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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

Always First: the Story of Lt. Tzachi Mizrachi

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Even as a child, Lt. Tzachi Mizrachi aspired to succeed in everything he did. Throughout his life, his determination and commitment to others resulted in outstanding accomplishments. Tragically, these same qualities led to his unexpected death at age 20, when he was killed while trying to assist his fellow soldiers.

“He was always an amazing kid,” says Sima Mizrachi, the mother of fallen IDF soldier Tzachi Mizrachi.  “He was always willing to help others, to volunteer. It started when he joined the [Israel] Scouts and became a counselor. He loved it there, and it became his second home. He also volunteered in the community’s civil police force and at Hadassah Hospital.”

By the time he was a teenager, Tzachi was already self sufficient. He spent his summers selling school books and investing his profits in the stock market. As he balanced work with school and helping others, Tzachi also found time for sports. He was a very gifted basketball player, and even considered a professional career. But among all of his interests, there was one that was especially important to him: his service in the Israeli military.

Tzachi wanted to serve as a commando in the Israeli Navy, but joined an elite intelligence unit specializing in combat missions along the Lebanon border. In this unit, he met Col. Tal Braun, a commander who would accompany Tzachi throughout his IDF service.

Tzachi with the red car he bought at age 18

Tzachi with the red car he bought at age 18

Before His Time

Col. Braun, who today serves in the Intelligence Corps, remembers the day when the worst happened. “There is always a risk,” he explains. “When you experience the reality of being near the border of Lebanon every day, you understand your life is at risk.”

Tzachi was on his way back from visiting soldiers on the road leading from Marj Aiyun to the Israeli side of Metula, where Hezbollah terrorists had placed explosives. There were serious injuries after the first vehicle in Tzachi’s convoy was hit. Tzachi ran to the vehicle to rescue his friends, but the terrorists suddenly activated a second explosive, killing Tzachi along with three other soldiers and officers.

“Even in his final act, he demonstrated values of friendship and commitment,” Col. Braun says of Tzachi. “He was always first, even this time.”

Col. Tal Braun with Tzachi's parents

“As a commander, I was struck. I still remember arriving at the family’s house. The very first thing that Jacob [Tzachi’s father] told me was to sit down and eat.” Col. Braun says. “From that moment, it was clear to me that Sima and Jacob would become like parents to me,” he continues.

Elite IDF Bedouin Trackers Eliminate Israel’s Northern Border Threats

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

A special unit in the Israeli army comprised solely of Bedouin trackers is keeping Israel’s northern border safe.

The Northern Bedouin Tracking Unit commanded by Lt. Col. Majdi Mazarib protects Israel from kidnapings, infiltrators and 100,000 rockets, among myriad other threats emanating from Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Speaking in Arabic, Lt. Col. Mazarib tells an interviewer in a video piece on his unit, “From Israel’s founding, the Bedouin community has chosen to volunteer and serve in the IDF, and actively participate in founding the country.”

The unique skills of a Bedouin tracker are unmatched anywhere else in the region, and cannot be duplicated by technology – a fact the IDF understands and accepts.

“Without the Bedouin, Israel would not be able to properly protect its borders,” the commander adds.

Bedouin are not obligated to serve in the IDF, though they volunteer in large numbers.

“The skills that they possess are unique” and the Bedouin soldiers are essential to the protection of Israel, notes the report on the unit posted this week on the IDF Blog.

“I am Israeli, and proud to be an Israeli Arab and to serve in the IDF,” Lt. Col. Mazarib says.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hezbollahs-nasrallah-claims-galilee-threat-from-syria/2014/04/07/

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