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May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

General Gadi Eizenkot Takes Command of the IDF

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Gadi Eizenkot officially took over the command of the IDF Monday morning, replacing Benny Gantz in a routine rotation.

Lt. Gen. Eizenkot is a new image for the Israel, one of modesty that is rare in recent years among IDF generals who often are politicians more than they are military officers in their race to please the political echelon and the United States in order to climb the ladder of positions of power.

Eizenkot was a natural candidate to command the IDF several years ago, but he declined.

He is modest, but he also is tough, and as the Jewish Press reported here in November, he is different from other military commanders and is not afraid to speak his mind, even if his thoughts are not politically correct.

He took over the Northern Command after his predecessor quit in 2006 after suffering sharp criticism of his conduct in the 34-day Second Lebanon War that summer, a war which was arguably one of the most embarrassing for Israel in terms of the military’s lack of preparation, poor intelligence, logistic fiascos and loss of life.

Concerning Hezbollah, Eizenkot has said he backs a policy to show “no mercy shown when it comes to hitting the national infrastructure of a state that, in practice, is controlled by terrorist organization Hezbollah.”

On the other hand, Eizenkot is not considered trigger-happy and will not send soldiers into war unless diplomacy does not work, Yediot Acharonot observed when he was nominated for the new post late last year.

But when the army has to hit, it will do it the way it should.

Gantz said in his farewell speech Monday, “You have behind you a professional army, trained, flexible, and prepared for all tasks. Gadi,…take the army in the direction you choose….Praised is the people for whom you command their armed forces. Praised are those who answer “follow me” in carrying out commands.

Eizenkot, 54, lives in Herzliya, next to Tel Aviv. He is married and has five children.

Heavy Fighting in Syria, Not Far from Golan

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

At least 93 people have died in heavy fighting in southern Syria, the British-Based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports. Syrian troops loyal to Bashar Assad fought alongside the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah against Syrian rebels, with roughly equal casualties on each side.

The fighting took place south of Damascus and in the Deraa and Quneitra regions. Quneitra is close to the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan.

In recent months the Golan has been hit by mortars and gunfire from Syria on several occasions. Two weeks ago an attack from Syria killed two IDF soldiers and destroyed a civilian home.

The latest round of violence is part of a large-scale assault launched by Assad’s troops and Hezbollah in southern Syria. The assault is expected to heat up in the upcoming hours and days as the weather clears, allowing for the use of airstrikes.

The south is the rebels’ last stronghold. Hezbollah has control of much of western Syria, while northern and eastern Syria have fallen to the Islamic State (Da’esh) and the Al-Nusra Front.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Saturday that Syrian rebels have turned to Israel for help. They are asking for Israeli air support in the fight against Hezbollah and Iran.

Israel has not confirmed or denied involvement in several airstrikes against Hezbollah positions and weapons in Syria.

 

Syrian Rebels Ask Israel to Bomb Hezbollah

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Unnamed Israeli officials have confirmed that Syrian rebels have asked the Netanyahu government to bomb Hezbollah and Iranian positions, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Israel seems to be doing a job of doing so all by itself, but the rebels want the IDF to take a more active role. Israel never has admitted or denied several pre-emptive aerial bombings of weapons and Hezbollah positions.

The Observatory said that Assad, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards have launched an offense to counter rebel attacks near Damascus.

“Regime troops and their Hezbollah-led allies are advancing in the area linking Deraa, Quneitra and Damascus provinces,” the Syrian Observatory said.

Rebels have lost most of northern and eastern Syria to the Islamic State and the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. Hezbollah has taken over most of western Syria, bordering Lebanon.

That leaves the south as the rebels’ last stronghold.

“The rebels in the south comprise a diverse array of fighters,” analyst Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi of the Middle East Forum told Voice of America.

Syria and Hezbollah Launch Attack on Rebels at Israel’s Golan Border

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Israel’s former northern Golan Heights neighbor Bashar al-Assad is fighting with Hezbollah against rebels, supported by Al Qaeda, to regain the territory on the Syrian side of the strategic Golan.

Tanks and artillery are in action within five miles of the Israeli border, where the Israel Air Force last month bombed Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders planning launch an attack on the Israeli Golan.

Israel enjoyed a certain sense of security from Assad before the civil war erupted four years ago because for all his hatred of Israel, attacks on the Golan were not high on his agenda. Both sides enjoyed mutual hatred and a cold peace while the United States, particularly the Obama administration, enjoyed making believe that Assad was the key to peace between Israel and the Arab world.

The civil war exploded that illusion, and once Hezbollah joined up with Assad, the terrorist army’s threat from Lebanon extended eastward to the Golan.

Al Qaeda-backed rebels have taken over most of the territory near the Golan border, and Israeli residents have suffered dozens of rocket attacks, some of them accidental and some intentional.

Iran is believed to behind the new offensive against the rebels, and Hezbollah can be assumed to be taking advantage of Assad’s weakened position to exact the price of victory over the rebels by setting up new bases to attack Israel.

Israeli would not be able to retaliate on Hezbollah in Lebanon if it attacks the Golan from Syria, which no longer can be considered a country where one regime is in charge.

Israel has built some links with the rebels and the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and has treated more than 1,000 Syrians, some of them in Israeli hospitals and some in field hospitals on the Israeli side of the Golan.

Heavy fighting this week has put Hezbollah in control of several villages that Assad had lost to the rebels. If Assad and Hezbollah can regain the area between the Golan and Damascus, it will have eliminated the major stronghold of the non-jihadist opposition. The Islamic State (ISIS) controls a major part of Syria north of Damascus.

Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said, “The operations are being led by Hezbollah’s special forces. Their aim appears to be to eventually reach areas bordering the occupied Golan and set up a border zone under Hezbollah’s control.”

His description of the Golan as “occupied” underscores the fact that no matter who is in charge in Syria, he won’t be a friend of Israel.

 

 

 

Hezbollah Planned to Assassinate Prime Minister Olmert

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Hezbollah planned to assassinate then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2009 in retaliation for the elimination of Hezbollah mastermind terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, according to the London-based Al-Arabi-Al-Jadeed newspaper.

Mughniyeh was killed on February 12, 2008, when his car exploded in the Kafr-Sousa neighborhood in Damascus. Though the assassination was widely attributed to Israel, a recent report by The Washington Post claims the assassination was a CIA-Mossad joint operation.

Al-Arabi’s report claims the Olmert assassination was thwarted by Mohammed Shurba, a high-ranking Hezbollah officer. Shurba was recently arrested by Hezbollah amid concerns that he may be an Israeli agent.

According to the report, Shurba also provided Israel with vital information that helped prevent a Hezbollah terror attack on the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan in 2009.

As of now, Hezbollah hasn’t released any official response to Al-Arabi’s report. One reason for Hezbollah’s lack of response could be embarrassment over Shurba’s high position in the organization. In recent years Shurba held important roles within the organization, among them, head of the personal security detail of Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general.

 

UN Panel to Probe UNIFIL Soldier’s Death in Lebanon

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Another United Nations investigation is about to probe Israel’s involvement in a death among Arab attackers … uh, that is … the panel will probe the death of a UNIFIL soldier in Lebanon while Hezbollah was attacking Israel.

This will be the second such “independent” panel investigating Israel’s role in defending itself from attacks initiated against its citizens.

Currently the UN Human Rights Council is continuing its efforts to “investigate” claims that Israel Defense Forces committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza during the counter terror war to silence the incessant rocket fire being fired against Israeli civilians in the south.

Professor William Schabas was replaced this week with Mary McGowan Davis, a member of the team that produced the notorious Goldstone Report, after resigning his role as leader of the anti-Israel probe of Israel’s counter terror war against Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and allied terrorists. Although Schabas was known to have an open bias against Israel, it was still a surprise to many when he revealed in his resignation letter that he had actually worked as a consultant for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the past.

The “independent panel” to be appointed by the UN is specifically tasked with investigating the death of a soldier from Spain, a member of the UNIFIL contingent operating in southern Lebanon since November 2014.

Spain last week said it was Israeli artillery that was responsible for the death of its soldier, which took place during an exchange of gunfire that followed an attack launched by Hezbollah on an unprotected convoy traveling near the northern border in Israel.

The terrorists fired six Kornet anti-tank missiles at two unarmored jeeps and two civilian vehicles on Israel’s side of the border. The two army jeeps were incinerated instantly. Two soldiers died and seven others were wounded. One of the missiles went astray and struck a civilian home in the border town of Ghajar, destroying it as well.

UNIFIL was tasked with monitoring the ceasefire that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah and seeing to it that the terrorists did not receive any more arms, among other assignments. It has failed miserably at its assignment, perhaps deliberately. After all, it is easier to deal with disappointed Israelis than to face a deadly threat from Iran and Hezbollah terrorists.

Hezbollah thus now boasts of an arsenal of more than 100,00 lethal rockets and missiles of varying ranges which it has received from Syria and Iran, an array of ordnance any modern army could admire.

As a result, Hezbollah has a free hand in Lebanon. Last week the terror group launched its multi-prong attack on innocent northern Israeli civilians and soldiers traveling in a convoy; such attacks in the past have led to bitter wars. This one was clearly aimed at an attempt to kidnap at least one of the travelers if possible. What should Israel have done, if not defend its people and fire back at the source of missile fire?

When a UNIFIL soldier was hit in the crossfire after Hezbollah launched the attack, how does Israel become responsible for that death?

More to the point, what was a UNIFIL soldier doing in such close proximity to a Hezbollah position?

Methinks the lady doth protest too much….

Netanyahu Tells UN It Failed Its Own Policy to Disarm Hezbollah

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

The United Nations is at fault for failing to carry out its own resolution to disarm Hezbollah, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a phone call Sunday.

Resolution 1701 marked the end of the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006 and called on the United Nations to disarm “foreign armies” in Lebanon.

UNIFIL soldiers ignored the resolution from Day One, and Netanyahu raised the issue again Sunday while expressing sorrow for the death of a UNIFIL soldier by artillery fire from the IDF in response to the lethal Hezbollah attack last week that killed two Israeli soldiers.

Netanyahu also took the opportunity to point out that Hezbollah operates with Iran funding and policy direction and that Tehran is trying to escalate violence against Israel.

The Prime Minister’s accusation that UNIFIL is not “reporting on weapons smuggling into southern Lebanon” is nothing new, but the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and planning attacks against Israel is unprecedented.

Last week’s firing of an anti-tank rocket on IDF vehicles was the most serious attack since the war in 2006. The war ended in a military stalemate, in itself a victory for Hezbollah, which also benefited from Resolution 1701 negotiated on the Israeli side by then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The United and UNIFIL immediately disclaimed any responsibility to disarm “foreign armies,” meaning Hezbollah, and tried to put the onus on Lebanon.

Government spokesman Mark Regev said at the time:

That resolution clearly calls for the creation of a Hezbollah-free zone south of the Litani River, and anything less would mean that the resolution is not being implemented.

Kofi Annan, who was Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2006, insisted, “The understanding was that it would be the Lebanese who would disarm [Hezbollah].”Obviously, if at some stage they need advice or some help from the international community and they were to approach us, we would consider it, but the troops are not going in there to disarm.”

A senior Lebanese official, Mohammed Chatah, said in 2006:

 Hezbollah individuals are people who live in the south and they will not leave their homes and villages, but an armed Hezbollah will not be in the south, pursuant to  Resolution 1701 that stated there will be “no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.”

That also did not happen because Hezbollah held the cards in the Lebanese government, which it now dominates.

It was clear that the resolution would not be enforced, just like the cease-fire resolution after Operation Cast Lead in December 2008-January 2009 was not honored.

The same Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, negotiated both so-called cease-fires.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-tells-un-it-failed-its-own-policy-to-disarm-hezbollah/2015/02/02/

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