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February 2, 2015 / 13 Shevat, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘unifil’

Northern Golan Heights Declared Closed Military Zone

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The GOC Northern Command on Wednesday evening declared Israel’s northern border in the Golan Heights along the boundary with Syria to be a closed military zone.

The area affected stretches from Kibbutz Dafna in the Upper Galilee to the Druze town of Mas’ade in the northern Golan Heights. Included in the region are Kibbutz Dan, the border village of Ghajar, the Banias, Fort Nimrod, Neve Ativ, Majdal Shams and Mount Hermon.

The military announcement comes after the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror organization launched the most serious attack on northern Israel seen since the start of the Syrian civil war.

Two IDF soldiers were killed and six others were wounded, including two with serious injuries, in an afternoon-long battle between the IDF and Hezbollah guerrillas operating in southern Lebanon. In addition, a Spanish peacekeeper serving in the UNIFIL force since November 2014 was killed during the exchange of gunfire.

The IDF has confirmed that Hezbollah fired six Kornet anti-tank missiles at a convoy traveling in northern Israel, and not two as originally reported. Three hit the convoy; one hit a house in the Druze village of Ghajar, setting it afire.

The convoy was comprised of two IDF vehicles leading two civilian vehicles on a road returning from the area of Mount Dov. It appears that the goal of the attack – as in the 2006 cross-border raid that launched the Second Lebanon War – was to spark a military provocation that would be a distraction while Hezbollah terrorists abducted one or more IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians. Hezbollah also reportedly simultaneously directed a round of mortar shells at the area near Metullah and around Mount Hermon.

Because civilians were involved in the attack – as well as the two IDF vehicles that were incinerated when they were struck and the soldiers who were killed – the incident is being considered in a far more serious light.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet to discuss the ramifications of the attack and to decide how Israel should respond.

UNIFIL is meanwhile attempting to negotiate a resumption of the ceasefire that was arranged between the two sides to end the Second Lebanon War, and which was violated today (Jan. 28.)

UNIFIL Confirms ‘Rocket Fired From Lebanon First, Israel Retaliated’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has confirmed that rockets were fired first from Lebanon, provoking Israel into a defensive attack.

“At the moment we are still looking into the causes of the event,” Andrea Tenenti, UNIFIL spokesman in Lebanon, told The Spain Report by telephone. “What I can say is that today there were rockets launched from Lebanon into Israel, and the Israeli forces began retaliatory fire. Major General Portolano (UNIFIL commander) was immediately in contact with both parties to prevent further escalation.”

Spanish Army Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, 36, was killed during the clash while on patrol for UNIFIL. The corporal, who was born in Andalusia, was married and assigned to a mechanized infantry regiment after enlisting in 2004. His unit has participated in UNIFIL in southern Lebanon since November 2014. The soldier’s position when he was killed was not released.

“We are not certain who fired the shots that killed him; that needs to be investigated,” said a spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

“We have troops positioned all along the Blue Line,” Tenenti added. “We are verifying the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

Spanish military sources reportedly told El Pais that it was an IDF mortar round that killed the UNIFIL soldier.

Iron Dome Deployed in North, Border Farms on War Footing

Monday, January 19th, 2015

The IDF reportedly moved Iron Dome anti-missile systems to defend northern communities Monday night in the wake of Hezbollah threats to punish Israel for Sunday’s spectacular counter-terror bombing raid that killed approximately a dozen Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards fighters.

The IDF told The Jewish Press, “We do not confirm or deny movements” of the Iron Dome systems, although the military previously has announced their redeployment against rockets from Gaza.

A picture of the Iron Dome being transported was posted on social media, but its location could not be verified.

Farmers in Metulla, which is smack on the northern border, were ordered off their fields by the IDF in SMS messages sent out Monday morning. Farmer Chaim Hod was quoted by Yediot Acharonot as saying that he and is workers began pruning apples tress at 6 a.m. and were ordered away from the orchards by mid-morning.

Several Metulla farms are located at the border, beyond a barbed wire fence, and are off-limits to anyone except the farmers and the IDF.

Reserve units stationed along the Lebanese border are on high alert, and several leaves of absence for regular soldiers have been cancelled.

Increased patrols were observed on both sides of the border, with UNIFIL, Lebanese and Israeli troops keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity.

UNIFIL troops are using night goggle and binoculars, according to sources quoted by the Beirut Daily Star.

Israel soldiers were seen patrolling the streets of Metulla, but civilians on both sides of the border do not seem concerned,

Hod said he actually feels safer when he sees both UNIFIL and Israeli soldiers beefing up patrols, and a Lebanese construction worker told the Star, “We are not afraid. As you see we are continuing construction work just a few kilometers from the Israelis.”

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said, “The IDF is prepared, tracking all developments, and ready to act as needed.” The air strike highlights the excellent level of Israeli intelligence operations, which are the key to carrying out counter-terror strikes and make Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah think twice and three times every time he moves.

As in the past, Israel warned Lebanon that it will be held responsible for any attacks by Hezbollah, which controls southern Lebanon and is an influential part of the fragile government.

The threat of a fierce Israeli retaliation to any Hezbollah aggression is a strong deterrent. Hezbollah has fallen into growing disfavor in strife-torn Lebanon because it has brought the war in Syria into Lebanon by fighting rebels to the Assad regime. Lebanese hate Israel but a devastating retaliation by the IDF to Hezbollah rockets would make the terrorist army and party even more unwanted.

Below is a video of the aftermath of the attack on Hezbollah and Iranian commanders, as seen in a telecast from southern Lebanon.

 

IDF Smoke Bombs Lightly Injure Lebanese Soldiers

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Israeli soldiers reportedly threw six smoke bombs into Lebanese territory Sunday morning, lightly injuring three Lebanese soldiers during a patrol along the border, Lebanese media reported.

The IDF has not yet responded to the report.

The incident occurred at the border near an area that has been the focus of conflict for years because of contradictory territorial claims by Israel, the United Nations and Lebanon.

Voice of Lebanon said that three Lebanese soldiers suffered from suffocation after a smoke bomb was tossed over the border fence, and other reports said six smoke bombs were thrown.

The Lebanese National News Agency reported that the IDF was conducting a ground patrol while the Israeli Air Force flew several drones over the area.

Hezbollah claimed in October that Israel was responsible for an explosion at the Shebaa Farms area.

They’re Ba-a-a-a-ck… Hezbollah Guerrillas Redeploy on Israel’s Northern Border

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Hezbollah guerrillas are back on Israel’s northern border, even though they’re busy in Syria. The only question now is what they are planning to do, and when.

IDF soldiers on Mount Dov fired warning shots today (Monday) at a shepherd approaching the border fence from Lebanon. At least, it appeared to be a shepherd. Along the northern border, you really never know. Regardless, the “shepherd” retraced his steps.

There have been a rash of “shepherd” incidents in that area of late. Earlier this month, two unidentified people also approached the border fence, but they ignored warnings by the IDF to turn back.

That incident and several others constitute a sea change in what has, until now, been a relatively calm period on the border between Lebanon and Israel. The exceptions might be the token Katyusha attacks launched here and there during Operation Protective Edge this past summer. But since the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, it has been pretty quiet.

It’s not clear how much longer that calm will hold, according to reports from Lebanon.

The Shehab news agency reports the Hezbollah terror organization has “changed its policy” and is moving forces from Syria to deploy along the border with Israel.

The report, published in Arabic today on the news agency’s Facebook page, quotes one written in the leftist Israeli daily Ha’aretz that referenced an article published in the Lebanon-based Al-Akhbar newspaper. Al-Akhbar, which is believed to be linked with Hezbollah, reported that the terror group is again expanding its operations in southern Lebanon, south of the Litani River.

The same move was seen prior to the Second Lebanon War. And this is now taking place despite the drain on the group’s resources due to its 3-year fight against Syrian rebels on alongside government forces for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Both Hezbollah and Assad are generously patronized by the Iranian government, which has also sent its elite Revolutionary Guards to help in the war effort.

The October 8 article in Al-Akhbar referred to the October 7 attack on an Israeli army patrol that left two IDF soldiers injured on Mount Dov, also known as the Sheba’a Farms.

Israeli media also reported on the attack, including JewishPress.com. “Initial reports indicate the explosive device was planted with the intent to attack soldiers,” read a statement from the IDF describing the attack.

Israel returned fire with mortar shells towards Sheba’a Farms and Kfar Shuba, the Hezbollah-linked Al Manar TV station reported. A second bomb was detonated along the same border area a couple of hours later, but no injuries were reported in the new attack.

A day earlier, 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.

A subsequent statement released by IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner acknowledged the army had “responded to the unprovoked aggression against its forces and will continue to operate to maintain the safety of northern Israel.”

Just over eight years ago, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 ended the Second Lebanon War. The agreement has been violated by Hezbollah from the day the document was signed. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) charged with enforcing it has never actually done so — primarily because it can’t.

The document calls for the disarmament of all groups and entities in Lebanon other than the “legitimate” Lebanese Army. This was to include Hezbollah and any other terrorist organization.

Lebanon – 6 Rockets Almost Landed in Israel

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Lebanon’s Daily Star reports that Lebanese terrorists planned to launch 6 rockets into Israel, but only one of them managed to land in Israel.

Lebanese Army Intelligence and UNIFIL soldiers found traces of 6 rockets 2 kilometers from the border with Israel.

Of the four launched at Israel, two apparently landed short, in Lebanon, while one exploded at launch, injuring the terrorist trying to launch it. Blood and a ripped shoe were found at the site.

The Lebanese Army defused the remaining two 107mm Grad rockets that were set to go off.

Lebanon’s Daily Star reports that Israel fired 25 artillery shells in response, causing no casualties.

UNIFIL is also looking into the incident.

Israel believes the attack came from an independent terror group, and not Hezbollah.

Israeli Planes Fly over Southern Lebanon after Murder of Soldier

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Lebanese media reported that Israeli warplanes carried out surveillance flights over southern Lebanon in Tuesday, as Lebanese, United Nations and Israeli officials try to keep the lid on tensions following Sunday night’s murder of Israel soldier Sgt. Shlomi Cohen by a Lebanese soldier.

The Air Force frequently sends planes into Lebanese air space to monitor Hezbollah terrorist activities.

Lebanese media also reported that its army will prosecute the soldier who “acted on his own” when he opened fire on Sgt. Cohen and killed him.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati described it as “an isolated incident of limited scope,” but a similar “isolated incident” occurred three years ago when Lebanese soldiers shot and killed an Israeli officer and wounded a soldier.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-planes-fly-over-southern-lebanon-after-murder-of-soldier/2013/12/17/

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