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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

How the IDF Defends Against Hezbollah

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Hezbollah, a terrorist organization based in Southern Lebanon, threatens Israel’s security every day.The terrorist organization has 100,000 rockets capable of hitting anywhere in Israel and is funded and supported by Iran.  Last week, in a series of interviews on Israeli television, the IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Benny Gantz stressed that preparations for a military operation in Lebanon is a possible, realistic and necessary scenario. We spoke to a senior colonel responsible for training on the northern border in order to discover how the IDF intends to counter this threat. 

The situation in Southern Lebanon

IDF forces know that a future confrontation with Hezbollah is inevitable and will be highly complex. IDF soldiers must learn and apply unique methods of combat. The IDF colonel responsible for training fighters on the northern border has the difficult responsibility to create the most realistic terrain simulations in order to train these soldiers.
lebanon

Hezbollah, rooted in southern Lebanon, uses this region as it sees fit. Taking orders from Iran, the terrorist organization has for years been using Lebanese civilian infrastructure in order to prepare for its next confrontation with Israel. “The villages based in Southern Lebanon have become a training camp. Wherever you are, in every house, a member of Hezbollah is watching. The Lebanese cannot live a normal life under the control of Hezbollah,” the commander of the northern forces said.

This callous use of the Lebanese population by Hezbollah is not new. During the Second Lebanon War, the terrorist organization used the homes of Lebanese civilians as weapon caches and firing positions. “After several years of uneasy calm in the region, we know that Hezbollah is more thoroughly embedded in the civilian population of Southern Lebanon,” said the northern commander.

The telephone network of the Lebanese state, for example, has repeatedly been infiltrated by the terrorist organization to secure its own communications. But Hezbollah goes even further in its exploitation of Lebanese territory. Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been in the news digging tunnels into Israel. “Hezbollah has more funds and more capability than Hamas, and they are doing exactly the same thing,” the northern commander said. Hezbollah tunnels are a real danger to IDF soldiers stationed at the border. Hezbollah terrorists can use them to abduct soldiers or to prepare ambushes during ground operations in a future conflict.

Hezbollah in Syria

Hezbollah takes the possibility of a ground operation very seriously. The terror organization has been engaged in the Syrian civil war, and uses this conflict as training for the future.

“Hezbollah invests a lot of energy in Syria. It is on the offensive and even though it has lost many men, this conflict gives the Hezbollah fighters comprehensive training for the next conflict with Israel,” said the northern commander.

IDF stands ready

Faced with this continuing and increasingly complex threat, the IDF has established training strategies and fighting techniques that will ensure the security of Israel over the long term.

Beyond physical training, IDF soldiers are placed under conditions of urban warfare to better understand the reality of the enemy territory. “Soldiers train in military bases modeled after villages in Lebanese territory,” said the colonel.

Israeli soldiers training for urban warfare

“Indeed, in any upcoming battles with Hezbollah, there will be no other choice but to conduct a large ground operation. We must find every place where Hezbollah is hiding. Today, Hezbollah is dug in amid a civilian population and we must prepare for this,” said the colonel.

The lessons of the Second Lebanon War continue today. In that confrontation with the Lebanese Shiite militia in 2006, the emphasis was put on cooperation between the different branches of the military in order to achieve maximum effectiveness against terrorists embedded within the civilian population.

“The forces on the ground, fighters in tanks, helicopters and fighter planes are more ready than ever and trained to work with the IDF Intelligence Corps in emergency situations,” the northern comander said.

Throughout the interview, the northern commander insisted on the professionalism expected from soldiers on the ground. This professionalism ​​results from hours of training, preparing the soldiers for all the circumstances they could face with the enemy, including: civilians in the combat zone, ambushes and attempted abduction. It is this value of maximum preparation that will ultimately ensure Israel’s safety.

Hezbollah Reportedly Faces Financial Crisis

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

A report in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, citing sources in Lebanon, said Hezbollah is facing increasing financial pressure over austerity measures by the Iranian government since President Hassan Rouhani took office last summer, as well as strain over the terror group’s involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Additionally, the report said Hezbollah is facing financial pressure from more aggressive prosecution by the United States and Europe over foreign sources of funding from Latin America and Africa.

Last week, several members of the U.S. Congress proposed a new bill to increase sanctions on Hezbollah by targeting its banks and other financial institutions that support the terror group.

Germany, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that it banned the German charity Orphan Children Project Lebanon for raising money for Hezbollah. German police staged raids across the country on homes and offices used by the charity.

Lebanese Media Report Two IDF Tanks Crossed Border

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Two Israeli Merkava tanks crossed the electronic fence on the northern border and entered Lebanese territory Tuesday, the Lebanese-run National News Agency reported.

The IDF refused to confirm or deny the report, and military spokeswoman explained to The Jewish Press, “We do not comment on reports from foreign media.”

The Lebanese news agency claimed that the two tanks remained in Lebanese territory for approximately two hours before leaving.

It added, “At the same time, Israeli warplanes violated the Lebanese airspace over the central sector, while a reconnaissance aircraft flew over (the southern regions of) Bint Jbeil and Marjeyoun,” according to the same source.

Israeli helicopters reportedly flew over southern Lebanon near the border and fired flares.

The activity could be related to Israeli military drills in the area but also may be a reaction to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s boast on Monday when he took responsibility for a bomb explosion aimed at an IDF patrol last month.

Bulgaria Says Hezbollah Terrorist Carried Out Burgas Bombing

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The terrorist who killed five Israelis and their tour bus driver and wounded 32 Israelis in Burgas in 2012 was an Algerian who worked for Hezbollah, Bulgaria said Monday.

It was one of the most unsurprising declarations of the year since all signs have pointed to Hezbollah since the attack at the Black Sea resort.

The suicide bomber trained in camps in southern Lebanon.

More than year ago, a Bulgarian minister said there was “well-grounded” evidence that Hezbollah was behind the attack, and forensic evidence and intelligence sources pointed to Hezbollah’s involvement

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah Claims Galilee Threat from Syria

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Hezbollah terrorist chief Hassan Nasrallah claimed this week that Israel’s Galilee region is being threatened by events in Syria.

He noted that Israel was growing more worried about Iran as the days pass, and that the Jewish State is now closely guarding the Galilee region areas near the Golan Heights due to fear of cross-border attacks.

Nearly a month after an IDF jeep was blown up as soldiers patrolled along the northern border, Nasrallah also claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it came in response to one he blamed on Israel that prevented his group from receiving sophisticated arms from Iran.

But Israel has yet to acknowledge its part in the air strike, which left four Hezbollah terrorists dead. A missile launcher and two trucks that set out from Syria bearing supplies of missiles allegedly able to carry newer, heavier warheads never reached the Hezbollah warehouses.

According to a report in the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper quoting an interview published Monday in the As-Safir newspaper, Syrian government forces have begun to re-establish their control over Damascus and surrounds. Not good news for the State of Israel, said Nasrallah, who told the newspaper the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is no longer in jeopardy.

Nasrallah claimed that although opposition forces in Syria appeared to have the upper hand last year, the fact that Assad remained in office was proof “the danger of the Syrian regime falling has ended and we have exceeded the risk of partition.”

The Shi’ite terror chief added that although there had been one group in Syria that had opposed Hezbollah’s presence, but that the issue had been settled. Nasrallah said that the presence of “radical groups” in Syria are an existential threat to Lebanon and the region.

The Al Qaeda terrorist organization – a radical Islamist Sunni group – has been referred to by rival terrorists  as a “radical” organization. While the conflict in Syria often appears to Western eyes as a basic civil war, that is not what this is really about.

In the absence of an orderly transfer of power from Assad to another strong administrative hand at the helm, Syria is now in the process of being systematically hacked apart by rival groups backed by various Arab countries, each vying for a piece of the land in which to set up independent emirates.

Many are radical Islamists linked to groups like Al Qaeda or Hezbollah, although some are independent. A separate sector of groups is loosely tied together in the moderate secular council of opposition forces known as the Syrian National Council.

It is this group with which the West tried to form a relationship – only to discover that any military support it provided was handed over to radical Islamic terrorists whenever the groups united together to fight Syria’s government army.

Israel has been providing medical support to the opposition forces – and possibly to Assad’s forces as well, it is not really clear – in a field hospital set up in the ‘no man’s land’ buffer zone in the Golan Heights. Critically wounded Syrians are somehow spirited over the border and brought to Israeli hospitals in Tzfat and sometimes elsewhere in Israel for special care.

Dramatic Increase in Attacks Against Israel in March

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Throughout March there was a drastic increase in terror attacks on various Israeli fronts.

There was an increase in terrorist attacks against Israeli targets.These attacks varied from failed attempts to smuggle long-range surface-to-surface rockets into Gaza, two explosive devices detonated against IDF soldiers on both the Lebanese and Syrian borders, a barrage of 70 rockets fired at southern Israel from Gaza, an uncovering of the largest tunnel so far from Gaza into Israel, and routine activities in the Central Command in order to prevent terrorist activities and safeguard Israeli life.

Route for weapons shipment to Gaza from Iran.

Route for weapons shipment to Gaza from Iran.

Operation “Full Disclosure” took place on March 5, when the IDF managed to prevent an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. The operation was possible due to the combination of in-depth intelligence and enhanced operational capabilities. In the successful operation, 40 rockets (type M-302), which can reach up to a range of 160 kilometers, 181 mortar shells (122 mm) and approximately 400,000 7.62 caliber rounds were found on board the Klos-C.

Increase in Instability on the Northern Border

In March, two rockets landed in northern Israel, and two concealed explosive devices were detonated against IDF soldiers along the Israeli border with Lebanon (March 14) and Syria (March 18). During the latter, four soldiers were injured. A similar incident was prevented on March 5, when soldiers identified three Hezbollah-affiliated terrorists attempting to conceal an explosive device in the northern Golan Heights. The IDF responded immediately and fired towards the suspects.

At the end of the month (March 28), the IDF opened fire towards two armed suspects who infiltrated into Israel in the central Golan Heights. Following this escalation, the IDF is reviewing the rules of engagement along the border.

Gaza: Defending Israel From Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas

Over the course of the month, approximately 123 rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel, out of which 77 rockets hit southern Israel. These figures include the massive rocket attack that took place between March 12-March 14, when a barrage of 70 rockets hit southern Israel, and five additional rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. This was the most severe rocket attack since operation “Pillar of Defense.”

One of four weapons-smuggling tunnels discovered by the IDF in March.

One of four weapons-smuggling tunnels discovered by the IDF in March.

At the end of the month (March 21), the IDF exposed the opening of a tunnel built by Gaza terrorists near Israeli civilian communities. The tunnel was dug 1,200 meters into Israel. This is the fourth tunnel exposed in the last 18 months, indicating a clear Hamas strategy to create points of infiltration from Gaza into Israel.

Over the past month, two explosive devices were uncovered and detonated in the southern Gaza Strip adjacent to the fence.

The IDF prevented rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by precision-targeting terror squads in Gaza responsible for launching attacks at southern Israel. IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist squad preparing to launch rockets (March 3) and a terrorist squad affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, immediately after they fired a mortar shell at IDF soldiers (March 11).

Canadian Court Orders Seizure of Iranian Assets for Terror Victims

Monday, March 24th, 2014

An Ontario court has ordered the seizure of more than $7 million in assets belonging to Iran to compensate American victims of terror.

The historic ruling last week brought to an end several lawsuits filed in Canada by terror victims from the United States seeking damages from Iran for training, arming and financing the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups.

The Americans previously were awarded damages by U.S. courts but could not collect from any Iranian government assets in the United States. They came to Canada for enforcement, which was made possible by Ottawa’s passage in 2012 of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. The law strips state immunity in civil lawsuits from countries deemed to be “supporting terrorism.”

The Ontario court ordered sheriffs to seize one bank account worth $1.47 million controlled by an Iranian diplomat, and another with a balance of $511,000 controlled by Iran’s charge d’affaires in Ottawa.

The evidence “overwhelmingly” established that the money in the accounts was the property of Iran, the judge ruled.

Also to be sold, with the proceeds going to the victims, are a building in Toronto valued at $1.1 million and another in Ottawa valued at $3.9 million. Both facilities operated as ostensible cultural centers. The judge noted there was evidence that the Ottawa property was owned by a front group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which is “hardly a cultural or charitable organization.”

The plaintiffs in the case, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, were Edward Tracy and the family of Joseph Cicippio. Both U.S. men were captured and held hostage in Beirut from 1986 to 1991.

“I’m surprised. I’m shocked that we’ve gotten this far after all these years,” Cicippio told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Cicippio’s family was awarded $91 million in damages in 2005 but could not collect in the United States. Tracy won a judgment of $18.5 million in 2003.

It is expected that other victims of terror in separate cases, including a Canadian dentist wounded in a 1997 Hamas suicide bombing in Jerusalem, and three other American families will share in the proceeds as part of a side deal worked out among lawyers.

The other Americans suing in Canada were Alann Steen, who was abducted in Beirut in 1987 and held for nearly five years; the family of David Jacobsen, who was kidnapped in 1985 and released 17 months later; and the family of Marla Bennett, a California student killed in a 2002 bombing attack by Hamas at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

All won sizable awards in U.S. courts but could not collect.

Over the weekend, Iran’s state-controlled media blasted the Canadian ruling as “politically motivated” and of “no legal value.” No representative of the country attended the court hearing.

IDF: ‘Suspicious Movement’ Along Syrian Border Preceded Bomb

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

As reported earlier, Israel opened fire into Syria on Tuesday, after four Israeli soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb on the Golan Heights. One of the four was seriously wounded and was evacuated by medical helicopter to a Haifa hospital.

IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner explained that the IDF patrol noticed “suspicious movement” along the border with Syria. When the troops went to investigate, the bomb went off.

“Clearly this is a grave result and we will be following it,” Lt. Col. Lerner told France 24.

The IDF firing into Syria was intended as a sharp warning that it will forcefully defend its soldiers and the citizens of Israel.

Lerner said it was too early to blame any group for Tuesday’s attack. Israel has been on high alert for attacks by Hezbollah after a suspected weapons convoy was struck by Israel in February. That convoy was believed to be transporting sophisticated weapons from Syria into Lebanon, for use by the terrorist organization Hezbollah in its terrorist war against Israel.

Lerner said Israel targeted Syrian positions on Tuesday because it holds Syria responsible for all attacks emanating from its territory.

“We view the Syrian army as responsible for the incident,” Lerner said. “I can’t confirm that it was Hezbollah behind this, but it wouldn’t be the first time.”

Hezbollah fighters have been engaged in shoring up Syrian forces loyal to Assad in the three years long civil war raging within that state. Along with government forces and Hezbollah, opposition forces seeking to oust Assad from power are also fighting in the region.

Last Friday, IDF soldiers were targeted by a roadside bomb that detonated as a border patrol convoy was passing along the Israeli border with Lebanon, near Har Dov. Israel responded with tank rounds and artillery.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/idf-suspicious-movement-along-syrian-border-preceded-bomb/2014/03/18/

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