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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Air Force’

IDF Resumes Offensive after Rocket Attack on Tel Aviv

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

The IDF announced late Sunday morning it is resuming its offense against Hamas terrorists following massive rocket and missile fire that targeted metropolitan Tel Aviv despite Israel’s extension of a humanitarian ceasefire at the request of the United Nations.

“Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza.,” military spokesmen stated. “The IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has repeatedly called out to the civilian population of Gaza not to approach combat zones.”

Sources reported mid-morning on Sunday that the Israeli Air Force targeted several areas in Gaza.

Hamas fired missiles and rockets as far north as Petach Tikvah, north of Tel Aviv, Sunday morning, and the Iron Dome shot down the rocket and one other missile. No damage or injuries were reported.

Terrorists fired at least seven rockets and missiles shortly around 8:30. Five that were not intercepted by the Iron Dome exploded in open areas.

The IDF reported that soldiers have found and destroyed 30 tunnels used by terrorists to escape or to stage attacks on Israelis since the beginning of the war, which has claimed the lives of 43 soldiers, two Israeli citizens and a foreign worker from Thailand. One wounded soldier remains in the hospital in critical condition, and another 133 are being treated for light to serious injuries.

Hamas and other Gaza terrorists have launched more than 2,250 rockets, mortar shells and missiles at Israel since the beginning of the 20-day-old war. The Iron Dome has intercepted 414 of them. Several hundred rockets have misfired and exploded in Gaza, killing and wounding civilians.

The Air Force has struck approximately 2,700 targets, and military officials estimate that the Israeli war on terror has sapped Hamas’ morale, drastically reduced its stockpile of weapons and has eliminated leading Hamas commanders.

Gaza is devastated, and the current humanitarian truce has given the local population an opportunity to dig out bodies and realize the extent of the devastation as a result of IDF attacks on terrorists responsible for relentless rocket attacks on most of Israel.

Houses, mosques used by terrorists to fire on Israel, and infrastructure have been seriously damaged or destroyed, and Washington Post journalist William Booth reported Sunday, “Local reporters and Gaza residents said the scale of destruction in the areas targeted — the acres of bombed housing — exceeded damage done in the two previous wars of 2009 and 2012.”

Several reports have claimed that popular opinion in Gaza is turning against Gaza.

“We want a cease fire at any cost,” Mohammed Hassounah told FoxNews.com from a hospital in central Gaza.

Hamas has threatened journalists to keep their reportage biased against Israel or face recriminations, and one Gaza media editor, who insisted on remaining anonymous, told Fox News, “You need to understand that Palestinian blood has been shed by Hamas itself. Living under Hamas is a tragedy.

“No one can forgive Hamas for butchering Palestinians to get power. Most Gazans hate Hamas with a passion.

“We would love to have an independence from both Fatah and Hamas, who are profiting off the Palestinian people. We need to rule ourselves.”

The Toronto Globe & Mail wrongly estimated on Friday that Hamas is winning the war because its goal is to make life in Israel abnormal. Basing its information on a Hamas legislator, the newspaper reported, “The militants have brought the war to the doorstep of many more Israelis than ever before… And with its labyrinth of tunnels beneath Israel’s frontier, Hamas has undermined Israelis’ sense of invulnerability.”

It highlighted what Hamas has claimed are civilian deaths in Israeli land, sea and aerial attacks on terror targets.

However, the success of the Iron Dome antimissile system and of the IDF to prevent terrorists from emerging from tunnels inside Israel and carrying out massacres has brought out national unity and a feeling of security that arguably has not been seen in the country possibly since the Six-Day-War in 1967.

IDF Retaliates for Overnight Gaza Rocket Attacks

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Israeli fighter pilots were busy late Monday night, flying sorties over Gaza to retaliate for Hamas terror attacks and repeated rocket fire aimed at southern Israel.

Gaza terrorists launched at least six rocket attacks at Israeli civilian communities overnight, sending families racing for their shelters and safe rooms nearly every hour from midnight to 3:30 am.

Missile fire was aimed at the coastal city of Ashkelon, and Qassam rockets were launched at the nearby Sdnot Negev and Eshkol Regional Council districts. Rockets fell in open fields, where no property damage was reported.

Several other rockets exploded near a packaging factory and a number of vehicles, causing damage, according to local reports. In addition at least one person was treated for trauma; several other residents suffered anxiety attacks as well.

The Israel Air Force immediately retaliated, striking rocket launcher sites and other terrorist targets in central and southern Gaza.

More than 30 terror targets were destroyed within a few minutes’ time, according to local Gaza sources, who said the air strikes “caused many explosions” especially in the southern area of the region.

In addition to the air force, Israeli Navy personnel and tank artillery participated in the attack, the sources said. Local medical workers reported that four people were wounded and one was missing in the town of Khan Yunis, a hotbed of terrorism and one of the sites where air strikes were carried out.

Graduation Day

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Defense Minister Moshe ‘Bogie’ Yaalon at the 168th graduation ceremony of the Israel Air Force Academy on June 26, 2014.

Israel to Add ‘Defensive Canopy’ Along Syrian Border

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Israel has decided to build a series of assault posts designed to return fire rapidly in the event of an attack from across the border.

The decision came in response to just such an incident that occurred earlier this week, and cost the life of a 13-year-old Israeli boy. His father, a defense ministry contractor on a job along the security fence, was seriously wounded along with two others. They were sitting in a water truck when a Kornet anti-tank missile scored a direct hit on their vehicle. Mohammed Karkara paid the price and died in his father’s arms.

According to the IDF, live personnel will staff the series of assault stations — the “Defensive Canopy” to be strung out along the 210th Territorial Division — as the situation warrants. The “210th” is the area that secures Israel’s border with Syria in the Golan Heights.

The IDF maintains a similar series of posts in the south, strung out along the Gaza border as well. Within the stations are various types of technologies that allow for quick coordination between the various military elements – air force, ground troops, artillery and so forth – needed to repel any enemy attack.

Israel to Vacate ‘All’ IDF Bases in Central Region

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Israel plans to vacate all its bases in the central region in the coming months, according to Harel Locker, director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, who has been tasked with the goal in order to streamline the military system.

Locker made the statement at Tuesday’s Globes-BDO Ziv Haft Capital Market Conference, saying budget cuts for the defense establishment had forced the move.

Last week the IDF warned it was halting air force training and non-active flights, as well as all non-active training programs for career and reserve personnel due to the budget cuts imposed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid.) The drastic measures came following the ministry’s refusal to infuse additional funds into defense coffers which had already been approved in a special vote by the Cabinet in October. The squabble over funds comes at a time when a new unity government between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terrorist organization has been re-established under the PLO in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and terrorism against Israel is on the rise on both sides of the 1949 Armistice line (also known as the “Green Line” or “pre-1967″ line.)

“All of the land on which IDF bases between Haifa and Be’er Sheva” are located would be up for sale, Locker said – effectively raising money for defense through the capital markets rather than earmarking funds in the state budget.

“This sort of government investment will contribute to economic activity in the market. It will also free up land for more than 100,000 housing units in high-demand areas in central Israel,” he noted.

In addition, Locker claimed the move towards the northern and southern periphery would boost the economy in those areas. “Tens of thousands of career officers and soldiers will work, live, buy and enrich” those regions, he claimed.

However, so far the move by the air force to the periphery doesn’t seem to have done much other than create havoc on roads in the south that were never built to accommodate the increased amount of traffic. The construction project to widen and develop the area around the Nevatim air force base, meanwhile – particularly the reconstruction of Route 31 from the Shoqet Junction near Be’er Sheva to Arad – has turned the entire northeastern Negev upside down for more than a year, with little to show for it other than more vehicular accidents.

Locker said the state would fund the project through sales of the land on which the bases are now located – “the most expensive lands in high demand areas… for tens of billions of shekels.” He said he was turning to the business community gathered at the conference for extra-budgetary financing of the project – “financial institutions, banks and other entities.” He added that he hoped to complete the process “within a few weeks.”

Budget Cuts Leave Israeli Air Force Training Flights Up in the Air

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The IDF is grounding training flights in the Israeli air force, effective immediately, according to a report late Tuesday night by Walla!

Starting next Sunday, pilots will fly only during actual operations and in flight school, IAF fighter jet commanders were told Tuesday night. The IDF decision to ground the planes includes reserve pilots as well, and was made jointly by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.

The decision to clip the wings of Israel’s air force came after the Finance Ministry refused to send the Defense Ministry a payment of NIS 750 million ($215 million) for basic maintenance, training and drills.

Last October the Defense Ministry had asked for an increase in its budget after it had taken steps to streamline operations. The Cabinet approved a decision to transfer NIS 2.75 billion to the defense establishment from the budget surplus that existed at the time.

Nevertheless, Finance Minister Yair Lapid has continued to advocate for a cut in the budget instead, hoping to use those funds for social services.

In the long run, it may be that the equipment will come out the biggest loser of all, however. Brig.-Gen. (res) Assaf Agmon, head of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, was quoted as saying, “a plane that doesn’t fly suffers in terms of its condition; rubber dries out, the body is damaged. It’s for good reason pilots often air out their plane for 15 minutes before a mission, so as to preserve the plaine’s flight condition.”

A source in the Defense Ministry told Walla!, the Finance Ministry “refused to hold logical negotiations while at least making good on its earlier commitments, and therefore we had no choice but to make decisions like these.”

“The IDF planned in a responsible manner the work plans for 2014 according to the missions and the size of the army, as approved in October by the Cabinet, and in January by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committe,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement. “Throughout that time the meaning of the approval of a work plan with an inadequate budget was presented to all the relevant parties. It was made clear that in May, the IDF would reach an extreme point at which hard decisions would be required.”

Air Force Airlifts Generators for Blacked-out Towns in Samaria

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The Israeli Air Force has airlifted generators to end an electricity blackout in the Jewish communities of Itamar and Shiloh in Samaria (Shomron.)

The two towns, along with several other smaller communities, have been without electricity since last Thursday because of the savage storm that crippled Israel with more than three feet of snow and torrential rains in low-level areas. Teams of repairmen have been working around the clock to restore the electrical supply to all the hundreds of disconnected homes.

Aharon Katsof, a resident of Aish Kodesh in the Binyamin region of Samaria, told Tazpit News Agency, “We have been without power for five days.  We have been using wood for heat, and gas for cooking. We also lost our water supply, so we melted snow for water. During the first days we had a problem with food supplies, and we were completely cut off.

“At some point the army began to provide us with food. Those who had wood-heating hosted those families who had none. We had communal meals. Today, most cars were dug out of the snow, and so we can get in and out; the siege has been broken.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/air-force-airlifts-generators-for-blacked-out-towns-in-samaria/2013/12/17/

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