The IDF is beefing up their presence on the Golan Heights in case Hezbollah tries anything.
Posts Tagged ‘Iron Dome’
The IDF reportedly moved Iron Dome anti-missile systems to defend northern communities Monday night in the wake of Hezbollah threats to punish Israel for Sunday’s spectacular counter-terror bombing raid that killed approximately a dozen Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards fighters.
The IDF told The Jewish Press, “We do not confirm or deny movements” of the Iron Dome systems, although the military previously has announced their redeployment against rockets from Gaza.
A picture of the Iron Dome being transported was posted on social media, but its location could not be verified.
Farmers in Metulla, which is smack on the northern border, were ordered off their fields by the IDF in SMS messages sent out Monday morning. Farmer Chaim Hod was quoted by Yediot Acharonot as saying that he and is workers began pruning apples tress at 6 a.m. and were ordered away from the orchards by mid-morning.
Several Metulla farms are located at the border, beyond a barbed wire fence, and are off-limits to anyone except the farmers and the IDF.
Reserve units stationed along the Lebanese border are on high alert, and several leaves of absence for regular soldiers have been cancelled.
Increased patrols were observed on both sides of the border, with UNIFIL, Lebanese and Israeli troops keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity.
UNIFIL troops are using night goggle and binoculars, according to sources quoted by the Beirut Daily Star.
Israel soldiers were seen patrolling the streets of Metulla, but civilians on both sides of the border do not seem concerned,
Hod said he actually feels safer when he sees both UNIFIL and Israeli soldiers beefing up patrols, and a Lebanese construction worker told the Star, “We are not afraid. As you see we are continuing construction work just a few kilometers from the Israelis.”
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said, “The IDF is prepared, tracking all developments, and ready to act as needed.” The air strike highlights the excellent level of Israeli intelligence operations, which are the key to carrying out counter-terror strikes and make Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah think twice and three times every time he moves.
As in the past, Israel warned Lebanon that it will be held responsible for any attacks by Hezbollah, which controls southern Lebanon and is an influential part of the fragile government.
The threat of a fierce Israeli retaliation to any Hezbollah aggression is a strong deterrent. Hezbollah has fallen into growing disfavor in strife-torn Lebanon because it has brought the war in Syria into Lebanon by fighting rebels to the Assad regime. Lebanese hate Israel but a devastating retaliation by the IDF to Hezbollah rockets would make the terrorist army and party even more unwanted.
Below is a video of the aftermath of the attack on Hezbollah and Iranian commanders, as seen in a telecast from southern Lebanon.
Dan Shapiro, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, condemned this morning’s massacre at the synagogue in Har Nof in unequivocal terms.
Speaking at an event at the Hadassah Academic College in downtown Jerusalem, Shapiro gave a brief introduction to the several dozens of students who had gathered to hear from two experts on the meaning of the recent U.S. elections, one from the perspective of the Democrats, Mr. Hillel Schenker, the other from the Republicans, Ruth Jaffe Lieberman.
Lieberman is an experienced political consultant. She represented the non-profit organization Republicans Abroad, Israel at the debate.
Schenker is co-editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal, a Jerusalem-based quarterly founded and run by a group of Palestinian and Israeli academics and journalists. He also is a co-founder of the Peace Now movement.
The American diplomat, speaking just a few hours after the gory attack in Har Nof, addressed the issue, while acknowledging that was not the topic he had intended to discuss.
Shapiro said, “the terror attack this morning in Har Nof was barbaric.”
“To kill people when they are praying is just raw terror; it cannot be justified.
“On behalf of America, I condemn the attack,” Shapiro said.
The Ambassador then told the audience that Secretary of State John Kerry had called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this morning, not long after the attack took place.
“At a time like this the world cannot be silent.”
Shapiro told the full auditorium: “it is rumored that Abbas orchestrated the attack.” He continued, “I want to state clearly that we stand in solidarity with Israel, you are not alone.”
On a more personal note, the U.S. Ambassador said that he is in “constant contact with Bibi.”
Returning to a more diplomatic and political stance, Shapiro pointed out that “during the summer we, America, said loudly that Israel has the right to defend itself in Gaza against rockets, and we defended you.” Given that the event he was introducing was directly focused on U.S. politics, Shapiro informed the young audience that the U.S. “gives the Israel Defense Force $3 million every year.i
The American diplomat gave a brief nod to the very recent dramatic upheaval in the political composition of the two houses in congress, both of which now have Republican majorities. He said, “There have been many changes in the American government but I’m confident that the American-Israeli relationship will not change.”
This morning, at 7:15 local time, Code Red sirens sounded along the Gaza and Sinai borders in Israel’s south. The IDF immediately declared the sirens were false alarms, saying that they were due to malfunctions in the warning system.
It is worth noting that Code Red alarms are linked to rockets being launched – if the system picks up a launch, the sirens will sound, even if the rockets launched do not land in Israeli territory. Since the end of Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continued to test-fire its homemade rockets, firing them into the Mediterranean and into the Sinai desert in Egypt, where it has spotters. It is possible that the sirens this morning were tripped by such test launches. This would not be the first time since the end of Operation Protective Edge that Hamas has test-fired missiles; two weeks ago, Hamas was reported to have test-fired some of its homemade missiles into the Mediterranean. At the same time as that test-fire, sirens went off in towns located inside the Gaza Envelope inside of Israel. As early as October 2nd, the World Tribune reported that Israeli military sources have said they are aware of these tests, saying they are homemade variants of the M-302 missile used during the last war to reach Haifa. These sources also identified the former Israeli settlement of Netzarim, located in the Gaza Strip, as the missile launch site for some of the test-firing.
In September, post-Operation Protective Edge, there were five Color Red rocket sirens, which according to the army were triggered by light weapons’ fire inside the Gaza Strip. So far in October, there have been three Color Red rocket sirens in areas bordering the Gaza Strip.
The Obama administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items – and not just Hellfire missiles as previously reported – for a short time in the middle of the war against Hamas, reported Israel Defense’s Amir Rappaport, the well-informed and highly credibly editor of the website.
Makor Rishon added to that report that the US actually cut off all communications with Israel’s Ministry of Defense purchasing offices in the US for days.
The Defense Ministry, now realizing it cannot always depend on the Obama administration in a time of crisis, already has decided under a “veil of secrecy,” according to Israel Defense, to manufacture a highly sensitive weapon in Israel instead of buying it from the United States.
The change in policy is a major step that would wean Israel away from dependence on the United States and which also would be a significant change in the policy of buying American-made weapons with most financial assistance from the United States.
American aid to countries, including Israel, usually is conditioned on a majority of the money being poured back into the American military-industrial complex.
“The Israeli defense establishment will reduce the production of weapon systems in the USA in the context of joint Israeli-American projects, and will rely more heavily on Israeli-made products” as a result of the punitive action taken by President Barack Obama, Rappaport wrote.
President Obama said during the war he was concerned about the high number of alleged civilian casualties from the Protect Edge counter-terrorist war in Gaza, and he was quoted as having warned that he his level of tolerance was approximately 1,000 deaths.
A final analysis of the death toll showed that most of the 2,000 who were killed in Gaza were terrorists, and a large number of the civilians who were killed acted as human shields, either by their own will or by force.
However, it was not only the death toll that concerned senior officials in the Obama, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was labeled as “messianic” earlier this year by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
The ministry also is examining the possibility of using Israel-made precision guided air-to-surface munition to replace Hellfire missiles, a project that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions.
The crisis with the Obama administration in the middle of the war was revealed first by The Wall Street Journal, which reported at the time that the Pentagon held up the transfer of Hellfire missiles that the IDF needed to replace weapons that had been deployed in the war.
The United States not only stopped shipping the missiles but also held up other requests for defense materials. Rappaport wrote that the “order to stop the processing of all Israeli requests came from a senior echelon – probably the White House, among other reasons, because Israel had ignored the initiatives of Secretary of State John Kerry and preferred to end the operation through a direct channel with the Egyptian.” He added that the State Dept. also had not forgotten and apparently has not forgiven Ya’alon for his “messianic” comment.
The Defense Minister, who is flying to the United States Saturday night for a five-day visit, went to extremes to paint a luvvy-duvvy picture of American-Israeli relations.
“The United States assists Israel in a variety of areas, most prominently of course in the field of security, and we must remember that and acknowledge its leaders and thank them for this,” Ya’alon said in a press release. “The respective defense establishments in both countries have a relationship whose intimacy is unprecedented in scope and importance for Israel’s security.
“There is also a close, tight relationship with my friend, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.”
He also said, “We mustn’t allow any disagreements to cast a pall over those interests and values.”
The short-lived American ban on travel to Israel when Hamas was firing missiles on metropolitan Tel Aviv should not apply to banning visas from Ebola-infected countries because such a move would be “counter-productive,” U.S. State Dept. Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday.
“I wanted to ask why this situation and the discussion of a travel ban is so different from the travel ban that was issued by the FAA a few months ago, when there were bombs raining down on the Tel Aviv airport and there were concerns about the safety of Americans,” one journalist asked Psaki.
Psaki explained that no visa ban is necessary because there are “necessary screenings in place” and that visa are needed “to provide supplies, [for] being able to train people, being able to track and ensure that we’re going – we’re allowing for a global response to this effort.
“It would be counterproductive even to allow those individuals not to be able to apply. We don’t see a medical benefit to it, so that’s why we haven’t made the decision.
During the wear, the Iron Dome system effectively intercepted missiles that threatened Ben Gurion Airport, but when some debris of the anti-missile system was found in a nearby city, the Obama administration jumped on the “danger” to ban travel. The ban was issued immediately after President Barack Obama complained that Israel’s retaliation to the missile bombardment, threatening most of Israel, was disproportionate” because the Israeli counter-terror campaign was far more effective than Hamas’ terrorist strikes.
President Obama insisted there was no connection between the ban and the death toll in Gaza, but officials suddenly removed the ban after two days, even though missiles still were flying over central Israel.
The inquiring journalist at Thursday’s daily press briefing pointed out that “it just takes one” Ebola-infected passenger to create a catastrophe and that a visa ban is “not going to stop American health workers, American military guys from going there, but it could prevent even a single Ebola-infected person from coming into the – from getting into the United States.”
But it’s ”counter-productive,” said Psaki for the third or fourth time, without explaining what that is supposed to mean.
At 8:25am Sunday morning the Red Alert siren went off for Israeli communities along the Gaza border, indicating a possible rocket launch from Gaza.
Some residents in the area report hearing an explosion.
Channel 2 reported that the Gazans were testing a new rocket. They launched it and it landed within the Gazan borders.
The IDF spokesperson says it was a False Alarm, which appears to mean the siren went off because of the launch, but the siren shouldn’t have gone off, because it wasn’t going to hit in Israel.
At 8:54am An initial JewishPress.com inquiry with the IDF as to their exact definition of “False Alarm” in this case received the answer, the matter is “under investigation”.
9:14am The IDF verbally told JewishPress.com that “False Alarm” means the rocket was not going to hit an area in Israel that needed a siren, and therefore the siren should not have gone off. It does not mean that the IDF is confirming or denying whether or not there was a rocket launch within Gaza.
10:12am JewishPress.com received a written, updated definition of “False Alarm” from the army:
The term means that an alarm was activated, though without any launch from Gaza. It is important for me to emphasize that each incident is a case of its own and any more information about a ‘false alarm’ is not connected to the use of the term itself.
8:38am Initial report: Rocket launched from Gaza, landed in Gaza. Possibly training or testing on their part.
Channel 2 reports that the Gazans were testing a rocket.
8:32am Still waiting for confirmation one way or another from the army.
8:25am Rocket Alert – Kissufim x2
The Red Alert rocket alarm just went off twice, for Kissufim, Nirim, Ein HaShlosha along the Gaza border.
No update yet if it is real or a false alarm.