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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Defense Forces’

In ‘Noble Shirley 2016’ US Military Got Tips From IDF on Fighting Radical Islamic Terror

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

U.S. military forces spent last week learning how to deal with radical Islamic terrorism from the experience of their Israeli counterparts.

Israeli Defense Forces and members of the U.S. Marine Corps joined together for a live-fire training exercise in southern Israel to improve collaboration and interoperability between their two forces.

The Marines’ Battalion Landing Team, 6th Marine Regiment and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit trained last week with Israeli ground troops, air and naval forces on urban warfare and counter terror techniques, Israel’s Channel 2 television news reported.

The scenarios in the exercise included various tactical formations such as drilled helicopter landings behind enemy lines, simulated extractions under fire – including by combat medics – as well as a scenario in which Israel was subjected to a barrage of Iranian and Hezbollah missiles.

The latter was used to test real-time integration of Israeli and American missile defense systems, with the Israelis employing American radar systems deployed across the Middle East in addition to a satellite alert system that picks up missile launches from around the planet.

The Israeli ‘David’s Sling’ missile defense system (which targets medium to long-range missiles) was also used during the drill although it is not yet fully operational.

Hana Levi Julian

“Entebbe Operation” Commando Speaks

Friday, July 1st, 2016

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Shai Ish-Shalom, an Israeli commando from the fabled Sayeret Matkal unit, participated in the daring Entebbe rescue operation 40 years ago this week. He joins Yishai at the Caliber 3 anti-terror tactical school in Gush Etzion.

Shai is one of the people who have made the Israeli security and military establishment world famous – don’t miss this interview.

But first, Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai on Spiritual Cafe to discuss the mutiny within the ranks of the Levites.

What did Korach “take”? And how can a mere flower signal a time of peace and God’s eternal connection to the children of Israel?

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

IDF Chief Cancels Hannibal Directive to Prevent Capture at All Cost

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot has recently ordered the cancellation of the Hannibal Directive, to be replaced by a new directive which is being worked out, Ha’aretz reported on Tuesday, citing a senior IDF source who claims the chief’s decision had been reached independent of a leaked draft of the State Comptroller which recommends taking out the Hannibal option.

According to Israeli media, the Hannibal Directive was conceived in 1986 by a group of top Israeli officers following the capture of two Israeli soldiers during a Hezbollah ambush in South Lebanon in June 1986. Both soldiers presumably died during the attack, and their bodies were returned to Israel in an exchange with Hezbollah in 1996. The directive authorizes stopping abductors by shooting at them, even if it puts captured Israeli soldiers at risk. There is a dispute as to whether the directive includes authorization to kill captured IDF soldiers when it becomes clear that they cannot be rescued. Some reports have claimed that the policy actually promotes the killing of captured soldiers to prevent the need for prisoner exchanges.

On Tuesday Israeli media reported a leak from a draft recommendation by State Comptroller Retired Judge Joseph Shapiro, which had been handed to seniors in the political, military and judiciary echelons as part of the comptroller’s report on the 2014 Gaza War.

The Hannibal Directive was last executed in connection with the kidnapping of Lt. Hadar Goldin of the Givati special force, during the Rafah battle in August 2014, remembered as Black Friday. Once it was known that Goldin had been kidnapped, a widespread chase ensued, which included infantry units as well as a mass shelling of the area, which resulted in the deaths of many civilians.

Eventually it turned out that Goldin had been killed during the kidnapping attempt, and his body is being kept as a bargaining chip by the Hamas. The Military Attorney General at the time, Gen. Danny Efroni, and the new MAG Gen. Sharon Afek have both considered and decided to forego a criminal investigation of the event, because of international criticism over the large number of collateral civilian casualties.

JNi.Media

MK Zoabi: Reparations to Turks an Israeli Admission of Murder

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Anti-Zionist Arabs are not happy with the pending new Israeli-Turkish rapprochement — there goes yet another regional power whose support for Arab terrorism against Israel has cooled down. The two loudest Israeli-Arab voices to spin Netanyahu’s diplomatic success into a failure are MKs Haniz Zoabi and Ahmad Tibbi. Both are arguing that the fact that Israel is paying Turkey reparations over the 2010 Mavi Marmara fiasco constitutes admission of guilt and therefore does not end the Israeli public relations headache, it only makes it bigger.

But everyone else in the region, most notably the Turks and the Israelis, appear delighted to put behind them that nasty episode and the bad six years that followed.

After the final disagreements have been smoothed over Sunday, on Monday afternoon Prime Minister Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are expected to announce a reconciliation agreement between their two countries in concurrent press conferences. Netanyahu’s cabinet would then be required to approve the deal, and said cabinet includes Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, a staunch enemy of appeasing Turkey, but that’ll come later.

Turkish-Israeli relations hit a wall back in 2010 after the IDF special forces who were attempting to take over the Mavi Marmara, part of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” were met with overwhelming violence from the Arab and Turkish crew, and were forced to kill Turkish citizens onboard. On Sunday, after six years of open hostility between the two countries, which have historically depended on each other economically, high level Israeli and Turkish delegations met in Rome and hammered out the final reconciliation deal.

The political components of the agreement are:

1. Israel will pay Turkey some $20 million, presumably going to the families of the dead crew members.

2. Turkey will not launch lawsuits against the IDF officers and soldiers who took part in the operation.

3. Israel will ease some of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

4. Turkey will limit Hamas activities inside its borders. Turkey will not permit Hamas to conduct, plan or direct any military activity against Israel while in Turkish territory. However, the Hamas offices will stay open and can continue to operate as diplomatic agencies.

The economic aspects of the deal have mainly to do with Turkey, which is now dependent on its hostile Russian neighbor for its supply of natural gas, looking to replace it with Israeli gas. However, for the time being, the Israeli gas is still tied up in the Knesset as well as in the Supreme court, so that’s not happening yet.

MK Zoabi, for whom this is her last term in the Knesset, having been kicked off her realistic spot on her Balad party’s list by party primary voters, insists that this is not the time to celebrate the diplomatic achievement of the Netanyahu government, instead, she says, the deal constitutes an Israeli admission of “committing nine murders, injuring dozens, kidnapping and piracy in international waters.”

Zoabi is also irate that the Turkish-Israeli deal does not deposit in Israel’s hands the responsibility for the woes of the Gaza Strip, which it abandoned ten years ago this summer. Zoabi wants the Israeli blockade to come down completely, but has nothing to say about the Hamas openly declared intentions of continuing their plans to attack Israeli civilians.

MK Tibi for his part suggested PA-based jurists should take note of the reparations index of the Turkish deal, for future discussions, when the new Palestinian state would be handing Israel the bill for all the Arabs that died over the years, presumably including those who were killed while trying to stuff their suicide belts with explosives.

Israeli politicians on both sides of the aisle were unhappy with the deal. Former minister Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) tweeted: “Israel will pay Turkey reparations for the Marmara? I hope the news is wrong. If it’s true — this is a national humiliation and an invitation for more flotillas and more libels from Israel haters.”

MK Arel Margalit (Zionist Camp) said that “Netanyahu once again capitulated with his tail between his legs before Hamas, hurt the IDF soldiers without blinking, and abandoned the families of the missing.”

Margalit was referring to Turkey’s failure to convince Hamas to sweeten its Israeli deal with Israel by handing over its biggest bargaining chip, the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Of course, the Turks promised to try, and they probably did, but anyone who expected Netanyahu to be able to come up with a win on that count is either terribly naïve or just hates Netanyahu.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) tweeted that “there better be a very good reason to justify the deal with Turkey, which on its face appears shameful.”

JNi.Media

Russia to Return Israeli Tank Captured 34 Years Ago in the Battle of Sultan Yacoub

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday for signing a presidential decree ordering the return to Israel of an IDF tank that was captured 34 years ago during a ferocious battle in the First Lebanon War.

“I thank the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, that he responded to my request to return the tank from the Battle of Sultan Yacoub to Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The tank, used by the IDF during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub during the First Lebanon War on June 10, 1982, was captured by the Syrian army and eventually transported to the Soviet Union, then a Cold-War ally with Syria. The tank has since remained in Moscow, stored in a museum of armored tanks.

MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, the former deputy defense minister, was an officer in artillery unit 7054 that helped rescue a battalion of Israeli tanks trapped by a Syrian ambush in Sultan Yacoub, Lebanon.

“We fired the whole night, and in the morning the battalion was rescued – except for that one tank and the three missing soldiers, whose fate is still unknown today,” Ben-Dahan recalled to Tazpit Press Service (TPS), referring to the continued mystery behind three IDF soldiers, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, and Yehuda Katz, who went missing in action during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub. During the entire battle, 30 Israeli soldiers were killed and eight tanks were lost.

“Hearing about the return of the tank sends me back 34 years,” Ben-Dahan told TPS. “It gave me chills.”

Ben-Dahan also expressed hope that the tank’s return might bring news about the fate of the missing soldiers, though he said he cannot comment on any discussions or progress toward that goal.

Netanyahu raised the issue of returning the tank with Putin last month, after having received a request from IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.

“For the families of the soldiers missing in action, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, and Yehuda Katz, there is no trace of the boys nor a burial plot to go to for 34 years now,” noted Netanyahu. “The tank is the only evidence of the battle, and now it will be returned to Israel thanks to President Putin’s response to my request.”

A delegation from the IDF’s Ordnance Corps is in Moscow working with representatives from the Russian army to transport the tank back to Israel as soon as possible.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Let’s See What the IDF Collected During Amnesty Month [photo]

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Back in March, the IDF declared amnesty month from March 20 until April 15. You could return all your IDF equipment you “accidentally” took home – no questions asked, no jail time.

The operation quickly received some guns and ammo, but now that it’s over, lets take a look at some of the more interesting things that was returned.

According to the chart below, the IDF received back:

IDF Weapons 5

457 guns and rifles of all types

1,343,711 rounds of ammunition

1890 grenades

396 explosive ignition and pyrotechnic systems

220 binoculars, scopes and night vision equipment

27,681 pieces of personal equipment (helmets, vests, knives, clothing…)

2142 explosives, shells, mortars and missiles

What appears to be 2 joysticks from a plane,

And one seriously decked-out motorcycle!
(The motorcycle appears to have been included in the photos as a joke.)

 

IDF Weapons 3

IDF Weapons 1

IDF Weapons 4

IDF Weapons 7

IDF Weapons 6

(This last photo with the motorcycle appears to have been included as a joke on someone’s part!)

 

H/T: Thanks to HotNews1 for forwarding all the photos

Photo of the Day

Netanyahu Confronts Ya’alon Over Call to IDF Officers to ‘Speak their Minds’

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday night got on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wrong side when he urged IDF leaders to speak their mind in public and not fear reprisal. At this point it appears that some reprisal may be coming Ya’alon’s way from the Prime Minister, who summoned him to what the Israeli media described as a “rebuke meeting” Monday morning. Neither side in the meeting has issued a statement yet, which suggests that the meeting may not have ended in a compromise.

Ya’alon spoke at an event in Tel Aviv Sunday night and referred to the public storm around the speech by Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Yair Golan, which in turn had alluded to the episode of the IDF soldier who shot a neutralized terrorist on the ground in Hebron last Purim day. Golan, speaking at a Holocaust Remembrance Day event, compared episodes such as the Hebron shooting to the events in 1930s Germany which later resulted in the European Holocaust. At the time, Netanyahu was critical of Golan, and demanded that he apologize, since it sounded as if he was saying the IDF was a proto-Nazi army. Golan came close to saying just that, as many on the right suggested, while the IDF denied any such allegation.

An examination of the speech text reveals that the overall subject of Golan’s message was the concept of “purity of the weapon,” meaning that he was indeed criticizing phenomena inside the IDF when he made the Nazi Germany comparison.

Instead of an apology, the IDF Spokesperson’s office issued a denial, which Netanyahu probably did not love, but decided to let it go. With the narrowest possible majority in the Knesset, a puny 61 MKs, at least three of whom can be classified as Netanyahu’s enemies inside his own Likud party, the PM did not need another internal battle, certainly not with a national figure such as Ya’alon. But then, instead of the industrial peace Netanyahu needed so badly, on Sunday night his defense minister upped the ante with a new challenge to the boss, under the guise of protecting the freedom of expression of IDF officers.

“Tonight, too, I again demand of you and of your subordinates: continue to say what’s in your hearts. Do it even if your ideas are not part of the mainstream, and even if they challenge the ideas and positions adopted by the high command or the political echelon.”

Was the defense minister calling on his officer to rebel against the political class? Probably not, although he sounded dangerously close to saying just that. In his own mind, Ya’alon was probably hailing the old IDF tradition of encouraging questions from soldiers and officers, which may make the army a little harder to organize, but also encourages it to keep thinking outside the box, at least in some of its units. It should be noted that this tradition of rejecting iron clad “conceptions” dates back to the early, abysmal failure of the political and military leadership in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The accepted dogma was that the Egyptian and Syrian armies were too fearful of Israel after 1967 and the string of local victories by the IDF that followed, to dare launch another all out war against the Jewish State. A subsequent investigating committee discovered that the intelligence pointing to an imminent attack was all there — it was just discarded by the decision makers.

But, in the end, Ya’alon on Sunday night was not engaged in an educational effort to breed more independently thinking soldiers and officers. He was, in fact, declaring a culture war against rightwing Israel. He described the issue at hand as a struggle “against an extremist minority which is active on the ground and in social media. Some of it has infiltrated the social mainstream, too. Under cover and concealment it is trying to influence the character and values of the IDF. This is a hugely significant fight, perhaps the most vital and important in many years. Not only over the image of the IDF, but the image of Israeli society as well.”

Since the appointment of the new Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the IDF has been engaged in a persistent effort to “de-Jewify” itself. Jewish education was removed from the military chief rabbinate and handed to HR, which in turn made it the purview of the Education corp, guaranteeing that it take on a secular bend. And there were several minor assaults on the traditional Jewish elements in the army, such as when soldiers were ordered to shave their beards. So that when Ya’alon reviles extremism he is not concerned with leftwing NGOs who turn in to the PA for imprisonment and a possible execution Arab land brokers. He is after the Jews.

 

YA’ALON AND THE WINTER AFFAIR

At this point we must pause to relate the story of Givati Brigade Commander Colonel Ofer Winter, who, on July 9, 2014, during the Gaza War, issued a daily “commander’s note” to his soldiers, in which he stated: “History has chosen us to serve at the forefront of the fighting against the terrorist enemy in Gaza, which is taunting, cursing and blaspheming against the God of the Armies of Israel. … I raise my eyes up to the heavens and say along with you, ‘Shema Israel, God is our Lord, God Is one.’ The God of Israel, please make successful the path we take as we prepare to fight for your nation Israel and against an enemy which blaspheme Your Name.”

Needless to say, the text, which refrenced Psalms 44 and Samuel I 17, as well as the She’ma Israel, was not received well by the Israeli largely secular media. It should be noted that Reform rabbi Uri Regev was among the first in Israel to attack the Colonel for mixing his private religious sentiments and the military. Many others continued to target Winter for the six months that followed.

It should be noted that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon led the attacks on his subordinate. “I didn’t love it,” he told a forum of the heads of pre-military preparatory institutions. He said the Brigade Commander should have stuck with language that is common to all his recruits, presumably not language that cites from Jewish sources. He also questioned how a Druz soldier might have responded to the Jewish text, as if non-Jews should be naturally offended by the concept of a Jewish State and a Jewish army.

 

NETANYAHU VS. HIS GENERALS

Netanyahu has had a rough relationship with the military leadership for most of his terms as prime minister. It began in his first term in the late 1990s, with overt confrontations with then Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and head of Shabak Ami Ayalon, as well as Netanyahu’s defense minister at the time, Yitzhak Mordechai. Netanyahu dismissed Mordechai before he had a chance to resign, in 1999, and Mordechai left Likud along with several other members to establish a new Center party, which failed miserably and ended up joining Ehud Barak’s new Labor-led government.

If their meeting on Monday did not reach a working compromise, both leaders must be thinking back to the Yitzhak Mordechai episode and wondering how soon before Ya’alon would jump ship to Labor.

Ya’alon’s colleagues in the Likud went after him with a vengeance Monday morning. Culture Minister Miri Regev, who served as the IDF Spokesperson at one time, told Channel 2 News that “It is inconceivable that a serving officer would grab the reigns from the political echelon and conduct himself as if this is an army that also has a state.” She continued: “The defense minister is confused. Military officers should speak what’s in their hearts in the appropriate forum and regarding the issues under their care.”

Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio, “I do not understand what’s driving the defense minister in these statements. His job is to instill discipline in the IDF. There must be a red line between army and state and between army and politics. I think his words were a miserable mistake. Ben Gurion would never have allowed for such a thing to happen.”

And Likud MK Oren Hazan, who often opposes Netanyahu, stood squarely behind the PM in a tweet that went: “Someone should remind Bogy (Ya’alon’s nickname) that we are a democracy and not under martial law. The IDF is not a junta, his job is to carry out the decisions of the political echelon and not oppose it and set a different policy.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-confronts-yaalon-over-call-to-idf-officers-to-speak-their-minds/2016/05/16/

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