Heavy rains are continuing to pour down on to Israel, a blessing to the land and to the security of the Jews living in the Land as well. The soft sands in Gaza are easy for diggers to tunnel through, although they become a digger’s grave when the tunnels collapse from the weight of the water-logged mud in the rain. Still, Hamas forces its diggers to continue, using stolen concrete to shore up the walls of the tunnels against the damp, while callously leaving its people without homes.
The rebuilt Hamas tunnel infrastructure beneath Gaza is rapidly regrowing itself and possibly extending even deeper into Israel than before, security sources say.
Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees have been cooperating to dig tunnels that could reach up to 10 kilometers deep into Israel, according to the Middle East Newsline.
But IDF and Shin Bet intelligence agents have been coordinating efforts for some time to foil infiltrations into Israel by Hamas and other terrorists via the tunnels.
In July 2014, Hamas was preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilians during the Jewish new year holiday of Rosh Hashanah, Israeli security sources told the Hebrew-language Ma’ariv daily.
Some 200 terrorists were to be dispatched via the tunnels dug under the Gaza border to Israel. They would have emerged to seize hostages from kibbutzim and other Jewish communities, while killing other Israeli civilians.
Thousands of Hamas terrorists meanwhile would have been swarming across Israel wearing IDF uniforms, complicating a military response to the attack.
Reports at the time indicated that Hezbollah terrorists may have planned to join the attack as well, opening a second front in the north. The destruction of the tunnels – Gaza’s “underground terrorist city” – during the 2014 war thwarted the plan.
Over the past six months, Israel’s Home Front Command has held a number of military and civil defense drills aimed at preparing the IDF and civilian population for an upcoming war launched either by Hamas in the south, or by Hezbollah from the north.
IDF troops have been deployed along both fronts for several months, particularly since October, when the current wave of terror began. The 2014 mini-war with Hamas in Gaza resulted from a similar wave of terror, as did all prior operations, including that which morphed into the two-front 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Neither Hezbollah nor Israel will go to war right now. Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah now any more than it could in the war n 2006, which ended in a military stalemate but a strategic victory for Hezbollah.
Hezbollah won’t go to war against Israel because it cannot afford to lose its already questionable prestige in Lebanon due to the terrorist party’s having entered the conflagration in Syria and bringing it inside Lebanon’s borders.
Hezbollah’s attack in Israel yesterday was an eye-for-an-eye retaliation for Israel’s pre-emptive bombing raid in Syria two weeks ago in which a dozen Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers and commanders were wiped out.
Their plan to attack the Israeli side of the Golan Heights bore out fears that Hezbollah wants to be able to strike Israel along the entire northern border, from the Mediterranean Coast of Lebanon to the eastern side of the Golan Heights.
“Hezbollah” does not just mean the terrorist party and army. It also means “Iran,” its financial and military mother.
“Hezbollah” also means “Lebanon,” to a large extent. Hassan Nasrallah’s party dominates the government, but the world recognizes “Lebanon” and not “Hezbollah.”
Hezbollah, diplomatically, is a state within a state. It has one of the largest military arsenals of any army in the world, with 120,000 missiles in Lebanon, and now in Syria, poised to pulverize not only northern Israel but also Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
It is an act of war when a country’s army attacks another nation and kills two soldiers. “Restraint” is not the proper response. The proper response is an all-out retaliation to end the enemy threat.
But officially, neither Lebanon nor Iran attacked Israel yesterday. The provocateur was a terrorist army and party. Israel cannot wipe out the Hezbollah army because, like Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, it operates from within civilian population centers and now also is located in the maze of hell that is called Syria,” which no longer exists as a nation except in name.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said yesterday, “My recommendation to those who challenge us in the north is to take a look at what happened in Gaza.”
Hamas had several thousand rockets, some of them sophisticated, but Israel’s Iron Dome system was able to intercept most of them. In addition, the land mass of Hamas-controlled Gaza is all of 139 square miles (360 square kilometers), surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west and an unfriendly Egypt and Israel on the south, west and north.
Lebanon is nearly 30 times larger with 4,015 square miles (10,400 sq km). Besides the Mediterranean Sea on the west and Israel on the south, Lebanon — and Hezbollah — have Syria for a neighbor in the east and north.
Netanyahu said, “The (Israel Defense Forces) is responding now to the incident in the north. The IDF stands ready to act forcefully on all fronts.” In truth, he was only reassuring Israelis and sending shivers down the spines of the West, but he and Hezbollah know very well that Israel is not going to “act forcefully on all fronts.”
Israel does not have an anti-missile system that can protect the country against 120,000 missiles, some of them very long-range rocket and probably with chemical warheads. The IDF indeed could crush Lebanon. It could punish the country for allowing and actively supporting Hezbollah.
Before doing so, who knows how much Hezbollah would cripple Israel with missiles.
But everyone, especially Netanyahu, knows that any large-military operation would leave Israel isolated in the world
The United States stated yesterday its usual wishy-washy position that backs Israel with a big “but”:
We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and continue to urge all parties to respect the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. We urge all parties to refrain from any action that could escalate the situation.
That was the same language used every time Hamas attacks Israel with a missile.
Any Israeli attack would be “disproportionate.” The international community does not apply the rules of war when it comes to Israel, which always must show it is so Christian that it can turn the other cheek and not use force.
As disgusting it sounds, the bitter truth is that Israeli won’t go to war over the deaths of two soldiers. It should but it won’t.
Israeli does not have the self-confidence, spiritually and diplomatically, to attack Hezbollah and Lebanon.
Nine years ago, Hezbollah kidnapped and murdered two soldiers and sparked a five-week war that proved that exposed, once again, Israel’s real weakness.
The Foreign Minister at the time was Tzipi Livni, who now threatens to become the next Prime Minister of Israel on a rotational basis with Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog.
Livni signed on the dotted line of United Nations Resolution 1701 that was a cease-fire version of the Oslo Accords. Instead of the Palestinian Authority, it was the United Nations that promised to disarm “foreign armies,” without naming Hezbollah.
The resolution stated:
Pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.
The resolution called for:
Israel to withdraw all of its forces from Lebanon in parallel with Lebanese and UNIFIL soldiers deploying throughout the South…
Disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon (implying but not stating Hezbollah)
No armed forces other than UNIFIL and Lebanese (implying Hezbollah and Israeli forces) will be south of the Litani River
No foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government….
The importance of full control of Lebanon by the government of Lebanon .
Of course, Israel withdrew. Not only did UNIFIL not dis-arm Hezbollah, UNIFIL allowed it to continue to smuggle weapons from Iran, via Syria.
The resolution left Hezbollah ins a stronger than ever position and weakened Israel, which proved again its military may be strong but its backbone Is too weak to support a military victory to safeguard the country.
Below is a video of how Hezbollah terrorists escapes an Israel Air Force bombing of a missile launcher in the war in Lebanon in 2006.
On Friday, the UN passed a General Assembly resolution demanding that Israel pay Lebanon $850 million dollars. The resolution is non-binding.
In 2006, Hezbollah, who have been members of the Lebanese government since 2005, sent soldiers into Israel, kidnapped two IDF soldiers, and killed three more.
Israel retaliated for the attack from Lebanon, and attempted to rescue the kidnapped soldiers, and thus began the Second Lebanon war.
165 Israelis were killed in that war.
During the Second Lebanon war, Israel hit a Lebanese power station causing 15,000 tons of oil to spill into the Mediterranean Sea.
Initially the UN estimated the clean cost was $65 million. Israel cooperated with international organizations to help with the clean up.
Hezbollah’s attacks, besides resulting in 165 dead Israelis, destroyed 16,500 acres (67 square kilometers) of forests and grazing fields. The JNF estimated it would take 50-60 years to restore all the forests.
No word yet, on when the UN will pass a resolution demanding Lebanon pay for the damages from the war they started – proving once again, the UN is nothing more than a bad joke.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
The IDF is forming a new division to operate in the Golan Heights, which faces a new threat of Hezbollah terrorists and weapons that had been limited to the Lebanese border before Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah sent his army to fight with Assad loyalists against Syrian rebels.
The new Golan division reflects the new situation in the Golan Heights, which now is on the border of clashes between Assad’s army and rebels and has been subject to frequent rifle fire and mortar shelling, usually accidental and sometimes intentional.
The military’s other four divisions are located along the border with Lebanon, in the Negev, next to Gaza and in Judea and Samaria.
Syrian President Bassar al-Assad has demanded for years that Israel surrender the strategic Golan Heights, but despite Syria’s being a declared enemy, Israel has enjoyed the advantage of a stable regime across the border. Stability usually is preferable to the unknown, especially if it is in the enemy’s court.
The rebellion in Syria more than two years ago created a nervous uncertainty in Israel, and Hezbollah’s recent move into the area has extended the area from which the terrorist organization can strike.
Nasrallah threatened earlier this year to turn the Golan Heights into a new front against Israel.
Israel has been preparing for a another attack from Lebanon ever since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Hezbollah has stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets and anti-tank missiles, most of them smuggled in from Syria, with Iranian and Russian trademarks.
Hezbollah is gathering intelligence on the IDF in the Golan Heights, according to Reuters, quoting an Israeli source. “It is not at an alarming level now but we understand their intentions,” he said.
Adding to Israel’s concerns are the heavy presence of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups fighting alongside the rebels. Whichever side wins, Israel loses, assuming that the same instability that replaced Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt will be the case in Syria.
“We know they are busy now but once it ends they will turn their guns on us,” the military source told Reuters. “We’re not waiting for an attack. We’re building the border fence; we have sent up tanks, more regiments, field intelligence … and increased observations.”
For what it’s worth, the United Security Council on Wednesday called on Hezbollah to end its involvement in Syria.
“The Security Council calls upon all Lebanese parties to recommit to Lebanon’s policy of disassociation, to stand united behind President Michel Suleiman in this regard and to step back from any involvement in the Syrian crisis,” the Council said.
The United Nations did not name Hezbollah, due to Russian objections, but Hezbollah clearly was intended.
Given the previous failures of the international body to live up to its commitment to disarm Hezbollah after the Second Lebanon War, Wednesday’s statement can safely be discarded.
Another Arab with Israeli citizenship has been exposed as a traitor. Zahar Ben Omar Yusfin, of the Arab city Shfaram, located immediately east of Haifa, allegedly handed over to a Hezbollah agent intelligence information of an IDF base.
He was charged with “making contact with an enemy agent, assisting a banned organization, and passing on information that stands to benefit the enemy” when he met with the Hezbollah member while on a pilgrimage to Mecca six years ago.
The indictment states that Yusfin returned to Israel after his pilgrimage and helped find other Arabs vesting Mecca and who might be recruits for Hezbollah. Yusfin was familiar with pilgrimage trips because he and his brother helped organize them since 2000.
During the Second Lebanon War, Yusfin allegedly informed Hezbollah about sites of impact of Hezbollah missiles. He denied the charges.
The International Red Cross together with the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin planted 150 trees bearing the names of “veteran prisoners” who were convicted and jailed for murdering Israelis.
Most foreign and local media call them “militants,” reserving the word terrorists for those who kill people for political gain in a media outlet’s home country.
The Palestinian Authority now has helped the Red Cross add another word to the Orwellian Middle East dictionary: “Veteran prisoners.”
The official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported last week that the Red Cross and Red Crescent “planted 150 fruit trees that carry the names of the veteran prisoners jailed in the occupation prisons.” The article was translated and published on Sunday by the Palestinian Media Watch.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida told its readers that the two organizations “conducted a ceremony called ‘My Honor is My Freedom’ in the village of Zububa to mark the 150th anniversary of their founding. Fruit trees were planted at the entrance to the village, where the racist annexation and expansion wall that has swallowed up thousands of acres [of land] was built.”
The Red Cross has a very cozy relationship with the Palestinian Authority, where the Red Crescent has long been a member of the international organization. Israel’s Magen David rescue services were not accepted by the International Federation of Red Cross until 2005, but on a condition: Magen David has to agree not to operate in Judea and Samaria or areas in Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority.
Displaying the Jewish Star of David, the translation of the term Magen David and the symbol used on its ambulances, would suggest that the Red Cross, God forbid, acknowledges that Jews can live in Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem.
The Red Cross, in its devotion to protecting the rights of prisoners under the Geneva Convention, dutifully makes sure that Israel opens its jails to relatives of jailed Palestinian Authority terrorists.
It took an entirely different attitude during the five heart-wrenching years that Hamas held Gilad Shalit hostage after kidnapping him in a terrorist attack in 2006 that left two other soldiers murdered. The Red Cross went through the motions of demanding his release but did not place any pressure on the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to work for his freedom.
Shalit’s father Gilad said during his son’s captivity, “We demand that the Red Cross’ approach be more active and decisive. I would like to believe that they would give us a sign of life from Gilad. We are conducting ongoing dialogue with the Red Cross but it has not been much help. I did not hear them condemn Hamas on its crime against Gilad. The Red Cross has been a complete failure in this affair.”
It took the Red Cross almost five years until it made a belatedly public appeal for his release. When Shalit was released, the Red Cross did not even examine him.
The Red Cross also took no action against the Red Crescent and the Palestinian Authority’s assisting terrorism in the early part of this century, during the advanced stage of the Intifada that is also called the “Second Intifada” and the “Oslo War.”
IDF occasionally foiled terrorist attacks by inspecting Red Crescent ambulances before allowing them to continue from Judea and Samaria into urban Israel. More than once, soldiers discovered explosives and weapons under the beds of supposedly pregnant women, a gross violation of international law.
This did not stop the Red Cross from honoring the “prisoners.”
If anyone questions that they really are terrorists, check out the background of such “veteran prisoners” as Karim and Maher Younes, Issa Abd Rabbo, Osama Al-Silawi, Mohammed Turkeman, Nasser Abu Surour and Mahmoud Abu Surour, Zaid Younes, Ibrahim Al-Taqtuq, Ikram Mansour, Ahmed Ka’abna, Nael and Fakhri Barghouti and Samir Kuntar, Jamal Hweil, Jamal Tirawi and Jum’a Adam.
The name “Kuntar” should ring a bell.
Born in Lebanon, he joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with the stated goal of killing Jews.
At the age of 16, he helped kidnap an Israeli family from Nahariya, on the northeast Mediterranean Coast. He murdered four people, including a 4-year-old daughter, in the presence of her father, who also was killed. He was cited as a hero by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad.