web analytics
June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon War’

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

Very Senior Hezbollah Terrorist Killed in Alleged Israeli Air Strike

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Mustafa Badr A-Din (Mustafa Badreddine), age 55, a very senior military leader in the military wing of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and possibly even the number two man under Hassan Nasrallah, was assassinated in Syria.

He had replaced his brother-in-law Imad Mughniyeh (Moughniyah) who was killed in Damascus in 2008 by a car bomb, for which the Mossad was blamed.

Badr A-Din was in charge of all Hezbollah military operations inside Syria, and before that was involved in planning attacks against Israel.

Badreddine was also blamed by the UN for the murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005.

One Hezbollah website and some Lebanese TV stations has blamed Israel for the death of Mustafa Badr A-Din, claiming he was assassinated in an Israeli air strike. But other Hezbollah social media sources say they are still investigating the cause of death.

He apparently killed on Tuesday, May 10th, but Hezbollah only announced it on Friday.

Mustafa Badr A-Din’s assassination is a major blow to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group funded by Iran and operating in Lebanon.

They have a political stranglehold over Lebanon from which they launch attacks against Israel. They are also heavily embedded in the war in Syria, acting on behalf of their Iranian patron. They’ve lost an estimated 1400 fighters in the Syrian civil war, which may be as much as a third of their fighting force.

Shalom Bear

Fallen ‘Lone Soldiers’ Leave a Family and Country in Mourning

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Ten years after the death of her son Michael, an American-born IDF soldier who fell in battle, Harriet Levin is still learning to cope.

“Every day is different,” Levin said in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS) on the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day, which begins Tuesday night. “I’ve learned to deal, but then there are really bad days – I call them my ‘Michael days.’”

First Sgt. Michael Levin died during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Serving in Battalion 890 of the Paratroopers unit, Michael was killed by anti-tank fire while clearing a building in Aita Al Shaab, a city in southern Lebanon. He was 21 years old.

Levin represents a group of soldiers known as “lone soldiers” – citizens of other countries who leave behind their families and friends and come to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Thousands of lone soldiers serve in the IDF. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, three lone soldiers, two Americans and one French, were killed in action in the Gaza Strip.

Since 2009, four lone soldier centers across Israel have been established in Michael Levin’s memory.

“Mostly I just try to focus on the good that we’re doing in his memory and that really keeps me going,” Harriet Levin said. The centers are “run by lone soldiers so they really understand their needs,” she added. “We just keep growing and getting better and better.”

Joshua Flaster, director of the Lone Soldier Center and a former lone soldier serving in an infantry unit, helped establish the center along with his comrades after completing his service.

“I came to Israel 11 years ago on my own, as a lone soldier, and sadly have lost good friends in the army,” Flaster told TPS. “Since my release from active-duty service I’ve had to say goodbye far too early to lone soldiers I’d helped advise and integrate into Israel.”

Memorial Day, known in Hebrew as Yom Hazikaron, carries special weight for soldiers, lone or otherwise.

“Yom Hazikaron is a day of sad reflection and, of course, a little scary for any soldier,” Flaster said. “Soldiers are sent to stand by the graves of members of their unit who fell before them. A country comes to a stand-still and as a nation we take on the pain, loss, and price paid to be a free people in our own land.”

Harriet attended the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin ceremony at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill on Tuesday, which featured the untold stories of fallen lone soldiers.

“It’s not only the loss of my son but the loss of all of Israel’s children, both in wars and terrorism, who have given their lives so we have a homeland,” Levin said. “He’s not the only one. He came here from the States and he really didn’t have to, but that’s what really makes Israel so fabulous.”

The differences between Memorial Day in the U.S. and Israel are “like night and day,” Levin said.

“The United States just doesn’t get what a Memorial Day is,” she said. “In the States it’s about barbecues and sales and opening your shorehouse and it has nothing to do with people who have given their lives for their country – here that’s all it’s about.”

Michael is remembered for his smile, courage, and unhalting Zionism.

“His smile would melt you and his eyes would twinkle,” Levin told TPS. “But his seriousness came through when it came to Israel. He had a passion for Israel and a love for this country. He was doing exactly what he wanted to do with his life.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel Must Be Prepared to Also Redraw the Map

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Russia, Iran, ISIS, Turkey, Kurds… everyone seems to be playing, except Israel.

The map of the Middle East is being redrawn, while Israel is simply trying to just hold on to what it has, hoping Jordan doesn’t collapse tomorrow, Hezbollah doesn’t take over the Golan Heights, ISIS doesn’t overrun the Sinai and that Iran and Russia don’t conquer what’s left of Syria.

While the regional powers are working hard to redraw the maps, extend their power and control, Israel is simplistically bragging about being an “Oasis in the Jungle.”

Unfortunately, Israel will find itself in an even tougher neighborhood once the lines are permanently redrawn, and that oasis will be even harder to maintain.

Instead of building more border trenches and wall, Israel needs to seriously consider regional expansion, just like everybody else is doing.

Israel needs to start pushing the jungle back, not staving it off

Israel should be prepared for the upcoming collapse of Jordan and to take over that country’s administration.

Instead of letting Hezbollah encroach on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, Israel needs to be considering how to fully take control there too, which might be openly picking a side.

And it’s only a matter of time before we find ourselves back in Hezbollah’s southern Lebanon.

Israel’s position of passivity and overt non-interference is temporarily keeping things quiet inside our borders, but by not openly taking sides, we’re also setting ourselves up for a worse situation down the road.

One solution Israel needs to consider is a new Israeli model of regional conflict management – some expansionist empire building and developing patron-client relationships, just like Iran, Russia and the other countries are openly doing.

The regions of Jordan and the Syrian Golan Heights must fall under Israeli rule, with the local limited-autonomy governments answering to Israel. We don’t need to transfer our citizens over, only our governmental administration.

In exchange, as part of the Israeli empire (and not the Iranian or ISIS empires), Israel will supply our client states with water resources, training to help them maintain their borders and assistance building their economies. This will help push back the jungle away from our borders.

We all know that sooner or later Israel will be heading back into southern Lebanon. It’s going to be a very, very difficult war.

A buffer zone needs to be carved out again to keep Hezbollah away so we don’t end up back there every few years, fighting an even more difficult war than the previous one.

If we don’t join in and play the regional game of redrawing the map, we’re going to instead find ourselves boxed in by the really bad guys, and that’s going to be much worse.

JoeSettler

Gal Hirsch at Vortex of War between Right and Left, Old and New

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) On Tuesday, Police Commissioner designate Gal Hirsch appears before the Turkel Commission which approves senior appointments in the civil service. Besides Hirsch, the committee, convening in the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, will also hear from Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and from outgoing Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino.

When Minister Erdan introduced Brig. Gen. (Res.) Gal Hirsch as his pick for the next Israeli police commissioner, his decision provoked angry reactions from several segments of the Israeli public. Police brass were disappointed to discover that the minister opted to go above their heads and not promote a new chief from within; parents of fallen soldiers who served under Hirsch in Lebanon who blamed Hirsch for their tragedies; and the left-wing opposition parties who view Hirsch as a privileged child of the military industrial complex.

The adage regarding showing who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are works just as well here with Hirsch’s (and Erdan’s) enemies. Save for the bereaved parents, who are critical about a specific month, July 12 through August 14, 2006, known as the Second Lebanon War, aka the Israel–Hezbollah War, the other two groups can be seen as the old guard watching helplessly while the country’s emerging, right-wing consensus is winning the day.

Hirsch’s 25-year military career has been forever marred by his performance during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Shortly after the war, IDF Chief of Staff General Dan Halutz, who resigned from his post over his own performance in the same war, was going to appoint Hirsch head of IDF Strategic Planning Division, but Hirsch decided to resign in December 2006, ahead of the publication of a report by a committee headed by Major General Doron Almog, that recommended removing Hirsch from the Army. Hirsch was eventually cleared of the report’s charges against him, but Halutz decided to let him stay resigned nevertheless.

A later report, issued by an Israeli government-appointed commission of inquiry, chaired by retired judge Eliyahu Winograd, blamed Hirsch for a share in the responsibility for the disorganized campaign waged by the IDF, which resulted in Hezbollah being able to kill 121 IDF soldiers, and to wage a rocket attack that killed 46 Israeli civilians (among them 19 Arabs).

The committee went out of its way to criticize Hirsch’s orders, saying “the division commander’s language was creative—some depicted it as poetic,” but stressing that his artistic originality made it difficult for subordinates to translate his words into an effective military operation.

Some bereaved parents started a campaign against Hirsch’s appointment even as they admitted they had never known him personally, and acknowledged that he was only one man in an entire military machine that went unhinged. Other bereaved parents, especially those living in the war zone, in northern Israel, actually praised Hirsch for having kept the border with Lebanon calm for four years prior to the war.

Outgoing Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino will be appearing to object to the appointment. Danino believes in promotion from within the police ranks, despite the fact that only this past year has seen the dismissal of three of his top commissioners for sexual abuse of their underlings; the suicide of another top officer over a pending investigation over suspected bribery; mass demonstrations by Ethiopian Israelis against police brutality; and a State Comptroller investigation into significant operational deficiencies within the police in an affair that involved the murder of two police agents.

The Turkel Commission will also have to conclude whether the police commissioner designate acted within the boundaries of the law when he provided military consulting to two former Soviet satellites — Georgia and Kazakhstan. Hirsch, who provided strategic advice through his company, Defensive Shield, insists that he complied with security laws, to the point where an IDF representative was present in each of his meetings with his FSR clients.

JNi.Media

Minister Erdan Shocks Police by Naming Former IDF Officer as New Chief

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The nomination of former senior IDF officer Gal Hirsch to head the police force is sending shock waves through the police who will have to deal with a commander untainted by corruption or sex scandals. Hirsch even thinks terrorists should be shot.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan of the Likud nominated Hirsch last night, one day after the minister wrote a letter to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon calling on him to bar two radical Muslim groups from entering the Temple Mount, where they are paid to harass and attack Jews.

The two moves are related. Both of them reflect Erdan’s no-nonsense approach to the police allowing anarchy at Judaism’s most holy site and to a moral decaying police force that is viewed with disgust by most of the public. Hirsch is to replace Yohanan Danino, whose weeks-long farewell extravaganza were the tasteless icing on an unsavory cake of egocentricity.

Hirsch, whose nomination must be approved by the government and a non-governmental committee before he can take over as police chief, brings with him a far from perfect past, particularly because of his alleged failure at the beginning of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

The 51-year-old general left the IDF three years ago and now is chairman of an educational NGO and a consulting company. The Winograd Committee that investigated the IDF’s management of the war concluded that Hirsch was not to blame for events that set off the war, the kidnapping and murder of reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev by Hezbollah

Erdan candidly explained that he could not find someone within the police force who satisfied his requirements to head the law enforcement agency.

He referred to corruption scandals and sexual harassment by several senior police officers, but he had no need to clarify his reasons.

The image of the police is filthy, and the most recent blunder was the police allowing a known maniac with hate for homosexuals to walk freely at a homosexual parade in Jerusalem earlier this month, even though he was fresh out of jail and was an obvious suspect to attack people at the parade.

He now faces a charge of murdering a teenage girl whom he stabbed to death. He also knifed several other people at the parade.

Erdan, in a gross understatement, said that the public’s trust in the police has suffered “much damage.”

Top police officers, including at least one who thought he should be appointed as new commander, are furious at Erdan for naming someone from outside the clubhouse.

The police may have to get used to a new kind of policy, one that has zero tolerance for sexual harassment, brutality, especially against Arabs and right-wing Jews, and corruption.

Perhaps Hirsch might even be able to improve the traffic police, who know how to set radar traps and then set the wrong example for motorists by speeding when they are finished handing out tickets.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israel Fears Hezbollah Will Grab Iranian 300-Mile Ballistic Rocket

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Israeli security sources expressed concern that the new missile revealed by Iran this weekend will come into Hezbollah’s possession, Israel Radio reported.

The sources said the new missile, named Fateh 313, can reach every point in Israel if it gets into the hands of the Lebanese terror organization.

President Hassan Rouhani announced the new Iranian precision-guided missile on Saturday morning, during a ceremony marking the National Daily of Defense Industry. Rouhani uncovered the latest achievement of Iranian experts in devising a precision-guided ballistic missile.

According to IRNA, this makes Iran one of only a handful of countries that possess missiles with a range of 300 miles using compound solid fuel.

The missile is designed and manufactured by Iranian scientists using solely domestic resources. Having passed performance tests successfully, the new missile will be mass produced by Iran’s Defense ministry.

The Israeli security sources added that Iran does not pay attention to any section of the agreement it has signed recently with the world powers. “The agreement is not worth the paper it is signed on,” said one of the sources.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which approved the nuclear deal between Iran and the great powers last month, called on Iran not to pursue the development of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Iran claims that none of its missiles were designed for this purpose. The same UN decision also contains a weapons embargo against Iran for the coming eight years, but Iran said it would not comply with this part of the resolution.

During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah fired between 3,970 and 4,228 rockets at Israel, at a rate of more than 100 a day, unprecedented since the Iran-Iraq war.

About 95% of these were 122 mm Katyusha artillery rockets, carrying warheads of up to 66 lbs and had a range of up to 19 miles. An estimated 23% of these rockets hit residential areas across northern Israel.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-fears-hezbollah-will-grab-iranian-300-mile-ballistic-rocket/2015/08/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: