Sunday, July 16

Haaretz: 'We deserve the Qassams and the Katyushas' (Op-ed, Editorial Cartoon)

Cox & Forkum

From Haaretz's Nadav Shragai, who, surprisingly, goes "Katyusha" over his home team:

We deserve the Qassams and the Katyushas

"The hundreds of Qassams and Katyushas that have landed in the south and north are a natural response coming from those who, over the years, have grown used to believing that Israel regards the thousands of mortars and Qassams on the inhabitants of Gush Katif as nothing more than rain."

"The truth? We earned it honestly as a nation of gullible fools, who over and over followed the illusions of quiet, peace and demography sold buy its leaders. We deserve it. However, the influence of the recent events has moved something, maybe temporarily, but something has moved. Suddenly, there's not enough room on board for all those who are disengagement opponents.

"Half of them, it turns out, were at Kfar Maimon - we must have missed them. The other half, were like the secret Jews of the Spanish inquisition, secretly opposed, while publicly voting in favor."

Pick your jaw up off the floor and read the rest.

Report: IDF commandos operating in Lebanon

Israeli SEAL

IDF special commando forces are operating in Lebanon, according to a report on Israel Channel 10 television just before 13:30, Sunday.

The unit (or units) are not large, according to the reporter, and are likely operating to foil rocket launches towards Israel.

And this is how and where they may be doing it:

"A senior IDF officer disclosed on Saturday that Hezbullah has been hiding a large quantity of long-range rockets in specially-designed rooms built in houses in Southern Lebanon villages, operating under the assumption that the Israeli army will have difficulty in locating them and that it would prefer not to harm villages. "According to the official, the concealed rockets have a range of 40-70 kilometers (25-45 miles). "According to the official, 'We took the gloves off in this confrontation, we targeted these places and will hit every convoy transporting arms, even if there are Iranian elements within it.'"

(Hat tip; Israel Matzav)

Home Front Command to Tel Aviv: Prepare for missile attacks

My kids on a visit to the Tel Aviv-Jaffa shore. (Photo: Dave Bender)

From Haaretz:

At least eight people were killed Sunday morning as rockets fired by Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon struck the northern port city of Haifa.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday told Israelis from Tel Aviv northward to "be alert."

The command said that in the event of a rocket strike, a siren will sound, alerting the public to seek shelter inside in a protected room or an area away from doors, windows and exterior walls.

The Home Front Command later backed off somewhat later in the morning, telling Tel Avivans and residents from the center of the country that they didn't need to take particular steps, as of midday, but to simply "be alert."

Quick show of hands: Anybody drowsy in Israel today, from Sderot to Metulla, Tel Aviv to the Jordan Valley?

Didn't think so. But if the Home Front Command sez "Be alert," be alert - we need more lerts.


Summary of WWW.IDF.IL updates:

July 16th 2006


Summary of IDF activity in the Gaza Strip overnight

    • The IDF carried out an aerial attack on a structure in Jebaliya, in northern Gaza, that was used by the Hamas terrorist organization and from which terrorist activity against Israeli citizens was planned and directed.
    • Armed gunmen opened fire at an IDF force in the area of Beit Hanun. The armed cell was targeted in an aerial attack.
    • IDF forces identified an armed cell carrying an RPG missile in the area of Beit Hanun. The armed cell was targeted in an aerial attack.

The IDF will continue to act with determination against terrorist organizations and terror infrastructure in order to create the conditions for the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and to stop terror attacks and the launching of rockets towards Israel.

July 16th 2006


Summary of IDF aerial attacks in the past 24 hours

The Hezbollah terrorist organization launched more than 400 missiles into Israel over the past three days, including more than 90 yesterday, July 15th 2006.

As part of the ongoing operation to protect the citizens of Israel from terror attacks originating in Lebanon, the IAF targeted more than 130 targets in Lebanon in past 24 hours, including more than 50 overnight.

Among the sites targeted overnight:

· 10 radar stations of the Lebanese military along the Lebanese coast. This was following the cooperation between Hezbollah and the Lebanese military in the attack of an Israel Navy missile ship on July 14th.

· Hezbollah's main headquarters in Beirut.

· Hezbollah's broadcasting compound, which has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hezbollah.

· Several access routes in Lebanon.

· Structures used to store weapons, including Katyusha rockets.

· Katyusha launching grounds

Additional sites targeted yesterday, July 15th 2006:

· Structures used to store weaponry including Katyusha rockets.

· Katyusha launching grounds

· Approximately 20 Hezbollah centers in Ba'al Beck and Beirut

· Several bridges and Hezbollah infrastructure across Lebanon.

The IDF will continue to use all means at its disposal in order to protect the citizens of Israel and return the abducted IDF soldiers to their homes.

July 16th 2006


IDF activity in the northern Gaza Strip

Beginning early this morning, July 16th 2006, IDF ground forces are operating near Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, as part of the ongoing operation in the Gaza Strip to thwart terror threats and the launching of projectile rockets.

The operation is focused on the terrorist organizations and the terrorist infrastructure involved in the launching of projectile rockets at communities in Israel.

The IDF operation is directed against the Gaza Strip's terror infrastructure only. The IDF will make every effort in order to prevent civilian casualties, and continues to stress to the civilian Palestinian population that, for their own safety, civilians should stay clear of combat zones.

The IDF will continue to act with determination and to employ all means at its disposal against Palestinian terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip to allow the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and to stop terrorist attacks and the launching of rockets at Israel.


July 16th 2006


IDF targets Hezbollah's Al Manar broadcasting compound

The IDF carried out an additional aerial attack against Hezbollah's broadcasting compound in Beirut early this morning (July 16, 2006), in accordance with the decision of the political echelon to operate to protect the citizens of Israel against attacks emanating from Lebanese territory. This was the third time the IDF attacked the compound.

Al Manar has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hezbollah, and has also helped the organization recruit people into its ranks. Hezbollah operates undisturbed from within Lebanon, and constitutes a severe terrorist threat to the people of Israel and to IDF soldiers, as shown by the continuous terrorist attacks over the past few days.


Following are Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remarks from the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 16.7.06:

"This is a very difficult morning for all of us. The severe blows on Haifa follow the murderous attacks on population centers throughout the country. These attacks are designed to hurt civilians because this is Hizbullah's criminal war against Israel and its residents. On behalf of the Cabinet and the people of Israel, I would like to send condolences to the families of those IDF soldiers and civilians who were killed and best wishes for a full recovery to those who were wounded, and to embrace the abductees and their families.

Several days ago, the State of Israel was attacked from the north. This attack follows the terrorist attack from the Gaza Strip. In both instances, the attacks began without any reason and they are mostly directed against innocent Israeli civilians within the sovereign territory of the State of Israel. In both the north and the south, there is no claim by any regional or international element whatsoever that Israel is in an area the sovereignty of which is disputed. The State of Israel cannot countenance this. We have no interest or desire to hurt the Lebanese or the Palestinian peoples. We want to live our lives quietly and to be good neighbors.

To my regret, there were those who incorrectly interpreted our aspiration to live in peace. We have no intention to give in to these threats. We know that many tests yet await us. Our enemies are trying to disrupt life in Israel – they will fail. The public is strong and united in this struggle.

In both north and south, the resolve being demonstrated by the public is an important part of the strength of the State of Israel and we are very proud of this. We must show patience and forbearance. This struggle is under no time constraints; this is a daily struggle and we – the Israeli Government and public – will continue to show equanimity, determination and sagacity as necessary. Our struggle is both moral and just and no other people in the free world would act as we have.

The Government is ready to extend immediate assistance to the residents of the north – in all areas. Government representatives, at all levels, have been instructed to formulate a socio-economic assistance plan. Throughout the operation, an interministerial Directors-General committee, chaired by Prime Minister's Office Director-General Ra'anan Dinur will – in full coordination with the Finance Ministry – provide assistance as necessary to the residents.

The decisions that we face are difficult and complex. My Government is determined to continue doing whatever is necessary in order to achieve our goals. Nothing will deter us, whatever far-reaching ramifications regarding our relations on the northern border and in the region there may be.

In conclusion, I would like to tell Defense Minister Amir Peretz, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, Israel Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi and all members of the IDF and the security services: I am proud to live in a state with such an army and with such security services. Continue the struggle without hesitation, the entire people of Israel are behind you."

At least 8 dead in Katyusha strike on Haifa

Scene of strike on Haifa Sunday morning.

UPDATE: At least 8 dead, dozens wounded in multiple Katyusha strike on Haifa

Attack on north resumes: Rockets fired by Hizbullah terrorists from Lebanon land in Haifa; police say eight killed, five others seriously wounded in strike. Nahariya, Kiryat Bialik also targeted; additional Katyushas apparently strike Akko area

A siren was heard across Haifa Sunday after a Katyusha rocket fell in the area. Security forces said at least 10 Katyusha rockets fell on the Haifa area.

Police said eight people were killed and five others were seriously wounded at the train depot. The rescue of the injured is being delayed after many people abandoned their vehicles due to rockets, leaving them on the road to the Rambam hospital.

View of region, looking south from Beirut, Lebanon to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Israel Army Radio, quoting Arab news sources, is reporting as of 0700 that Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah may have been wounded in an Israeli Air Force airstrike overnight (Sunday night IST) on Beirut.

There has been no other confirmation to the report, although analyists believe the Nasrallah is in a well-protected location beneath an apartment complex in the southern part of Beirut, the epicenter of several hundred sorties by Israeli warplanes.

This post will be updated as more details become available.

A useful active Flash format map of areas where Katyusha rockets are striking Israel is here.

Lebanese TV satire skewers Hizbullah: 'illegitimate rockets... bastard rockets' (Video)

The Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies is hosting a video segment (embedded in an illustrated, explanatory .PDF file) from a satirical show severely criticizing Hezbollah, that was aired on Lebanese LBC-TV.

"It focused on Katyusha attacks and Hamas’s boasts concerning a “balance of deterrence” with Israel and “liberating” the Shebaa Farms. Lebanese Shi’ites rioted and the satirical show was quickly taken off the air."

Not quickly enough, though. And you can watch it here, as well.

More ways to aid Israel (including pizza...)

More ways to aid Israel:

"The Magen David Adom, the Red Star of David, has an American friends arm. This is the Israeli emergency services, like the Red Cross, only because it's not a cross, they wouldn't let them into the ICRC for decades. They're in now.

"Friends of the IDF provides rec tents, care packages, and canteens (Stage Door-type, not metal, water-bearing-type) for the soldiers. This may sound trivial, but if you haven't been in the military, you may have no idea how important this sort of morale-booster is.

"This may sound even more trivial, but you can have pizza delivered to soldiers or units. I have this image of the delivery guy dodging incoming Katushyas, getting to the foxhole, and then collecting a combat-pay enhanced tip for his efforts. Seriously, this stuff matters to kids getting shot at.

"And for those of you who want to buy a tank, whose wish right is that the last thing some Hezbollah cockroach sees is your name spinning at him on the tip of a rifled artillery shell, well, you can't do that. At least not directly. But you can buy Israel Bonds, which help support the state. They're real bonds, with real coupons (except for the zero-coupon bonds), and they've never missed a payment, which probably means there are some United employees wishing they had invested in those instead."

(Hat tip to View From A Height)

Pro-Israel rally in Berlin at 'Potsdamer Platz' (Photo)

(Hat tip to colleague Andreas in Germany)

(Fire up a separate "Babelfish" or other translator page, and then go over to the German language page to see more)

"Andreas said... There has been a - fairly small - rally to support Israel today in Berlin/Germany.

You can read about it and see some pictures here."

JerusalemOnline news update: 23:00, July 16th (Video - Channel 2 TV)

Today's Headlines:
> Lebanese army radar aided Iranian missile attack
> Katyusha steel rain on Israel continues
> Tiberias hit for first time
> IDF deploys Patriot missiles
> Army strikes targets on Syrian border

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