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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘rockets’

Eilat Has Been Hit

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Two missiles have hit Eilat today – at least two others seem to have hit the Jordanian city of Aqaba, though the Jordanians are denying it at this time. Early reports said two missiles hit Eilat – and two hit Aqaba…then it was changed to three, and back to two hitting Eilat. Jordan is apparently still in denial.

No injuries though it hit in the same residential areas where my husband and I vacationed just a few months ago. Israel has closed the airport in/out of Eilat lest the next potential missile target a plane with dozens aboard.

Eilat…

Eilat is a special place – removed from Israel in so many ways. It is a long distance between Eilat and the center of Israel, both in physical space and in mindset. We go to Eilat to forget the pressures of every day life – to remember the beauty that God has put on this earth.

Gorgeous desert views… Mountains to climb… Salt water fish in colors the mind can barely grasp… Tourist sites to entertain – some with Biblical references, like the theme park called Kings City; cruises, an ice skating mall…and so much more…

People go there to get away from it all – but today, the trouble came to them. To Eilat.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Amidst the Chaos, the IDF Preserves Israel’s Independence

Monday, April 15th, 2013

In today’s Middle East, radical forces, which thrive on chaos, are on the rise; and those who rule the Arab states are here today and gone tomorrow.

Independence Day in Israel, which this evening starts celebrations for the 65th year of Israel’s Independence, takes place deliberately right after Memorial Day, dedicated to honoring Israel’s fallen soldiers, so the Israeli public remains keenly aware that independence is possible only due to the sacrifices made by the fallen.

This year, however, looks set to be decisive – when the world finds out whether the international community’s policy of engaging Tehran diplomatically, while applying biting economic sanctions, will work or not. Should the policy fail, military action remains a serious possibility.

Since Israel’s founding in 1948, Israelis have sought peace and seized upon opportunities to make it when they arose, such as Israel’s return of the Sinai Peninsula in 1979 in exchange for peace with Egypt, as well as departure from Southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

“Despite everything,” said newly appointed Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, “despite so many elements that wanted to prevent this country’s founding, and who continue to invest so much every day to destroy us – they arise here in our intelligence assessments, Iran, Hezbollah — nevertheless, there is no doubt, that what stands between independence and a lack of independence is the shield of the IDF. ”

“We have the great privilege of defending Israel and protecting its independence,” Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Benny Gantz concurred this week at IDF General Headquarters in Tel Aviv. “I wish us a successful year of independence, in the face of the challenges that are emerging before us. I am sure we will know how to carry out our missions.”

While Ya’alon and Gantz have been studying the intelligence on the upheavals and multiple asymmetric threats developing on Israel’s borders, Iran and its nuclear program remain at the top of the security agenda.

Although a collapsing Syria no longer remains a conventional military threat to Israel — the Syrian army is engaged in fighting the rebels, while steadily losing its power — the crumbling Middle Eastern old order is allowing for a plethora of terrorist organizations to grow on Israel’s borders.

Hizballah, for example, an Iranian-backed Shi’ite terrorist group, remains with its estimated 80,000 rockets – an unprecedented number of projectiles – pointed at Israel.

Should Hezbollah initiate a future round of hostilities, the IDF has prepared a large-scale ground operation into Lebanon, aimed at extinguishing rocket attacks on the Israeli home front.

The Israel Air Force has also been busy preparing surprises for future conflicts. New technologies allow fighter jets to strike as many as 1500 targets in 24 hours. Israel’s reply to Hizballah aggression would be devastating.

Both Iran and Hezbollah are in the process of setting up a militia in war-torn Syria. This militia, made up of 50,000 fighters, will remain active in Syria even if the Assad regime is toppled.

Also in Syria, Al-Qaeda is planning to raise the flag of radical Sunni Islam, as its Syrian and Iraqi forces announce a merger.

In Israel’s south, near the Gaza strip, the IDF is also closely monitoring Hamas, which, at least for the time being, has remained deterred by Israel. Next door, however, the Sinai Peninsula is filled with Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadi fighters, who are planning their next cross-border attack.

The IDF is closely studying this complex map of threats, and making sure it is ready for the future. Today, with Israel’s military is at its strongest, the country is capable of dealing with its highly chaotic and dangerous environment.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

‘Attacking Each Other’?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

See, this is a really good example of what is wrong with the world – or, at very least, what is wrong with the UK’s Express site (see image below).

Israel and Gaza attack each other? Excuse me? They fired rockets at us yesterday; they fired rockets at us today. They fired five rockets at us when Obama was here; and mortars have been flying too. And yes, early this morning, the IDF “struck targets in the Gaza Strip.”

But, I have several problems with this:

  1. Gaza clearly “attacked” us first – and so putting Israel first isn’t very honest.
  2. Attack each other implies there is no clear aggressor (note THEY fire at our CITIES, we fire at their military targets and rocket launchers).
When you say “each other” – it implies a sense of proportionality, a sense of endless violence, senseless violence. Of course, this is likely the intention of the Express – to point out that Israel attacked Gaza and let the unspoken thought pass through our minds that Israel attacking Gaza was basically equivalent to Gaza attacking Israel, and worse, that Israel did it first.
But no, that has nothing to do with the actual facts. GAZA fired at Israel; Israel responded. We must respond. No country in the world would put up with rockets being fired regularly across its border.
In the last conflict – they fired at our largest cities – at Jerusalem, our capital. What, what would the United States do if North Korea fired a missile into Washington, D.C.? Would Obama say…well, luckily, it landed in an open field and with a little plaster, we can put Lincoln back in his chair?
And if, as I suspect they would, the United States fired BACK at North Korea…would the Express write, ‘United States and North Korea attack each other”? I suspect they would not.
Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

How the British Media Covered Omar Misharawi’s Death

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
We recently noted that on March 12 the Guardian’s media blogger Roy Greenslade corrected his erroneous Nov 15 report (a day after the start of the Gaza war) that an Israeli missile killed the 11-month old son of BBC Arabic journalist Jihad Misharawi, Omar, as well as Jihad’s sister-in-law. (Misharawi’s brother also later died of wounds suffered in the blast.)

Greenslade, as with journalists at numerous other news outlets over the past week, noted in his new report that on March 6 the U.N. issued an advance version of its report on the war which concluded that Misharawi was likely killed by an errant Palestinian missile, not by the IDF. (This information in the report was first discovered by Elder of Ziyon, who also was one of the few bloggers who critically examined initial reports in the MSM blaming Israel for Misharawi’s death.)

Additionally, the Guardian published an A.P. report on March 12, ‘U.N. report suggests Palestinian rocket killed baby in Gaza,’ which went into detail about the new information which contradicted the “widely believed story behind an image that became a symbol of what Palestinians said was Israeli aggression.”

Thus far, the Guardian still hasn’t corrected a Nov. 15 report by Paul Owen and Tom McCarthy, ‘Gaza Twitter war intensifies over pictures of infant casualties‘, which included the heartbreaking photo of Misharawi as well as the following text:

Pictures emerged of BBC cameraman Jihad Misharawi’s 11-month-old son Omar, who was killed on Wednesday during an Israeli attack [emphasis added]. Misharawi’s sister-in-law also died in the strike on Gaza City, and his brother was seriously injured.

Though the damage done by the now iconic image of Misharawi ‘clutching his slain child wrapped in a shroud‘ can not be ameliorated by even the clearest retractions, it’s important nonetheless that the media be held accountable to report new information which comes to light contradicting their previous version of events.

Whilst you can of course find out how the BBC covered the news at CifWatch’s sister site, BBC Watch, here’s a quick round-up of how others in the British media performed:

The Telegraph. On Nov. 15, the Telegraph published ‘Baby son of BBC worker killed in Gaza strike‘ which included the photo of Misharawi, and this passage:

Jihad Misharawi, who is employed by BBC Arabic, lost his 11-month-old baby Omar. Mr Misharawi’s brother was also seriously injured when his house was struck in the Israeli operation and his sister-in-law was killed.

Additionally, a Nov. 15 Telegraph Live Blog post on the Gaza war included this passage:

Jihad Misharawi, who is employed by BBC Arabic, lost his 11-month-old baby Omar. His brother was also seriously injured when his house was struck in the Israeli operation and his sister-in-law was killed.

Corrections: None.

Daily Mail. On Nov. 15, the Daily Mail published a sensationalist piece by David Williams, titled ‘What did my son do to die like this?’Anguish of BBC journalist as he cradles the body of his baby son who died in Israeli rocket attack on Gaza‘, which included multiple photos of Misharawi with his baby and the following passages:

“Tiny Omar…died after an Israeli airstrike on Hamas militants in Gaza.

Masharawi had arrived at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital after Omar suffered severe burns in an airstrike that sent shrapnel tearing into his home killing a woman and leaving his brother and uncle critically injured.

Corrections: None.

Spectator. David Blackburn published a piece titled ‘Israel’s public relations problem‘ which included the image of Misharawi with his baby, as well as the following passage:

The front page of today’s Washington Post shows a picture of the BBC’s Jihad Masharawi holding his dead 11-month-old son, an innocent victim of Israeli action against Hamas’ paramilitary targets following months of indiscriminate rocket attacks against civilians in southern Israel*

Corrections: The piece has now been updated, per the asterisk, and includes the following at the bottom:

*Since this article was published, a United Nations investigation has found that the incident described by the Washington Post was caused by the shortfall of a rocket fired by Palestinian militants at targets in Israel.

The Sun. On Nov. 15 The Sun published ‘The Innocents: Beeb journalist’s son dead, another hurt..babies hit as Gaza war looms,’ by Nick Parker, which included a photo of Misharawi and his baby, and this passage:

Omar was one of at least 15 Palestinians killed in air strikes as Israel retaliated over the Hamas missiles.

Corrections: None.

Gaza Terrorists Trying to Destroy Power Plant That Supplies Them

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Turns out that GRAD rocket about which we reported this past Tuesday morning was intended to hit the Israel Electric Corp.’s power plant in Ashkelon on Israel’s southern coast. And as happens frequently there are competing claims of ‘credit’ for the failed attack:

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade initially claimed responsibility for firing the rocket, saying it was retaliation for Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat’s death in an Israeli prison on Saturday. The terrorist group, associated with Fatah, had published a leaflet on Monday urging a harsh response against Israel for Jaradat’s death. On Thursday, though, Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack — a claim Israeli officials said was more credible. [IDF Chief of Staff Benny] Gantz, speaking Thursday with high school students in Rosh Haayin, said that Israel knew who was behind the shooting. He added that the IDF was working tirelessly to prevent further such attacks. “More information about our deterrence methods exists, but cannot be revealed,” he said. He said there was a possibility of more clashes with Gaza in the future, but rejected suggestions that Israel was facing a third Intifada. “I do not think we see such a thing unfolding before our eyes,” he said, referring to the recent upsurge of violence in the West Bank. “But the conflict level may rise, so we are prepared and we are convinced that we will know how to contain such events properly.” [Source: Times of Israel]

November 2012 report said Israel was supplying 125 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip from that same power station in Ashkelon, the one that has come under repeated rocket fire over the past six years. There is a power shortfall in Gaza, chiefly because the Hamas regime which rules Gaza has, as a matter of deliberate and very cynical policy, refused to allow the import of fuel from Israel, resulting in its one and only power station operating at 20% capacity.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Rockets Precede Him

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

This morning a rocket (or two according to some news sites) was fired at Ashkelon. No injuries, and of more concern, no siren to give those few seconds of warning. Yesterday, there were riots and many stoning attacks. Hamas has once again called for its “fighters” to kidnap soldiers.

I never for a moment believed this cease fire would last; never thought this was the dawn of a different enemy. But I thought we had more time; I still hope we do. I predicted six months of “relative quiet” – instead, we got only about two months.

And the reason….

I believe it is Obama’s upcoming visit. I do. The Palestinians have been cooking up this idea of when and how to put on the pressure, to start their next intifada. They have always believed that what they cannot achieve through international pressure, lies, and mistruths, they can accomplish with violence. We all knew it was a matter of time – I just thought there’d be more.

It was an M75 long range missile fired at a city with over 120,000 people.

Barack Obama is coming to Israel – for what, we have no idea. Some say to put pressure on Israel not to attack Iran – and for that I ask what right he has to pressure us, to think he knows more of what the Iranians plan to do than we do.

Some say he wants to restart the peace process, another absurd concept showing his utter lack of understanding. Obama does not know how to deal with the Middle East situation, but I have no doubt the Arabs no how to deal with Obama.

It shouldn’t be happening now…and it wouldn’t be, if Obama has not announced his upcoming visit. We don’t need Obama to visit. We simply do not.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother, where this blog was originally published under the title, “It Shouldn’t be Happening Now…”.

 

Expect Bad Things in Southern Lebanon

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

While the diplomatic and political battle to get the European Union face up to who Hezbollah is and what it does goes on, there’s a different battle shaping up, and not for the first time, in which Hezbollah is one of the parties. It’s less diplomatic and less political. But it’s certainly a battle.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL [background here], was created in 1978 to restore peace and security in the area of the Israel/Lebanon border, and to help Lebanon’s government re-assert its authority on the Lebanese side of that border. Various combinations of national troops serving under the U.N. flag have served there since March 1978. They do this under a mandate renewed annually by the U.N. Security Council; the mandate expires on 31 August 2013.

Following the intense fighting in 1976 between Israel and the Hezbollah forces (here we call that the Second Lebanese War), the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1701 to end that phase of the still-continuing conflict. (We wrote a lot during the period of that war; you might want to review “31-Jul-06: Additional Reasons Never to Turn Your Back on these Thugs” as an illustration of how things looked then).

Resolution 1701 enlarged the number of forces under UNIFIL command to 15,000. They were to be deployed south of Lebanon’s Litani River, close to and on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel, and to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces address the task euphemistically called to “implement the Lebanese government’s sovereignty.” UNIFIL was mandated to “take all the necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces, and as it deems with its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.” [source]

This never really worked out as the world – OK, Israel – thought it would. That much was almost immediately clear when Kofi Annan, then secretary-general of the U.N., declared in August 2006 that UNIFIL would refrain from intercepting arms shipments from Syria unless requested to do so by Lebanon. Meanwhile Lebanon became de facto a captive of Hezbollah and Syria’s influence on Lebanese affairs became more open and blatant. Hezbollah flaunted the U.N.’s decisions (see this list) as well as the presence of UN forces, and quietly but very steadily and determinedly built up a vast resource of offensive weapons that it pointed at Israel from deeply embedded emplacements in the villages of South Lebanon.

We’re now nearly seven years later. Seven weeks ago, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. sent a letter to the Ban Ki Moon and to the president of the Security Council demanding that Resolution 1701 be enforced. But the influence of the U.N. and its UNIFIL forces on events, particularly on preserving the peace and implementing the Lebanese government’s sovereignty, is pretty largely treated as a joke in these parts.

But not a very funny joke, as the following report from Ron Ben-Yishai, Yediot Aharonot’s respected observer of such matters, shows. It was posted on the Ynet site late Sunday night.

Hizbullah Moves into South Lebanon Villages
Ynet February 10, 2013
In January, looking into south Lebanon, I noticed that hundreds of new buildings had been built in Bint Jbeil, Maroun al-Ras, Aita al-Shaab and Barmish. Even without binoculars it was evident that the Shiite communities have expanded significantly compared with the few Christian-Maronite villages in the area, which remained the same size. Hizbullah has moved from its bases in “nature preserves” to the villages from which it can launch rocket or other attacks against Israel.
Hizbullah purchased land on the outskirts of the villages, built homes and offered them to poor Shiite families at bargain prices, on condition that a rocket launcher would be placed in one of the rooms or in the basement, along with a number of rockets, which will be fired at predetermined targets in Israel when the order is given.
In addition, Hizbullah has set up camouflaged defense positions in villages which contain advanced Russian-made anti-tank missiles it had received from Syria. Hizbullah has also planted large explosive devices along the access roads. In this manner some 180 Shiite villages between the Zahrani River and the border with Israel have been converted into fighting zones for the next conflict with Israel… Despite the fact that there are those in Israel who claim that the deterrence achieved against Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War has been eroded, it is fairly clear that at this point Nasrallah’s organization does not want to get involved in a major conflict with the Jewish state. Lebanon’s national elections are scheduled for June, and Hezbollah does not want its political legitimacy and dominance to be challenged because it dragged the country into a devastating war with Israel. There is enough tension and violent clashes between Shiites and the Lebanese Sunnis, who are assisting the Syrian rebels trying to topple Assad. However, it is also possible that Hezbollah will decide to attack us with full force if it gets the impression that Israel is planning to attack it first. As strange as it sounds to Israelis ears, Hezbollah sees us as an unpredictable and treacherous country that is capable of launching a preemptive surprise attack. (more)

The next conflict with Israel. It’s an expression you hear a lot. We don’t know many (any) Israelis who want to see that happen, but when you watch the speeches of Nasrallah, the goose-stepping, Heil Hitler-style saluting of his troops, the IDF intelligence estimates of how many tens of thousands of rockets they have in their control in a thousand different locations in those south Lebanese villages – all pointing in our direction – it doesn’t leave much room for optimism.

Visit This Ongoing War.

The Israeli General and His New Mercedes

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Now, if that title doesn’t hit high on the spam charts, I don’t know what will…but stay with me.

Last week, a representative from a very large company came to our offices to discuss potential new business. As with most meetings in Israel, it was a blend of personal and professional. The contract was signed, but the discussions veered off into so many things that are Israel, including the army and the recent Operation Pillar of Defense.

I mentioned my blog and how Elie had been part of the call-up. He mentioned his brother – in the Military Police – being sent there and told me how he had never seen his mother so devastated, so paralyzed, so terrified, as during those days.

And then he told us what his brother was doing – basically guarding an entry point to the “closed military zone” where the fighting would take place…if the government had chosen to send in the ground forces. Elie told the man about his mad drive with the artillery vehicles. And the man told us two stories  from his brother.

The first was of a young man who drove up and demanded entry. The representative’s brother explained that it was a closed area and he couldn’t let him in.

“I’m a pilot,” said the young driver rather arrogantly.

A bit sheepishly, the rep’s brother explained that he needed to see identification, which was quickly produced and the pilot was allowed to enter. The next day, a general showed up in full uniform driving a brand new, sparkling clean Mercedes. I can’t tell you what model, but it was enough to impress the young soldier. This time, without asking, the general pulled out papers to prove he should be allowed in, though I wonder if it even crossed the mind of the young soldier to deny the general in the first place. But deny him he did.

“You can’t go in there!” he told the general.

The general hesitated for a moment and then asked the soldier, “why NOT?”

“Your car,” said the young man. “It’s new. The mud. Look. You can’t,” he stumbled as he turned to point behind him to the tanks tearing up the wet, muddy ground.

And then the general did the most extraordinary thing. He laughed and told the soldier, “I have that car because of everything this country did for me. I’ll give it all back if I have to – including the car.”

With that, he got in the Mercedes – the brand new, sparkling Mercedes, and drove it into the thick mud, covering the tires and splattering the side within seconds.

All that we have, we have been given because we are here – our safety, our lives, our freedom, our blessings.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/the-israeli-general-and-his-new-mercedes/2013/02/03/

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