. The Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah is a member, is trying to undermine regional stability. Lebanon is responsible and Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions."

"Israel's response will be restrained but very, very, very painful,
" Olmert added.

Hamas praised Hezbollah, saying it would help a campaign to free 1,000 Palestinians:

... Quote:

"This is a heroic operation carried out against military targets and so it is a legitimate operation, especially as it took place in occupied Lebanese territory," Hamas political bureau member Mohammad Nazzal told Reuters.

Palestinians across the political spectrum on Wednesday welcomed the kidnapping of the two IDF soldiers by Hizbullah and in several places in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the kidnapping of the two soldiers and to voice their support for Hizbullah.

In Gaza City, gunmen belonging to various Palestinian groups opened fire into the air as an expression of joy and called on Hizbullah and Hamas to kidnap more soldiers.

The Lebanese PM said they know nothing....
... Quote:

"The government was not aware of and does not take responsibility for, nor endorses what happened on the international border."

But here, in an article of 2001 (when Lebanese PM Fuad Saniora was the Lebanese Finance Minister) you can read why Lebanon is responsible for today's events.

... Quote:

Speaking to the Voice of Lebanon radio station today, Lebanese Finance Minister Fuad Saniora said that the government regards Hizballah as a "resistance organization," and will take no steps against it. Saniora said that the subject would be discussed at a cabinet meeting Thursday, but that the government would likely not accede to the U.S. request.

"Lebanon's stance is that there is difference between defining terrorism and the groups that seek to liberate their countries," Saniora said. "Therefore Lebanon's decision that will be taken in the cabinet meeting will be based on this differentiation. Lebanon will not take any measure concerning Hizballah."

Also, according to Qatar news station al-Jazeera, the Lebanese army issued a statement expressing its support of "Hizbullah's right to resist Israeli aggression." - and Lebanon’s Ambassador to the US Farid Abboud was summoned back to Beirut on Wednesday night after expressing his support for Hizbullah in the US media

IDF issues Tzav Shmoneh (the emergency callup orders) for IDF reservists.

Northern Israel communities are ordered into bomb shelters until further notice.
(Israeli children resting in a bomb shelter in Kiryat Shmona. (Photo: AP)
By Riwka: posted on 15-7-2006

Thursday - July 13, 2006

Israel on Thursday announced a blockade of Lebanon by land, sea and air:

  • Israeli naval vessels have enforced a full naval closure on Lebanon
  • The IAF bombed Beirut International Airport, rendering all three of the airport's runways unusable. Witnesses reported that two fuel tanks were hit, while large flames could be seen at the airport.
  • 2 Military airports targeted, Riak in the Beka'a Valley (50 kilometers -30 miles - east of Beirut and about 7 kilometers -4 miles - west of the Syrian border, home to the country's main military air base and the military headquarters in eastern Lebanon. & Kuliyat, the air base near the Syrian border.
  • The IDF also targeted three bridges on the Litani River, two bridges crossing the A-Zaharni River,
  • the Beirut-Damascus highway (which serves as the main access route between Lebanon and Syria, along which weapons were transferred into Lebanon)
  • Hezbollah posts and headquarters along the sector
  • carried out an aerial attack against Hezbollah's Al Manar broadcast station in Beirut and
  • targeted Hezbollah rocket storage facilities.

In the early afternoon,, the IAF dropped fliers over Beirut warning residents of the city to stay clear of Hizbullah operatives, buildings and positions.

Hizbullah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, along with almost the entire Hizbullah hierarchy, reside in the same neighborhood in southern Beirut.

In the late afternoon, the police reports that 85 mortars and Katyuhsa rockets were fired at Northern Israeli communities, with more than 100 civilian Israelies wounded and 2 killed - one in Nahariya, one in Tzfat (also/on the map written as Safed). ynet)

Short after noon, the U.S. Navy fleet ocean tug USNS Apache left Haifa port and in the evening hours, at around 8:15 pm:

Two rockets landed in Haifa, Israels third biggest city. The rockets swooped over Haifa's bay, the chemical plants and landed in the middle of a road. One person was injured. It is said that this were no Katyushas but a version of Iran's Raad-1 missile or Iranian Fajr-7 missiles.
By Riwka: posted on 15-7-2006

Riwka, is this the notice that the planes were dropping into Southern lebanon?

Don't them kae a 'big ask" in "Removal of terror aggression from Lebanon" :)

Thats giving a reward for the destruction of Hezbollah :)

Great post!
By netchicken: posted on 15-7-2006

Katyusha remains fired at Naharia.


Hezbollah's relentless rocket attacks on northern Israel have turned Naharia, a popular summer spot not far from the Lebanese border, into a virtual ghost town. Many residents are heading south to avoid death or injury.

katyusha-part1.jpg - 138.64kb
By netchicken: posted on 15-7-2006

Friday - July 14, 2006

Residents of Nahariya were permitted to leave their shelters until 12:00 noon Friday and all northern border residents were instructed to remain in shelters as much as possible - the residents of the border communities have been under orders to stay in their shelters since Wednesday.

The Pikud Ha'Oref (Home Front Command) on Friday ordered businesses and clubs in Karmiel to remain closed throughout the weekend.

All residents of Haifa, the Krayot region, Tirat Hacarmel and Acre were instructed to stay inside their homes

The Home Front also decided to operate a silent radio wave in (FM 102.2, 98.5, 95.7) which enables those keep the Sabbath to leave the radio turned on but also be ablte to listen to emergency announcements.

Within a couple of hours the Jewish communities worldwide through the United Jewish Communities(UJC), the Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal, the Jewish Agency managed to raise $1million to remove kids from the line of fire. The children will be taken to Jewish Agency run youth villages in the center of Israel.

Also, Yad Sarah, an Israel-wide network of volunteers aiding disabled, elderly, and sick people for free or nominal cost, will be bringing shipments of medical equipment to the Northern Communities starting Sunday.

And lots of families and Yeshivot in Central Israel announced an open invitations for shabbat to families from Northern Israel wishing to spend shabbat in a quiet atmosphere.

The European Union accused Israel of using excessive force, Russian President Vladimir Putin said both sides must "immediately cease military action." And the UN Security Council held an emergency session on the violence – not to forget the Vatican who condemned Israel’s attack on a “free and sovereign” Lebanon – (it seems the Vatican doesn‘t not know the Hezbollah holds 23 of the 128 seats in Lebanon's parliament.)

The U.S. backed Israel's right to defend itself – and also Canadian PM Harper endorsed Israel's incursion into Lebanon and strikes on Gaza as measured self-defence.

Aaaand.... look here...

Saudi Arabia blamed "elements" inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel, in unusually frank language directed at Hezbollah and its Iranian backers!!!

... Quote:

"A distinction must be made between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures undertaken by elements inside (Lebanon) and those behind them without recourse to the legal authorities and consulting and coordinating with Arab nations," a statement carried by the official news agency SPA said. "These elements should bear the responsibility for their irresponsible actions and they alone should end the crisis they have created."

Magen David Adom (Israels equal to the Red Cross) reported that in the morning hours, already 49 people were wounded along the northern border.

The IDF targeted 18 sites in southern Lebanon on the early morning of July 14, 2006:

  • Three petrol stations located south of Sidon.
  • Several bridges and access routes part of the Beirut-Damascus highway.
  • One storage facility storing weaponry located east of Beirut.
  • Two Hizbullah outposts along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
  • The security command in the Hizbullah HQ in the Shiite district of southern Beirut. The HQ is used by senior Hezbollah members, including Hassan Nasrallah for meetings and for storing weaponry.
  • Nasrallahs apartment building was hit and
  • The IDF also targeted several bridges and access routes leading to the compound.

The report on the destruction of Nasrallah’s home was announced by official Hizbullah media outlets.

Later, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast Friday on Hezbollah television that Hezbollah was prepared for "open war" with Israel.

... Quote:

"You wanted an open war, you will have an open war," Nasrallah said. "You don't know who you are fighting today. You are fighting the children of Mohammed, ali Hassan and Hussein. You chose the war to fight against people who believe in their pride."

Short after 8:30 p.m. Friday night a navy ship - a Saar 5 navy gunship that was 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the Lebanese shore when it was hit while enforcing the sea blockade which was imposed on Lebanon Thursday - suffered a direct hit in a Hizbullah strike, causing severe damage. A fire broke out on the ship and its steering system was damaged. One crew member was killed in the attack, three other crew members are still missing.

( Another Israel Navy ship off Lebanon coast (Photo: AP)

Few hours later, Hizballah had attempted to strike a second Israeli warship, but hit an Egyptian passagier ship instead.

A senior IDF officer said the ship was struck by an Iranian-made C802 missile, but he refused to say whether or not Iranian activists were behind the launching

Over 700 Katyusha rockets and mortar shells have been fired on northern Israel in the current offensive in Lebanon, a senior IDF official reported on Friday.
By Riwka: posted on 16-7-2006

Saturday - July 15, 2006

For the first time since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the IDF has deployed Patriot missile batteries in Haifa to protect Haifa against surface-to-surface missiles.

Defense Minister Peretz is expected on Saturday evening to declare a "special security situation" - , enabling certain cities to be subject to martial law for the next 48 hours.

This would be the second highest level of alert before an emergency status and means that schools and factories and may be ordered to be shut down by the Home Front, usinesses that would be closed following the extreme security status will then receive compensation.

The Israeli warship struck by a Hizbullah-fired missile, killing two aboard and leaving two others missing, returned to its home port in Israel on Saturday.

... Quote:

The C-802 missiles, a senior Military Intelligence officer said Saturday, were made in China but upgraded by Iran, which had made improvements to the radar-guided system and delivered it to Hizbullah.

Senior naval officers admitted Saturday night that they were taken completely by surprise by the missile attack, claiming that they did not know that Hizbullah possessed such advanced capabilities. The missile has a 100-kilometer range. (Jpost)

Hizbullah leaders and operatives were leaving Beirut on Saturday following a massive IAF strike on an 11-story building that served as the organization's command center. Israels Channel 2 reported that the move appeared to be made under heavy security.

  • Al-Jazeera network reported that the IDF fired three missiles at the Tripoli port in north Lebanon. The Beirut port was also attacked.

  • All of Lebanon’s coastal radars have been destroyed by the IDF.

  • The IAF struck the offices and homes of three senior Hizbullah members and of a senior Hamas member across Lebanon - the office of senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal in Beirut was completely destroyed.

Also, the IAF has dropped thousends of fliers over Lebanon on Saturday: IDF)

... Quote:

“To the Lebanese people: Know this!!! From the front a friend and from the back a snake!” (source)

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called on Saturday for an immediate cease-fire brokered by the United Nations, to end Israel's land, sea and air offensive against Lebanon.

The Lebanese Health Ministry reported that some 80 people were killed in Lebanon since the IDF offensive began last Wednesday. It was also reported that in the last 24 hours some 55,000 people have asked to leave the country
By Riwka: posted on 16-7-2006

How did Hezbollah know that 4 sailors were missing from the attacked ship, and tell the media, before the IDF released the information? The IDF denied it initially as well.

Israel gives Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah activity
What happens after that cut off time? An attack on Syria?

London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat says Israel gave Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah’s activity, bring about release of kidnapped IDF troops.
... Quote:
Israel will not end military activity until new situation created that will prevent Syria, Iran from using terror organizations to threaten its security
newspaper quotes Pentagon official as saying

The London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Saturday that
... Quote:
Washington has information according to which Israel gave Damascus 72 hours to stop Hizbullah’s activity along the Lebanon-Israel border and bring about the release the two kidnapped IDF soldiers or it would launch an offensive with disastrous consequences.
By netchicken: posted on 16-7-2006

At least Israel is using its strong weapon again:

The jewish humour

I really hope that this war will end soon.

I personaly think that the IDF has a 48-72 hour window to damage Hezbullah's war making capabilities before a cease fire is imposed (it is important to note that Israel did not damage any army target in Lebanon!)

Netty - Also look here:

IDF officer: Israel has no plans to attack Syria

At the moment, UN rejects Lebanese call to intervene in conflict with Israel: “The United Nations Security Council on Saturday again rejected pleas that it call for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon after the United States objected, diplomats said“.

Meanwhile, PM Olmert spoke with UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan.

He said that unless 2 pre-conditions are met

  1. The 2 kidnapped soldiers are immediately returned

  2. Lebanon fulfill UN Res 1559 and disarm Hezbollah and retake control of Southern Lebanon and the border with Lebanese Army troops.

Israel will not talk about a cease-fire.

We have to look close on statements coming out of the G-8 summit meeting taking place this weekend in St. Petersburg.

But probably, the Syrian people might wish a war against Israel?

Look here at the NYT:

... Quote:

Spirits Are High in Syria’s Capital as Leaders Openly Show Support for Hezbollah

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 15 — The mood here in Syria’s capital was defiant, even gleeful, on Saturday as Hezbollah continued its rocket attacks on northern Israel.

People here are very emotional about the whole situation, and many of them wish that Syria would get up and join Hamas and Hezbollah in their battle against Israel.”

Imadd Fauzi Shueibi, a political analyst who often works as a consultant to the Syrian government, laughed as he said that he believed that Israel was being drawn into a trap if it thought it could successfully fight on two, or even three, fronts....

“I am laughing because I am so happy to see that in Israel there are these very stupid leaders,” Dr. Fauzi Shueibi said. “Israel has nothing to gain by changing the balance of power in the region. To fight on two fronts at the same time is stupid; if they try to open three fronts, that will be madness.”

“No one can believe that this will stop without a huge victory for Hezbollah and for Syria,” he added. “I haven’t felt so optimistic since 1973. I think we are closing the noose on Israel. This may be the last battle, and we may be able to redraw the map of the Middle East, but not on the schedule of America’s plan ...”

and in the Syria statehold press

... Quote:

Syria's Stance Is Firm and Fully Backs the Resistance

Officials in the Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party yesterday evening, reviewed the dangerous updated developments due to escalation of the Israeli aggression on Palestine and Lebanon.

They saluted " sisterly Lebanese people and the brave resistance," hailing President Bashar al-Assad's role and wisdom to express the Syrian people's support to the resistance and steadfastness in facing all pressures and threats.

By Riwka: posted on 16-7-2006

Sunday - July 16, 2006

07:12 A.M Arab news agencies report Hezbollah leader Nasrallah is hurt

On Al-Manar (Hezbollah TV-station), where updates and reports were broadcast continuously, Qur'an verses are being read But around 10:00 A.M they broadcasted that Nasrallah will give an interview later Sunday to prove he`s well

The IDF carried out an additional aerial attack against Hezbollah's broadcasting compound in Beirut this morning - they now returned with very poor quality broadcast.
(click here to see the full size DEBKAfile map of attacks in Lebanon and Israel)

At 09:15 A.M. (EST +7) , already 10 Katyusha rockets landed in Haifa

At least 8 people are killed and more than 20 wounded in Haifa.
Rocket strike on Haifa port (Photo: ynet / Eladisimo)

... Quote:

Elad Savavo of Haifa told Ynet:

"The train depot on Hof Shemen was hit. The second strike was in the bay, opposite the oil refineries. There were no sirens before the first barrage. There was a barrage of five rockets and then there were sirens. Immediately afterwards more rockets fell. Large amounts of rescue forces are in the area.

8 people were killed and five others were seriously wounded at the train depot, MDA reports t least 20 others were wounded in Haifa this morning. The Home Front closed the Haifa port around noon

Staff members and students at the University of Haifa and the Israel Technology Institute have been ordered into safe structures and bomb shelters - Examinations are not taking place.

More than 500 Israelis injured since fighting began

The residents of Acre, Haifa and its suburbs are told to enter bomb shelters,

According to a report by al-Manar, Hizbullah's news agency, operatives launched Raad-type rockets against Haifa. (photo:[/size]

Patriot anti-missle batteries have been set up in Haifa. (However, they cannot be used against Katyusha's)

Around 12:30 P.M. the IDF told residents of south Lebanese town of Nabatiya to leave their homes.

IDF sources explained that Hizbullah continues to operate from these populated areas and thus, they have no choice but to operate in these areas as well, once they have informed the region's residents
By Riwka: posted on 16-7-2006


thank you. I am - and have always been - proud to be Israeli citizen :)

Don't panic right now. The next WW will not start this summer.

The G8 (Group of Eight, consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.) blamed not Israel - but 'extremists' for violence:

... Quote:

Israel welcomed a statement on Sunday by Group of Eight leaders on the upsurge in Middle East violence, saying it backed its call for Hezbollah to free two Israeli soldiers and halt its rocket fire.
(click here to read the G-8 Statement - Middle East)

Also, about 25 percent of Hizbullah's capabilities have been hit, a high-ranking IDF officer estimated on Sunday night at the end of the fifth day of Operation Just Reward.

According to the officer, the group's chain of command is still functioning. He estimated that the Lebanese group would not be annihilated when the dust settles, only severely damaged.

The officer predicted that the operation would end in the middle of next week.
By Riwka: posted on 17-7-2006

The Lebanese Foundation for Peace reports on their website:

... Quote:


Delicate Intelligence information coming out of Hezbollah indicated that the 2 missing captives of the Israeli Army Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev have been smuggled outside Southern Lebanon to the capital.

They are secretly being held at the Embassy of Iran in Beirut, under direct Iranian security guards supervision.

But their posting is nowhere else confirmed
By Riwka: posted on 17-7-2006

for real ... or a trap?

guess only time will tell. If they are there then that has huge ramifications, with iran being involved.
By netchicken: posted on 17-7-2006

We don't know. It's still confirmed nowhere.

But there is hope that Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are still alive.
By Riwka: posted on 17-7-2006

Monday - July 17, 2006 - Peacekeepers in Lebanon?

Just a day after world leaders forged a unified response at their G8 summit to the crisis in the Middle East, blaming Hezbollah and Hamas for the escalating violence and recognizing Israel's right to defend itself...:

... Quote:

Blair, Annan call for international force in Lebanon

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Monday for the deployment of an international force in southern Lebanon, in order to end the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

Speaking at the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg, Blair said such intervention by the international community could be the only way to end the crisis.

"The blunt reality is that this violence is not going to stop unless we create the conditions for the cessation of violence," Blair said after talks with Annan in Moscow.

The only way is if we have a deployment of international forces that can stop bombardment coming into Israel," he said.

By Riwka: posted on 17-7-2006

Err international forces are not noted for being very active in this role, usually they just sit around the edges watching the missiles fly over and going "tut tut".

Just where are you going to get a force that actively shoots at hezbollah when they try and launch a missile? If they do they become defacto Israeli army themselves and become targets for attacks.

They need to have something like the Berlin wall, with armed guards across it.
By netchicken: posted on 17-7-2006

Oh yes, Israel has own experience with the UNFIL - especially after the Har Dov Kidnapping, when the Hezbollah used UN uniforms and vehicles carrying the UNIFIL insignia to kidnap

three Israeli soldiers on October 7th, 2000.

On the morning of October 8, an Indian UNIFIL worker videotaped the vehicles while his co-workers removed contents and tried to tow one of the cars away. The end of the film shows armed Lebanese (allegedly Hizbullah) fighters intercepting the vehicles.

For almost nine months, high ranking U.N. officials, including U.N. Middle East envoy Terje Larsen and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, denied possessing any videotape related to the kidnapping.

On July 6, 2001, the U.N. finally admitted that they possessed the tape as of 18 hours after the incident occurred - and then Annan first dennied Israel access to that video tape.
By Riwka: posted on 17-7-2006

... Quote:

At The Weekly Cabinet Meeting


Prime Minister Olmert told the Israeli cabinet Sunday that since last Wednesday, 1,400 rockets have landed inside Israel.

"1,400 hits means 1,400 attempts to attack citizens of the State of Israel in their homes and places of work with unparalleled and bloodthirsty cruelty and brutality.

We see here the gap between us when we act with exemplary caution and respect for the sanctity of life and human dignity - and the brutality that we see on their part."

"It must be clear that Israel will not return to the status quo that prevailed before last Wednesday; this situation was intolerable from the outset."

Olmert said that the Israel Defense Forces would not stop its current campaign until we can tell the Israeli people that the threat hanging over it has been removed.
(Prime Minister's Office)

Jerusalem Post has a good analysis of the situation:

... Quote:

After five days of conflict, Nasrallah would like nothing more than for the fighting to stop now.

He has forced northern Israel into bomb shelters by firing perhaps 10 percent of the Katyusha rockets he is known to have and few of his more potent missiles.

Israel, by contrast, has scored undetermined success in its declared aim of destroying Hizbullah's missile capability. It has to date achieved nothing - militarily or diplomatically - to guarantee that any damage sustained by Hizbullah cannot quickly be corrected through a renewal of the Iran-Syria supply line.


But it seems unlikely that the fighting will stop now - unlikely given the ongoing Israeli military activity and preparations, and the fierce rhetoric of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz. And it is unlikely given the "window of opportunity" that the international community, led by the United States, is leaving open for Israel.

As of Sunday, as Nasrallah himself acknowledged, Hizbullah is waging war on Israel alone. Israel has sought to limit the conflict, not to involve Syria or Iran.
And the Arab world has not come to Nasrallah's aid

Cornered and isolated, Nasrallah is dangerous nonetheless - still with a potent missile capacity, still with the potential to inflict more surprises, still doubtless plotting to find a means to drag other players into the conflict.

The "successful" rocket attack on Haifa on Sunday morning - involving devastating rockets carrying dozens of kilos of explosives, rather than the 5-7 kg. of a "routine" Katyusha - underlined afresh that Israelis are not battling Hizbullah primarily to prevent Nasrallah from chortling about victory.

According to Israel's top political and military echelons, that requires, when the cease-fire comes, not only that Hizbullah be kept far back from the border, with its missile capacity gone, but also that there be no possibility for its resupply, via the well-greased Iran-Syria axis.

This in turn, of course, will require heavy international involvement - and will be at the heart of Israel's demands in the cease-fire negotiations, when they begin in earnest.
By Riwka: posted on 17-7-2006

And the rockets are still comming:

Around noon, residents of Haifa and its vicinity were asked to go into shelters again after sirens were heard, indicating a launch of missile onto the city.

One 3-story house in Hafia partially collapsed after a direct hit.
(Photo: Channel 2 TV)

Emergency Rescue and Medical Teams converging on the site, MDA set up a field hospital next to the remains of the three-story building. 6 people were wounded and none killed. The police say that no one was trapped inside.

More Katyusha rocket hits reported in Tiberias, in southern Golan Heights for first time, in open spaces near Kiryat Shmona and in Carmiel and Upper Galilee.

Hizbullah announced that it has launched dozens of rockets onto Haifa and Safed, reported al-manar television.

Iran Set Up Hizballah Missile Bases in Lebanon:

... Quote:

London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted a senior Iranian army official as saying that The Islamic republic’s Revolutionary Guard set up dozens of advanced rocket and missile bases in the Lebanon Valley and along the border with Israel:

The official said Hizballah is in possession of four types of advanced ground-to-ground missiles:
  • Fajr missiles with a range of 100 km,
  • Iran 130 missiles with a range of 90-110 km,
  • Shahin missiles with a range of up to 150 km,
  • and a 355 mm rocket with a 150 km range.


The IAF say the object seen 'shot down' on Al Manar TV is probably a pamphlet container - a crate of leaflets fell from one of the jets.

(lets hope they're right!)

3:30 PM - An IAF spox reported he had canvassed all the air crews over Lebanon and none were missing.

IAF Commander Brig.-Gen. Yohanan Locker said Israeli Channel 2 that the object which could be seen falling from the sky in Beirut was one of the long-range Hezbollah rockets that was on a truck hit by the IAF..

When the truck it was on was hit by the IAF, the rocket launched into the air and then fell down.
By Riwka: posted on 17-7-2006

    Members of the Al-Jazeera crew on Monday now have been detained the THIRD time within 24 hours.

    The official cause for the brief arrests was suspicions against the crewmembers of reporting on the location of rocket hits in order to assist Hezbollah - all of them have been released after an hour of questioning.

    According to the laws of the State of Israel, press and media reports concerning security and military matters must be submitted to the Military Censor before they are published and/or broadcast - there are special guidelines which have been distributed to the media in regard of the war in the North:

    ... Quote:

    Censorship Policy Regarding Fighting in the North

    As of now, over 1,200 rockets have been fired at Israel; it is expected that this will continue.

    Therefore, following are the Military Censor's relevant guidelines:

    1. The Military Censor will not approve reports regarding visits of Israeli Government and IDF officials in the north of Israel until the visits are over due to the clear connection between officials' visits and missile attacks on the area in question.
    2. The Military Censor will not approve reports on missile hits at IDF bases and/or strategic facilities.
    3. The Military Censor will not approve reports on missiles that fall in the Mediterranean Sea.
    4. The Military Censor will not approve reports on time periods when citizens are permitted to leave their shelters. Warnings of such times are utilized by the enemy for timing attacks.
    5. Reporting on locations in which there are public defense and organizational difficulties should be avoided as much as possible.
    6. Real-time reporting on the exact location of rocket hits must be strictly avoided!

Col. Sima Vaknin-Gil
Chief Military Censor

Anotherone who was caught - by the media:

President Bush was caught speaking by an open mike during the G-8 conference to Prime Minister Tony Blair:

'See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hizbullah to stop doing this shit and it's over"

(click here to see the video clip)
By Riwka: posted on 18-7-2006

Ahmadinejad's opinion is always welcome :j

Unlike the more than 1,200 of Hezbollah missiles that are targeted specifically at Israeli civilians who have been forced into bomb shelters for their own safety up from last Wednesday,

IAF strikes are not intended to kill civilians.

Israel has even dropped several different leaflets on several suburbs calling on civilians tto stay away from Hezbollah strongholds to avoid being caught up in the fighting and also to evacuate from specified areas.

(see my above postings and also here and here )

This might be of your interest:

... Quote:

Canadian Prime Minister Won't Criticize Israel for Canadian Deaths
(Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences Monday to the families of seven Canadians from Montreal killed in an Israeli bombing raid while visiting their families in Lebanon, but said he was not going to be critical of Israel for defending itself.

"We are not going to give in to the temptation of some to single out Israel, which was the victim of the initial attack
," said Harper.


... Quote:

Take note of what wasn't hit

The vast majority of the 100 targets that the IAF have hit are in southern Lebanon. On Friday, the air force is likely to expand its operations to include other parts of the country. The operations are guided by an effort to indicate to the Lebanese government those areas for which Israel considers it responsible. Therefore, it is important to note not only the nature of the targets the air force is attacking, but also those that it is not. The air force, for example, attacked Hezbollah offices, but none in Beirut.

The most significant strategic target attacked thus far has been the Beirut airport. While the strikes against runways have shut down operations, none of the radar or control towers were hit. This allows the airport to continue to control international flights over its airspace.

Similarly, the main ports have not been hit, and with the exception of Hezbollah's broadcasting station, no other targets in Beirut were attacked. The air force has concentrated its attacks against Hezbollah's military installations.

The main Shi'ite neighborhoods in the capital, the power plant, and transformers also have not been targeted. Those in the air force said that the targets will be expanded as it becomes clear that a terrorist group supported by Iran essentially is in control of Lebanon.
By Riwka: posted on 18-7-2006

When Al Manar television claimed that an IAF jet had crashed in eastern Lebanon and that an explosion was seen in the sky above...... IAF air strike in Lebanon on Monday destroyed at least one long-range Iranian-made missile capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

... Quote:

Israel says air strike in Lebanon destroys long-range Iranian missile capable of hitting Tel Aviv

The officials said an IAF aircraft targeted a Hezbollah truck carrying the weapons before they could be launched. The force of the blast sent at least one missile flying into the air, but it fell nearby.

Lebanese TV stations broadcast video pictures of the downed missile which they initially reported was an IAF aircraft falling to the ground.

By Riwka: posted on 18-7-2006

Seems the sirenes will be heard some days longer:

... Quote:

Special situation on the home front extended for five days

"Pursuant to its authority under the 1951 Civil Defense Law, the Cabinet decided today (Monday), 17.7.06, to extend Defense Minister Amir Peretz's 15.7.06 declaration of a special situation on the home front for five days starting from 15.7.06, in the areas delineated on the approved map.


By Riwka: posted on 18-7-2006

Good article

Using google maps someone marked out how far Hezbollah can reach into Israel

israel-attack.jpg - 155.28kb
By netchicken: posted on 18-7-2006

Tuesday - July 18, 2006

... Quote:

Summary of IDF attacks in Lebanon during the night (July 18th,2006) and the thwarting of two infiltration attempts by Hezbollah terrorists into Israel

During the night IDF forces thwarted two infiltration attempts by Hezbollah armed terrorists, who were attempting to cross the border between Lebanon and Israel in order to carry out an attack inside Israel. The two terrorist cells were identified inside Lebanese territory moving towards the fence, near an Israeli community located in the middle of the Israeli-Lebanese border. IDF forces targeted the two cells and identified hitting them.

During the night the IDF continued to carry out attacks on targets in Lebanon.

Around 50 aerial attacks took place during the night.
Among the targets attacked from the air:

  • Structures and bunkers belonging to Hezbollah in the Dahia neighborhood in Beirut.
  • A structure used for the storage of weaponry in Ba'al Beck and Bint Jebal
  • Trucks which were used to transfer weaponry, including rockets, in Ba'al Beck and Um-a-Tahta
  • Routes in southern Lebanon
  • Rocket launching areas from which Hizbollah launched rockets at Israel.
  • Also, a Lebanese army radar installation in A-Nazriya, in southern Lebanon, was targeted, this in light of the use of such installations by the terrorist organization Hizbollah against IDF forces- (e.g. the incident in which 4 sailors were killed)

    (IDF Spox)

1: 02 PM - rockets just hit "Vered HaGalil" in Safed
..................ugly shmocks!! - that's the chocolate factory!!!!

They also stroke the fuel tank in the Safad industrial area and
the medical center in Safed in the early morning hours, causing several injuries.
A room in the hospital in Safed that was hit in a rocket attack from Lebanon.
(Photo: Tomer Applebaum / BauBau)

During the night, some 30 Israelis were wounded by Hizbolla Katyuzha rockets in Northern Israel.

Rockets landed all over the north including; Rosh HaNikara, Nahariya, Rosh Pina, Afula, Safed, Haifa, Beit Hilell and others.

Families in Central Israel have opened their homes to the people of the North - 70 families from the northern city of Carmiel arrived in Gush Etzion around noon to be hosted there.

Alll residents of the North are being called to go to the shelter again.

:o Surprising news from Iran :o

... Quote:

Iran to Hizbullah: Curb attacks on Israel

Ianian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was sent to Damascus to urge Hizbullah to curb rocket attacks against Israel and to release two Israel Defense Forces soldiers captured a week ago in order to avoid further escalations, a London-based Arabic daily reported.

"The alliance stipulates that Iran would send arms and troops to back Syria should Damascus be attacked."

40 - 50% of Hizbullah's military capability has been destroyed in the six days of the IDF counter-attack following last Wednesday's Hizbullah raid in northern Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The IDF, it is understood, believes it needs another week or so minimum to achieve its military goals in terms of alleviating Hizbullah's capacity to threaten Israel.

The IDF further believes, it is understood, that it will be given at least that long to continue its actions, in light of the G8 nations' essential support for Israel and those nations' branding Hizbullah and Hamas as being responsible for the current escalation.

Also, "tzav-8" (emergency reserve call-up orders) has been given to to 3 infantry battalions yesterday - they will replace regular forces in the Westbank (which will help in the northern area) up from today.
(IDF reservists reporting for duty after receiving an emergency call-up - Photo: haAretz)

16:30 PM - IAF bombs 4 trucks carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon

An Israeli air raid Tuesday destroyed an arms-laden convoy of trucks that had originated at Camp Zabadani (Camp Zabadani is a longtime base that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard maintains in Syria near the Lebanese border), an Israeli intelligence official said.

Shipments from Iran to Lebanon via Syria in the last few days included FL-10 naval missiles, Katyusha short-range artillery rockets, and Iranian-made Fajr 3 and Fajr 5 missiles.

A tunnel and a bunker east of Tyre in which Hizbullah operatives were staying were bombed as well.
By Riwka: posted on 18-7-2006

... Quote:

In the cockpit

Major 'Y', an F-16 pilot in the Israeli Air Force, writes about his unusual experiences of the past several days.

Wednesday 1000

Returning back to my base from a routine practice mission. Taxiing back to the parking area, I hear "Zanek" (Jump) on the radio. What? I asked myself. Everything was calm when I took off, just one hour ago.


Something is definitely happening, I say to myself.
I hurry back to the squadron, where the loudspeakers are announcing: "all aircrew into briefing room."


The siren blows. We run to the planes, start the engines, power up the systems. Ground crew running around the plane, the tower gives us permission to take off. We are told to head north, to Lebanon. "Get ready to receive targets," announces the flight controller as we approach. Major E and I read back the information, verifying with the flight controller that we have no mistakes. We head to the coast of Lebanon. It looks so small from above - Israel on the south, Syria in the east. I shake myself - no time to enjoy the view… hurry through the switches, procedures, arm the bombs, check the systems, head to the target, follow the range 10-9-8 Pickle! The plane violently rocks from side to side as two bombs fall off each wing, few seconds apart. I look down at the ground - we are flying so high, it's hard to judge where my bombs are going to hit, but the explosions catch my eye.

We head back - "mission complete. 4 direct hits," reports Major E to the controller. The rush and adrenalin gone, thoughts enter my head. I sure wish I hit the "bad guys" and that there were no civilians hanging around the place. Hizballah cynically often uses civilians as a shelter from Israel's bombings.

We land in the base, and are relieved to learn that we went for a Hizbullah post. Probably unmanned. It's strange how the focus in these missions is not to succeed, hit the target precisely, but rather - not to make any mistakes. The message is clear all the way from the Squadron commander to the last pilot. One mistake can jeopardize the whole war, like in Kfar-Kana, in one of the last operations in Lebanon, where artillery bombarded a refugee camp, killing over 100 people, which resulted in international pressure that halted the operation. Hitting the target is expected, no misses are acceptable. There aren't any congratulations for a well-performed mission. Only a hammer on the head if something goes wrong. Personally, I think it's a healthy attitude; it causes the whole system to be less rash and hot on the trigger.

(An IAF warplane returns to the Ramat David air force base from a mission over Lebanon -
JPOST: Images of war)

The IAF aircraft again were dropping leaflets Tuesday afternoon on southern Lebanon warning residents to evacuate the area ahead of an impending attack.

The death toll since the start of the IDF military campaign in Lebanon has risen to 220.

14 Lebanese soldiers were killed when, according to Lebanese security sources, warplanes swooped down on the area of Kfar Chima early Tuesday, firing missiles near a local army base.

Thirty-five soldiers were wounded, according to a Lebanese military source. As the soldiers were rushing to their bomb shelters, the base took a direct hit, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the army had not issued a communique.

The IDF is investigating the strike on the military posts. "In principle the Israeli military does not target Lebanese soldiers, the spokesman said.
By Riwka: posted on 19-7-2006

Wednesday - July 19. 2006

Katyusha rockets rain down on towns across northern Israel

Hezbollah fired more than 100 Katyusha rockets at Israel on Wednesday, killing two brothers aged 9 and 3, and wounding 135 people in Nazareth alone. *)

The eighth day of rocket fire was one of the worst yet, with Hezbollah bombing dozens of towns in the north, including Haifa, Safed, Nahariya and Afula.

The rockets targeting Nazareth and Afula appeared to be 220-millimeter Syrian rockets.

Bank Hapoalim is distributing at least 1,000 emergency packs - (including DVD players, writing materials, things for kids and some other things) to residents in the North where the Katyushas are raining and in the South, where the Qassams from Gaza are still falling down to help them reduce the stress they are suffering through the attacks.

A number of IDF ground troops crossed into southern Lebanon earlier Wednesday to carry out "pinpoint" attacks on Hezbollah outposts.

Two IDF soldiers from the Magellan unit were killed and nine more soldiers were wounded during army operations in the mountains of Maron a-Ras in south Lebanon, north of the Israeli community of Avivim, uncovering Hezbullah bunkers. Hezbullah has set up an extensive underground bunker network not far from the Israeli border.

around 08:30 PM:

Dozens of aircrafts dropped 23 tons of explosives on the bunker in the Bourj al-Barneh section of southern Beiruth where top Hezbollah figures were thought to be - possibly including Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The al-Manar television channel sisd that the planes blasted a mosque under construction,

The IDF obtained intelligence information late Wednesday night that Hizbullah leaders possibly including Nasrallah had taken refuge inside the bunker. A wave of aircraft immediately took to the air and dropped 23 tons of explosives on the bunker.

IDF sources would not confirm that Nasrallah was in the bunker at the time, but said that high-ranking Hizbullah leaders were inside, and that it appeared that the attack was successful.

The IDF is preparing to call up 2 more reserve battalions.

*) EDIT - July 23. 2006:

There have been questions why the siren didn't work in Nazareth when it came under rocket attack:

Home Front Commander: Nazareth asked to be disconnected from air raid sirens
By Riwka: posted on 21-7-2006

Thursday - July 20, 2006

Still no word from Nasralla after Israel's bombing of a Hizbolla bunker late last night in Beirut.

... Quote:

Lebanese PM tells Italian daily that Hezbollah must be disarmed

Associated Press

ROME - Hezbollah has created a "state within a state" in Lebanon and must be disarmed, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora said in an interview published Thursday in an Italian daily.

Siniora told Milan-based newspaper Corriere della Sera that the Shi'ite militia has been doing the bidding of Syria and Iran, and that it can only be disarmed with the help of the international community and once a cease-fire has been achieved in the current Middle East fighting.

"It's not a mystery that Hezbollah answers to the political agendas of Tehran and Damascus," Siniora was quoted as saying by Corriere. "The entire world must help us disarm Hezbollah."
The US is not yielding to international calls for a prompt cease-fire to end Israel's campaign against Hizballah in Lebanon. Instead, Secretary of State Rice is trying to drum up diplomatic support for a cease-fire of "lasting value," one that would have the Lebanese army take over the south of the country where Hizballah has conducted a cross-border war against Israel for years.
UN Ambassador Bolton has an intersting question:

"The simple reflexive action of asking for a cease-fire is not something that's really appropriate in a situation like this," U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said Wednesday:

... Quote:

"How do you get a cease-fire with a terrorist organization? I'm not sure anybody's ever done that before, and I'm not sure it's possible."
German Judge Detlev Mehlis, head of UN investigating team into the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, is convinced that Iran and Syria are responsible for aggravating the situation in Lebanon.

... Quote:

Proxy war

“Syria refuses to this day to establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon. It refuses to recognize a binding demarcation of common borders," he said. "For Syria, Lebanon is nowhere near being an autonomous country."

With that, Mehlis dismisses claims that Hizbullah was conducting a proxy war for Iran and Syria as “speculation.”

So how can the situation be overcome? According to Mehlis, the idea of deploying multinational forces along the Israeli-Lebanese border is an option, but the effectiveness of an international peacekeeping force could be limited.

"The influence of the international community is restricted," he said. "The US has a clear influence on Israel, that is certain. Iran and Syria have real influence over Hizbullah. But whether they can apply enough pressure to stop the assaults, I doubt.

I think it's unfortunately going to take some time."
By Riwka: posted on 21-7-2006

IAF jets renewed air strikes on Beirut's southern suburbs, Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reported.

Ground troops were sent across the Lebanese border in the sector where the two soldiers have been killed on Wednesday in order to engage Hizbullah guerillas that were firing mortar rounds towards Moshav Avivim.

Eight soldiers were wounded in the heavy exchange of gunfire, while one Hizbullah guerilla was killed as IDF artillery cannons were pounding the sources of the mortar fire.
(IDF soldiers advancing inside southern Lebanon across the border from the northern Israeli village of Avivim on Thursday. Photo: AP)

Fighting was also taking place near the Lebanese village of Maoun a-Ras, adjacent to Avivim but on the Lebanese side of the border.

According to the IDF, 10 Hizbullah cells were hit by the IDF throughout the day.
By Riwka: posted on 21-7-2006

... Quote:

Lebanese Army may join forces with Hizbullah

The Lebanese Minister of Defense warned Israel Thursday that if IDF ground forces are sent into southern Lebanon, Lebanese troops will fight along with the Hizbullah against Israel.
By Riwka: posted on 21-7-2006

09:00 PM:

In accordance with Home Front Command instructions, Israel Railways has stopped running trains to Haifa.
By Riwka: posted on 21-7-2006

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