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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

2 IDF Soldiers Wounded in Israel-Lebanon Border Bombing

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Two IDF soldiers were wounded Tuesday afternoon in a bombing on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. The attack took place in the area near Har Dov in the Golan Heights, according to a report from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

The soldiers were treated at the scene before they were evacuated by helicopter to hospital.

A second explosion hit the same outpost two hours later, but no one was wounded, according to the IDF. Israeli personnel returned fire aimed at Hezbollah targets in Lebanese territory.

Other IDF troops returned fire to an area in southern Lebanon in the wake of the explosion.

A short while ago two soldiers were injured by “An explosive device was activated against [the soldiers] during activity along the Israel-Lebanon border,” the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement. “ Initial reports indicate that the explosive device was planted with the intent to attack soldiers.”

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) from Israel were seen flying over the site of the explosion, according to the Hezbollah-linked Al Manar television station.

IDF shelling has been targeting areas near Sheba’a Farms and Kfar Shuba, the station reported.

On Sunday, IDF soldiers spotted a terror cell attempting to infiltrate into northern Israel. The soldiers fired at the infiltrators, and hit at least one, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, who said the cell raced back across the border into Lebanon.

“The incident has not ended,” a senior IDF source said.

Archaeologists Uncover Tale of Ancient Mikveh and WWII Australian Soldiers

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Archaeologists excavating a construction site near the Ha’Ela Junction have uncovered a curious tale that entwines the fate of an ancient mikveh with that of two Australian soldiers who somehow ended up in the same spot in World War II.

The ancient ritual pool (“mikveh” in Hebrew) was recently uncovered at the Ha’Ela Junction during the routine excavations that are always carried out prior to construction in Israel, in this case to widen Highway 38.

Nearby, an enormous 1,700-year-old water cistern was also revealed, with graffiti scrawled on the ceiling of the reservoir, apparently by Australian soldiers during World War II.

The excavations are being carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority and are financed by the Netivei Israel Company, which is involved in the construction.

Yoav Tsur, IAA excavation director at the site, explained, “We exposed a mikveh in which there are five steps, with the fifth step being a bench where one could sit at the edge of the immersion pool.

“We found fragments of magnificent pottery vessels there, dating to the second century CE – among them lamps, red burnished vessels, a jug and cooking pots.

“Apparently the mikveh ceased to be used during the second century CE, perhaps in light of the Bar Kokhba revolt.

“A rock-hewn opening was exposed south of the mikveh, which appears to have been the entrance to a large water cistern. It seems that in an early phase it was a smaller reservoir and functioned as the “otzar) (water collection area) for the mikveh. When the mikveh ceased to be used, the cistern’s original cavity was increased to its current large dimensions and an extensive surface was built nearby, which facilitated drawing water.”

The archaeologists were also surprised to find during their excavations some graffiti engraved on the ceiling of the cistern, indicating that the site had been exposed at least until the 1940s.

Graffiti carved into ceiling of ancient cistern by Australian soldiers during World War II.

Graffiti carved into ceiling of ancient cistern by Australian soldiers during World War II.

The inscriptions were read by Assaf Peretz, an archaeologist and historian with the Israel Antiquities Authority, who said that two English names were carved in the rock: Cpl Scarlett and Walsh.

“Next to the names are caved the initials RAE and two numbers: NX7792 and NX9168. The date 30/05/1940 appears below the graffiti.”

The IAA inquired with authorities who confirmed that the numbers engraved in the cistern were indeed serial numbers of two actual soldiers, and that RAE stands for Royal Australian Engineers.

A search in government archives revealed that Corporal Philip William Scarlett was born in Melbourne in 1918, was drafted into the army in 1939, survived the war and died in 1970, shortly before his fifty-second birthday.

His comrade, Patrick Raphael Walsh, was born in 1910 in Cowra, was drafted in 1939, survived the war and passed away in 2005 at the age of 95.

It seems the two were members of the Australian Sixth Division. They were stationed in the country at the time of the British Mandate and undergoing training prior to being sent into combat in France.

Because France surrendered before the troops were ready they were ultimately sent to Egypt in October 1940 where they fought at the front in the Western Desert.

The archaeologists added, “If the relatives of these people are acquainted with the story, we’ll be happy if they contact us and we’ll share with them the warm greetings left behind by Scarlett and Walsh.”

Tsur pointed out that the finds from the excavation tell an exciting tale indeed: they “allow us to reconstruct a double story – about the Jewish settlement in the second century CE, probably against the background of the events of the Bar Kokhba revolt, and another story no less fascinating, about a group of Australian soldiers who visited the [same] site c. 1,700 years later and left their mark there.”

Hamas Mortar Shell Claims Life of 43rd Soldier Killed in War

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

The IDF confirmed Sunday morning that Reserve Sergeant First Class (Res.), Barak Refael Degorker, 27, of the city of Gan Yavneh north of Ashkelon, was killed Saturday night by a Hamas mortar shell.

He was the 43rd soldier to have fallen in the Protective Edge war on terror.

One other soldier was lightly wounded.

The soldiers were deployed near or in Gaza, which Hamas targeted with more than half a dozen mortar shells after Israel announced it was extending the humanitarian truce, requested by the United Nations, until midnight.

The Security Cabinet later voted 5-3 to continue the unilateral truce for another 24 hours, until midnight Sunday.

Minister Naftali Bennett, of the Jewish Home party, and Yisrael Beitenu ministers Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzchak Aharonovitch voted against the extension.

Sources in the Office of the Prime Minister said that Israel will gain more legitimacy by agreeing to the extension, despite Hamas’ continuing to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, and that the vote will make it easier for Israel to depend the war the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Even The New York Times carried a reasonably accurate headline Saturday headlining, “Israel Agrees to Extension of Cease-Fire, but Hamas Balks.”

The article, for a change stated the facts – that the Cabinet voted to extend the ceasefire “despite continued fire from Gaza into Israel during Israel’s initial four-hour extension of a 12-hour humanitarian pause” and that “three mortars landed in open areas near Gaza just as the original lull was expiring at 8 p.m.

Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, explaining the terrorist organization’s refusal to halt the attacks, stated,  “Any humanitarian ceasefire that doesn’t secure withdrawal of occupation soldiers from inside Gaza’s border, allow citizens back into home and secure the evacuation of injuries is unacceptable,”

The last past of his statement is inaccurate. Gaza sources said Sunday that more than 140 bodies were pulled out of debris during Saturday’s humanitarian ceasefire.

Israel’s Army Sends Contingent South to Gaza Border

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Lines of tanks, armored personnel carriers and jeeps are moving along roads that were carefully paved smooth earlier this year.

Thousands of IDF soldiers already toting their gear are ready, seated in trucks and APCS, patiently waiting for orders that will decide their actions.

But for now, they’re still in waiting mode. The orders haven’t yet been issued – they’re only getting into position – everyone’s just moving south to the border with Gaza.

Disc jockeys and talk show hosts on Army Radio have that manic quality in their voices as they strain with extra effort to be especially funny in routines that have a sharper edge than usual.

The music is jumpier, punchier. No information that could let you know what’s really going on. Standard procedure for the State of Israel in high-tension security mode.

It would be smart for Gaza terrorists to rethink their actions, if they’re thinking clearly at all. Now is a good time to consider their families, if they ever consider anyone.

The requisite warning to Hamas went out. They know the steps to the dance. No fools they, the entire leadership of that terrorist organization went underground at least 48 hours ago. No bellicose statements issued from Ismail Haniyeh since the beginning of the week. He’s hiding from Israeli fighter pilots and air strikes, content to let Gaza families pay the price for his belligerence when Israel is forced to bomb rocket launchers buried up against their homes.

In that way, he’s not much different from Hezbollah terrorist chief Hassan Nasrallah, who has been in hiding for years, since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, for similar reasons.

But the rocket fire continues, and it will soon have to be silenced one way or the other. The price for leaving it is getting too high. Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians cannot sleep at night, cannot function by day. Too many children are growing up damaged. It’s approaching the time to put the matter to rest.

A Nation in Unity on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Israel’s flag is waving at half mast and the memory of 23,169 lost Israeli soldiers and victims of terror has quieted the nation on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day.

No music plays in the neighborhoods, and children are not laughing today on the streets. A somber air is felt throughout the country as Israelis remember their fallen.

Some of those are not even Jewish. They are Bedouin or Druze or Circassians who have thrown in their lot with their Jewish neighbors. They, too, have paid the price.

Few indeed are those in this country who have not lost at least one family member in military action or terror, or are not close to someone who has, in the struggle to fulfill the mitzvah to hold this Holy Land, Eretz Tzion, Israel.

By age 16, all Jewish teens in Israel receive their first IDF notice, summoning them for exams to determine a medical, educational and psychological fitness profile. The IDF recently announced it will soon begin to send voluntary draft notices to all Christian Israelis, offering them the chance to enlist in Israel’s army as well.

By 18, most boys and girls in this country are smiling and nervously getting into fitted green or camel-colored uniforms, queuing up at central bus stations before and after Shabbat and talking about what happened in their new units “at the base.”

They’re babies, really — babies learning how to face killers; other babies fed on evil hatred since birth. Last year, 40 died, though some of those were reservists, IDF soldiers who return to serve 30 days a year to help the “newbies” and the career soldiers keep Israel safe from its enemies. “Reservists” can be soldiers in their 20s — or as old as 40.

“It is difficult, if not impossible, to show those that haven’t experienced it the size of the grief that befell us, the intensity of the shock that grasps us, and the sense of loss that fills us,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained at Monday’s ceremony at Mount Herzl military cemetery, attended also by President Shimon Peres, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and a host of other officials.

Paraphrasing and slightly changing a well-known Psalm of King David, he said, “There, we sat at the graves of our loved ones, and wept, and we remembered our loved ones that fell for the sake of Zion.”

Sweeping the entire People of Israel into unity with Israel’s grief over its fallen, the prime minister said, “On this day, the entire people relates to the heroes of the nation. They come from all parts of the nation and from all parts of society. The simple truth that is the most concise is this: we would not be here if it were not for their sacrifice.

“Even if it means unparalleled pain, a great miracle happened here. Israel returned to her country, to her home, established a state and did wonders, but at this moment we should not forget that it is a privilege to be here.”

People came to their feet across the country as a siren wailed into the skies at 11 o’clock in the morning, reminding Israelis of the price paid for peace, and Israel’s defense.

A candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall last night, announced by the nationwide siren at eight o’clock in the evening, also featured an address by President Peres.

“We, the Israelis, are not like every people,” the president pointed out. “Already for years a sad generation hasn’t relaxed, hasn’t been able to enjoy a time of happiness. Our joy is always missing. A cloud of sadness envelops us. It is deeply hidden, but one can see it in our eyes.”

The president spoke of parents who lost their children, “the image of the soldiers that fell in Israel’s wars… They did not have time to plant a tree. They didn’t taste the full flavor of love. They left behind you, the bereaved families… and us, the friends, to painfully remember.”

Gaza Terrorists Firing at Southern Israel, Again

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Gaza terrorists have launched another mortar attack on southern Israel, the second such attack in less than 24 hours.

IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner posted a tweet on the Twitter social networking site early Thursday afternoon to alert media to the attack.

“A short while ago, a mortar was fired at IDF during routine activity adjacent to the fence in southern Gaza. No injuries reported,” he wrote. There was no information about whether the mortar left any damage.

Last night Hamas-affiliated terrorists fired two rockets at Israel from the region. The missiles exploded in open areas near the Gaza security fence and in the Sha’ar HaNegev area, which includes the town of Sderot and surrounding farming moshavim and kibbutzim. No one was physically injured, and no property damage was reported.

More than half a million Israelis have fewer than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket or mortar is launched from Gaza towards Israel. Most are capable of reaching Israel’s largest southern cities. Some have struck as far as Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion.

Gaza terrorists have fired at least 110 rockets, missiles and mortars at southern Israel in the past four months (since January 1, 2014) alone.

IDF Helps Settlers Hold Firm in Judea, Samaria

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

For the past several months, residents of Beit El and other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have been living with a wave of increased Palestinian Authority Arab terrorism.

Road terror attacks have included near-daily rock attacks on the roads, including Highway 60, the main artery that runs from the north in Samaria all the way south through Jerusalem and down through Judea to the Negev.

Other attacks involve firebomb attacks (Molotov cocktails) aimed at motorists driving vehicles with Israeli license plates, and occasional shootings as well.

The residents of Beit El, north of Jerusalem, have been living with an especially intense wave of violence emanating from the nearby the Arab village of Jeelazun.

An IDF army base is located right on site at the entrance of the community, however, and soldiers guard the town around the clock – as other security teams both civil and military do in every other settlement throughout Judea and Samaria. The arrangement works for both the residents of Beit El and for the soldiers, who are often tasked with carrying out searches for fugitives in Jeelazun, a hotbed of terrorism.

Nearly as complicated, Beit El is also located right next door to the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-helps-settlers-hold-firm-in-judea-samaria/2014/04/03/

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