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Snoshi
08-02-2006, 08:40 AM
Ynet:Soldier severely wounded, 2 lightly wounded in south Lebanon
One IDF soldier was severely wounded and two more were lightly wounded durign battles in south Lebanon Wednesday.

The soldiers were evacuated for medical treatment. (Efrat Weiss)

DeltaWhisky58
08-02-2006, 08:55 AM
Delays hit Lebanese relief effort

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41954000/jpg/_41954958_guard-afp-203body.jpg
Humanitarian aid did manage to reach the shattered town of Qana

Convoys carrying humanitarian aid for south Lebanon have been stranded in the capital Beirut and other towns, in the absence of safe passage guarantees.

Two World Food Programme convoys and four carrying International Committee of the Red Cross supplies were unable to proceed on Tuesday.
Aid officials say isolated communities in the south, where Israel is battling Hezbollah, are particularly vulnerable.
Bomb damage to roads and traffic jams hamper those convoys which do move out.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif It is absolutely apparent that the Israelis don't let us into areas where they intend to engage in military activity http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Robin Lodge
World Food Programme

Israeli bombardment has "systematically destroyed almost the entire road network", Mona Hammam, United Nations resident co-ordinator for Lebanon, told BBC News.
She told the World At One programme that the UN was asking for humanitarian corridors to bring in supplies.
"For each cargo there has to be a notification system to ensure that that road can be used and will not be targeted," she said.
Aid agencies' hopes rose on Monday after Israel declared a partial truce for humanitarian reasons but fighting continued in the south on Tuesday.
Some foreign aid has been entering Lebanon through Beirut airport and Tyre's sea port while UN aid has been arriving by land from Syria, through the Arida border crossing.

Family parcels

Annick Bouvier, spokeswoman for the ICRC in Geneva, confirmed that four convoys, each of between three and four lorries, had been unable to leave on Tuesday after failing to receive security assurances from the Israeli military.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41954000/jpg/_41954962_aid-afp-203body.jpg
Aid is currently handed over directly to local authorities


Two are stuck in the port of Tyre, where an ICRC cargo ship docked on Sunday, and the other two are in Marjayoun.
An ICRC lorry typically carries 500 "family parcels", each of which is designed to feed a family for a week, Ms Bouvier said.
There is also fuel for village water pumps, and sanitary aid and, once empty, the lorries are meant to evacuate civilians from the relief areas.
In a press release, the WFP said only one of three convoys intended for south Lebanon had been able to leave on Tuesday.
Amer Daoudi, WFP emergency coordinator, said frustration was mounting that people had been stranded without aid in the south for nearly three weeks, many of them poor, sick or elderly.
"We have no time to waste - they are running out of food, water and medicine," he added.

Long trip south

Robin Lodge, a WFP press officer, accompanied an aid convoy from Beirut to Tyre on Monday.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41955000/gif/_41955244_leb_is_syr_203.gif

The journey took 10.5 hours instead of the usual 90 minutes because of damage to the main roads and traffic jams caused by the continuing movement of refugees.
On Tuesday morning, Mr Lodge was on the first WFP convoy from Tyre into Qana, where Israeli bombing killed at least 54 people in a house on Sunday.
Qana appeared deserted when the convoy's five lorries arrived but their cargo of flour and vegetable oil as well as medical and water purification supplies was delivered successfully to the municipal authorities, he told the BBC News website on his way back to Beirut.
The WFP, he said, would be happier to have non-governmental organisations helping with distribution but they had been hampered by problems of their own in obtaining clearance to operate.
No WFP convoys had so far come under attack.
Their movements were reported to the Israeli military and to Hezbollah, and the lorries were marked with UN symbols on their tarpaulin which should be visible to Israeli air pilots, Mr Lodge said.
Hezbollah had so far approved all WFP convoy requests, he added, while the Israelis had responded with a simple "Yes" or "No" without giving any reason.
"It is absolutely apparent that the Israelis don't let us into areas where they intend to engage in military activity," he said. The WFP spokesman added that air drops of aid were a last resort and were not being contemplated in Lebanon at this time - nor was the option of delivering aid from the Israeli side of the border "feasible at this stage".


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5235768.stm)

Irish
08-02-2006, 09:09 AM
One News: Mary Calpin reports that more Hezbollah missiles have been landing on cities and towns in northern Israel http://www.rte.ie/news/images/video_sml_but.gif (http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2162254.smil)

Beaufort
08-02-2006, 09:18 AM
Halutz: Capturing guerillas was not initial goal

By JPOST.COM STAFF (updates@jpost.com)


"The operation harmed those that had threatened us," IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz commented on Tuesday night's Baalbek raid.

Halutz spoke of the raid that lasted several hours and involved both air and ground operations.

"The final outcome of the operation is not yet quite clear because we collected materials that must be analyzed," the general said on Wednesday afternoon.

"I have no doubt that more advantages from this operation will be discovered," the general continued, "this was part of the larger-scale operation, and we will continue such actions if necessary. Capturing people was not our initial objective."

The IDF captured five Hizbullah guerrillas and killed at least 10 in a commando raid in Lebanon, Halutz said. He confirmed that the five were being questioned.

Asked in an Associated Press interview who was captured in the raid, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said "tasty fishes" were among those seized.
Hizbullah denied those captured belonged to the guerrilla group. "Those who were taken prisoner are citizens. It will not be long before the (Israeli) enemy will discover that they are ordinary citizens," Hizbullah said in a statement broadcast on its Al-Manar television.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1153292059325&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Snoshi
08-02-2006, 09:23 AM
At least 10 Hizbullah terrorists have been taken out by IDF in the fighting today.

5 IDF troops sustained injuries, one of the soldiers is in critical condition while others sustained light injuries.
http://www.newsru.co.il/mideast/02aug2006/libnan.html

daily666
08-02-2006, 09:46 AM
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via
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Israel sends 10,000 troops into Lebanon


By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer
1 minute ago

BOURJ AL-MULOUK, Lebanon -
Israel pressed the first full day of a massive new ground attack, sending 10,000 troops into southern Lebanon on Wednesday and seizing five people it said were Hezbollah fighters in a dramatic airborne raid on a northeastern town. Hezbollah retaliated with its deepest strikes yet into Israel, firing a record number of more than 160 rockets.
Diplomatic efforts faltered, with France saying it will not participate in a Thursday U.N. meeting that could send troops to help monitor a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah. France, which may join or even lead such a force, said it does not want to talk about sending peacekeepers until fighting halts and the
U.N. Security Council agrees to a wider framework for lasting peace.

Israeli commandos flew in by helicopter before dawn into the northern town of Baalbek, on the border with
Syria, capturing five Hezbollah guerrillas and killing at least 10, said Israel's army chief, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz.

Witnesses said Israeli forces partially destroyed the Dar al-Hikma hospital in Baalbek, where chief Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Rahal said fierce fighting raged for more than one hour.

Israel has not yet released the identity of those captured. When asked by The Associated Press whether any were "big fish," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: "They are tasty fishes."

A Hezbollah official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements to the media, said that Israeli troops captured "four or five" people, but not at the hospital.

He denied they were Hezbollah fighters, saying one was a 60-year-old grocery store owner and two relatives who work in construction.

The hospital, which residents said is financed by an Iranian charity that is close to Hezbollah, was empty of patients at the time of the raid, the guerrilla group said.

Olmert said that, although the scene of the fighting is called a hospital, "there are no patients there and there is no hospital, this is a base of the Hezbollah in disguise."

Hezbollah fought the commandos with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, while Israeli jets fired missiles at the surrounding guerrilla force, Rahal said.

One of a series of air raids struck the village of Al Jamaliyeh near the hospital. A missile hit the house of the village's mayor, Hussein Jamaleddin, instantly killing his son, brother, and five other relatives.

"Where is the press? Where is the media to see this massacre? Count our dead. Count our body parts," Jamaleddin told The Associated Press on the telephone, minutes after the missile strike.

A family of seven — a mother, father and their five children — were killed in another air raid on an area near Al Jamaliyeh, witnesses said. A van driver was killed when another missile struck nearby.

Fighting ended at about 4 a.m., residents said.

Hezbollah guerrillas hit back, firing at least 160 rockets at towns across northern Israel, wounding at least 17 people and killing a 52-year-old Boston-born Israeli at the entrance to his home in Kibbutz Sa'ar , Israeli police said.

An Associated Press reporter standing on a hilltop overlooking the Lebanese border town of Kfar Kila, within 2 kilometers from Israel, saw dozens of outgoing rockets fly overhead and across the Israeli border. Israeli artillery was returning fire, with a shell falling about every two minutes.

Israel medics said one of the rockets hit near the town of Beit Shean, about 42 miles inside Israel, the deepest rocket strike into Israel so far. Witnesses reported that a Hezbollah rocket hit the
West Bank for the first time, striking between the villages of Fakua and Jalboun, near Beit Shean.

Israeli jets fired at least one missile at a Lebanese army base in the village of Sarba, in the Iqlim al Tuffah province, a highland region where Hezbollah is believed to have offices and bases. One soldier was killed, bringing to 26 the number of Lebanese soldiers killed since the start of the Israeli offensive against Lebanon on July 12, when Hezbollah guerrillas seized two soldiers and killed three.

The Lebanese military has largely stayed out of the three-week-old conflict, though has said it will fight if Israel launches a wide-scale invasion, and Israeli warplanes have repeatedly attacked soldiers. It was not clear what prompted the airstrike on the army base.

In an incident denied by the Israeli military, Hezbollah said in a statement that it had attacked an Israeli army armored unit that crossed into Lebanon on Wednesday morning, destroying two tanks and killing or wounding their crews.

Israel wants to push Hezbollah away from the border, so Israeli patrols and civilians there are not in danger of attack. The army hopes to drive Hezbollah far enough north so that most of the guerrillas' rockets cannot reach the Jewish state.

Israeli officials have said their soldiers were to go as far as the Litani, about 18 miles from the border, and hold the ground until an international peacekeeping force comes ashore.

In Geneva, the U.N.'s World Food Program said Israel had agreed to permit two oil tankers to sail into Lebanon to ease a growing fuel crisis in the country.

At least 540 Lebanese have been killed, including 468 civilians and 26 Lebanese soldiers and at least 46 Hezbollah guerrillas. The health minister says the toll could be as high as 750, including those still buried in rubble or missing. Fifty-five Israelis have died — 36 soldiers and 19 civilians killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks.

The
United Nations warned that the longer a spill of 110,000 barrels of oil is not cleaned up from Lebanon's coast, the more severe the environmental impact will be. The oil spilled two weeks ago after Israeli warplanes hit a coastal power plant.

daily666
08-02-2006, 09:48 AM
http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/1.5/ceiling/logo_cnn.gif

Hezbollah launches rocket onslaught on Israel


JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A Hezbollah rocket on Wednesday struck farther south than ever before, Israeli police said, part of a barrage of at least 110 rockets aimed across northern Israel that killed one Israeli and injured 15 others.

The rocket landed in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank between Faqua and Jelaboun, police said.

The number of rockets launched Wednesday from southern Lebanon is much higher than the daily average fired at the Jewish state since fighting began three weeks ago, police said.

But Arabic-language media, including Hezbollah's Al Manar TV, report that 200 to 300 rockets have landed inside Israel.

Hezbollah has peppered northern Israel with more than 1,000 rockets since the two sides began trading attacks last month.

One Katyusha rocket killed an Israeli at a kibbutz north of Nahariya, Israeli officials said.

Police said 15 people were injured, but none seriously.

Twenty-nine rockets hit inside the northern Israeli towns of Nahariya, Safed, Tiberias, Kiryat Shmona, Carmiel, Maalot as well as in upper Galilee, including some that struck homes.

Air raid sirens could be heard in Afula, Beit Shean and Nazareth. The Israeli navy also sounded sirens in the harbor at Haifa, Israel's third-largest city.

The rocket onslaught came as Israel Defense Forces stepped up its offensive against Hezbollah, raiding an eastern Lebanese hospital in Baalbeck overnight that the IDF said was a base for militant fighters.

Israeli forces killed 10 militants and captured five others in the assault on the Baalbeck facility, according Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, the Israeli army's chief of staff. No Israeli forces were injured in the raid, he said.

Lebanese security forces said 16 people died and 13 were wounded in the attack.

Hezbollah fighters were using the hospital and surrounding area as a logistical base, housing many leaders, Halutz said.

Israeli forces seized intelligence information in the hospital, Halutz said. The IDF also reportedly destroyed a large supply of missiles.

"There are no patients there; there is no hospital," Israeli Prime Minister Olmert Ehud Olmert said. "This is the basis of Hezbollah in disguise. It's named a hospital precisely to mislead you and others that will consider it a place no army will intervene with."

Israeli jets also pounded a Lebanese army position west of Sidon and south of Beirut, killing one soldier and injuring several others, according to the Lebanese army. (Watch Lebanese racing to get out of range -- 1:51)

The Israeli military said an estimated 25,000 soldiers are operating in nine southern Lebanese villages near the Syrian border as part of its campaign to disarm Hezbollah.

As of Wednesday, 570 Lebanese civilians and soldiers have died and 2,131 have been wounded in the Israel's bombardment of Lebanon, Lebanese security forces.

Israel has reported 55 deaths -- including 19 civilians -- and 580 injuries during the conflict, according to the IDF.

Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said Tuesday that the military campaign has wiped out 300 of the estimated 2,000 Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.

"Hezbollah has taken a serious beating, and that is why the pressure of a ground offensive will produce the expected results," Ramon told Israeli Channel 10.

Arabic-language networks reported that Hezbollah denied Ramon's assertions.

Israeli attacks on the Lebanese infrastructure have caused $2 billion worth of damage, said a spokesman for the Lebanese Ministry of Transportation and Public Works.

However, the figure does not include financial losses in tourism and damage to buildings.
Northernmost drive

The Israeli operation in Baalbeck represented the Jewish state's northernmost drive into Lebanon. The push into Baalbeck, some 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of the Israeli border in the Bekaa Valley, comes a day after the Israeli Security Cabinet approved an expansion of the Lebanon campaign. (Watch as Israel presses north -- 3:06)

Israeli troops hit the ground about 6 miles (10 kilometers) north of Baalbeck late Tuesday as fighter jets and helicopters flew support missions in the sky near the eastern Lebanese town, Lebanese security sources said.

The Lebanese army also reported heavy helicopter traffic east and west of the town.

Israeli soldiers also engaged in heavy fighting Tuesday with Hezbollah fighters inside southern Lebanon.

Olmert said Tuesday that conditions are not yet right for a cease-fire because the military campaign is successfully disarming Hezbollah.

"Every single additional day is a day which erodes the strength of this cruel enemy," Olmert told graduates from the National Security College near Tel Aviv.

"Every additional day is a day when the Israeli military ... reduces their firing power and their future ability to hit at us."

In its quest to create a security buffer to protect northern Israel from rockets, the Israeli military said it wanted to push Hezbollah fighters back to the Litani River, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the Israeli border.

Ramon said Israeli military forces have said they need at least another month "to accomplish their goals."

Israel began its operations after Hezbollah militants crossed into northern Israel and captured two soldiers on July 12.

CNN's Anthony Mills and Paula *******s contributed to this report.

Irish
08-02-2006, 10:07 AM
http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,30000-syrian_020806,00.html

Snoshi
08-02-2006, 10:15 AM
Jazeera correspondent : Israeli troops controlled the village Alaouidh are stationed on the road to Al-Kafr

wubanga101
08-02-2006, 10:26 AM
Lebanese report: Hezbollah planted disabled children in basement to dieBy Israel Insider staff and partners August 1, 2006 A French language Lebanese publication, citing an unnamed source in Hezbollah, has claimed that the organization placed a rocket launcher on the roof of the notorious building in Qana to provoke an Israeli attack and brought invalid children inside to serve as victims and blacken Israel's name.

The Lebanese magazine LIBANOSCOPIE (http://www.libanoscopie.com/fulldoc.asp?doccode=994&cat=2), associated with Christian elements which support the anti-Syrian movement called the "March 14 Forces," report that Hizbullah masterminded a plan that would result in the killing of innocents in Qana, in an attempt to foil Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's "Seven Points Plan" calling for deployment of the Lebanese army in southern Lebanon and the disarming of Hizbullah. The magazine reported:
http://web.israelinsider.com/Static/Images/transparent.gif
http://web.israelinsider.com/Static/Images/transparent.gif
Meanwhile, the Lebanese Red Cross reported on Monday that only 28 bodies, 19 of them children, were removed from the rubble. The count is half that of the 50-60 bodies still being reported by news agencies, quoting Lebanese security officials.

http://web.israelinsider.com/Static/Images/transparent.gifhttp://web.israelinsider.com/Static/Images/transparent.gif"We have it from a credible source that Hezbollah, alarmed by Siniora's plan, has concocted an incident that would help thwart the negotiations.... Hezbollah gunmen placed a rocket launcher on the roof in Qana and brought disabled children inside, in a bid to provoke a response by the Israeli Air Force. In this way, they were planning to take advantage of the death of innocents and curtail the diplomatic initiative," the site stated.

The site's editors claimed that Hezbollah staged the event because of Qana's symbolic significance: "They used Qana because the village had already turned into a symbol for massacring innocent civilians, and so they set up 'Qana 2'." The incident has indeed been dubbed "The second Qana massacre" by the Arab media.

The scenario described, which has yet to be confirmed by a named source, would explain the fact that the victims were not residents of the building and also the disproportionate number of small children and the lack of adult males among them.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Red Cross reported on Monday that only 28 bodies, 19 of them children, were removed from the rubble. The count is half that of the 50-60 bodies still being reported by news agencies, quoting Lebanese security officials.

Israel Insider was among the first publications to draw attention to mounting evidence of a "Hezbollywood" production (http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Diplomacy/8997.htm) in which the terror group used children as sacrificial lambs to blacken Israel's image and turn world opinion against the Jewish State.


F***ING COWARDS!!!

~WU~

Clarsachier
08-02-2006, 10:38 AM
Why Do They Hate Us? Listen to Qana (Again)

Birth Pangs or Death Throes?

By JONATHAN COOK

Counterpunch

July 31, 2006

The crowds in Beirut last year demanding a Cedar Revolution, "the first shoots of democracy" supposedly planted by the United States, are a distant memory. Yesterday we saw in their place the fury of Lebanon directed against the capital's United Nations building -- an early "birth pang" in Condoleeza Rice's new Middle East.

If Israel wanted to widen its war, it could not have chosen a better way to achieve it than by sending its war planes back to the mixed Muslim and Christian village of Qana in south Lebanon to massacre civilians there, as if marking a morbid anniversary. A decade ago, Israeli shelling on the village killed more than 100 Lebanese civilians sheltering in a local UN post.

To the Lebanese, and most in the Arab world, the United Nations now symbolises everything that is corrupt about the international community and its "conscience". The world body, it has become clearer by the day, is a mere plaything of the United States and, by default, of Israel too. It is nothing more than a talking shop, one so enfeebled that it lacks the moral backbone even to denouce unequivocally the murder of four of its unarmed observers by the Israeli army last week. How can Lebanon expect protection for its civilians from an international body as emasculated as this?

The rage we saw directed against the United Nations building in Beirut, as if we needed reminding, will be converted in time into more violence against the West, to more 9/11s and to more London and Madrid bombings. Will these attacks wake up the slumbering Western publics to stop their leaders engineering a global war, or will more of us simply be persuaded that the Arab world is fundamentally irrational and savage?

Why do they hate us? Qana provides the answers but it appears few in the West are really listening.

All morning when Arab channels were showing the crushed building in Qana, and the Red Crescent workers extracting from under it more than 60 bodies, mostly children, embalmed in blood and dust, Israel was showing family movies on its main television networks.

Foreign channels were hardly better. It is in the first responses of the Western broadcasters -- before they have had time to hone and polish their scripts and cover all the bases -- that their partisan agenda is at its most transparent. So all morning their attention was directed less at the new Qana massacre than at the destruction of the UN building in Beirut, as though it was our last rampart against the rampaging hordes of Islam. In this framing of the world, our provocative acts appear so much less significant than the mystifying response, the Other's delusional anger.

Noticeably, our news anchors were careful to avoid referring to the massacre of Lebanese children at Qana as "an escalation" by Israel. That word, intoned so solemnly when eight Israeli railway workers were killed by a Hizbullah rocket in Haifa a fortnight ago, was not uttered on this occasion. According to our media, when we suffer, it is an escalation demanding retaliation; when they suffer, maybe it is time to begin talks about talks about a ceasefire.

BBC World's presenter in Beirut, Lyse Doucet, personifies this moral blindness. She chided Lebanese speaker after speaker for the crowds attacking the UN building. "Why are they doing this when the UN is trying to broker a ceasefire?" she demanded in bafflement of each. The headlines at 11am GMT even began with her quoting an expression of regret she had extracted from a Hizbullah MP for the attack on the Beirut building, as though amid all that morning's carnage the destruction of UN property was the real issue.

This presumably is what our media mean when they talk about "balance".

Jim Muir, the BBC's fine reporter in Tyre, observed in the same broadcast that it was non-combatants who were paying the price in this war, and that the majority of the dead on both sides were civilian. Where did he get that idea? In Israel, the great majority of dead are soldiers, but you would hardly know it listening to our media. In the same spirit, Jonathan Charles in Haifa observed that it had been "a difficult day" for both countries, adding -- in case we could not fathom what he meant -- that Israel had faced a hard day on the diplomatic front. What lengths our broadcasters must go to to remain even-handed when we massacre innocence.

Israel, as usual, can be relied on to defend the indefensible. A government spokeswoman told the BBC in another easy-ride interview that the army would never target an area if it knew Lebanese civilians were there. Then she performed a somersault of logic several times by arguing in her country's defence that the army knows Hizbullah hides behind civilians. If she is right, then even as the pilot fired on the Hizbullah fighters he assumed were inside the building he knew civilians would pay the price too. But, of course, Hizbullah fighters were not in the building.

This endless sophistry is designed to lull us into acquiescence. Only vigilance keeps us asking the right questions. How, for example, after its reconnaissance planes and spy drones have been hovering over south Lebanon for the best part of three weeks, was Israel not aware that hundreds of civilians were still in Qana? But no one raised that question.

Cut through the apology, both from Israel and our media, and the aerial strike on Qana looks, at the very best interpretation, recklessly ambivalent about the likely civilian death toll. A cynic might go further. Was the attack meant as a warning to other civilians still in south Lebanon to get out -- and fast? After its clear failure to win a conventional war, does the Israeli army want a freer hand to begin the job of incinerating Hizbullah, using its cluster and incendiary bombs, the Middle East's napalm? Was the answer to be found in the statement of Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, yesterday that, generously, he was giving civilians 24 hours safe passage to get out of the south.



Or was the massacre crafted as punishment for Qana's villagers, for those living among Hizbullah, for those who are related to Hizbullah, for those who believe that Hizbullah is their best hope of preventing another Israeli occupation? Did Israel's Justice Minister Haim Ramon not make precisely this point last week when he announced in a cabinet meeting: "Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hizbollah."?



Moshe Marzouk, a former senior Israeli army officer who has turned his hand to being a "counter-terrorism expert" in one of the country's leading academic institutions, told the American Jewish weekly The Forward that one of Israel's goal in this war is to teach Lebanon's Shiite community that it will pay a tremendous price for Hizbullah's actions. Maybe Qana was part of the price he was talking about.



Israel offers a second excuse for the massacre: it says it dropped leaflets on Qana warning civilians to leave the area. Again, our cynic could point out that those leaflets were dropped 10 days ago, as they were across most of south Lebanon. Qana had no reason to expect worse than anywhere else -- and possibly it expected better, assuming that Israel would not dare to stage a war crime here for a second time after it troops massacred more than 100 civilians in 1996.



Our cynic could also note that Israel has bombed the escape roads from the south and is shooting at anything that moves on what is left of them. And he could point out that many of Qana's families have no cars to leave in, that they can find no petrol to fill the cars that remain after Israel bombed all the petrol stations, and that in any case they have nowhere else to go.



Though these things are all true, they distract us from the real issue: that Israel has no right to empty south Lebanon of its population, to make a million people homeless, just because its leaflets say they must leave. Jim Muir let us and himself down when he observed that south Lebanon is "not an area which can become depopulated overnight". No it isn't, but the deeper question is why should it be depopulated? At what point did the international broadcasters fall unnoticed behind an agenda that demands south Lebanon be ethnically cleansed to satisfy Israel?



Our media are oblivious to the double standards. Did Hizbullah's leader Hassan Nasrallah not publicly warn that he would attack Haifa days before he did so, if Israel continued its aggression and refused to negotiate over a prisoner swap? Were Israelis not warned to leave too? And would we allow Hizbulllah to use that as a justification for its rocket fire on Israel?



On Friday Hizbullah fired its first khaibar missile, packed with 100kg of explosives, close by Nazareth -- we could feel the earth tremble from the impact. The Shiite militia waited more than two weeks before launching a warhead of that size, after it made repeated threats to do so if Israel continued its onslaught. Who will point out that had Hizbullah wanted to, if Israel's destruction was the real aim, it could have fired those khaibar rockets from day one?



And on Saturday Nasrallah promised to strike "beyond Haifa" with even more lethal rockets if Israel refused to countenance a ceasefire. Who on the BBC, or CNN or any of our other channels will quote that warning as justification if Hizbullah extends its fire to Hadera, Netanya or Tel Aviv in the coming days?



This is not a war of two narratives, nor even of two worldviews. It is a war in which we, the West, speak for both sides. Where we define the meaning of suffering and death, and of victory and peace. Where our humanity alone counts because we feel only our own pain as the birth pangs take hold.



Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the author of the forthcoming "Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State" published by Pluto Press, and available in the United States from the University of Michigan Press. His website is www.jkcook.net



Top of Page

Jonathan Cook News Archive, last updated on Tuesday, 01 August 2006

akd
08-02-2006, 12:04 PM
IDF: We'll control security zone by Thursday

Some 200 soldiers of elite units raid Baalbek area Tuesday night. Senior officer says in press briefing that 15 similar operations have been carried out inside Lebanon so far. Hospital raided by forces serves as Hizbullah's 'outpatient clinic,' place for meeting with members of Iranian Revolutionary Guards
Avi Cohen

In a press briefing Wednesday, a senior officer at the General Staff spoke about the operation (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285005,00.html) in which 200 soldiers of elite units raided the Baalbek area in Lebanon (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3284170,00.html) . Ten terrorists were killed in the operation around the hospital in Baalbek, all of them armed and wearing bullet-proof vests.

The officer was asked whether the operation at the hospital was aimed at locating intelligence information on the kidnapped soldiers, who may have been treated there before being moved elsewhere, but he refused to answer the question.

According to the officer, the Israel (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3284752,00.html) Defense Forces has so far carried out 15 similar operations, also 120-130 kilometers (74.5-80.7 miles) away from the border. Referring to the continuation of the war, he said that "the operational goal will be reached tomorrow morning – an operational control of the traditional security zone in the central region."


Israel at war - full coverage (http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-4289,00.html)The officer said the operation in Baalbek was planned last week to meet two objectives:


1. To deal a blow to the Dar el-Hikma hospital, which was used to cover up Hizbullah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards activities.

2. The second aim was in the Sheikh Habib neighborhood where weapons were seized and five Hizbullah terrorists were nabbed from a building situated about five kilometers from the hospital.

The hospital served as an outpatient clinic for Hizbullah (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3284023,00.html) .

"The minute the soldiers arrived they came under fire. There were very few people. Soldiers found disks, computers and encountered armed men. A number of cars arrived at the scene but the forces neutralized them," the officer said.

Multi-operational value

A search of the building led soldiers to weapons.


"The operations have a multi-operational value. They give us a good intelligence picture. Tonight five Hizbullah members whose ages range from 20 to 54 were kidnapped and their names are known to us," the officer said.

The officer added that the operation was not carried out to nab specific Hizbullah members.

The officer said other secret operations are taking place in Lebanon but refused to give details. He said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are smuggling weapons to Hizbullah and in some cases they operate some of these weapons on behalf of the Shiite group.

The officer said despite a decrease in attempts to smuggle arms from Syria to Hizbullah, activities along the Syrian-Lebanese border are being monitored closely.

www.ynetnews.com (http://www.ynetnews.com)

NimDod
08-02-2006, 12:33 PM
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1DCBA43C-C892-4F02-8964-83BDA9081FC8.htm


Israeli 'hackers' target Hezbollah TV

A series of pictures and statements, apparently from Israeli-backed hackers, have appeared on Lebanon's Hezbollah-run television station, some showing pictures of corpses and others labelling the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, as a liar.


One of the images shown on al-Manar television portrayed the body of a fighter lying face-down, wearing khaki trousers with a text in Arabic beneath: "This is the photograph of a body of a member of Hezbollah's special forces."

"Nasrallah lies: it is not us that is hiding our losses," continued the text, which appeared during the evening news and stayed on screen for several minutes.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/rdonlyres/1DCBA43C-C892-4F02-8964-83BDA9081FC8/134324/35C25E385A414E93A38D2B55E74D4061.jpg
A photograph of Nasrallah himself also appeared with the legend: "member of Hezbollah: watch out."

Another photograph of corpses was framed by the words: "there are a large number of corpses like this on the ground and Nasrallah is hiding this truth."

Psychological war

Israel also recently hacked into FM radio stations and instead of normal programmes a two-minute recording was repeatedly broadcast.

"Hassan sent men to fight the Israeli army, an army of steel, without preparing them. Stop listening to patriotic hymns for a moment, reflect and bring your feet back to the ground," said the Arabic message.

Israel has reportedly used a variety of technological weapons to add a psychological dimension to its war in Lebanon.

Lebanese mobile phone users have also received text and voice messages saying the Israeli offensive was aimed against Hezbollah and not the Lebanese people.

DeltaWhisky58
08-02-2006, 12:49 PM
In pictures: Conflict enters fourth week


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957502_israeltankafp416.jpg

Israel has launched a fourth week of operations in Lebanon, using air strikes, tanks and ground attacks to try to crush Hezbollah. WARNING: Subsequent images may cause distress.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957514_griefafp416.jpg

The attacks included Israel's deepest raid yet into Lebanese territory, killing at least 10 people and seizing others it says are Hezbollah militants in the town of Baalbek.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957836_bulldozerap416.jpg

Some of those killed were carried to the local cemetery by bulldozer.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957838_childafp416.jpg

Several children were among the dead.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957768_prayer220ap.jpg

Critics of Israel's policy say support for Hezbollah is only being strengthened by the ongoing raids.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957534_prayerap416.jpg

But Israel says halting its operations would allow Hezbollah to regroup.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957734_kibbutz416afp.jpg

Despite the assault, Hezbollah has continued to fire volleys of rockets into northern Israel, killing one cyclist at a kibbutz.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957814_planeap416.jpg

Some Hezbollah rockets have started forest fires in Israel.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957796_olmertap416.jpg

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insists that there will be no imminent ceasefire.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957504_restap220.jpg

But with the human costs mounting on both sides, the pressure is growing for a formula to be found to end the violence.

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BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/5238936.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-02-2006, 12:51 PM
Safe passage for Lebanon fuel aid

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41957000/jpg/_41957470_afp_petrol203.jpg
There are long queues at many petrol stations that remain open

Israel has told the UN World Food Programme (WFP) that emergency fuel supplies will be given safe passage into Lebanon, agency officials say.

Two tankers, carrying a total of 87,000 metric tons of fuel, are to be allowed to dock in the ports of Beirut and Tripoli, according to the WFP.
The WFP says Israeli military strikes in Lebanon have closed petrol stations and affected commerce and farming.
A Lebanese official said there was no crisis, but fuel was being rationed.
Ali Berro, an adviser to Lebanon's energy minister, told the AFP news agency that he did not believe UN suggestions that the country had just two or three days of fuel supplies remaining.
Reports from functioning petrol stations in Lebanon indicate that customers are being limited to between 10 and 20 litres of fuel per visit.

Power boost

According to WFP spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume, fuel stocks across Lebanon are running dangerously low.
"Almost all the petrol stations are shut. Fuel supplies for power stations and water pumping stations are all but exhausted," she told the Associated Press news agency.
The organisation said it had used its channels of communication with the Israeli military to secure safe passage for the two tankers, which it said were chartered by the Lebanese government.
The ships are due to dock within the next 24 hours.
The petrol and diesel fuel carried by the two tankers is thought to be destined for Lebanese power stations. Some may be diverted to keep agricultural production running and ensure food can be distributed through the country.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5238622.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-02-2006, 01:27 PM
Israel hit by Hezbollah barrage

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41958000/jpg/_41958900_shock_afp_203b.jpg
Hezbollah's attacks on northern Israel came after a lull of two days

Hezbollah fighters have more than 220 rockets into Israel from Lebanon, the biggest single-day barrage since the conflict began three weeks ago.

One person was killed and dozens injured as some rockets landed up to 70km inside Israel, the deepest so far.
The upsurge came as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had destroyed Hezbollah's infrastructure.
Mr Olmert insisted there would be no ceasefire until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon.
"I said I'd be ready to enter a ceasefire when the international forces, not will be ready, but will be deployed," Mr Olmert said of the timetable for a halt to the violence.
The hail of Hezbollah rockets came after Israeli troops raided Baalbek, a Hezbollah stronghold in north-east Lebanon, seizing five people they said were Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah said they were civilians.
In southern Lebanon, clashes have been continuing between Hezbollah and Israeli troops, now said to number around 12,000.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Hezbollah's rocket force (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5187974.stm)
In pictures: Anguish grows (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/5238936.stm)

The Israeli campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.
About 750 people - mainly civilians - have been killed by Israeli action in Lebanon, according to the Lebanese health minister. This figure includes unrecovered bodies.
A total of 55 Israelis, including at least 19 civilians, are known to have been killed by Hezbollah.
In other developments:

Britain's UN ambassador says agreement on an initial Security Council resolution to end the violence is close
World Food Programme officials say Israel has assured them emergency fuel supplies will be given safe passage into Lebanon
Iran's supreme leader urges the Muslim world to stand up to Israel and the US over their role in the conflict in Lebanon'Unbroken'

One of the Hezbollah rockets landed near the town of Nahariya on the west coast, killing one person.
Another struck close to the town of Beit Shean on the edge of the West Bank, 70km from the Lebanese border, while another landed in the West Bank - the deepest hit so far.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41958000/jpg/_41958886_jammaliyeh_ap_203b.jpg
Israeli planes also struck a village near Baalbek, killing several people


The BBC's Richard Miron in the northern Israeli town of Tiberius said some residents had begun returning home, believing that the Israeli army had dealt with the rocket threat.
Hezbollah militants have claimed they used a new type of rocket for the attack - a Khaibar-1, thought by the Israelis to be a modified Iranian Fajr-5, which has a longer range than the Katyusha rockets they usually fire into Israel.
A Hezbollah spokesman, Ghalib Abu Zeinab, said in an interview with the BBC Arabic Service that the latest attacks showed that Hezbollah was unbroken.
"The rockets that have been raining down since this morning... and the firing of a missile over a distance of 70km, all this proves that the Lebanese resistance still has a high capability, including a missile capability."

Israeli Interior Minister Avi Dichter told the BBC that although Hezbollah remained active, he was confident Israel would achieve its aims in Lebanon.
"Hezbollah is still alive, but the mission of this operation is not to crack down Hezbollah totally." he said. "We're trying to minimise the number of rockets launched towards Israel, and we know that all other targets that we have put right at the beginning of this special operation are going to be fulfilled."

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5239568.stm)

Snoshi
08-02-2006, 01:30 PM
9 soldiers hurt, 1 seriously as IDF pushes deeper into south Lebanon
By Ze'ev Schiff, Amos Harel and Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Agencies

Israel Defense Forces soldiers engaged in fierce gunbattles in south Lebanon on Wednesday evening killed at least seven Hezbollah gunmen, the IDF said. One soldier was seriouly wounded in the fighting and eight other were lightly hurt.

The fighting began before dawn in Wednesday.

Most of the fighting, by Golani Brigade infantry troops, took place near the village of Mahabib, north of the Israeli community of Manara.

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Two Armored Corps soldiers were lightly hurt as the IDF made slow progress and took positions in the village of Ataybeh.

Paratroopers exchanged fire with Hezbollah guerillas in the village of Ayta a-Shab. The IDF reports killing seven Hezbollah men, and wounding 10 others. Four IDF troops were lightly hurt in the fighting at Ayta a-Shab.

Earlier Wednesday, IDF reserve troops killed four Hezbollah fighters in clashes as they advanced in southern Lebanon.

The brigade of reservists has been advancing since Wednesday morning, and has taken up positions within the local villages. As they advanced, the soldiers seized ammunition and other Hezbollah materiel.

IDF sources said several Lebanese civilians suspected of aiding Israel were executed on Wednesday by the Hezbollah near the southern Lebanese village of Bint Jbail.

The Israel Air Force dropped leaflets Wednesday morning in 10 villages in south Lebanon, up to 20km north of the border, urging residents to leave their homes immediately if they did not wish to endanger their lives.

In an attack on the Lebanese army, Israeli jets fired at least one missile on a base in the village of Sarba, in the Iqlim al Tuffah province, a highland region where Hezbollah is also believed to have offices and bases. One soldier was killed, bringing to 26 the number of Lebanese soldiers killed since July 12. It was not clear what prompted the air strike on the army base.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday that Israel's offensive in Lebanon had "entirely destroyed" the infrastructure of Hizbollah, citing the reduced number of rockets hitting Israel.

"I think Hizbollah has been disarmed by the military operation of Israel to a large degree," he said.

Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Wednesday that Israel is considering the resumption of its air strikes deep inside Lebanon, including in Beirut.

Halutz said that such a move would require approval from the government.

"We will need to evaluate the air strikes in the depth of Lebanon, especially in Beirut," he said. "I assume, the matter will come up for authorization in the next day or two."

Two IDF soldiers were wounded Wednesday when a Hezbollah rocket landed on the Lebanese side of the border.

A sixth ground forces brigade entered Lebanon early Wednesday, joining the other five operating along the border between the town of Metula and the community of Zarit.

IAF warplanes raided a Lebanon army base in the south Lebanon village of Sarba on Wednesday morning. The jets fired at least one missile on the base in a hilly region where Hezbollah is also believed to have offices and bases. Three soldiers were killed instantly, said a Lebanese official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements.

Air strikes also targeted a bridge, an overpass and a road in the northern province of Akkar, officials said.

Near the southern market town of Nabatiyeh, warplanes staged several air raids early Wednesday, Lebanese security officials said. No casualties were reported.

Three IDF soldiers killed Tuesday
Three IDF soldiers were killed in battles with Hezbollah fighters in Ayta a-Shab on Tuesday. Twenty-five soldiers were also lightly wounded.

Lieutenant Ilan Gabay, 21, from Kiryat Tivon, Staff Sergeant Yehonatan Einhorn, 22, from Moshav Gizmo, and Michael Levine, 21, from Jerusalem were named as the three soldiers killed in the battle.

IDF paratroopers have been operating in Ayta a-Shab since Monday. The IDF said Tuesday that at least 10 Hezbollah guerillas were killed in the clashes.

During the morning hours, paratroopers took positions in a number of houses and prepared to search the village. Around 11 A.M., Hezbollah men opened fire on with anti-tank weapons on two houses in which the paratroopers were situated. One soldier was killed in the first house and an officer and soldier were killed in a second house.

The other soldiers were lightly wounded by the anti-tank fire and in a series of incidents that occurred afterward.

An IDF soldier was also lightly hurt in Maroun Ras in southern Lebanon and was evacuated to hospital in Safed.

During the evening hours, five soldiers were lightly wounded by Hezbollah mortar fire on the northern border.

A total of five units - thousands of soldiers - are currently deployed in Lebanon. The forces are active from the Metula region to the area of Zarit, reaching some three to six kilometers inside Lebanese territory. As yet, no reserve soldiers have entered Lebanon, although their deployment is being considered.

The object of the operations was to complete the destruction of Hezbollah border strongpoints by Thursday. The IDF troops are also seeking Hezbollah weaponry dumps.

Soldiers will also move into villages used as Hezbollah bases, in operations similar to the one last week in Bint Jbail.

On Tuesday morning, troops took over a Hezbollah command center in the town of Taibeh and were operating in the area of the villages of al-Adaisa and Rab a-Talatin, west of Metula. The IDF said that a large number of Katyushas have been fired from these villages in the past few weeks. Near Taibeh, troops were operating not far from the Litani River.

Hezbollah said on its Al-Manar television station Tuesday that its fighters continued to "confront" IDF ground troops in Kfar Kila, Adaisse, and Taibeh, near the Christian town of Marjayoun. The guerrilla group released a statement saying four of its fighters died in the battles.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that Israel is "winning the battle" in its 21-day offensive against Hezbollah guerillas in southern Lebanon.

The prime minister said, however, that the diplomatic process to create conditions for a cease-fire was underway.

Five IDF soldiers hurt by mortar attack on northern border
Hezbollah gunners fired five rockets and a number of mortar shells at the western Galilee between Rosh Hanikra and Ma'alot on Tuesday.

Five Israel Defense Forces soldiers, including reservists, were lightly to moderately wounded in a mortar attack on the border Tuesday evening. Other mortar shells landed in open areas and did not cause damage or casualties.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Tuesday advised Israelis not to travel to the north, despite the relative lull in rocket attacks over the past 24 hours, saying Israel is experiencing a false calm.

"The other side also knows that the sands of time are running out for military activity in Lebanon, and it's possible that it will use the ammunition it has left in order to hit the Israeli home front," he said.

"We have already paid a heavy price in blood and I don't want more people to be hurt."

The Israel Defense Forces has destroyed an estimated two-thirds of Hezbollah's long-range missile capabilities, a senior government official said Monday.

The Iranian-supplied Zelzal-2 missiles have a range of 200 km (125 miles) and are believed to be capable of carrying biological or chemical warheads.

"We know how many of them we destroyed and we know how many they shot," the official said.

"But one-third [left undestroyed] is a lot. That can cause a lot of damage if they are launched," the official added.

The official said that according to estimates, Hezbollah retains 9,000-10,000 122-mm diameter Katyusha rockets and hundreds of rocket launchers.

Most of the rockets launched at northern Israel in recent weeks were Katyushas.

Hezbollah still has the ability to launch 302-mm diameter rockets like those which landed in Afula, and which can reach even further into Israel.

Since Israel Air Force planes bombed the launch site used to fire rockets at Afula, no rockets of the larger type have been launched.

Still, Hezbollah retains rockets and launchers of a similar type, and the groups which fire them retains fighting capability. These rockets, which Hezbollah calls "Khaiber 1" have a range of 90-115 km.

Government sources say Hezbollah still has half of its original inventory of 220-km rockets. Still, they believe Syria to be actively supplying the group.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745277.html

Snoshi
08-02-2006, 01:46 PM
IDF staff gave some info on the special op in Baalbek. I translated it from Russian.

Operation was executed by SF of AF and SF of army. Colonel Nizan Alon who was responsible for the operation said that troops shortly after they landed advanced towards the hospital that was used by Hizbullah as a HQ. Four guards were eliminated. Inside the hospital soldiers found ammo and weapons and computers and documents. IDF presented a video of that.

While the troops were inside the hospital Hizbullah tried to surround it but the reinforcements were destroyed from the ground and from the air.

Troops also spotted a house that acted as a storage for ammo and weapons, they called for an airstrike and the building was destroyed.

Hizbullah failed to make a strong resistance to the soldiers that left the battle area with help of choppers. At least 10 terrorists were killed. IDF sustained no casualties.

IDF thought that some of the leaders of Hizbullah would be there, but the info was false.

http://newsru.co.il/mideast/02aug2006/balbek.html

BPEL
08-02-2006, 05:15 PM
516 Reported Killed in Lebanon, Israel

Sunday July 30, 2006 4:01 AM


By The Associated Press

At least 516 people have been reported killed in Lebanon and Israel since fighting broke out July 12 between Israeli forces and Hezbollah guerrillas.

IN LEBANON:

At least 458 have been killed - including 403 civilians confirmed dead by the Health Ministry, 20 Lebanese soldiers and at least 35 Hezbollah guerrillas. The health minister says 58 others are known to be buried under the rubble of buildings and 150 more are missing and believed dead.

Among the civilian deaths are 8 Canadians, 2 Kuwaiti nationals, 1 Iraqi, 1 Sri Lankan, 1 Jordanian.

Among the latest deaths:

- A woman and her five children in a strike on their house outside Nabatiyeh.

- A man in another house damaged in the same strike.

- Six bodies pulled out of a house hit by a strike the day before in Ain Arab.

IN ISRAEL:

Fifty-two Israelis have been killed, including 33 members of the military and 19 civilians, according to authorities. More than 55 soldiers have been wounded, and more than 335 civilians, according to rescue officials.

OTHERS:

- Four U.N. military observers killed when Israeli bomb hit their post.

- A Nigerian civilian employee working with U.N. observers and his wife, also Nigerian, killed in border fighting.

Jaguar
08-02-2006, 05:38 PM
U.S. envoy: Israeli statement ‘outrageous’

JAT Daily Briefing

Claims that Israel has a green light to fight in Lebanon until it ousts Hezbollah are “outrageous,” a top aide to President Bush said.
In interviews over the weekend with Malaysian media, Karen Hughes, Bush’s envoy for public diplomacy in the Middle East, rejected Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon’s claim of U.S. authorization to wipe out Hezbollah.

“That is an outrageous statement,” Hughes said.

“It is false, and my understanding is the government of Israel has disavowed it.”

She compared Ramon to Hezbollah ministers in the Lebanese government who launched the initial July 12 attack on Israel “without the permission of the government of Lebanon.”

Beaufort
08-02-2006, 06:36 PM
IDF carving out south Lebanon buffer zone to extend 6-8 kilometers north of borderhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

By Ze'ev Schiff (contact@haaretz.co.il), Amos Harel (contact@haaretz.co.il) and Aluf Benn (aluf@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Agencies

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifThe Israel Defense Forces is planning a new defensive line in southern Lebanon that will be six to eight kilometers north of the Israeli border.

The area that the IDF has brought under its control is comparable to the security zone it held until the pullout from Lebanon in May 2000.

IDF soldiers engaged in fierce gunbattles in south Lebanon on Wednesday evening, and killed at least seven Hezbollah gunmen, the IDF said. Two soldiers were seriouly wounded in the fighting, which began before dawn Wednesday, and 12 others were lightly hurt.

Most of the fighting, conducted by Golani Brigade infantry troops, took place near the village of Mahabib, north of the Israeli community of Manara, and in the village of Ayta a-Shab.

Two Armored Corps soldiers were lightly hurt as the IDF made slow progress and took positions in the village of Ataybeh.

Paratroopers exchanged fire with Hezbollah guerillas in the village of Ayta a-Shab. The IDF reports killing seven Hezbollah men, and wounding 10 others.

Earlier Wednesday, IDF reserve troops killed four Hezbollah fighters in clashes as they advanced in southern Lebanon.

The brigade of reservists has been advancing since Wednesday morning, and has taken up positions within the local villages. As they advanced, the soldiers seized ammunition and other Hezbollah materiel.

IDF sources said several Lebanese civilians suspected of aiding Israel were executed on Wednesday by the Hezbollah near the southern Lebanese village of Bint Jbail.

The Israel Air Force dropped leaflets Wednesday morning in 10 villages in south Lebanon, up to 20km north of the border, urging residents to leave their homes immediately if they did not wish to endanger their lives.

In an attack on the Lebanese army, Israeli jets fired at least one missile on a base in the village of Sarba, in the Iqlim al Tuffah province, a highland region where Hezbollah is also believed to have offices and bases. One soldier was killed, bringing to 26 the number of Lebanese soldiers killed since July 12. It was not clear what prompted the air strike on the army base.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday that Israel's offensive in Lebanon had "entirely destroyed" the infrastructure of Hizbollah, citing the reduced number of rockets hitting Israel.

"I think Hizbollah has been disarmed by the military operation of Israel to a large degree," he said.

Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Wednesday that Israel is considering the resumption of its air strikes deep inside Lebanon, including in Beirut.

Halutz said that such a move would require approval from the government.

"We will need to evaluate the air strikes in the depth of Lebanon, especially in Beirut," he said. "I assume, the matter will come up for authorization in the next day or two."

Two IDF soldiers were wounded Wednesday when a Hezbollah rocket landed on the Lebanese side of the border.

A sixth ground forces brigade entered Lebanon early Wednesday, joining the other five operating along the border between the town of Metula and the community of Zarit.

IAF warplanes raided a Lebanon army base in the south Lebanon village of Sarba on Wednesday morning. The jets fired at least one missile on the base in a hilly region where Hezbollah is also believed to have offices and bases. Three soldiers were killed instantly, said a Lebanese official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements.

Air strikes also targeted a bridge, an overpass and a road in the northern province of Akkar, officials said.

Near the southern market town of Nabatiyeh, warplanes staged several air raids early Wednesday, Lebanese security officials said. No casualties were reported.

Three IDF soldiers killed Tuesday
Three IDF soldiers were killed in battles with Hezbollah fighters in Ayta a-Shab on Tuesday. Twenty-five soldiers were also lightly wounded.

Lieutenant Ilan Gabay, 21, from Kiryat Tivon, Staff Sergeant Yehonatan Einhorn, 22, from Moshav Gizmo, and Michael Levine, 21, from Jerusalem were named as the three soldiers killed in the battle.

IDF paratroopers have been operating in Ayta a-Shab since Monday. The IDF said Tuesday that at least 10 Hezbollah guerillas were killed in the clashes.

During the morning hours, paratroopers took positions in a number of houses and prepared to search the village. Around 11 A.M., Hezbollah men opened fire on with anti-tank weapons on two houses in which the paratroopers were situated. One soldier was killed in the first house and an officer and soldier were killed in a second house.

The other soldiers were lightly wounded by the anti-tank fire and in a series of incidents that occurred afterward.

An IDF soldier was also lightly hurt in Maroun Ras in southern Lebanon and was evacuated to hospital in Safed.

During the evening hours, five soldiers were lightly wounded by Hezbollah mortar fire on the northern border.

A total of five units - thousands of soldiers - are currently deployed in Lebanon. The forces are active from the Metula region to the area of Zarit, reaching some three to six kilometers inside Lebanese territory. As yet, no reserve soldiers have entered Lebanon, although their deployment is being considered.

The object of the operations was to complete the destruction of Hezbollah border strongpoints by Thursday. The IDF troops are also seeking Hezbollah weaponry dumps.

Soldiers will also move into villages used as Hezbollah bases, in operations similar to the one last week in Bint Jbail.

On Tuesday morning, troops took over a Hezbollah command center in the town of Taibeh and were operating in the area of the villages of al-Adaisa and Rab a-Talatin, west of Metula. The IDF said that a large number of Katyushas have been fired from these villages in the past few weeks. Near Taibeh, troops were operating not far from the Litani River.

Hezbollah said on its Al-Manar television station Tuesday that its fighters continued to "confront" IDF ground troops in Kfar Kila, Adaisse, and Taibeh, near the Christian town of Marjayoun. The guerrilla group released a statement saying four of its fighters died in the battles.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that Israel is "winning the battle (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745273.html)" in its 21-day offensive against Hezbollah guerillas in southern Lebanon.

The prime minister said, however, that the diplomatic process to create conditions for a cease-fire was underway.

Five IDF soldiers hurt by mortar attack on northern border
Hezbollah gunners fired five rockets and a number of mortar shells at the western Galilee between Rosh Hanikra and Ma'alot on Tuesday.

Five Israel Defense Forces soldiers, including reservists, were lightly to moderately wounded in a mortar attack on the border Tuesday evening. Other mortar shells landed in open areas and did not cause damage or casualties.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Tuesday advised Israelis not to travel to the north, despite the relative lull in rocket attacks over the past 24 hours, saying Israel is experiencing a false calm.

"The other side also knows that the sands of time are running out for military activity in Lebanon, and it's possible that it will use the ammunition it has left in order to hit the Israeli home front," he said.

"We have already paid a heavy price in blood and I don't want more people to be hurt."

The Israel Defense Forces has destroyed an estimated two-thirds of Hezbollah's long-range missile capabilities, a senior government official said Monday.

The Iranian-supplied Zelzal-2 missiles have a range of 200 km (125 miles) and are believed to be capable of carrying biological or chemical warheads.

"We know how many of them we destroyed and we know how many they shot," the official said.

"But one-third [left undestroyed] is a lot. That can cause a lot of damage if they are launched," the official added.

The official said that according to estimates, Hezbollah retains 9,000-10,000 122-mm diameter Katyusha rockets and hundreds of rocket launchers.

Most of the rockets launched at northern Israel in recent weeks were Katyushas.

Hezbollah still has the ability to launch 302-mm diameter rockets like those which landed in Afula, and which can reach even further into Israel.

Since Israel Air Force planes bombed the launch site used to fire rockets at Afula, no rockets of the larger type have been launched.

Still, Hezbollah retains rockets and launchers of a similar type, and the groups which fire them retains fighting capability. These rockets, which Hezbollah calls "Khaiber 1" have a range of 90-115 km.

Government sources say Hezbollah still has half of its original inventory of 220-km rockets. Still, they believe Syria to be actively supplying the group.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745277.html

Beaufort
08-02-2006, 07:15 PM
Soldier killed, soldier severely hurt in Lebanon

Harsh battles take place all day Wednesday in southern Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab; soldier killed, seven troops injured, one sustaining serious wounds. IAF strikes 120 targets Wednesday. On Thursday, IDF set to complete its deployment of 'security zone,' 5-6 kilometers inside Lebanese territory between Metula, Rosh Hanikra
Efrat Weiss

Day 23 of war in Lebanon: Cleared for publication: An Israel Defense Forces soldier was killed Wednesday in a harsh battle in the village of Aita al-Shaab in the western region of southern Lebanon.
Another soldier was seriously injured and six troops were lightly wounded in two incidents. The rescue operation lasted for hours.
After three weeks of fighting, the Israel Defense Forces is expected to complete its deployment a "security zone", 5-6 kilometers (3.1-3.7 miles) inside the Lebanese territory. A Lebanese or multinational force is expected to later enter this zone.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285587,00.html

Beaufort
08-02-2006, 07:43 PM
Human Rights Watch puts Qana death toll at 28

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (*******) - The U.S.-based rights watchdog Human Rights Watch on Wednesday put the death toll from an Israeli air strike at the Lebanese village of Qana at 28 and 13 missing, below the official Lebanese figure of 54 dead.


The incident on July 30 was one of the deadliest strikes in the 22-day-old war between Israel and the Lebanese-based Hizbollah guerrillas and jolted international efforts to resolve the conflict.


"The initial estimate of 54 persons killed was based on a register of 63 persons who had sought shelter in the basement of the building that was struck, and rescue teams having located nine survivors," Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Wednesday.


"It now appears that at least 22 people escaped the basement, and 28 are confirmed dead, according to records from the Lebanese Red Cross and the government hospital in Tyre," Human Right Watch said in a statement. It gave the names and ages of those killed.

The other 13 people were missing and presumed by some Qana residents to be buried in the rubble.


Of the 28 dead, 16 were children, Human Rights Watch said.

The group said it based its report in part on interviews with two witnesses to the Qana attack, one who was in the building during the strike and a second person who lived in the neighborhood and assisted in the recovery.


The U.N. Security Council on Sunday unanimously adopted a statement deploring the attack and asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to report within a week "on the circumstances of this tragic incident."

Israel has called Qana a hub of Hizbollah activity, which some Lebanese sources have disputed.



Human Rights Watch said Israel had said the military targeted the house because Hizbollah fighters had fired rockets from the area. The group said its own researchers who visited Qana on July 31 did not find any destroyed military equipment in or near the home.

"Rescue workers recovered no bodies of apparent Hizbollah fighters from inside or near the building," Human Rights Watch said.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N02345278.htm

Roy Batty
08-02-2006, 07:53 PM
Tory support slipping over Mideast stance: poll

Updated Wed. Aug. 2 2006 7:00 PM ET

Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- A new poll suggests Tory support is sliding over voter concern that Canada has become too cozy with the United States on Middle East policy.

The latest results by Decima Research, released to The Canadian Press, put the Conservatives and Liberals in a virtual tie nationally.

The Tories had 32 per cent support compared with 31 per cent for the Liberals and 16 per cent for the New Democrats.

But the Liberals widened their Ontario lead to 42 per cent of voter support compared with 33 per cent for the Conservatives, and have pulled in front of the Tories in Quebec for the first time since last winter's campaign.

The two parties had been neck-neck in Ontario as recently as mid-June.

"When we look at the combination of the alignment of the government with the current U.S. administration policy on the Middle East -- and in particular with respect to the Lebanon-Israel conflict -- it's reasonable to assume it's one of the factors that's driving Conservative support down in the near term," said Decima CEO Bruce Anderson.

"They clearly are encountering some pushback from voters in Ontario and Quebec in particular."

Liberals have also taken the lead in crucial urban ridings by a margin of 35 per cent versus 29 per cent, and are increasingly preferred by women and by voters aged 25 to 34, the poll suggests.

Middle East policy and hefty new defence spending announced by the Tories in June have apparently left some Quebec voters cold, Anderson says.

The province tends to be the most pacifist in Canada. It's also where Harper has invested most of his political capital in a drive for a majority government.

Harper has been vilified by critics for his pro-Israel stance on the latest crisis in Lebanon. But Anderson notes that the Conservative slide started in June before fighting between Israel and Hezbollah began killing hundreds of civilians, many of them Lebanese children.

Anderson cautioned against reading too much into the latest telephone poll of 1,000 Canadians, taken July 27 to 31.

"I wouldn't say the Conservatives have fallen into some sort of abyss.

"We're talking about shifts that are significant in terms of whether they portend a Conservative minority or majority -- or even the outcome of an election.

"But people know the election isn't going to be held right now."

Indeed, the popularity plunge is expected to be a hot topic as the Conservative caucus gathers this week for a retreat in Cornwall, Ont.

Talk of the Conservatives engineering their own defeat for a snap election this fall has dissipated as polls continue to suggest momentum is not with the minority government.

The continuing Liberal leadership race is another factor, Anderson says.

"People are seeing evidence of a next generation of leadership hopefuls for the Liberal party. It's making it maybe a little bit easier for people to say: 'I might vote Liberal rather than Conservative in the next election.'"

The poll is considered accurate to within three percentage points plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is higher for regional breakdowns.

www.ctv.ca

Roy Batty
08-02-2006, 07:59 PM
Lebanon facing an environmental disaster
Updated Wed. Aug. 2 2006 10:04 AM ET

Associated Press

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Endangered turtles die shortly after hatching from their eggs. Fish float dead off the coast. Flaming oil sends waves of black smoke toward the city.

In this country of Mediterranean beaches and snowcapped mountains, Israeli bombing that caused an oil spill has created an environmental disaster. And cleanup cannot start until the fighting stops, the U.N. says.

World attention has focused on the hundreds of people who have died in the 3-week-old conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The environmental damage has attracted little attention but experts warn the long-term effects could be devastating.

Some 110,000 barrels of oil poured into the Mediterranean two weeks ago after Israeli warplanes hit a coastal power plant. One tank is still burning, sending thick black smoke across the country.

Compounding the problem is an Israeli naval blockade and continuing military operations that have made any cleanup impossible. And environmental officials say the longer the problem is allowed to go unchecked, the greater the lasting damage.

"The immediate impact can be severe but we have not been able to do an immediate assessment," said U.N. Environment Program executive director Achim Steiner in Geneva. "But the longer the spill is left untreated, the harder it will be to clean up."

The oil so far has slicked about one-third of Lebanon's coast, a 50-mile stretch centered on the Jiyeh plant 12 miles south of Beirut, said the country's environment minister, Yaacoub Sarraf. It has also drifted out into the Mediterranean, already hitting neighboring Syria.

Experts warn Cyprus, Turkey and even Greece could be affected.

Sarraf said Israeli planes "purposely hit the tanks which are the closest to the sea," and knocked out the berms designed to prevent any ruptured tanks from sending oil flowing into the waters.

"Chances are, our whole marine ecosystem facing the Lebanese shoreline is already dead," Sarraf said. "What is at stake today is all marine life in the eastern Mediterranean."

Israel's Environmental Affairs ministry declined comment, referring questions to the Foreign Ministry, which did not immediately return phone calls.

Lebanon, whose flag features a cedar tree and which is known by many as Green Lebanon for its forested mountains, is one of the few countries in the Arab world that pays attention to pollution. Minibuses that run on diesel have been banned, while factories are forced to abide by strict rules.

Now, large parts of the country's sandy and rocky beaches, visited in the past by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, are covered with thick black oil. Many fishermen have been forced out of business, and people are getting scared to eat fish. Baby turtles, usually born in late summer, die after they swim into the polluted water shortly after hatching from eggs.

Syria was already experiencing similar problems, said Hassan Murjan, who heads the environment department in the Syrian city of Tartous.

"The oil pollution has caused serious environmental damage because our coast is rocky and this is very dangerous for marine life," Murjan told the official news agency SANA.

The first country to rush help to Lebanon was Kuwait, which suffered a similar disaster during the 1991 Gulf War. But three truckloads of cleanup supplies the country sent in are stuck in Beirut, with crews waiting for the fighting to wane before beginning work, said the capital's mayor, Abdel Monem Ariss.

"We have no access to Lebanon territorial waters," Sarraf said. "This means that we are already 10 days delayed and in terms of oil pollution, 10 days is a century."

Three local environmental organizations demanded a cease-fire to no avail.

"Cleanup operations should start as soon as possible; otherwise, most of the damage will be irreversible," warned Wael Hmaidan, head of the assessment group on the ground. "The more time we allow the oil to settle into the sand, rocks and seabed, the harder it will be to clean it up."

Sarraf estimated it will cost $30 million to $50 million to clean up the shorelines, and possibly ten times that much for the entire effort. Optimistic assessments suggest it will take at least six months for the shore cleanup and up to 10 years for "the reestablishment of the ecosystem of the eastern Mediterranean as it was two weeks ago," he said.

In Geneva, the UNEP's Steiner said the agency has teams on standby to move to Lebanon as soon as the conditions permit.

"Oil and marine diversity do not mix well," Steiner said. "We are immediately concerned for marine life in the area."

Sarraf likened the disaster to a spill off France in 1999, when an oil tanker split in two and dumped 70,000 barrels of oil into the Atlantic. But he said this case is complicated by the burning tank and the inability of cleanup crews to begin work.

"We are facing a much more critical problem, he said. "I say imagine you having your kid sick, knowing that he is sick, and not being able to bring a physician to examine him and to know what is the disease before you start treating him. This is what we are facing."

www.ctv.ca

Ayura
08-02-2006, 10:04 PM
CNN Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSPZ_WwPa-U&search=israeli

Ayura
08-02-2006, 10:07 PM
CNN video (U.N. building destroyed)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCBBegavmjQ&search=israeli

ZARDOZ
08-02-2006, 10:12 PM
Should there be an incident, this could inflame matters greatly....

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745740.html


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasite/images/iht_daily/D020806/Aqsa.jpghttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/TalkBackToPicArt.jpg Bookmark to del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/post)http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/specials/delicious.gifdocument.write('Digg It! (http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&url='+window.location+') new');Digg It! (http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&url=http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745740.html) newhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/specials/digg.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

Last update - 00:09 03/08/2006http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifIslamic Movement: Prevent Jewish groups from visiting Temple Mount on Thursdayhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifBy Yoav Stern (stern@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondenthttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifThe Islamic Movement warned Wednesday against the possibility that Jewish groups would try to reach the Temple Mount on Thursday (The Ninth of Av) and damage the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The group's warning follows a Supreme Court decision made earlier this week, ordering police to allow whoever wants to visit the Temple Mount during regular visiting hours on the Ninth of Av.

Two MKs from the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsur (Ra'am-Ta'al) and Sheikh Abbas Zkoor (Ra'am-Ta'al) sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, requesting that the government prevent members of the Temple Mount Faithful from reaching the area outside the Al Aqsa Mosque.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifAdvertisement"Extremist Jewish groups may damage the Al Aqsa Mosque. If this were to happen, heaven forbid, it would inflame the region," the MKs wrote.

The Islamic Movement's Northern Branch also warned of what could take place Thursday in the vicinity of the Temple Mount. The head of the movement, Sheikh Raed Selah, said in a radio interview that the Supreme Court does not have the authority to rule on the matter.

According to Selah, "The Supreme Court isn't worthy of deciding on matters pertaining to the Al Aqsa Mosque, because Israel does not have sovereignty over it. Selah called on Islamic Movement supporters to reach the Al Aqsa Mosque on Thursday.

Resurrection
08-02-2006, 11:51 PM
Israeli PM wants 15,000 foreign troops to help end Lebanon conflict.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he wants some 15,000 foreign troops to be deployed in southern Lebanon to help end the fight with Hezbollah.

Mr Olmert said the conflict, which has entered its 23rd day, could be over as soon as the United Nations Security Council authorises such a force.

The Israeli leader also defended his country's bloody campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has left hundreds of civilians dead.

http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1704802.htm (full story)

DeltaWhisky58
08-03-2006, 04:32 AM
Israel resumes Beirut air strikes

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41959000/jpg/_41959802_isarel_tank_203afp.jpg
Israeli troops are fighting Hezbollah in several parts of south Lebanon

Israeli aircraft have resumed attacks on the Lebanese capital, Beirut, after a lull of several days, with early morning strikes on a Shia suburb.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops battled with Hezbollah guerrillas for control of several villages near the border.
Hezbollah launched more than 230 rockets from Lebanon on Wednesday, the biggest single-day barrage since the conflict began, Israeli officials said.
One person was killed as some rockets landed up to 70km inside Israel.
The attacks, which also injured dozens of Israelis, were the deepest into the country so far.
A Hezbollah spokesman, Ghalib Abu Zeinab, said in an interview with the BBC Arabic Service that the latest attacks showed that Hezbollah was unbroken.
"The rockets that have been raining down... and the firing of a missile over a distance of 70km, all this proves that the Lebanese resistance still has a high capability, including a missile capability," he said.

Back to Beirut

Four explosions were reported in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahieh, a Hezbollah stronghold, early on Thursday.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Hezbollah's rocket force (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5187974.stm)
In pictures: Anguish grows (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/5238936.stm)

The area had been heavily bombed earlier in the Israeli campaign.
There were also air strikes on roads in the north of Lebanon, near the border with Syria, and in the Bekaa Valley.
On Wednesday Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had destroyed Hezbollah's infrastructure.
The Israeli prime minister has insisted there would be no ceasefire until an international force was deployed in southern Lebanon.
"I said I'd be ready to enter a ceasefire when the international forces, not will be ready, but will be deployed," Mr Olmert said of the timetable for a halt to the violence.
Diplomats at the United Nations say the UK, France and the United States are close to agreeing on a UN resolution calling for an immediate end to the fighting in Lebanon.
The three countries are hoping to present the first part of a two-stage peace plan to other members of the UN Security Council on Thursday.

Heavy fighting

Wednesday's Hezbollah rockets came after Israeli troops raided Baalbek, a Hezbollah stronghold in north-east Lebanon, seizing five people they said were Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah said they were civilians.
An Israeli soldier was killed in heavy fighting with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41958000/jpg/_41958900_shock_afp_203b.jpg
Hezbollah's attacks on northern Israel came after a lull of two days

Four other Israeli soldiers were injured, when an anti-tank missile struck the house in which they were sheltering in the village of Aita al-Shaab.
One Hezbollah rocket killed a man near the Israeli town of Nahariya on the west coast, bringing the number of Israeli civilians killed since the conflict started to 19.
About three dozen more Israeli soldiers have also died.
In Lebanon, about 750 people - mainly civilians - have been killed by Israeli action, according to the Lebanese health minister. This figure includes unrecovered bodies.

Clashes have been continuing in southern Lebanon between Hezbollah and a force of Israeli troops now said to number around 12,000.
The Israeli campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.
The BBC's Richard Miron says that, before Wednesday's upsurge in Hezbollah rocket attacks, some northern Israeli residents had begun returning home, believing that the Israeli army had dealt with the threat.
Hezbollah militants have claimed they used a new type of rocket for the attack - a Khaibar-1, thought by the Israelis to be a modified Iranian Fajr-5, which has a longer range than the Katyusha rockets they usually fire into Israel. One rocket fired on Wednesday landed near Jenin in the West Bank - believed to be the furthest any of the militants' rockets had reached since the conflict began.


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5240872.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-03-2006, 04:34 AM
Islamic leaders warn on Lebanon

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41959000/jpg/_41959778_mal_iran_203ap.jpg
Two presidents and several prime ministers are attending the summit

The UN Security Council lacks the courage to condemn Israeli attacks on Lebanon, Malaysia's PM has said, as Islamic states hold crisis talks.

He and other leaders from the world's Muslim nations warned of the effects of the violence in the Middle East as they met to discuss the crisis.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is expected to call for an immediate ceasefire. The leaders are also likely to back an international force for Lebanon.
The presidents of Iran and Indonesia and the prime ministers of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Azerbaijan are among the representatives of 18 Islamic countries at the emergency one-day summit, which was called last week.

'Outrage'

"Until now, unfortunately, the international community is in paralysis," said Malaysian premier Abdullah Badawi, the current OIC chairman, in a speech opening the talks.
"The Security Council could not even muster the moral courage to condemn Israel for the attack on Qana or the killing of UN observers at Khiam," he said.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41959000/jpg/_41959780_unprotest2_203afp.jpg
Several leaders talked of popular Muslim outrage

He also urged Muslim nations to offer troops for a multinational stabilisation force for Lebanon.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said the failure to halt the violence was "adding to popular anger" and could have "incalculable consequences for long-term peace" in the Middle East.
He also called for all prisoners in the conflict - Lebanese, Palestinian and Israeli - to be returned.
The OIC's Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, said the Islamic world is "outraged" over international "double standards" on the Israeli offensive in Lebanon.
"I am afraid that the anger of the Muslim masses is being transformed into permanent hatred against the aggressors and their implicit and explicit protectors," he said. Malaysia is also seeking support for an international commission to investigate what it describes as Israeli "war crimes".

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5240844.stm)

Snoshi
08-03-2006, 04:56 AM
IDF confirms that 2 days ago 3 Iranian made C-802 missiles were launched against an IDF naval ship, but the launch was a failure.

http://newsru.co.il/mideast/03aug2006/obstr_kat.html

Snoshi
08-03-2006, 05:00 AM
Living the Zionist dream, dying in defense of Israel
By Amiram Barkat and Daphna Berman

Three soldiers with no family in Israel (termed 'lone soldier') have been killed since the fighting started in the North and two others have been wounded. Last Tuesday Staff Sergeant Yonatan Vlasyuk from the Ukraine, who served in an elite unit and lived with an adopted family in Kibbutz Lahav, was killed. A day later, Sergeant Assaf Namer of Australia, of Golani was killed, followed Tuesday by the death of an American, Staff Sergeant Michael Levin, a paratrooper. In the same incident another lone soldier in Levin's unit, Yonatan Marcus, was wounded. Another lone soldier, Ilan Grapel, of Queens, New York, was among 20 soldiers wounded Tuesday night in the battle of Taibe.

Major Avital Knacht, who deals with lone soldiers in the IDF human resources branch, said the IDF does not give out information about the number of its lone soldiers or those serving in combat units. However, she noted that the rate of volunteering for combat units among lone soldiers is higher than in the general population. Knacht said the lone soldiers "come to Israel ready to give their all, and the best way to do that is through combat duty."
Advertisement

Aharon Horwitz, a former lone soldier from Cleveland, said that as a teenager, he felt that "Israel is a Jewish state and so I thought that I also had a responsibility to serve." He said his parents were supportive, but "it was hard for my mother to be so far away and not know where I was. Some of my [lone soldier] friends had parents who were less supportive and so that was difficult." According to Horwitz, the American soldiers he came across were some of the most idealistic ones in his IDF service. "They would always volunteer for things like kitchen duty. They were very motivated because they are volunteers, which is a self-selecting group." Speaking from his bed at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, in American-accented Hebrew military slang, Grapel told Haaretz that after he decided to serve in the army during a year of study at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, he thought it should be in a combat unit. Grapel, whose father is Israeli, has a grandfather in Tel Aviv and distant relatives in Hod Hasharon; however, Ruthie, a childhood friend of his father Danny, opened her home to him and became his adopted family. When Grapel told his parents of his desire to serve in a combat unit he said his father took it naturally but his mother Irene was afraid. "But she was afraid before I joined up because I rode the buses," Grapel said.

Josh Sekenofsky, a lone soldier from England, and a roommate of Michael Levin, admitted that serving so far from family can sometimes be difficult. "It can be lonely when you are on leave and you are by yourself. But for Mikey and me, this was something we always wanted to do. We used to listen to the news outside of Israel, and it got to the point where we couldn't listen to the news anymore, that we need to do something about it."

An estimated 2,300 lone soldiers are currently serving in the IDF, most of them coming from the Former Soviet Union. But soldiers from Western countries are serving as well, including an estimated 120 who are North American-born. Some are the sons of Israelis living abroad but most have no prior connection to Israel.

Many come to Israel with the intention to settle here, but some come only to serve in the army.

"On one hand, I feel total pride, since I spent my whole life raising our kids to be Zionists," Marla Comet-Stark, who lives in Ohio and whose son is now in basic training in Givati, told Haaretz. "But, on the other hand, I feel like saying 'just kidding, I didn't really mean the whole Zionism thing - there are other ways to help Israel.'" Tziki Aud, who serves as an adopted father for many lone soldiers and is also head of the Jewish Agency's information center for new immigrants, knew Michael and his friends well. "These are people who came only out of ideology and Zionism," he said. "They had no economic interests and could have made more money if they stayed in America. Their friends went off to college, but they decided to make aliyah [emigrate to Israel] instead. Sometimes, these soldiers come without the support of their families. Their parents are in the U.S. and once they come here, their friends become their family."

Yaakov Seligman, 20, joined the army in March of this year, leaving his family and friends behind in South Florida. Raised in an observant family, he attended Jewish and Zionist schools and says he always dreamed about moving to Israel. Most of his former classmates are in the U.S., enjoying the relaxed life of an American college student. But Seligman says that he is doing something "more meaningful." His parents, he says, are "proud, but worried."
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745797.html

Snoshi
08-03-2006, 06:19 AM
Ynet:Iranian president: Israel's destruction is only solution to Mideast crisis

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that the only solution to the Middle East problem is the destruction of Israel.

"The primary medicine for the problems of the region and the world is the annihilation of the Zionist regime," Ahmadinejad said. (Dudi Cohen)

Snoshi
08-03-2006, 07:04 AM
Iranian president: Israel's destruction solution to Mideast crisis

Ahmadinejad says that while main solution for conflict in region is 'elimination of Zionist regime,' at this stage immediate ceasefire was needed to end fighting between Israel, Lebanon
Associated Press



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, state-media reported.



In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate ceasefire to end the fighting between Israel and the Iranian-back group Hizbullah.



"Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate ceasefire must be implemented," Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its Web site.



'UN lacks courage'



The UN Security Council lacks courage to condemn Israel's attacks on the Lebanese and Palestinians, the head of the world's main Islamic bloc said Thursday, adding that Muslim nations must work to prevent Israeli impunity.



"The United Nations has not been able to do much except to try organizing the distribution of humanitarian aid," Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in a speech opening an emergency summit of the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference.


PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Photo: AP)


The comments by Abdullah, the current chairman of the group, reflected growing frustration among Muslim governments after the UN on Wednesday canceled, for the second time, a meeting that could possibly have committed peacekeeping forces to Lebanon.



"No end seems to be in sight. The Security Council could not even muster the moral courage to condemn Israel " for the attack on the Lebanese village of Qana on Sunday that killed 56 people, mostly women and children, Abdullah said.



Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said Israel's three-week offensive against Hizbullah had infuriated Muslims across the world.



"We do not want a clash of civilizations but all over the Muslim world a very negative feeling is arising on the street," he told reporters at the meeting.



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran extends moral support to Hizbullah and denied accusations that Tehran financed and armed its Shiite proxy in Lebanon .



Lebanon's Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said he wanted to see a strong condemnation of Israel's actions.



"We need a strong resolution condemning Israel to support Lebanon at this critical time," he told AFP late Wednesday.



"The main request, the sole request of Lebanon, is a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire, then the withdrawal of Israeli troops to the Israeli's territory," he said.



The minister also called for "an international judiciary committee to judge Israel for its criminal actions, and the return of the Lebanese displaced to their homes, villages and towns."


At least 548 Lebanese, mostly civilians, have been killed since fighting began three weeks ago between Hizbullah guerrillas and Israel's military. In all, 56 Israelis have died.



International peacekeeping force


Israel has also launched offensives against Palestinians in the Gaza *****, where Hamas gunmen captured an Israeli soldier on June 25.


Abdullah said Malaysia, which chairs the OIC, was prepared to commit troops to any UN-led peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and Palestinian territories, and urged other Muslim nations to do the same.


Abdullah arranged a day-long summit of leaders and top officials from 17 Muslim-majority countries to discuss measures to end fighting in the Middle East.


"As leaders of the Islamic world, we have a moral and political obligation to do something," Abdullah said. "Israel cannot be allowed to continue with impunity its aggression" against the Lebanese and Palestinians.


The leaders were likely to demand an immediate, unconditional cease-fire between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite group Hizbullah, as well as a multinational force to stabilize the Israeli-Lebanon border under the United Nations, and properly coordinated humanitarian aid to Lebanon and Palestinian sites, Malaysian officials have said.


They are also likely to push for member nations to be included among a UN peacekeeping force.


"We must play a proactive role in the present conflict," Abdullah said. "Our own people are watching us, and waiting for us to make the right decisions."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285678,00.html
rofl

DeltaWhisky58
08-03-2006, 08:05 AM
Ceasefire plan 'in next few days'

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41960000/jpg/_41960182_blair_*****203.jpg
Mr Blair: Has warned of an "arc of extremism"

Tony Blair has said there will be a United Nations resolution paving the way for a ceasefire in the Lebanon "in the next few days".

The prime minister said the remaining differences to a resolution being put down were now "very slight".
But he said it was a "very critical time" in the negotiation process between the US, France, UK and Lebanon.
Mr Blair is defending his Middle East policy at his monthly news conference in Downing Street.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif It is no surprise to me there are people who profoundly disagree with the policy http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Tony Blair

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Key points: News briefing (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5242008.stm)


"The US, the UK, France and others have been working very hard to get agreement on a United Nations resolution and I am now hopeful that we will have such a resolution down very shortly and agreed within the next few days.
"The purpose of that will be to bring about an immediate ceasefire and then put in place the conditions of the international force to come in, in support of the Lebanese government, so we get the underlying issues and problems dealt with," said Mr Blair.

Rift denied

Mr Blair has come under increasing pressure over his refusal to criticise Israel's military action and back calls for an immediate ceasefire.
But he said reports of a rift between himself and foreign secretary Margaret Beckett over the issue were "just complete rubbish".
On accusations there was a mutiny in the Cabinet over his stance, Mr Blair said: "It is no surprise to me there are people who profoundly disagree with the policy."
But he said he was working on a "practical solution" to the crisis that would provide a lasting peace.
Mr Blair said that it was "vital" to have a genuine ceasefire on both sides, as well as addressing issues raised by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and Israel's requirement for security on its northern border.
Mr Blair repeatedly refused to condemn Israel's actions as disproportionate.
"The solution will not come by condemning one side simply by statements we make. It will only come with a ceasefire on both sides," he told reporters.

Downbeat assessment

Asked about a leaked memo from the UK's outgoing Baghdad ambassador, William Patey, warning civil war is more likely than democracy in Iraq, Mr Blair said Mr Patey had already made the point in broadcast interviews.
Mr Blair stressed the importance of defeating extremism in Iraq and elsewhere, adding "however tough it is, we will see it through".
In his memo, Mr Patey predicted the break-up of Iraq along ethnic lines.
He said that although "the position is not hopeless" Iraq would remain "messy and difficult" for the next five to 10 years.
Mr Patey's downbeat assessment of the country's future was contained in his final e-cable, or diplomatic telegram, from Baghdad.
The news conference comes after Mr Blair returned from a four day visit to the US.
He faced criticism from senior figures in his own party, with Ann Clwyd saying the "vast majority" of backbench Labour MPs wanted a ceasefire and former minister Joan Ruddock saying there was "despair" among MPs at his stance.

Back seat

Meanwhile, the British deputy secretary general of the United Nations, Mark Malloch Brown, has urged Mr Blair and Mr Bush to take a back seat in negotiations to resolve the crisis.
"It's not helpful for it again to appear to be the team that led on Iraq. This cannot be perceived as a US-UK deal with Israel," he told The Financial Times.
Mr Blair spent his first day back in Britain in a series of meetings with officials to discuss the crisis.
He is expected to hold more talks with foreign leaders later on Thursday. The Downing Street media conference is expected to be Mr Blair's final official engagement before he leaves for his summer break.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5241134.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-03-2006, 08:08 AM
Israeli regret over Qana bombing

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41961000/jpg/_41961470_qana*****203story.jpg
The Qana attack caused shock and outrage around the world

Israel would not have bombed a building in the Lebanese village of Qana on Sunday had it known civilians were inside, a military statement says.

Following an inquiry into the attack, the army said it believed the building housed militants, and accused Hezbollah of using civilians as human shields.
The initial death toll was put at 54, with many of the victims children.
But Human Rights Watch has revised that figure downwards, saying 28 people are known to have died and 13 are missing.
The air strike, in the early hours of Sunday on a building where civilians were sheltering, drew international condemnation and renewed calls for a ceasefire.
The Israeli army said it targeted the building with two missiles, one of which exploded, because it was believed to be a "hiding place for terrorists".
"Had the information indicated that civilians were present in the building the attack would not have been carried out," the army said in a statement following its inquiry.

Escape

Lt Gen Dan Halutz, the chief of staff, apologised for the deaths, and has ordered the military to update its intelligence regarding bombing targets in Lebanon.
But he accused Hezbollah of placing "Lebanese civilians as a defensive shield between itself and us".

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41961000/jpg/_41961334_bodies203*****.jpg
More than half of the known dead in the Qana strike were children


Meanwhile, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), citing local Red Cross and hospital records, said the 28 people confirmed to have died included 16 children.
"It now appears that at least 22 people escaped the basement," the group added in a statement.
According to its investigation, most of the victims belonged to the Shalhub and Hashim families. Thirteen people remain unaccounted for, and some Qana residents fear they are buried in the rubble, although recovery efforts have stopped, HRW says.


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5241636.stm)

Abu_Elvis
08-03-2006, 09:01 AM
Iran frees bin Laden son: newspaper Wed Aug 2, 12:56 PM ET



Iran has freed a son of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from house arrest, a German newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Die Welt said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard released Saad bin Laden on July 28 with the aim of sending him to the Syria-Lebanon border. It linked the reported move to the outbreak of war between Israel and Lebanese-based Hizbollah.

"From the Lebanese border, he has the task of building Islamist terror cells and preparing them to fight together with Hizbollah," Die Welt said, quoting intelligence information.

"Apparently Tehran is counting on recruiting Lebanese refugees in Syria for the fight against Israel, using bin Laden's help," it added in a preview of a report to appear in its Thursday edition.

Western intelligence sources have long suspected that Iran is holding a number of al Qaeda figures, possibly including Saad bin Laden and Saif al-Adel, the network's security chief.

Kamal Kharrazi, then Iran's foreign minister, said in January 2004 that Tehran had jailed about a dozen al Qaeda suspects and would put them on trial.

"Our general view is Iran certainly does have a few al Qaeda-related figures ... The general perception is Iran keeps these people as a bargaining chip," said a European counter-terrorism official when asked about the Die Welt report.

He said Shia Muslim Iran was not sympathetic to members of Sunni-dominated al Qaeda but "they protect them as long as they think they can make use of them."

Al Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri issued a video message last week in which, while not mentioning Hizbollah by name, he urged Muslims everywhere to "fight and become martyrs" in response to the conflict in Lebanon.

Israel accuses Iran of providing Hizbollah with missiles to use against civilian and military targets. Tehran, which armed and funded Hizbollah in the 1980s, insists it now provides only moral support to the group.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060802/wl_nm/iran_qaeda_germany_dc_1

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 09:17 AM
Anti-tank missiles are Hizbullah's main tactic

By ANSHEL PFEFFER (anshel@ejemm.com)



Lt. Ohad Shamir was commanding a surveillance team hiding in Maroun a-Ras. Their mission was to locate Hizbullah fighters still operating near the village after it had been captured by Golani and Paratroopers units. Shamir's men felt pretty safe - during the 10 days they spent in the village, not a shot had been fired at their building. But then an antitank missile hit the structure and Shamir was lightly wounded.

On Wednesday, he was being treated at Safed's Ziv Hospital for fragments in his back.

"They are small teams, three of four people, hiding in the undergrowth, firing out of nowhere. They're the biggest danger," he said of the Hizbullah gunmen.

The same story repeats itself time and again in the hospital wards where wounded solders are recovering and comparing experiences. No one has yet begun analyzing the causes of casualties in this war, but the indisputable fact is that the great majority of wounds and deaths were a result of antitank missiles - more than from gunfire, grenades and other explosive devices together.

The term "antitank" is misleading; the missiles were originally designed to be used against tanks, but the IDF's Merkava tanks and upgraded armored fighting vehicles are capable of withstanding most missiles in Hizbullah's ****nal. But Hizbullah isn't using them only against tanks. The range of these missiles - up to three kilometers - and the force of their explosive charges make them ideal for attacking groups of soldiers and IDF positions from afar.

Hizbullah have been preparing for this war for six years, and the two main weapons they have been stockpiling have been the Katyushas and other rockets now being fired at Israeli towns and antitank missiles. The organization has thousands of Soviet-built Sagger, Kornet and Fagot antitank missiles, the French MILAN and the US-built TOW, all supplied by Iran and Syria. These missiles are usually fired by a two- or three-man team.

Over the last two weeks, the tactic used by many of the Hizbullah teams has been to avoid close-range combat, where IDF soldiers' high level of training gives them the upper hand. Instead, the Hizbullah men have been moving to positions high above villages and continuing to fire missiles at the IDF forces. Large stores of missiles were prepared in the hills in advance, for this eventuality.

IDF officers have voiced frustration at the fact that even in areas where the IDF has been operating for more than a week, the missile threat still exists. On Monday, tanks that had been fighting for two days in the villages opposite Metulla came under missile fire when they were returning through the border fence.

Col. Ofek Buchris, a former Golani battalion commander and the officer now in charge of offensive operations on the northern front, said this week, "Hizbullah aren't as good soldiers as people have been saying, they don't have good combat skills. In shooting battles, we beat them every time. What they do have is good antitank capabilities.
"They were trained for this especially by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
For intents and purposes, Hizbullah is Iran's advance division here."
One of the first results of the IDF's experiences facing Hizbullah antitank missiles has been the quick adaptation of new training for reserve units that have just been called up. In addition to weapons and first aid refresher lessons, the men mobilized this week have all received special training on detecting and avoiding the missiles.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525793842&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Snoshi
08-03-2006, 09:43 AM
2 tank brigade soldiers killed in Lebanon



IDF’s nightmare in south Lebanon – Hizbullah’s anti-tank weapons – assault 74th Battalion: During operations in village of Rajmin 4 km into Lebanon, Merkava tank absorbs deadly strike. Two soldiers killed, two air-lifted to hospital with severe burns
Efrat Weiss



Two IDF soldiers were killed and two more were severely wounded when Hizbullah operatives fired an anti-tank missile at their Merkava tank.



The event occurred in the village of Rajmin in southwest Lebanon , about four kilometers into Lebanese territory. The wounded soldiers were from the 74th Battalion, Tank Brigade 188, which at the time of the operation was under the command of Reserves Brigade 609, which joined the fighting Wednesday.



The four casualties were occupants of a Merkava tank that was hit by an anti-tank missile during operations in the area. The two wounded troops, who suffered severe burns, were air-lifted to Rambam Hospital in Haifa and were treated in the emergency room.



Hizbullah’s anti-tank weapons are one of the most complex problems facing IDF troops in south Lebanon. In the past few years, Hizbullah has equipped itself with missile systems and other means against Israeli tanks, which are among the most advanced in the world. The terror group possesses “Fagot” and “Cornet” missiles with tandem warheads that can neutralize tank shields and destroy even the IDF’s advanced tanks.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285821,00.html

Snoshi
08-03-2006, 09:44 AM
Ynet
Five people were killed as a result of rocket barrages in the Western Galilee and Akko.


Among the five, two were killed in Akko and the remaining three were killed near Ma'a lot. (Sharon Roffe-Offir)

Jaguar
08-03-2006, 10:08 AM
Gaza crisis "as bad as Lebanon": United Nations

Posted at 4:10pm on 03 Aug 2006 - Radio New Zealand

The United Nations has called on world leaders not to forget the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying it is at least as serious as that in southern Lebanon.

More than 140 people have been killed during Israel's operations there over the past month, many of them civilians. Delivery of food and other essential items has been reduced to a trickle.

Thirty aid agencies have backed the United Nations' appeal, with one charity speaking of a sense among aid agencies that Gaza's population was being terrorised.

Care International told the BBC that Western nations had failed to put pressure on Israel to rein in its actions and that attention was being focused on Lebanon at the expense of the situation in the Gaza *****.

According to the UN, Israel fires around 150 shells into the tiny territory every day in a bid to stop Palestinian militants who fire an average of 10 rockets across the border.

Israel says it needs to target civilian areas because that is where militants base themselves but aid organisations say Gaza's population of 1.4 million is living in perpetual fear.

Regular air strikes

Several nights a week the noise of Israeli helicopters vibrates over Gaza followed by the sudden explosion of air strikes.

Israel has begun dropping leaflets and leaving telephone messages warning residents not to stay near militant homes but aid organisations say such measures leave people terrified and with nowhere safe to go.

The UN is currently sheltering 1,000 people in schools in Gaza. Many others have moved in with relations. Aid agencies are also calling on Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Some 150 trucks carrying food and essential supplies are currently crossing the border each day but according to Care International this is only just enough to stop the population from starving.

It says to keep people from being hungry and to restore food security Israel needs to increase this to 400.

Since Israel bombed the power station, homes are often without clean water or electricity. Health officials say they are worried about the possible spread of disease.

Snoshi
08-03-2006, 10:46 AM
Ynet
Thirteen Hizbullah terrorists were killed and another six were taken prisoner during IDF reserves operations in Shikhin and Rajameen, in south-west Lebanon.

IDF sources report that forces identified a number of Hizbullah warehouses containing maps and weapons of all sorts, including mortars and missiles. (Efrat Weiss)

DeltaWhisky58
08-03-2006, 12:14 PM
Hezbollah missile threat assessed

By Frank Gardner
BBC News, Jerusalem
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/999999.gif

The impact of more than 300 short-range missiles launched by Hezbollah this week has been felt well beyond the towns and olive groves of northern Israel.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41962000/jpg/_41962088_katyusha_afp_203b.jpg
Small Katyusha rockets are easy to conceal

After three weeks of an intensive Israeli air campaign in Lebanon, backed in recent days by about 10,000 Israeli troops on the ground, Hezbollah is demonstrating a remarkable resilience.
On Wednesday it sent a record number of missiles (231) into Israel, proving that despite the Israeli military's claims of success this Lebanese militia group remains a threat to northern Israel.
As long as that threat remains, Israel's military campaign in Lebanon - codenamed Miftza Shinui Kivun or Operation Change of Direction - will be perceived as a failure.

Easy operation

So how powerful is Hezbollah's ****nal of rockets and missiles and why, ask Israel's citizens, is it taking their military so long to neutralise them?

See the rockets' range (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5242566.stm#rocket)

At the start of hostilities on 12 July Hezbollah had an estimated 13,000 missiles, amassed over the six years since Israel withdrew from Lebanon after its controversial 18-year occupation there.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif Hezbollah prides itself on being a Lebanese movement, but it also has strong connections to Iran http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Hezbollah's rocket force (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5187974.stm)

The Israeli government says a large proportion of this ****nal has been destroyed but that may be wishful thinking on its part.
Most of these missiles are relatively crude Soviet-designed Katyushas with a range of 25km.
Although that restricts their target range to only the northernmost towns and villages in Israel they are having a psychological impact on Israelis since they say Hezbollah is packing them with ball bearings that can shred human tissue from some distance.
The Katyushas are easy to operate, easy to hide and easy to resupply.
Measuring less than two metres long, they can be concealed in orchards or, say the Israelis, among the civilian population in southern Lebanon.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41962000/jpg/_41962034_ship_afp_203b.jpg
Hezbollah's attack on an Israeli warship raised many questions

But their small size also means their explosive power is far smaller than that of a Scud missile or indeed of an air-to-ground missile.
An estimated 19 Israeli civilians have been killed to date while the Lebanese government says more than 900 of their citizens have been killed, many by Israeli airstrikes.
Hezbollah is also believed to have a smaller number of longer range Fajr-5 missiles with a range of up to 75km, long enough to hit the West Bank but not enough to hit Tel Aviv.
The only missile in Hezbollah's ****nal believed to be powerful enough to reach Israel's commercial capital is the Iranian-made Zelzal-2 with a range of 200km and a huge warhead of 400-600kg.
This large missile, which is about eight metres long, is effectively a strategic weapon and Israel has been at pains to destroy any suspected launch sites in Lebanon.
Some Israeli military analysts have said that if and when Hezbollah do fire such a weapon it would be a sign of desperation, a last-ditch blow against Israel before it sues for peace.

Iranian connection

Hezbollah prides itself on being a Lebanese movement, but it also has strong connections to Iran.
Instructors from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have spent long periods in Lebanon, notably in the Bekaa Valley, teaching Hezbollah cadres how to use their weaponry. Likewise, Hezbollah fighters have reportedly spent time in Iran undergoing military training.
One of the most effective weapons deployed by Hezbollah in this conflict has been the Iranian-made C-802 anti-ship missile. A variant of the Chinese Silkworm missile, one of these was successfully fired at an Israeli warship last month, killing four people onboard and severely damaging the vessel.
The Israeli military appears to have been taken by surprise by the attack and now believes that Iranian advisers from the IRGC were present at the launch of the missile.
One of Israel's major concerns, which has a bearing on the terms of any UN-brokered ceasefire agreement, is that once the fighting stops then Iran will replenish Hezbollah's ****nal of missiles via Damascus and the Syrian-Lebanese border.
So, Israel will likely insist on UN or international monitors being stationed along the 375km (233 mile) border.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41962000/gif/_41962918_leb_missile_map416_18.gif


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5242566.stm)

Argyll
08-03-2006, 12:41 PM
There's something I just don't get here, and I apologise that this isn't really news....but how do the Israeli's expect to keep out Iranian Ballistic missiles if they can't keep out Kassaams and Katyusha's?
Where are the interceptor missiles that so many here have bragged about?.....surely anything that prevents an Israeli civilians death through these rocket attacks should be used in the defence of the country?Why are they not being used?

Elemental666
08-03-2006, 12:46 PM
There's something I just don't get here, and I apologise that this isn't really news....but how do the Israeli's expect to keep out Iranian Ballistic missiles if they can't keep out Kassaams and Katyusha's?
Where are the interceptor missiles that so many here have bragged about?.....surely anything that prevents an Israeli civilians death through these rocket attacks should be used in the defence of the country?Why are they not being used?

The arrow and the patriot systems are for ballistic missiles only.Katyusha is a low flying shell that can't be intercepted by a missile.
So the dumb irony is that we can stop big and advanced missiles but can't stop WW2 weapon like a katyusha.

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 12:46 PM
There's something I just don't get here, and I apologise that this isn't really news....but how do the Israeli's expect to keep out Iranian Ballistic missiles if they can't keep out Kassaams and Katyusha's?
Where are the interceptor missiles that so many here have bragged about?.....surely anything that prevents an Israeli civilians death through these rocket attacks should be used in the defence of the country?Why are they not being used?

I'd say that there is a "bit" of a difference between IBMs and Katyusha/Kassam rockets.

Interceptor missiles such as the Arrow and the Patriot aren't designed (they were never intended) to destroy such weapons.

Israel and the U.S worked on the THEL, after the project was dropped Northrop Grumman continued where it stopped and the result is the Skyguard system that looks promising.

Rafael is also working on a similar project right now.

Argyll
08-03-2006, 12:57 PM
Fair points,which really means you don't have any defences against the said weapons,which really leaves Israel very vulnerable should Iran strike by proxy,using such low tech missiles as many are claiming they're doing right now....
So if Syria and other Arab neighbours decided to bombard Israel with several thousand of these missiles a day, she'd be pretty helpless ? considering you have to have reconnaisance assets available to locate the launchers, and it would be impossible to locate them all, because this is exactly what's happening to Israel by one small Terrorist Orginisation at present...
why are the IDF assuming that Hezbollah's stockpile is now only around 9000 left?...Do they have the actuall Inventory?.....surely it could be considerably more, or less...

Argyll
08-03-2006, 01:06 PM
Also, for the Israeli members out there in that zone stay safe.

Regards,

Argyll

Kaplanr
08-03-2006, 01:15 PM
Fair points,which really means you don't have any defences against the said weapons,which really leaves Israel very vulnerable should Iran strike by proxy,using such low tech missiles as many are claiming they're doing right now....
So if Syria and other Arab neighbours decided to bombard Israel with several thousand of these missiles a day, she'd be pretty helpless ? . . .

So that leaves open the next level of response. Does Israel do the same, but on a deliberately more destructive scale than now, or do we decide to sanitize the swath of land where they're launched from? Not just a security zone, but an expulsion of the population and scorched earth denuding of the territory so a launch team sticks out like sore thumb.

This is back to some earlier posts that the nature of conflict and war is altered.

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 01:18 PM
Fair points,which really means you don't have any defences against the said weapons,which really leaves Israel very vulnerable should Iran strike by proxy,using such low tech missiles as many are claiming they're doing right now....


This isn't something Israel hasn't preapered for.

Tens of thousands of bomb shelters are scattered across the country. The IDF even has a branch to deal with this situation ever since the Scud attacks of GW1, the Homefront Command.

The South Koreans are facing the same threat.



So if Syria and other Arab neighbours decided to bombard Israel with several thousand of these missiles a day, she'd be pretty helpless ?


I'd say Syria and the Arab neighbours would then get to see a debut of the Jericho and much more IAF power than we have seen in Lebanon.

Would be easier to target them as a pose to an organization such as Hizbollah.



considering you have to have reconnaisance assets available to locate the launchers, and it would be impossible to locate them all,

It's not so much the locating of the launchers and the rocket bunkers that's the hard part (it ain't easy though) but rather the fact that these are located in populated areas and thus the IAF has its hands tied at times.



because this is exactly what's happening to Israel by one small Terrorist Orginisation at present...


Like I mentioned above it's different fighting a standing army as a pose to an organization such as Hizbollah.

By the way... this "small" organization gets 100 million Dollars in annual funding from Iran (this without including the drug trade they conduct).

signatory
08-03-2006, 01:36 PM
Guys, plz take the discussion somewhere else. 100s of people view this thread for News only.

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 01:37 PM
(VIDEO) Ynet correspondent joins IDF soldiers in Bint Jbeil area and reports back about fighters' sense of responsibility, personal stories, and even culinary inventions on the battlefield

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285754,00.html

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 01:48 PM
IDF prepares to advance to Litani

By YAAKOV KATZ AND JPOST STAFF (editors@jpost.com)


Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the IDF on Thursday night to begin preparations for the second stage of planned operations against Hizbullah, which called for the deployment of troops up to the Litani River in an effort to take control of rocket launch sites.

Two IDF soldiers were killed on Thursday and two more were seriously wounded in clashes with Hizbullah guerrillas in the village of Rajamin in the western sector of south Lebanon on Thursday. A short time later, one of the wounded succumbed to his wounds at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, raising the number of IDF dead to three.

The soldiers belonged to an armored battalion of the 188th Armored Brigade, working in conjunction with Reserve Brigade 609, also known as the Alexandroni Brigade, one of Israel's most elite wartime units.
The tank was hit by a Hizbullah anti-tank missile. Two were ****ounced dead at scene, while the two wounded were evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

During the battle, IDF forces killed 14 Hizbullah operatives and captured five.

Army forces are operating in and around 20 villages in southern Lebanon. The goal of the operation is to push north towards the Litani River and take out all rocket launchers south of that point.
The eight brigades, comprising about 10,000 soldiers, were in the process of recreating a 6-8 kilometer security zone in the region.


Senior officers said that they believed the IDF would meet the goal it had set for itself by the end of the week: recreating the zone Israel maintained in south Lebanon from 1982 until the army withdrew in 2000.
Meanwhile, IDF reservists operating in the western sector of southern Lebanon on Thursday killed four Hizbullah operatives, destroyed two rocket launchers and an arms warehouse.


Senior officers stressed that the military did not plan to rebuild the outposts it had maintained in Lebanon until 2000, but said that troops were under orders to take up key positions from which they would could control southern Lebanon.

The next stage, the officers said, was for the IDF to sweep through the villages there to eliminate Hizbullah.

During Wednesday's clashes, an IDF soldier was killed in the town of Aita a-Sha'ab in south Lebanon, just north of the Israeli community of Shtula.
The name of the soldier who was killed was later publicized as Adi Cohen, 18, from Hadera. He will be laid to rest at the military cemetery in Hadera on Thursday at 5 p.m.
The troops were struck by an anti-tank missile that was fired by the guerrillas from a house.

Two more brigades had joined the six already operating in south Lebanon overnight Wednesday, as the army made one last push to take up key positions outside known Hizbullah strongholds.
Earlier, also in Aita a-Sha'ab, IDF paratroopers sustained casualties during clashes with Hizbullah gunmen. Three paratroopers were killed in the village on Tuesday.

More than 15 Hizbullah guerrillas were killed during clashes with IDF troops throughout Wednesday, four of them by a reserve unit operating in western Lebanon. Reservists entered Lebanon on Tuesday for the first time during the current campaign.

A high-ranking IAF officer said Wednesday that the military was considering escalating the offensive by stepping up the use of targeted killings in daily operations. "Hizbullah is like a puzzle made up of different pieces," the officer said, "and now we need to begin to knock off each and every piece."

Earlier Wednesday, an soldier from the Golani Brigade was seriously wounded in clashes with Hizbullah in the town of Mehibev. Two others soldiers were lightly wounded elsewhere in south Lebanon, the army said. The soldiers were evacuated for treatment.

The IDF continued operations deep inside Lebanon as infantry, combat engineers and armored units took up strategic positions in: Mis al-Jabal and Balida in the southeast sector; Ataybeh, al-Adisa, and Rav al-Tadis, northwest of Metulla; and Maroun a-Ras, Bint Jbail, and Aita a-Sha'ab in the southwest.

A division commander said Wednesday that the IDF had killed more than 350 Hizbullah gunmen since Operation Change of Direction began on July 12.
"We have the ability to progress according to the orders given to us by the political echelon and to escalate the offensive to any depth needed," he said.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1153292058886&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 02:35 PM
Defense Minister Amir Peretz wants to include Tyre in IDF ground operations, needs cabinet approval

By Ze'ev Schiff (contact@haaretz.co.il), Amos Harel (contact@haaretz.co.il) and Aluf Benn (aluf@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Agencieshttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

Defense Minister Amir Peretz told Israel Defense Forces officials on Thursday evening to begin preparing for the next stage of the military offensive in south Lebanon, which would extend the IDF's control to all Lebanese territory south of the Litani River.

The decision was made in the wake of Hezbollah rocket attacks that killed eight people in northern Israel earlier Thursday, officials said.

The move, which would include occupying the port city of Tyre, still requires the approval of the security cabinet, and could mean a further call-up of reservist soldiers.

(http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/)
Such an operation would extend Israel's control past the security zone it held until the withdrawal of its troops in May 2000.

The decision comes as three IDF soldiers were killed and another seriously wounded Thursday in heavy fighting with Hezbollah guerillas in south Lebanon.

The four soldiers were hit by an anti-tank missile fired by guerillas in the village of Farjin. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Earlier Thursday, IDF reserve soldiers operating in southwestern Lebanon killed four Hezbollah gunmen. They also destroyed two rocket launchers and a warehouse in which rockets were stored.

The IDF is planning a new defensive line in southern Lebanon that will be six to eight kilometers north of the Israeli border.

By 2 P.M., IDF troops had established positions overlooking 11 south Lebanese towns and villages up to six kilometers north of the Israeli border.

The area that the IDF is bringing under its control is effectively the same security zone it held until the pullout from Lebanon in May 2000.

Israel Air Force warplanes renewed strikes against Hezbollah strongholds in the battered outskirts of the Lebanese capital in the early hours of Thursday, as well as on Lebanon's northern border with Syria and in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Lebanese security officials said an IAF missile slammed into a house in the border village of Taibeh on Thursday morning, killing a family of three.

A missile crashed into the two-story house of Hani Abdo Marmar, killing him instantly along with his wife and child, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make statements to the media.

The three victims were buried under the rubble of their house, which was flattened, witnesses said.

More than an hour after the strike, the Lebanese Red Cross was unable to reach Taibeh to pull out the bodies, because of fierce fighting in the village, witnesses said.

Another house was hit in the south Lebanese village of Qleia. An Associated Press reporter saw two IAF missiles slam into the house, igniting a fire that sent a column of heavy black smoke up from the site. The frame of the house remained standing, but it was burning and gutted.

IDF artillery shells soared into nearby hills sporadically, sometimes as many as 15 a minute.

In the southern Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh, fighter jets struck an ambulance working for a local Muslim group, Lebanese security officials said. They also hit the village of Zarariyeh, about 10 kilometers away, destroying roads and some deserted houses there.

Six missiles struck roads in the southern villages of Mlita and Ein Bouswar in the Iqlim al Tuffah province, a highland apple-growing region where Hezbollah is believed to have offices and bases, security officials said. IAF warplanes returned to the province hours later for additional raids.

Witnesses said at least four missiles hit south Beirut, a Shiite Muslim sector that has been repeatedly hit by Israel since fighting began three weeks ago. Lebanese television said the attacks targeted several buildings in a Hezbollah compound in the al-Ruweis neighborhood, which had been hit several times before.

An IDF soldier was killed in fierce gunfights in south Lebanon on Wednesday night, as ground forces continued battling with Hezbollah militants near the border. Fifteen IDF soldiers were lightly wounded in battles on Thursday morning and evacuated to hospital in Israel.

Witnesses said at least four explosions reverberated through Beirut as missiles hit Dahieh, a Shiite Muslim suburb that has been repeatedly shelled by Israel since fighting began three weeks ago.

Residents heard the impact of a large explosion about every five minutes starting at 2:30 A.M., as missiles apparently targeted areas close to Hezbollah's headquarters in Dahieh, a neighborhood to the south of the capital that has been partly flattened by air strikes in previous weeks.

It was the first air raid against the Lebanese capital's suburb in almost a week.

Lebanese television said the attacks targeted several buildings in a Hezbollah compound of Dahieh's al-Ruweis neighborhood. The compound, which includes a center for religious teaching, has been attacked in earlier raids and sustained sizeable damage.

Sergeant Adi Cohen, 18, from Hadera was killed and two other soldiers were seriously wounded in the fighting Wednesday. Cohen will be buried at the military section in Hadera cemetery at 5 P.M. Thursday.

Lebanon: More than 900 dead
Israel's three-week-old offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon has killed more than 900 people and wounded 3,000, with a third of the casualties children under 12, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Thursday.

Siniora, in a video message to a summit of leaders of the Muslim world, added that a quarter of the population, or one million people, had been displaced.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746085.html

saigonsmuggler
08-03-2006, 02:36 PM
3 tank brigade soldiers killed in Lebanon

IDF’s nightmare in south Lebanon – Hizbullah’s anti-tank weapons – assault 74th Battalion: During operations in village of Rajmin 4 km into Lebanon, Merkava tank absorbs deadly strike. Two soldiers killed, two air-lifted with severe burns to hospital, where one later dies of his wounds. Thirteen Hizbullah members killed in fighting
Efrat Weiss

Three IDF soldiers were killed and another was severely wounded when Hizbullah operatives fired an anti-tank missile at their Merkava tank.

The event occurred in the village of Rajmin in southwest Lebanon , about four kilometers into Lebanese territory. The soldiers were from the 74th Battalion, Tank Brigade 188, which at the time of the operation was under the command of Reserves Brigade 609, which joined the fighting Wednesday.

The casualties were occupants of a Merkava tank that was hit by an anti-tank missile during operations in the area. Two soldiers died in the strike, while the two wounded troops, who suffered severe burns, were air-lifted to Rambam Hospital in Haifa; one of them later died of his wounds.

Thirteen Hizbullah members were killed Thursday by reserve units in the south Lebanon’s western district. IDF sources said forces discovered missiles, mortars and maps in a Hizbullah structure.

Hizbullah’s anti-tank weapons are one of the most complex problems facing IDF troops in south Lebanon. In the past few years, Hizbullah has equipped itself with missile systems and other means against Israeli tanks, which are among the most advanced in the world. The terror group possesses “Fagot” and “Cornet” missiles with tandem warheads that can neutralize tank shields and destroy even the IDF’s advanced tanks.

More troops deploy to Lebanon

Thursday more Israeli troops entered Lebanese territory, where they will operate to locate weapons and eliminate Hizbullah terror cells from southern villages. Thousands of standing army and reserves soldiers – more than six brigades – were already operating in the territory.

Forces operated in roughly twenty villages simultaneously. Numerous violent confrontations erupted between Hizbullah fighters and IDF soldiers.

In one incident reserve troops killed four terrorists, and in another soldiers destroyed two anti-tank devices.

Ahiya Raved contributed to the report

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285821,00.html

saigonsmuggler
08-03-2006, 03:30 PM
The above destroyed Merkava was either a Mk3 or Mk4 since Brigade 188 operates both versions. Unconfirmed report is that main gun ammo exploded upon impact of ATGMs. This was the cause for the severe burn wounds.

Will post more upon confirmation.

DeltaWhisky58
08-03-2006, 03:36 PM
The above destroyed Merkava was either a Mk3 or Mk4 since Brigade 188 operates both versions. Unconfirmed report is that main gun ammo exploded upon impact of ATGMs. This was the cause for the severe burn wounds.

Will post more upon confirmation.

Please only post as confirmed and linked news items. No unverified reporets please.

Roy Batty
08-03-2006, 03:42 PM
Israel said Thursday that its bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana, in which a number of civilians died, was a mistake and that its attack guidelines would be evaluated and updated as a result.

Lebanese rescue workers run to the site of Sunday's deadly bombing in Qana. On Thursday, the Israeli military's chief of staff apologized for the civilian deaths. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press) Sunday's attack would not have been carried out "had the information indicated that civilians were present," a statement from the Israeli military said.

The military said it had been following guidelines regarding attacking "suspicious structures" in Lebanese villages from which civilians have been warned to leave.

Initial reports put the death toll from the attack at 54. But Human Rights Watch has revised that figure to 28 people killed, with another 13 missing.

Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, the chief of staff of the Israeli military, apologized for the deaths.

However, he added that the attack occurred because Hezbollah uses "civilians as human shields and intentionally operates from within civilian villages and infrastructure" to launch rocket attacks on Israeli targets.

After the attack, Israel agreed to a 48-hour suspension of air strikes in southern Lebanon while it investigated the incident.

Those who died, many of them women and children, were inside a building that collapsed. Video footage showed at least 20 bodies wrapped in white sheets at the scene.

Lebanese officials said the victims had taken refuge in the basement of the building when it was struck in a pre-dawn bombing run.

Israeli officials said the neighbourhood was targeted based on intelligence that Hezbollah fighters had used it to launch rockets at northern Israel, including 40 earlier on Sunday.

They also said civilians had been warned several days earlier to leave Qana.

www.cbc.ca

Jaguar
08-03-2006, 04:12 PM
back to the news.

Tactics of insurgency

Amyas Godfrey
Thursday August 3, 2006
The Guardian


By expanding ground operations into southern Lebanon the Israeli military is taking on a challenge which has troubled armies for generations: how to successfully wage war against an insurgent enemy.
The difficulty inherent with asymmetric warfare - the military term for fighting irregular forces with conventional forces - is that your enemy is able to "move among the people like a fish in water". This description of the nature of revolutionary war by Mao Zedong in the 1920s does well to define the aim of counter-insurgency as the need to "separate the fish from the water" or the insurgent from the people. Israel is now facing this problem in southern Lebanon.

What insurgents lack in military capability they make up for in different ways. Good insurgent leaders balance their advantages against their disadvantages in what is often an unequal fight. They have three distinct advantages over the conventional military.

Firstly, they have a chameleon-like ability to shift back and forth across the divide from insurgent to civilian; recognising when it is best to fight and when to walk away, downing tools when continued resistance would result in their own futile destruction.

The insurgent's second advantage is propaganda. The media, when used skillfully by the insurgent, can have far greater effect than any amount of bullets or bombs. The current conflict in Lebanon is not militarily equal, but Hizbullah abides by no laws or treaties, nor is it burdened by accountability. Well managed, an insurgent group can portray itself as "freedom fighters". Additionally, Hizbullah can turn every dead fighter into a hero, and every civilian death into a recruiting tool. It is unlikely to run out of recruits for the foreseeable future.

The final area where any insurgent campaign is likely to have an advantage is in its knowledge and use of the ground. It is reported that Hizbullah has been preparing for this conflict for six years. It has constructed a network of tunnels, selected its ambushes, and prepared the local population.

Israel, for its part, is pursuing a conventional, straightforward approach. It can do little else. The Israeli army is a mixture of professionals, national service conscripts and reservists. The last two categories by their very nature have limited military training and are less capable of complex operations.

Once the decision had been made to destroy Hizbullah, a four-phased operation was put into action. Phase one called for widespread air strikes against Lebanese infrastructure, crippling the country and dishing out collective punishment on the people for supporting Hizbullah. It was presumably hoped that an early settlement could be achieved through pressure on Hizbullah. This did not work.

Phase two has seen more direct targeting of Hizbullah fighters and its capabilities, by disrupting communications and supplies and safe houses.

The Israeli forces are now moving into phase three: the land offensive. The aim is to "mop up" pockets of resistance and seize ground from rocket teams. It is potentially the bloodiest phase for Israel - and the one Hizbullah has been waiting for.

Phase four would be the occupation of Hizbullah's ground, southern Lebanon. However it is too early to say whether this will be done by the Israeli army or a UN force. Whichever way it ends up, this most recent conflict in the Middle East is following a now recognisable pattern: insurgent conflicts are never short, nor benign in destructive power.

· Amyas Godfrey is Associate Fellow of Royal United Services Institute

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 04:28 PM
IDF drops leaflets over Beirut warning of upcoming strikehttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif
By Haaretz Service and News Agencies
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned on Thursday that if the Israel Defense Forces attacks Beirut proper, his guerillas would launch rockets that would hit Tel Aviv.

Israel Air Force jets scattered leaflets over southern Beirut Thursday evening, warning residents of three neighborhoods to evacuate their homes.

"If you bomb our capital Beirut, we will bomb the capital of your usurping entity... We will bomb Tel Aviv," Nasrallah said.

For the first time since fighting began 22 days ago, Nasrallah also said that his group would stop firing rockets on northern Israel in return for an end to air strikes throughout Lebanon.

"Anytime you decide to stop your campaign against our cities, villages, civilians and infrastructure, we will not fire rockets on any Israeli settlement or city," he said in a taped television speech.

Hezbollah guerillas launched more than 160 rockets at northern Israel on Thursday, killing eight people and wounding 37.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Thursday told the IDF to prepare for the next stage of Israel's military offensive, which would extend the IDF's control to all Lebanese territory south of the Litani River. Three IDF soldiers were killed Thursday in ground fighting with Hezbollah guerillas in south Lebanon.

Nasrallah called the IDF commando raid on Baalbek in which five Hezbollah militants were captured and at least 10 more killed a "military failure," and said that the ground fighting between IDF troops and Hezbollah guerillas were becoming more intense and widespread.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746178.html

Beaufort
08-03-2006, 04:58 PM
An IDF soldier has been killed Thursday evening by an anti-tank missile in the Lebanese village of al-Taibej in the eastern district of southern Lebanon. The soldier has been named as Corporal Yehonatan Sharavi, 19, of Petah Tikva.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286035,00.html

signatory
08-03-2006, 07:05 PM
U.S. to Help Train, Equip Lebanon Army
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

Thursday, August 3, 2006
(08-03) 13:38 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --

The United States plans to help train and equip the Lebanese army so it can take control of all of the nation's territory when warfare between Israel and Hezbollah eases, the State Department said Thursday.

The program was approved by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take effect "once we have conditions on the ground permitting," spokesman Sean McCormack said.

McCormack provided no details on what equipment the United States might provide, the training that would be conducted, how many U.S. personnel would be involved, or possible costs.

Last week, the State Department notified Congress it wanted to add $10 million to the $1.5 million it provides annually to the Lebanese military.

Other nations will help out, too, McCormack said, as American diplomats consulted with French and other officials on a U.N. resolution for a cease-fire in Lebanon.

"We feel pretty optimistic that there's going to be something" worked out on a resolution at the end of the week or early next week, White House spokesman Tony Snow said.

Gen. John Abizaid, who heads the U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday the Lebanese armed force "needs a significant upgrade of equipment and training capability that I believe the Western nations, particularly the United States, can assist with."

Before the war, command officials visited the Lebanese armed forces for an assessment, Abizaid said, and "we saw that they needed some significant spare parts" and other help.

On prospects for ending the fighting, he said "it will never work for Lebanon if, over time, Hezbollah has a greater military capacity than the Lebanese armed forces."
Rice, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and Assistant Secretary David Welch are working with other governments, mostly by telephone, to put together a resolution "that stands up," McCormack said.

This would include disarming Hezbollah, already ordered by the Security Council in 2004, and establishing an international peacekeeping force to move into southern Lebanon.

Nations that would contribute troops are expected to meet next week at the U.N. A meeting was postponed on Monday and again on Thursday.

Rice plans to spend the weekend at President Bush's ranch in Texas and will be "working the phones from Crawford," McCormack said.

"There's still some diplomacy that needs to be done," he said,

Bush has said he does not envision having American ground troops in a peacekeeping force, but the U.S. could contribute communications, logistics and other support.

The administration is striving for a resolution that would end the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, now in its fourth week, and also establish conditions for a lasting cease-fire. Many other countries favor an immediate cease-fire.

The military training would be designed to help the Lebanese armed forces "exercise control and sovereignty over all of Lebanese territory once we have an end to the fighting in such a way that is durable," McCormack said.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/08/03/national/w111351D65.DTL

DeltaWhisky58
08-04-2006, 03:53 AM
Israel renews barrage of Beirut

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41964000/jpg/_41964344_southafp.jpg
Southern Beirut has been the focus of many Israeli attacks

Israeli jets have renewed strikes on Beirut as the army has been told to prepare for a deeper push into Lebanon.

A number of suburbs in the Hezbollah stronghold were struck, with local TV showing fires in the night sky.
The Israeli defence minister has told the army to prepare for a push to the Litani river, up to 30km (19 miles) north of the border, officials said.
The moves came as UN delegates in the US struggled to reach full agreement on the wording of a ceasefire resolution.
Israel's campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.
Lebanon says more than 900 people have died since then, most of them civilians. Israel has lost 27 civilians and 40 soldiers.

'Sign of weakness'

Israel had dropped leaflets on Thursday in the Lebanese capital saying: "After the continued launching of Hezbollah terrorist rockets... the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] intend to widen their offensive in Beirut."
Early on Friday, local media reported strikes on the Ouzai neighbourhood of southern Beirut.

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Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)


The media also said Israeli warships had shelled the suburbs of Haret Hreik and Roweiss.
The Israeli military told ******* news agency it had targeted Hezbollah offices and the home of a top Hezbollah official, along with a building operated by Palestinian group Hamas.
Israeli jets also struck three bridges north of Beirut, killing at least one person.
The attacks came as Israel's army was ordered to prepare for what could be its deepest push into Lebanon for more than 20 years.
Three Israeli soldiers have been killed in southern Lebanon, according to Arabic TV channel al-Arabiya.
The air strikes occurred despite a warning from Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who said in a televised speech: "If you bomb our capital Beirut, we will bomb... Tel Aviv."
Security sources in Israel told a BBC correspondent that "if Tel Aviv was hit by Hezbollah rockets, Israel would target infrastructure in Lebanon".
In his speech Sheikh Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah would end its rocket attacks if Israel stopped attacking what he called civilian areas in Lebanon.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41964000/jpg/_41964070_israeliafpstory.jpg
Israel suffered heavy military and civilian losses on Thursday


Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman said that suggestion was "a sign of weakness" and that Hezbollah might be "looking for a way out".
Although UN delegates remained optimistic of agreement on a ceasefire resolution soon, there remained differences on the wording.
"We're certainly getting close [to a resolution] within days," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said he believed a durable ceasefire would be in place soon.

Landmines

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Thursday called for a lasting solution to the conflict.
Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight programme, he said Israel had to withdraw from the disputed border territory known as the Shebaa Farms, which the UN says is part of Syria.
Mr Siniora said he wanted international leaders to pressure Israel to return detainees, provide maps of landmines and withdraw from "occupied territory".
Then, he said, "we will arrange that they will get back the abducted soldiers" and ensure that "there won't be any weapons in Lebanon other than those of the Lebanese authorities".
In other developments:

The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) warned that fuel shortages were increasingly hampering humanitarian relief operations in Lebanon
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recalled his ambassador from Israel, calling the attacks on Lebanon "genocide"
King Abdullah of Jordan publicly criticised the US and Israel over the fighting in LebanonPrime Minister Ehud Olmert has said there will be no ceasefire until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon.
A second UN resolution would probably be needed to authorise the international peacekeeping force. Since such a force could take weeks or months to arrive, a smaller force of French soldiers may be sent in first, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner notes.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5243758.stm)

Darth Vidar
08-04-2006, 04:09 AM
Lack of intel. blocks targeting Hizbullah
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1154525801541&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

By YAAKOV KATZ (yaakovk@jpost.com)


The IAF has been unable to employ targeted killings in the fight against Hizbullah to any significant degree due to an acute lack of real-time intelligence, a high-ranking IDF officer said on Thursday.

The difficulty in obtaining intelligence, the officer said, has caused Israel's three intelligence organizations - the Mossad, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Military Intelligence - to forgo their "daily ego wars" and to work together in unprecedented harmony.

"The intelligence is difficult to obtain, in part because of Hizbullah's defensive measures, and also due to the fact that we are in a state of war," the officer said.

"It is always more difficult to gather intelligence during a war than before the fighting begins," he said.
The officer called the joint work by Israel's intelligence agencies an historic "breakthrough" worthy of appreciation.

Since the beginning of Operation Change of Direction on July 12, the IAF has carried out more than 6,400 sorties over Lebanon and has hit over 4,000 Hizbullah and Lebanese targets. Some of the missile strikes, the officer said, were "along the lines" of targeted killings, but most failed.

The IAF did have great success on the first day of fighting when it struck 59 high-value targets in Lebanon, including some of Hizbullah's long- and medium-range missile launchers in central Lebanon.
Mistakes were made along the way, senior officers said, mostly due to faulty intelligence.
This week, the IAF struck a car in Lebanon believed to be carrying a senior Hizbullah operative. Instead the car turned out to be driven by three Lebanese army soldiers. They were killed in the strike.

Another example occurred two weeks ago, when IAF fighter jets dropped 23 tons of bombs on a bunker in Beirut where the IDF believed Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and other Hizbullah leaders were hiding. It turned out that Nasrallah wasn't there.

Then came Sunday's missile strike on a home in Kfar Kana in which 28 civilians were killed.
A high-ranking IDF officer said Thursday that the Operations Directorate had "provided the target" based on what turned out to be faulty intelligence.

Over the last few years, Military Intelligence has prepared comprehensive dossiers on Hizbullah positions in more than 170 villages in southern Lebanon.

However in many cases recently, battalion and brigade commanders have complained that the information was not passed on to them in time for the ground fighting.
The dossiers include detailed maps and information showing the number of Hizbullah guerrillas as well as their positions, fortifications and ****nals.
Last week, an IDF commander said that due to the sensitivity of the intelligence sources used to produce the dossiers, the information was withheld from the units and was only shown to the intelligence officers at the divisional level, and a few at the brigade level. None of the battalion intelligence officers who were supposed to prepare the units before battle saw the dossiers.

Snoshi
08-04-2006, 04:32 AM
3 soldiers injured; 5 Hizbullah terrorists killed



3 troops injured, one seriously, in overnight clashes with Hizbullah in southern Lebanese village of Markaba; 5 Hizbullah terrorists killed in separate clashes in southwestern Lebanon; IDF intensifies Beirut strikes
Efrat Weiss



(VIDEO)Three Israeli soldiers were wounded - one seriously, one moderately and another lightly - in fresh clashes with Hizbullah in the southern Lebanese village of Markaba.



Soldiers conducting searches in the village came under fire and an anti-tank missile was fired in their direction. The soldiers were airlifted to the Rambam hospital in Haifa.



IDF ground troops operating in the southwestern Lebanon killed four Hizbullah terrorists in the village of Shama.



In the Lebanese village of Mankhala a Hizbullah terrorist was killed and another was injured.


Hizbullah prisoners of War (Video: IDF Spokesperson)

A number of Hizbullah terrorists were captured by the IDF following heavy clashes. The prisoners of war have been transferred to Israel and are being interrogated by security officials.



Israel resumed air strike on targets in Lebanon as Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a power station in the south of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, local police said.



The raid plunged the Kiraoun area in darkness.



Fresh air strikes



Two people were wounded early Friday when Israeli fighter jets hit a civilian car and a van on the coastal

road in the port city of Jounieh in the Christian heartland, 20 kilometers north of Beirut, the

officials said. A bridge in the Maameltein area near Jounieh was destroyed.



A Lebanese soldier was killed in another strike on an army post south of Beirut, a Lebanese official said.



The air force also targeted a bridge linking Beirut to southern Lebanon and targets in the vicinity of the Beirut International Airport.



The air force carried out fresh raids on the Dahiyeh neighborhood in south Beirut killing three people.


The army said it targeted a building used by Hizbullah activists, a Hamas office and house belonging to a senior Hizbullah member.


The air force carried out 15 raids on the Ouzai neighborhood south of Beirut where Hizbullah holds offices.


On Thursday, three IDF soldiers were killed by an anti-tank missile attack on their tank.


A fourth soldier was killed in a similar attack in the southern Lebanese village of Al-Taybeh.



First Published: 08.04.06, 07:49
Latest Update: 08.04.06, 10:00
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286105,00.html

daily666
08-04-2006, 06:27 AM
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via
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Israel pounds Hezbollah's strongholds




By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer 3 minutes ago

BEIRUT, Lebanon -
Israel's pounding of Hezbollah positions across Lebanon expanded Friday with missiles targeting bridges in the Christian heartland north of Beirut for the first time, an attack that further isolates Lebanon from the outside world.
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Four civilians were killed and 10 wounded in the airstrikes north of the capital, the Lebanese Red Cross said. A Lebanese soldier and four civilians were killed in air raids near Beirut's airport and southern suburbs, security officials and witnesses said.

The destruction of four bridges on the main north-south coastal highway linking Beirut to
Syria further sealed Lebanon from outside links, as the Israeli naval blockade and earlier strikes against roadways have largely closed off other access points.

Fierce fighting continued along the border, and Hezbollah said in a statement broadcast by the group's Al-Manar TV station that guerrillas had killed six Israeli soldiers near the villages of Aita al-Shaab and Markaba.

Arab media reported Hezbollah had hit an Israeli tank. The Israeli army was not immediately available to comment on the claims.

The clashes came a day after a massive barrage of guerrilla rockets pounded northern Israel, killing eight people, and an offer by Hezbollah's leader to stop the attacks if Israel ends its airstrikes.

Israel's
United Nations ambassador, Dan Gillerman, said that Sheik Hassan Nasrallah's offer of a truce was "a sign of weakness ... and he may be looking for a way out."

Gillerman warned against Hezbollah threats to launch rockets on Israel's commercial center of Tel Aviv. "We are ready for it, and I am sure that he (Nasrallah), as well as his sponsors, realize the consequences of doing something as unimaginable and crazy as that," the Israeli ambassador told CNN early Friday.

The Israeli military said the targets of the latest attacks in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahieh were Hezbollah facilities and a Hamas office. Beirut media said Israel launched 24 bombing runs in an hour.

South Beirut has been attacked repeatedly by Israeli warplanes since fighting began July 12. It is predominantly a Shiite Muslim sector largely controlled by Hezbollah guerrillas, and Israel has not struck Beirut proper since the start of the war.

However, the strikes early Friday hit the affluent Christian locality of Jounieh, north of the capital, for the first time. The bombing against the picturesque coastal resort marked a sharp expansion of Israel's attack on Lebanon, which now threatens Christian areas where Hezbollah has no support and no presence.

In the hills of southern Lebanon, Israeli artillery intensified bombing overnight, sometimes sending as many as 15 shells per minute against suspected Hezbollah strongholds.

On the second front of its offensive against Islamic militants, Israel began pulling tanks out of southern Gaza after a two-day incursion, after aircraft fired at clusters of militants. The heavy clashes killed eleven Palestinians, including an 8-year-old boy.

Despite Hezbollah's truce offer and continuing diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire, the Israeli army prepared to push up to Lebanon's Litani River, about 20 miles north of the border, as part of its campaign to force the guerrillas away from the border and make room for a planned international force to patrol the area.

In the 24th day of Israel's punishing onslaught, Hezbollah has shown surprising strength and has found its support in Lebanon — and among the larger Arab world — vastly bolstered. With calls for a cease-fire growing more intense, it appeared likely that Hezbollah would emerge damaged but far from destroyed by the fighting.

The fighting in Gaza, which began June 25 after Hamas-linked militants captured an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid, has killed a total of 175 Palestinians, the U.N. reported, adding that it was concerned that "with international attention focusing on Lebanon, the tragedy in Gaza is being forgotten."

The offensive in Lebanon began after another cross-border raid by militants, in this case Hezbollah guerrillas, captured two Israeli soldiers. More than three weeks into the fighting, six Israeli brigades — or roughly 10,000 troops — were locked in battle with hundreds of Hezbollah guerrillas in south Lebanon.

Since the fighting started, an Associated Press count shows that at least 530 Lebanese have been killed, including 454 civilians confirmed dead by the Health Ministry, 26 Lebanese soldiers and at least 50 Hezbollah guerrillas. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said that 1 million people — or about a quarter of Lebanon's population — had fled the fighting.

Sixty-eight Israelis have been killed — 41 soldiers and 27 civilians. More than 300,000 Israelis have fled their homes in the north, Israeli officials said.

Despite Israel's efforts to crush Hezbollah, the guerrillas launched at least 200 rockets into northern Israel on Thursday. The barrage underscored Hezbollah's continued ability to carry out unrelenting strikes.

In response, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told top army officers to begin preparing for the next stage of the offensive in south Lebanon, a push to the Litani River, senior military officials said. Such a push would require further approval by Israel's Security Cabinet and could lead to far more casualties.

The Israeli army said it has taken up positions in or near 11 towns and villages across south Lebanon as part of an effort to carve out a smaller 5-mile-deep Hezbollah-free zone.

In his televised speech broadcast Thursday night, Hezbollah's Nasrallah for the first time offered to stop firing rockets into Israel if it stops its airstrikes. But he also threatened to launch missiles into Tel Aviv if Israel hits Beirut.

"Anytime you decide to stop your campaign against our cities, villages, civilians and infrastructure, we will not fire rockets on any Israeli settlement or city," he said in a taped statement broadcast on Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV.

Speaking directly to Israelis, Nasrallah added, "The only choice before you is to stop your aggression and turn to negotiations to end this folly."

Israeli officials shrugged off the offer, saying Hezbollah was on the defensive and was looking for a breather.

At the United Nations, France circulated a revised resolution calling for an immediate end to hostilities and spelling out the conditions for a permanent cease-fire and lasting solution to the crisis.

Israel, backed by the United States, has rejected calls for an immediate cease-fire, saying it wants an international force or the Lebanese army to deploy in southern Lebanon to prevent future Hezbollah attacks.

In an effort to bolster the Lebanese military, the United States announced plans to train the Lebanese army so it can take control of the south after the fighting ends. Other nations will help out as well, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday.

___

Associated Press reporter Ravi Nessman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

DeltaWhisky58
08-04-2006, 06:28 AM
Israeli army set for Lebanon push

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41964000/jpg/_41964344_southafp.jpg
Southern Beirut has been the focus of many Israeli attacks

The Israeli army has been told to prepare for a possible advance in what could be its deepest incursion into Lebanon for more than 20 years.

The defence minister's order could see the army push up to the Litani river, about 30km (19 miles) north of the border, in pursuit of Hezbollah.
Israeli jets have stepped up strikes on Beirut and north of the capital.
The moves came as UN delegates in the US struggled to reach full agreement on the wording of a ceasefire resolution.
Israel's campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.
Lebanon says more than 900 people have died since then, most of them civilians. Israel has lost 27 civilians and 40 soldiers.
Thursday was the worst day yet for Israeli casualties, with five civilians and three soldiers killed in Hezbollah attacks.
In other developments:

At least five people have been killed in Israeli air raids on bridges north of the Lebanese capital
Three Israeli soldiers have been killed near the southern border village of Markaba, according to Arabic TV channel al-Arabiya
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has delayed his holiday to continue work on a UN ceasefire resolution
The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) warned that fuel shortages were increasingly hampering humanitarian relief operations in Lebanon'Terrible night'

Correspondents say the possible Israeli push would seek to force Hezbollah militants further from the state's northern border.
They say the army would seek to stop the firing of Katyusha rockets into Israel, which have a range of about 35km (22 miles).

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
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Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)


Friday saw Israeli jets hit a number of Beirut suburbs in the Hezbollah stronghold, with local TV showing fires in the night sky.
Local media reported strikes on the Ouzai neighbourhood of southern Beirut, and warship shelling of the suburbs of Haret Hreik and Roweiss.
The Israeli military told ******* news agency it had targeted Hezbollah offices and the home of a top Hezbollah official, along with a building operated by Palestinian group Hamas.
The Lebanese social affairs minister told the BBC parts of the capital previously untouched by bombing had been struck.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41964000/jpg/_41964070_israeliafpstory.jpg
Israel suffered heavy military and civilian losses on Thursday


"The whole night was terrible," Nayla Moawad said.
"The situation is dramatic. The country is being destroyed, and we are living more than a humanitarian disaster."
Friday's action came after a threat from Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to target the Israeli city of Tel Aviv if Israel attacked central Beirut.
Security sources in Israel told a BBC correspondent that "if Tel Aviv was hit by Hezbollah rockets, Israel would target infrastructure in Lebanon".
In his televised speech Sheikh Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah would end its rocket attacks if Israel stopped attacking what he called civilian areas in Lebanon.
Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman said that suggestion was "a sign of weakness" and that Hezbollah might be "looking for a way out".

Ceasefire?

UN delegates remained optimistic of agreement on a ceasefire resolution soon, but differences remained on the wording.
"We're certainly getting close [to a resolution] within days," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Thursday called for a lasting solution to the conflict.
He told the BBC he wanted international leaders to pressure Israel to return detainees, provide maps of landmines and withdraw from "occupied territory".
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said there will be no ceasefire until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon.
A second UN resolution would probably be needed to authorise the international peacekeeping force. Since such a force could take weeks or months to arrive, a smaller force of French soldiers may be sent in first, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner notes.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5243758.stm)

Snoshi
08-04-2006, 06:41 AM
Analysis: Why the Katyushas are so hard to prevent
By YAAKOV KATZ
[Print this Article] [EMail this Article] [Subscribe] [SMS Alerts] [JPost Toolbar] [JPost ePaper]

The backs of pickup trucks, side rooms in one-story homes and thick brush in valleys and on ridges are the places from which Hizbullah is succeeding in firing rockets despite intensive IDF operations to stop the attacks.

On Wednesday, Hizbullah fired more than 220 rockets and on Thursday another 150, proving that despite the IDF operation, which entered its fourth week on Wednesday, it was still functioning just like it was on July 12, the day the war erupted.

From the beginning of this war, senior military officers repeatedly stated that the goal of Operation Change of Direction was not to eradicate Hizbullah's Katyusha array but to weaken the organization to the extent that it would be possible to create a new diplomatic order in southern Lebanon, one that would not include a guerrilla presence.

But after a day in which eight Israelis were killed in rocket attacks, the defense establishment is aware that it cannot let the Katyushas continue raining down on the North, at least not to the extent of the past two days.

That is why Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Thursday ordered the IDF to begin preparing for an escalation in the ground offensive against Hizbullah and to begin deploying troops up to the Litani River, some 40 kilometers north of the border.

It is in between the 100 villages in southern Lebanon that Hizbullah fires its rockets. The rockets and missiles fired at Haifa and Afula were launched from Tyre, south of the Litani, where the IDF has until now only been utilizing air power. According to Peretz's new order, troops could reach Tyre within a matter of days.

A high-ranking officer explained on Thursday that some of the rockets worked on a timer and were as small and thin as lampposts, similar to the Kassam rockets launched by terrorists in the Gaza *****.

The launchers, he explained, were extremely difficult to locate and residents in the North might need to learn from their counterparts in the South who have been living under rocket threats for several years, he said

"No military in the world can destroy all of the rockets," he explained. "As sad as it might sound, the residents of the North might need to get used to living under this threat."

Another issue is the anti-tank missiles being fired in the hundreds at troops operating in southern Lebanese villages.

On Thursday, two such rockets were fired at tanks in different villages and the results were tragic - four soldiers were killed, one in Ataybeh and three in Rajamin in the western sector of southern Lebanon.

But what is even more tragic is that the defense establishment has refused to fund an existing defense system for tanks that could protect them from rockets like RPGs and the Soviet-built Sagger.

Senior Armored Corps officers told The Jerusalem Post last week that the defense establishment had refused to provide tanks with the Trophy, a Rafael-developed active protection system which creates a hemispheric protected zone around armored vehicles, such as the Merkava 4 tank, currently operating on the ground in southern Lebanon. The system is designed to detect and track a threat and counters it with a launched projectile that intercepts the anti-tank rocket.

"Money is what is killing and wounding soldiers," one high-ranking officer told the Post last week. "The Trophy system is supposed to be there to provide the answer to this threat, but due to budget constraints the soldiers are paying the price with their lives."

Snoshi
08-04-2006, 06:53 AM
A smart, successful war
By Yossi Melman

This is not only a just war, but also a smart and successful one. There is no need to go on at length about its justness, but there is a dispute over its success and whether it was managed wisely. Most of the political and military commentators have few good things to say about this aspect. They are critical of the wisdom of the political echelon and point to the supposed foolishness of the military. Thus there is a vast gulf between the majority of the public and the media.

Most of the commentators ignore one central fact: Israel went into the war while imposing military and political restrictions on itself, and rightly so. According to the directive of the government, the Israel Defense Forces could have captured most of Lebanon within a few days, as it did in 1982. But that was not the goal this time. Israel wants to reduce its losses, and therefore the IDF is working cautiously - which is mistakenly being seen as hesitation. The government did not want to call up reservists in order to avoid causing any further damage to the economy.

In the first week of the 1982 war, between 6,000 and 10,000 Lebanese and Palestinians were killed. This time, in about three weeks of fighting, about 700 Lebanese civilians and more than 300 Hezbollah men have been killed. In 1982 Israel provoked Syria and sought to drag it into the war (and almost succeeded). This time Israel is trying to leave Syria out of the war.

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In 1982, the government of Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon set out to create a chain reaction with the aim of bringing about a new regional order. The intention was to get the Christians in Lebanon, under Bashir Gemayel, into the ranks of leadership of the country so that they would expel the Palestinians to Syria, in the hope that from there they would move to Jordan and establish a Palestinian state there. This time Israel wants to leave the pro-Western government of Fouad Siniora intact, and to undermine Hezbollah without doing too much damage to Lebanon's fragile religious-ethnic-political fabric.

These limitations stem from the Israeli interest and from an explicit American request. They are the reason not only for the American support, but also for the understanding of the majority of the world's countries, including the tacit understanding of most of the Arab states. Similarly, the majority of Lebanese both in Lebanon and abroad want to see Hezbollah defeated and humiliated.

Israel's conduct of the war is not due to weakness, but stems from political sagacity based on an understanding of the limits of military power. From this point of view, we can only have even higher regard for the war's achievements. True, there have also been failures and mistakes. The chief of staff, who comes from the air force, apparently overestimated the ability of air power to vanquish Hezbollah alone. The reserves should have been mobilized and sent into action sooner. Here and there one sees fixated thinking by the senior officer corps, and there was also a failure of the navy. To the negative balance, we can add also the socioeconomic gaps which the war is bringing to the fore, between those who have been able to leave the north and those who cannot.

But all this is dwarfed by the successes. Based on precise intelligence, the air force struck accurately at the majority of the long-range missiles and their launchers in the first two days of the war. Thanks to intelligence, the special units were sent deep into enemy territory. Hezbollah headquarters, with their communications networks and their control-and-command centers, were hit hard. The line of fortifications along the Israeli border was demolished.

With all the pain at the losses of the war and the destruction it wrought, this is also a psychological war and a battle for the popular consciousness. And in this battle, Israel is certainly winning. The regular army and the reserves are displaying determination based on a belief in the justness of the cause. Israeli society is shaking off the spider webs of Hassan Nasrallah's metaphor. Hezbollah and Iran gained nothing. Instead of Israel being deterred by the missile threat, it is searing into the consciousness of Tehran, Damascus and perhaps also Hamas, that force of arms and threats will get them nowhere. These entities have to understand that they will get far more concessions from Israel in negotiations.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746315.html

daily666
08-04-2006, 06:57 AM
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Four soldiers wounded, two seriously, in south Lebanon
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Heavy fighting was taking place on Friday between IDF ground troops and Hizbullah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.

Two soldiers were wounded, one seriously, after an anti-tank rocket hit their D9 bulldozer in the village of Ataybeh, in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon. One of the wounded was part of an engineering force operating in the area.

Earlier Friday, two members of Golani's Battalion 13 were wounded, one seriously and one moderately, in the town of Makarbe in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon, west of Kiryat Shmona.

The four were taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

IDF forces took several of the Hizbullah operatives captive.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?blobcol=urlimage&blobheader=image%2Fjpeg&blobkey=id&blobtable=JPImage&blobwhere=1154525803791&cachecontrol=never&ssbinary=true

Abu_Elvis
08-04-2006, 07:14 AM
August 4, 2006
Iran Is Compensating Families of Hezbollah Dead

BY CON COUGHLIN - The Daily Telegraph
August 4, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/37320

Iran has set up a fund to compensate the families of Hezbollah fighters killed or wounded in the conflict with Israel, Lebanese security officials have disclosed.

Iran's Shaheed Foundation is making initial payments of $1,000 to relatives, in a program that was originally set up in the 1980s to compensate the families of Iranian soldiers killed during the country's eight-year war with Iraq.

Tehran is believed to have set aside $2 million for its Lebanon compensation fund, and further payments will be made to bereaved families when Iranian officials have assessed their needs.

Although Hezbollah has refused to make public the extent of the casualties it has suffered, Lebanese officials estimate that up to 500 fighters have been killed in the past three weeks of hostilities with Israel, and another 1,500 injured.

Lebanese officials have also disclosed that many of Hezbollah's wounded are being treated in hospitals in Syria to conceal the true extent of the casualties.They are said to have been taken through al-Arissa border crossing with the help of Syrian security forces.

Iran's compensation payments offer further proof of its close ties with Lebanon's radical Shiite Muslim militia.

Although Tehran has denied having any direct involvement in the hostilities in southern Lebanon, Lebanese security officials say the Shaheed Foundation has sent a number of representatives from Iran to set up temporary offices in local schools and kindergartens — closed for the summer holidays — to assist with the payments. An estimated 20 commanders from Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps are already based in Lebanon, helping Hezbollah with the Iranian-made rockets being fired into Israel.

Iran has previously paid compensation to the families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers who have hit Israeli targets.

Hezbollah's operational council has drawn up casualty lists that have been passed to the Shaheed Foundation. Copies have been seen by the Daily Telegraph and have also been obtained by Lebanese newspapers, which have been pressured by Hezbollah not to publish them.

"Hezbollah is desperate to conceal its casualties because it wants to give the impression that it is winning its war," a senior security official said. "People might reach a very different conclusion if they knew the true extent of Hezbollah's casualties."

Abu_Elvis
08-04-2006, 07:16 AM
http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD123006


August 4, 2006No.1230http://www.memri.org/images/bgmaroon.gif
Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei: 'America Can Expect a Resounding Slap and a Devastating Fist-Blow From the Muslim Nation'; Hizbullah is the Muslim Nation's 'Front Line of Defense'; 'There is No Way to Confront... the Zionists... and the 'Great Satan' Except Through Martyrdom'

On August 2, 2006, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a communiqué to the Islamic nation, which was published by the conservative Iranian news agency Fars.
The following are excerpts: [1] (http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD123006#_edn1)

"...What happened in Lebanon has showed everyone what America's [idea of] 'human rights' [really] is, and has revealed the [true image of] the Middle East that the American government aspires [to create].
"Today, everyone realizes that the attack on Lebanon was planned in advance, and was a Zionist-American operation - a first step towards taking control over the Middle East and over the [entire] Muslim world.
"Bush and his American partners, who are to blame for the tragic events in Lebanon, will be considered just as responsible and accountable [for these events] as the evil and depraved leaders of the Zionist regime... The silence of the U.N. and most of the Western countries, and the support [provided by] some [Western] governments - such as the despicable and notorious British government - turns them into accomplices to the crime, to varying degrees. When humanity places them on trial, today and tomorrow, in demand for an explanation... and when they are required to account [for their conduct] before God, they [too] will be punished."
"The American Regime Can Expect a Resounding Slap and a Devastating Fist-Blow From the Muslim Nation"
"Today more than ever, the Muslim peoples are disgusted and furious with the Americans. The Muslim governments, including those governments whose political statements stem from restrictions [that are placed upon them], are disgusted by the insolent and arrogant oppression and are opposed to it. The American regime can expect a resounding slap and a devastating fist-blow from the Muslim nation for its support of the Zionist crimes and criminals, after it has so brazenly violated the rights of the Muslim peoples.
"The Lebanese people's [resolute] stand and Hizbullah's heroic fighting, and their power to resist, which [is grounded in] faith, patience and trust in God, [all] constitute additional proof of the [spiritual] awakening in the Muslim world, and of its steadfast determination in the face of the vengeful enemies. The iron fist of the believing, brave and oppressed young men of Lebanon has now struck the hideous face of the aggressors, and has broken the cup of their intoxicated arrogance.
"The policy led by the Americans generates insecurity, crisis and war in this region. It is a well-known [fact] that the more insecure nations become, the more angry the peoples [feel], and this makes the world itself increasingly unsafe.
"America's and Israel's aggressive character and conduct revives the spirit of resistance in the Islamic world, [now] more than ever, and make the value of jihad clearer than ever."

"There is No Way to Confrontthe Barbaric Zionist Wolves and the Aggression of the 'Great Satan' Except Through Martyrdom"
"The Islamic world, and the Muslim youth in all the Islamic countries know that there is no way to confront the barbaric Zionist wolves and the aggression of the 'Great Satan' [i.e. America] except through martyrdom. Capitulation and obedience to the American politicians, and to those who instigate quarrels and internal strife [in the Muslim world], only increase their avarice and insolence, making their actions against the [Muslim] peoples more severe.
"If Lebanon had surrendered to the Israeli and American aggression, and if the fighting young men of Hizbullah and the oppressed people of South [Lebanon] had not taken upon themselves the anguish of this holy war, then the entire Lebanese people would have been threatened by more prolonged agony and by ever-increasing suffering, and this attack would have eventually engulfed the entire region."
"Hizbullah is the Front Line of Defense for the Muslim Nation and for all the Peoples of the Region"
"Today, Hizbullah is the front line of defense for the Muslim nation and for all the peoples of the region, regardless of religion and faith. As far as the Zionist enemy is concerned, there is no difference between a mosque and a church, or between Shiites and Sunnis. It is a racist, aggressive and bloodthirsty regime. If it encounters no obstacle, it will not refrain from [perpetrating] any crime against any sector or people. The peoples of the region, the [various] Islamic sectors, and the followers of the various religions in Lebanon and in all Muslim countries should unite and [stand] shoulder to shoulder, rather than allow internal disputes to bolster the enemy's strength.
"The Islamic [Republic of] Iran knows its role in resisting the aggression and belligerence of America and the evil of the Zionist regime - it will stand by any oppressed nation, and especially by the beloved Lebanese people and the fighting Palestinian people. "America is the one responsible for these tragic disasters, owing to its blatant support of the killing of Lebanese citizens, its firm opposition to a ceasefire in Lebanon, and the military, financial and political aid [it provides] to the Zionist aggressors. Now, by imposing its terms on the government and people of Lebanon, it means to oppress them doubly. "There can be no doubt that this rebelling nation and these courageous fighters will not tolerate this type of oppression any longer, and will reject any decision except one that is based on their interests."

RP
08-04-2006, 07:38 AM
1 killed in rocket attack
Sirens heard Friday afternoon in Benyamina, Zikhron Yaakov, but not rocket landings reported; heavy barrages land in Carmiel, Mrar village, where one resident was seriously injured; public building hit in Kiryat Shmona
Hagai Einav
A number of rockets landed in the village of Mrar in the Galilee on Friday afternoon, with one rocket scoring a direct hit in a house killing a resident and seriously injuring another.
Rockets were also fired at Carmiel, Safed, Kiryat Shmona, where a public building was hit.
Sirens were sounded in the Western Galilee, Rosh Pina, Tiberias, Binyamina and Zikhron Yaakov.
Two rockets fired by Hizbullah landed in open fields in Kiryat Shmona, police said Friday morning. No one was injured and no damage was reported.
Around 11.45 am rockets fired from southern Lebanon landed in open fields near Nahariya.
Minutes later rockets landed in open fields near two villages in the Maalot area. No one was injured and no damage was reported.
Around 1.10 pm two Katyusha rockets landed in Safed. No one was injured and no damage was reported.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286247,00.html

Beaufort
08-04-2006, 08:06 AM
Two soldiers killed in pre-dawn battle in Markabe

By YAAKOV KATZ, JPOST STAFF AND AP (editors@jpost.com)


Two IDF soldiers from the Golani brigade were killed before dawn Friday in heavy clashes with Hizbullah guerrillas in the village of Markabe in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon.

One of the fallen soldiers was identified as First Sgt. Daniel Shiran, 20, from Haifa. His funeral was set for 3 p.m. in the city's military cemetery.

The IDF said that the soldiers from battalion 13 suffered heavy losses after Hizbullah gunmen opened fire at troops operating in the village with a wave of anti-tank rockets and machine guns.

An officer was seriously wounded and taken the Rambam hospital in Haifa.

Heavy fighting was continuing on Friday between IDF ground troops and Hizbullah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.

Two soldiers were wounded, one seriously, after an anti-tank rocket hit their D9 bulldozer in the village of Ataybeh, in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon. One of the wounded was part of an engineering force operating in the area.

The soldiers were taken to the hospital for medical treatment. IDF forces took several of the Hizbullah operatives captive.


The IDF also continued to call on residents of southern Lebanon to leave their homes, with emphasis on the villages of Beit Lif and el-Haniyah, and to head north of the Litani river. The IDF said that whoever refused to obey the order would be risking their lives.

The army also said that Ataybeh was used as launching pad for Katyushas that were fired at Israel and caused casualties.

During the fighting in Ataybeh, the IDF killed at least seven Hizbullah terrorists, blew up several weapons warehouses, and neutralized a Katyusha launcher that was pointed at the Israeli border community of Misgav Am. IDF forces also found a large weapons cache in the area, and destroyed a car bringing reinforcements to the Hizbullah.


Since the IDF began operating in Ataybeh, troops have killed over 20 Hizbullah terrorists in the village. Over the past few days, troops have discovered anti-tank missiles, RPGs, explosives, and a Katyusha launcher ready to be fired at Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel's pounding of Hizbullah positions across Lebanon expanded Friday with missiles targeting bridges in the Christian heartland north of Beirut for the first time.

Four civilians were killed and 10 wounded in the airstrikes north of the capital, the Lebanese Red Cross said. A Lebanese soldier and four civilians were killed in air raids near Beirut's airport and southern suburbs, security officials and witnesses said.

The IDF destruction of four bridges on the main north-south coastal highway linking Beirut to Syria contributed to further seal Lebanon from the outside world Friday, as the Israeli naval blockade - along with earlier strikes against the road to the eastern boarder and the capital's international airport - have largely closed off other access points.

The Israeli military said the targets of the latest attacks in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahieh were Hizbullah facilities and a Hamas office. Beirut media said Israel launched 24 bombing runs in an hour.

The strikes early Friday hit the affluent Christian locality of Jounieh, north of the capital, for the first time.

In the hills of southern Lebanon, Israeli artillery intensified bombing overnight, sometimes sending as many as 15 shells per minute against suspected Hizbullah strongholds.

IDF forces killed four Hizbullah operatives in the village of Shama and launched a chase after the remaining fighters. Another Hizbullah guerrilla was killed in the town of Manhelle.

The IAF targeted the "Ibrahim Abed Al" power plant in the eastern sector. The strike caused power outages in the area.

The jets also fired missiles on a bridge in Jounieh, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Israeli fire power also rendered impassable the Madfoun Bridge, about 40 kilometers north of Beirut, the officials said. The strikes on the bridges cut off the roads that link Beirut with the northern part of the country. Two other bridges were struck as well.

In pre-dawn raids, Israeli fighter jets made 24 over-flights in less than an hour over the southern suburb of Ouzai, local media reported. Lebanon's independent New TV aired footage of huge fires raging against the night sky in several locations.

The attacks on Ouzai, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim area, were the first since fighting between Hizbullah and Israel began 24 days ago. At daybreak, New TV reported two additional strikes on the area, airing footage of smoke billowing from buildings.

The IAF dropped leaflets over Beirut earlier in the day, warning residents of five neighborhoods to leave the city.

Fighter jets launched three attacks near Baalbek in eastern Lebanon, Hezbollah's TV, Al-Manar, and witnesses reached by telephone said.

Another air strike was launched near the Lebanese-Syrian border crossing at Masnaa, east of Beirut, the Voice of Lebanon radio said.

Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel in a televised interview earlier in the day that if Beirut was struck, then he would launch rockets at Tel Aviv.

Since the beginning of operation Change of Direction, IDF forces have killed over 400 Hizbullah terrorists.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1154525802132&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Beaufort
08-04-2006, 08:57 AM
Netanyhu interviewed on Sky news:

http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-netanyahu_030806_1430,00.html

gustavski
08-04-2006, 09:33 AM
Israel making same mistake as US in Iraq, say strategists

By Stephen Fidler and Roula Khalaf in London
Published: August 3 2006 03:00 | Last updated: August 3 2006 03:00

It may be, say military experts, the future of warfare: a powerful army frustrated by a much weaker enemy.
As Israeli ground troops flood into southern Lebanon in a bid to create a buffer zone to protect its territory from rocket attacks, some military analysts believe Israel has made the same mistakes as the US in Iraq. They say its focus on high-technology warfare and tactical advantage has led it to underestimate the strategic importance of public opinion.
var mpusky = new Advert(AD_MPUSKY);mpusky.init();http://ads.ft.com/image.ng/site=ftcom&pos=mpusky&sec=3won&artid=3mearti (http://ads.ft.com/click.ng/site=ftcom&pos=mpusky&sec=3won&artid=3mearti)
"Local, regional and global perceptions of the conflict will be as important in sustaining a war, and in terminating a conflict on favourable and lasting terms, as the numbers of enemies captured or killed," Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington wrote.
"Israel has failed to understand this in Lebanon as the US to some extent failed to understand it in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq."
Even some pro-Israel commentators in Washington say the conflict has not gone in Israel's favour, particularly since the death of more than 50 Lebanese in Qana on Sunday, and despite claims from Israeli leaders that the group had been severely diminished.
"Rising civilian casualties in Lebanon have not been accompanied by a quantifiable degradation of Hizbollah's military capabilities," argued David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Indeed, yesterday Hizbollah fired more rockets into Israel - about 190, according to news agency reports - than on any day since the fighting began on July 12.
Critically though, Israeli public opinion has stuck behind its military - belying the May 2000 description by Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah's leader, of Israeli society as like a cobweb in the face of conflict.
There is little doubt that Hizbollah constitutes a problematic adversary. In contrast with the conventional Arab forces Israel easily defeated in the 1960s and 1970s, the Shia militia has become a clever exponent of "asymmetric warfare". Its decentralised command structure means its fighters can use their own initiative without having to consult their leaders in Beirut.
Doron Amir, a former Israeli military intelligence officer now with the Infinity Group, an investment house, says Hizbollah is a hybrid organisation. "Hizbollah is between a guerrilla force and a normal army. It's on the border between the two. It would be a lot easier if we were fighting a country or an organised army."
Nizar Hamza, a professor of international relations at the American University of Kuwait and an expert on Hizbollah, says Hizbollah moves in groups of between three and 10 people, who conduct hit and retreat operations. "Three groups might act like a triangle. If one group is hit and retreats, it doesn't mean you lose the triangle, another could still go in and attack," he says.
Mr Amir says Hizbollah has built its infrastructure amid the civilian population and its fighters attack Israel from civilian areas, leaving Israel with a dilemma about how to respond.
"Nasrallah is an expert in psychological warfare," he says. Publicity is an essential element of his approach, making sure video footage of Hizbollah successes are quickly published and eschewing confrontations of no propaganda value.
Hizbollah appears to have carefully prepared for such a conflict since Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000. The group has imported thousands of missiles, many from Iran and often transported through Syria. Iran has provided revolutionary guards to help train fighters. Western estimates suggest about 40 such trainers have been in the south, with another 40 moving in and out. Some Israelis put the number in the hundreds.
The group has created a network of tunnels in the south. An unconfirmed report in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, a London-based Saudi-financed Arabic daily, said this week that North Korean experts had helped with the tunnelling.
There are wide differences in estimates of how many fighters it has. Western estimates suggest 2,000 frontline fighters with 8,000 in support. Some Iranians claim there may be 20,000. Mr Hamza says possibly 30,000.
A central difficulty for Israel is that its and Hizbollah's military goals are asymmetric too. Hizbollah can claim victory, even if severely battered, if it can still launch a few rockets into Israel or seize an Israeli soldier.
Longer term, the balance between the two sides may be settled only in the minds of Lebanese people: whether they withdraw support from Hizbollah for provoking Israeli attacks or whether they back it for standing up to their powerful neighbour.

DeltaWhisky58
08-04-2006, 10:02 AM
Israeli border strike 'kills 23'

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41964000/jpg/_41964344_southafp.jpg
Southern Beirut has been the focus of many Israeli attacks

An Israeli air strike near Lebanon's north-eastern border with Syria has killed at least 23 people and injured 30, Lebanese officials have said.

The casualties, believed to be farm workers, were taken to hospitals in Syria, Lebanese security sources said.
There has also been no let-up in Hezbollah rocket attacks, with more than 40 fired in half an hour.
Two Israeli civilians died in the attacks, in the village of Mughar and in Kiryat Shmona, Israeli police said.
Two Israeli soldiers were killed in clashes in southern Lebanon where there is heavy fighting as Israeli forces try to push Hezbollah back from the border.

Army push

The continuing violence comes as the Israeli army has been told to prepare for a possible advance in what could be its deepest incursion into Lebanon for more than 20 years.
This could see the army push up to the Litani river, 30km (19 miles) north of the border, in pursuit of Hezbollah.
Israel's campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.
Lebanon says more than 900 people have died since then, most of them civilians. Israel has lost 28 civilians and 40 soldiers.
In other developments:

At least five people have been killed in Israeli air raids on bridges north of the Lebanese capital
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has delayed his holiday to continue work on a UN ceasefire resolution
Malaysia is ready to send 1,000 soldiers to Lebanon to join an international peacekeeping force, the country's defence chief has saidLebanese civil defence officials said those killed on the Syrian border were farm workers, who were loading a container with fruit and vegetables when it was struck.

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Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)


The attack happened near the village of Qaa, about 10km (six miles) from Hermel which has previously been hit by Israeli warplanes.
The raid came as Israeli jets on Friday pounded targets north and south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
Local media reported strikes on the Ouzai neighbourhood of southern Beirut, and warship shelling of the suburbs of Haret Hreik and Roweiss.
The Israeli military told ******* news agency it had targeted Hezbollah offices and the home of a top Hezbollah official, along with a building operated by Palestinian group Hamas.
The Lebanese social affairs minister told the BBC parts of the capital previously untouched by bombing had been struck.
Friday's action came after a threat from Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to target the Israeli city of Tel Aviv if Israel attacked central Beirut.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41964000/jpg/_41964070_israeliafpstory.jpg
Israel suffered heavy military and civilian losses on Thursday


Security sources in Israel told a BBC correspondent that "if Tel Aviv was hit by Hezbollah rockets, Israel would target infrastructure in Lebanon".
In his televised speech Sheikh Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah would end its rocket attacks if Israel stopped attacking what he called civilian areas in Lebanon.
Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman said that suggestion was "a sign of weakness" and that Hezbollah might be "looking for a way out".

Ceasefire?

UN delegates remained optimistic of agreement on a ceasefire resolution soon, but differences remained on the wording.
"We're certainly getting close [to a resolution] within days," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Thursday called for a lasting solution to the conflict.
He told the BBC he wanted international leaders to pressure Israel to return detainees, provide maps of landmines and withdraw from "occupied territory".
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said there will be no ceasefire until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon.
A second UN resolution would probably be needed to authorise the international peacekeeping force. Since such a force could take weeks or months to arrive, a smaller force of French soldiers may be sent in first, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner notes.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5245884.stm)

Irish
08-04-2006, 10:13 AM
Morning Ireland: Helen Donohue speaks to the UN spokesperson in Lebanon, Khaled Mansour, about the worsening conflict and the hopes for a UN resolution http://www.rte.ie/news/images/audio_sml_but.gif (http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2162715.smil)

News At One: Conor Lenihan, Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Overseas Development & Human Rights, says he met with a number of NGOs in relation to the current humanitarian crisis http://www.rte.ie/news/images/audio_sml_but.gif (http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2162822.smil)
News At One: Lara Marlowe, journalist, reports that the Israeli offensive continues to pound the southern city of Tyre http://www.rte.ie/news/images/audio_sml_but.gif (http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2162797.smil)

Morning Ireland: Richard Downes in Tyre brings news of overnight developments in Lebanon http://www.rte.ie/news/images/audio_sml_but.gif (http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2162725.smil)

One News: Anne-Marie Green reports on the renewed barrage on Beirut by the Israeli army as Hezbollah fighters were reported to have killed at least three Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon http://www.rte.ie/news/images/video_sml_but.gif (http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2162773.smil)

Snoshi
08-04-2006, 11:43 AM
Rockets hit Kuneitra in Syria; none wounded
By YAAKOV KATZ
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Rockets fired by Hizbullah on Friday evening landed near the Syrian city of Kuneitra located several kilometers east of the Golan Heights. No injuries or damage were reported.

The IDF said that the firing at Kuneitra represented yet another attempt by Hizbullah to drag Syria into the conflict.

Snoshi
08-04-2006, 11:52 AM
Editor's Notes: Measuring success, and failure
By DAVID HOROVITZ [Recent columns]
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As we entered the fourth week of the war on Wednesday, Hizbullah managed to fire off an unprecedented 200-plus Katyusha rockets into northern Israel, killing David Lelchook at his home kibbutz, Sa'ar, and wounding 21 more Israelis. On Thursday, the barrages continued, with still deadlier effect.

Israel had the names of close to 200 key Hizbullah fighters killed since the conflict began, with many more believed to be dead - but this was still only a smallish percentage of a fighting force estimated to number at least 2,000.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah had survived the IDF's best efforts to kill him, including an assault on his bunker in southern Beirut during which some 20tons of explosives were dropped.

Israeli military experts were chorusing their complaints about the handling of the offensive - an over-reliance on air power, a belated resort to (too few) ground forces, a frittering away of day after day of an unprecedented military opportunity.

Lebanese politicians, some of whom are genuinely less than enamored with the sheikh, his Iranian patrons and their plans for the Islamification of Lebanon, were lining up to castigate Israel for its assault on their country.

Arab states which had initially criticized Hizbullah for prompting this crisis by crossing the sovereign border on July 12, and which had indicated their support for an assault on the group's military capabilities, were now publicly accusing Israel of unwarranted aggression.

The United States was telling the world, but most particularly Israel, that it was time for a cease-fire.

Iran, Israel's most potent strategic threat and the source of Hizbullah's most potent weapons, had earned another few weeks of international distraction in which to accelerate its drive toward the nuclear bomb it would dearly love to use against the Jewish state.

Newspaper, TV and radio stations around the world were filled with moving reports from Lebanon of the terrible suffering the war has imposed on the Lebanese, the cities reduced to rubble, the families forced to flee and dodging attack as they did so, the children bombed as they slept.

And the fate of the two soldiers - Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev - whose kidnapping triggered this entire crisis was no closer to resolution, with their whereabouts unknown and no word even as to whether they are still alive.

Yet it is the Israeli government's determined contention that, were the fighting to go on for just a few more days, or even to end right now, Israel could count itself victorious in this conflict.

Plainly there are Israeli achievements.

Prominent among them is the resilience of the Israeli civilian population - a terrorworn populace demonstrably capable of withstanding 2,500 deadly rockets fired indiscriminately into its midst. In addition to the lengthening roster of the dead, let no one underestimate the impact that the North has had to absorb - the long hours in the shelters, the Katyusha barrages and the constant threat of more; the sense of dicing with death when setting foot outside; the protracted emotional strain that has made nervous wrecks even of many Israelis who live beyond the rockets' reach and do not have children fighting in the IDF.

Yet rather than pleading with its government to find the means, any means, to stop the incoming fire, the populace has encouraged that government to keep on taking the fight to the enemy, acutely conscious of what is at stake. There will be a limit to how much the public is prepared to stoically absorb. But if Iran had armed Hizbullah in part so as to be able to threaten our cities with this kind of missile attack as a deterrent to an Israeli strike on its nuclear program, it will now be working on an amended strategy.

For all the derision over the IDF's slow progress in clearing Hizbullah away from the immediate cross-border area, an enemy that had been given six untroubled years to literally dig in has gradually been pushed out of many of its strongholds. Its fortified outposts at the border, massive explosive devices planted all around them, have been uprooted. Its potential to stage another Goldwasser-Regev-style kidnapping, or attempt a more major crossborder incursion, has been drastically reduced.

The relatively short-range Katyusha launchers are proving so hard to thwart because, Kassam style, they are mobile and easy to fire. A handful of gunmen, trundling a few kilometers from mobile launcher to mobile launcher, can set up, fire, hide the equipment and disappear in a flash, wreaking havoc a few dozen kilometers to the south. And Hizbullah has dozens upon dozens of terror cells to do the job. But the medium and longer-range launchers are an easier target. Many were taken out at the very start of this conflict, on the basis of extraordinary intelligence information allied to technical prowess. In precisely 59 villages, it is said, the IDF knew which home had a Fajr rocket as a guest, and went unerringly to the right address time after time.

There were excited voices - step forward Defense Minister Peretz - who spoke of breaking Hizbullah inside a week. But, it has been consistently argued elsewhere in the government and the IDF, ideological terror organizations don't get broken. If the job is done well, they get significantly degraded, as it is asserted Israel has done here. If it is done less well, the confident big power exits with tail between legs, as in the case of Russia from Afghanistan.

Hizbullah, it is said in the high reaches of government, has lost much of its command and control structure. Its leaders have had to flee. Israel has surprised it in Beirut and in Baalbek. Its much-disseminated myth about brushing away the Israeli spider web has been shattered by the military response. Having confidently expected that Israel would submit to another asymmetrical prisoner exchange, Nasrallah found himself instead facing a military onslaught.

The effort to weaken Hizbullah would have been less arduous had it been undertaken two years ago, or four. But look at the world's horrified reaction to the Kana attack on Sunday, and imagine how an "unprovoked" assault into Lebanon led by the prime minister for much of the time Hizbullah was building its strength, Ariel Sharon of Sabra and Shatilla fame, would have been greeted, and how long his window of military opportunity would have been kept open.

An earlier use of ground forces would have accelerated progress, but how many more soldiers would have died? And would the remarkable national consensus have held up if the IDF had chosen that course from the get-go - a consensus extending deep into the Left that has been so crucial to a war in which civilian steadfastness is a prime factor?

BARRING THE always possible departure of the conflict into unexpected directions - with Syria a somewhat unpredictable player - the next few days are likely to see the rockets continuing to fall, while the IDF works to gradually hunt down the Katyusha cells and strengthen its hold on an area of southern Lebanon not dissimilar to the old security zone.

Early next week, the UN Security Council may finalize a cease-fire resolution, mandating the speedy dispatch of an international force. But the resolution's wording, timing and circumstances are still quite unclear at this time of writing.

srael had been expecting to be asked to entrust the international force with the implementation of Resolution 1559 within days. But as the reality has sunk in for the would-be participant nations of sending their troops into a zone where the IDF is encountering so bitter an enemy, the momentum for the establishment of such a force has slowed. And the notion of "impose a cease-fire now, worry about the international force later" is anathema to Israel, which wants no vacuum between its withdrawal and the arrival of the foreign forces. To date, the US has backed that Israeli position. Nonetheless, what the IDF achieves in these next few days may prove critical.

ULTIMATELY, OF course, the success or failure of the war against Hizbullah will be judged by its aftermath.

Hizbullah's ruthless dispatch of those previous would-be robust Lebanon peacekeepers, the American Marines and the French paratroopers - via simultaneous suicide bombings of their respective Beirut headquarters in October 1983 that left 300 dead - does not bode well for the international force in the south. The UNIFIL precedent is of absolutely no comfort either. Then there is the dismal daily reality of Iraq. Against that, NATO has proved in Afghanistan and Kosovo that an international force can impose order. A similar force's fate in Lebanon will depend on how drastically the IDF has disabled Hizbullah before a handover of responsibility, and on the degree to which Syria is deterred or prevented from simply reopening the supply lines once the Israeli guns fall silent.

It is hard, however, to derive much optimism from the prospect of an international force partnering with a Lebanese Army, much of whose membership is pro-Hizbullah. And even harder when some of those most energetically championing the force, and apparently set to play a key role in its construction, like the French, are leading the criticism of Israel and clamoring for an early cease-fire when patently their own troops will be all the more exposed if Israel is required to withdraw prematurely.

It would be dangerously wrongheaded to suggest that, even acknowledging some of the positive arguments detailed above, Israel has seen anything like the last of its fight with Hizbullah. It has yet to see the last even of Nasrallah.

It may, at the very least, have seen the last of those devastating prisoner "exchanges." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is understood to be emphatically opposed to releasing a single Palestinian prisoner into Hizbullah hands, believing this would simply sign the death warrants for more Israeli soldiers.

AS OF late this week, despite the incessant criticism from the backseat drivers about his prowess at the steering wheel, Olmert was emanating absolute confidence in the rightness of his course - the absolute confidence without which a prime minister, it must be said, simply could not survive.

Rather than judging the progress of the war by the number of Katyushas that Hizbullah does still fire, Olmert would much rather it be measured by the number of Katyushas that Hizbullah still wants to fire. None, he would claim. His insistence is that Hizbullah thoroughly misread Israel, misread its new prime minister and anticipated meek capitulation. Israel's losses, though painful, are remarkably low given Hizbullah's preparedness. We all have to stop the self-flagellation and appreciate a restoration of Israeli deterrence, he would say. We should hail the proof of Israel's capacity to withstand international criticism and press on when (as at Kana) accidents happen. We should acknowledge our steadfast population and our brave, skilled army.

And we should realize that Nasrallah is seeking a way out, and that his successor, should the sheikh leave us all soon, will be far warier about picking a fight.

It should sound comforting. But it's not comforting enough, on so bloody a Tisha Be'Av, to drown out the whine of those deadly incoming rockets.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1154525803787&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

akd
08-04-2006, 12:52 PM
Security officials say Israel airstrikes flattened houses in two south Lebanon villages and that 57 people were buried in the rubble, The Associated Press reports.


www.cnn.com

Beaufort
08-04-2006, 01:23 PM
Navy destroys Hizbullah's harbor in Beirut

By YAAKOV KATZ (yaakovk@jpost.com)



Israeli Navy ships destroyed the Adi Nasrallsh Harbor in south Beirut on Friday evening.

According to the army, the harbor, named after Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's son who was killed by the IDF in 1997, was the launching site of the Iranian C-802 missile that was fired at the Navy ship Hanit killing four soldiers in mid-July.

The site was also used to train Hizbullah operatives in weapons-smuggling, the army said.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525807320&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Darth Vidar
08-04-2006, 01:25 PM
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746631.html

Last update - 19:42 04/08/2006
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifIranian official admits Tehran supplied missiles to Hezbollahhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif
By Amos Harel (contact@haaretz.co.il) and Yoav Stern (stern@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondentshttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

A senior Iranian official admitted for the first time Friday that Tehran did indeed supply long-range Zelzal-2 missiles to Hezbollah.

Mohtashami Pur, a one-time ambassador to Lebanon who currently holds the title of secretary-general of the "Intifada conference," told an Iranian newspaper that Iran transferred the missiles to the Shi'ite militia, adding that the organization has his country's blessing to use the weapons in defense of Lebanon.

Pur's statements are thought to be unusual given that Tehran has thus far been reluctant to comment on the extent of its aid which it has extended to Hezbollah.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifHezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah warned Thursday night in a televised broadcast that his organization would target Tel Aviv if Beirut was attacked by Israel.

"If our capital, Beirut, is attacked, we will attack your capital, Tel Aviv," Nasrallah threatened.

The Hezbollah leader issued his warning after Israel Air Force aircraft dropped leaflets over the Lebanese capital, calling on residents of three Shi'ite neighborhoods in southern Beirut to evacuate their homes.

Israeli security sources assessed that Nasrallah's threats are serious.

On Wednesday evening, the IAF attacked Beirut for the first time after a hiatus of nearly five days. The dropping of the leaflets yesterday is considered to be a precursor to new air strikes on the city.

Military Intelligence estimates that Nasrallah would like to end the war with a dramatic move, such as the firing of missiles against Tel Aviv.

The range of the Iranian-made Zelzal missiles is estimated to be 210 kilometers, enabling Hezbollah to target the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv and its environs.
Last week, the IAF deployed Patriot anti-aircraft missiles near Netanya as part of the overall effort to foil a possible Zelzal attack.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

alexz
08-04-2006, 02:33 PM
Israeli Media reports 3 explusion sounds near Hedera.
If they will attributed to hizzbolla it will be the most southern point they
have reached so far.

alexz
08-04-2006, 02:33 PM
......................Removed

Firetxmi
08-04-2006, 02:49 PM
Northern Israel exodus leaves old, weak and poor to face rockets

by Rory Mulholland 54 minutes ago

As the rockets rain down on northern Israel, tens of thousands of terrified Israelis have fled to the south, leaving mainly the old, weak or those too poor to get out.

On Friday, the latest barrage of Hezbollah missiles killed three people, bringing to 30 the number of Israeli civilians to die from the strikes.

Despite the toll -- which compares with the 900-odd Lebanese killed on the other side of the border by Israeli air strikes -- there is no Israeli government-sponsored evacuation system in place.

Nor can local councils afford to pay to move Israelis to the south. So the less well off either have to stay put or, for the more fortunate, escape with the help of charity.

"A large percentage of those who are left are the weakest -- those with no relatives, no connections or who don't have the savvy to get out," said Josie Arbel of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, a charity that helps find temporary lodgings for fleeing northerners.

Kiryat Shmona lies three kilometres (two miles) from the Lebanese border. It has been pounded by rockets for much of the three-week-old war in Lebanon, which was sparked by Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers.

More than half of the town's 25,000 residents have fled and the rest spend most of the day hiding in safe rooms and bomb shelters, officials told AFP.

About 1,000 people made their escape from here on Wednesday after the municipality of Eilat, which lies as far south from Kiryat Shmona as one can go in Israel, made available 250 hotel rooms to people fleeing northern regions.

As hundreds of thousands of southern Lebanese flee north to escape Israeli bombs, officials in northern Israel estimate that more than 300,000 of the region's million residents have gone south since the fighting began.

Many have gone to stay with relatives or in hotels that they pay for themselves. Thousands of others have gone with the help of charities, or of southerners who have offered rooms in their homes.

About 6,000 people have moved to a tent city on a beach funded by the Russian-Israeli billionaire Arkady Gaydamak near the southern town of Nitzanim.

Many of the thousands of northerners who are staying at home do so either because of their work or because they refuse to be chased out by Hezbollah.

Choen Simcha, who works an emergency hotline in Kiryat Shmona's specially built wartime town hall bunker, said that most of the calls she gets were from people asking to be taken out of the town.

"They get angry when I tell them we usually can't arrange that. They're very angry that we're leaving them here to suffer," she said. "I get a lot of mothers on the phone crying. They want to get out."

In Carmiel, which lies in the heart of the Galilee region, a third of the population of 50,000 has left, said Hanna Korval, director general of the municipality.

"The old, people with young families, they can't go. The very weak ones also can't leave," she told AFP by telephone.

"The mayor would like to get everyone out of the city if he could. Most of the apartments that have been hit by rockets were empty -- that's why we've only had a few injuries from the rockets," she said.

In Nahariya, a Mediterranean beach resort just south of the Lebanese border where only an estimated 12,000 of the regular 57,000 residents remain, officials said that here too it was mostly the poorest people who were left.

"You can conclude that people who don't have possibilities remain. The people who could afford to do it privately are those who left first," said a municipal spokeswoman.

Link:http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060804/lf_afp/mideastconflictisrael_060804175717

Jaguar
08-04-2006, 03:15 PM
MIDDLE EAST: EGYPT'S RULING PARTY CHIEF REJECTS MILITARY 'SOLUTIONS' IN REGION

Cairo, 3 August (AKI) - Reflecting his country's mounting indignation at Israel's 23-day-long air and land borne offensive in Lebanon, the head of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party (PND), Gamal Mubarak, son and heir apparent of Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, has rejected military intervention in Lebanon as 'deluded'. He ha also slammed the United States vision of a 'New Middle East' as a failed project that reveals an inability to handle the region's problems.

"The region's problems cannot be solved with military intervention, and whoever believes they can is deluded," pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Thursday quoted Gamal as saying in an address to the PND late on Wednesday.

"The entire Lebanese people has Egypt's full support, irrespective of creed," Gamal continued, adding: "the Lebanese resistance is a popular resistance." He called for an international inquiry into the Israeli military's aerial bombardment last Sunday of an apartment building in the southern Lebanese village of Qana, in which 60 civilians died, of whom 37 were children.

Beirut said on Thursday that 900 people, mostly civilians, have been killed, over 3,000 injured and 800,000 displaced in the conflict in Lebanon that began after guerillas from militant Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers. At least 56 Israelis, including 19 cilivians, have died in the fighting.

Gamal, who observers and analysts in Egypt are widely tipping to succeed his father in the next few years, reiterated his father's criticism of the "passivity" of the international community in the face of the people of Lebanon's torment. Gamaal's address also levelled specific criticism at US and Israeli foreign policy in the region.

"They will not achieve their objectives in the region with military action," he stressed. The US and Israel are among the few countries that have continued to argue there can be no ceasefire in Lebanon until Hezbollah is disarmed and the Israeli soldiers are released.

Gamal's address signals a shift government policy, which earlier in the conflict shied away from condemning Israel. It appears to have been swayed by public opinion in Egypt, where numerous anti-Israel demonstrations have been staged in recent days in support of the Lebanese people.

The powerful, outlawed but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood Movement's leader, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, on Wednesday called on his supporters to prepare for a Jihad or holy war against the "Zionist" state of Israel and to support "the activists from resistance movements in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories."

"We need to get read to fight a guerrilla war against the Zionists," Akef said, terming Arab countries' stance over Israel's actions in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories - as "vile and shameful."

The ongoing offensive in Gaza - sparked by the kidnap by Hamas-linked Palestinian militants of an Israeli soldier on 25 June - has killed at least 160 Palestinians and injured hundreds more.

A total 88 Muslim Brotherhood MPs were elected last December as independents, making the movement the largest opposition force in parliament.

http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Politics&loid=8.0.327230758&par=0&offset=0

DeltaWhisky58
08-04-2006, 04:50 PM
Israeli border strike 'kills 26'

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41968000/jpg/_41968252_qaacasualties_afp_203b.jpg
Those killed on the Syrian border were farm workers, officials said

An Israeli air strike near Lebanon's north-eastern border with Syria has killed at least 26 people and injured about 20, Lebanese officials have said.

Israeli planes also struck bridges in mainly Christian areas north of Beirut, while a raid in southern Lebanon killed seven people, security sources said.
Hezbollah fired 190 rockets into Israel, killing three civilians.
Late on Friday, rockets hit near the city of Hadera, 80km (50 miles) inside Israel, Israeli police said.
This is the furthest south Hezbollah has struck since the conflict began three weeks ago.
Police and witnesses said one or two rockets landed in open land and there were no reports of casualties.
Hadera is some 45km (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv, which Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday threatened to target if Israel attacked central Beirut.
Civil defence authorities in Tel Aviv have warned people to be prepared for a possible missile attack, issuing leaflets to the city's 1.5m inhabitants to advise them how to prepare bomb shelters or protected rooms.

Army push

The continuing violence comes as the Israeli army has been told to prepare for a possible advance in what could be its deepest incursion into Lebanon for more than 20 years.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41966000/jpg/_41966968_halat2_ap_203b.jpg
Bridges along Lebanon's main coastal highway were hit

This could see the army push up to the Litani river, 30km (19 miles) north of the border, in pursuit of Hezbollah.
Israel's campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.
Lebanon says more than 900 people have died since then, most of them civilians. Israel has lost 29 civilians and 40 soldiers.
The raid on the Lebanese village of Qaa, on the northern tip of the Bekaa Valley, hit a vegetable warehouse where farm workers were loading produce, local civil defence officials said.
The dead and injured, many of them Syrian Kurds, were taken to hospitals in Syria.
The Israeli army said it attacked two structures on suspicion that weapons were being transported, and that it was investigating reports that a warehouse had been hit.
The number of dead is the highest in a single strike since Israeli planes hit the southern Lebanese village of Qana, where, according to Human Rights Watch, 28 people were killed and 13 are still missing.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
In pictures: Aid challenge (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5245884.stm)


Israeli planes also struck a house in the Lebanese border village of Taibeh, killing seven people and injuring 10, news agencies reported.
There is also heavy fighting in southern Lebanon as Israeli forces try to push Hezbollah back from the border - two Israeli soldiers were killed by an anti-tank missile earlier on Friday.
The loss of life also continued in Israel where two people died when Hezbollah rockets hit two Israeli Arab villages, Israeli police said.
Earlier, an Israeli woman died and another person was seriously injured when a house in the village of Mughar was hit.
Another person previously reported killed in Kiryat Shmona was in critical condition, rescue services said.

Christian heartlands

Israeli jets also pounded targets north and south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
Five people were killed as Israeli planes destroyed four bridges on the main coastal highway in the Christian heartlands north from Beirut.
A UN refugee agency spokeswoman told the BBC the destruction of the bridges was a major setback for the aid operation.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41967000/jpg/_41967274_shelter_afp_203b.jpg
Many Israelis were forced to seek refuge in bomb shelters on Friday

"Now the main road is basically cut off," said Astrid van Genderen Stort. "We are looking at secondary roads, but they are small. That will delay our operations."
The Israeli army said the bridges had been destroyed to prevent Syria from rearming its ally Hezbollah.
At the United Nations in New York, negotiations are continuing on the wording of a ceasefire resolution.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has called for a lasting solution to the conflict. He told the BBC he wanted international leaders to pressure Israel to return detainees, provide maps of landmines and withdraw from "occupied territory". Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said there will be no ceasefire until an international force is deployed in southern Lebanon.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5245884.stm

Clarsachier
08-04-2006, 07:28 PM
JERUSALEM - Hezbollah's sophisticated anti-tank missiles are perhaps the guerrilla group's deadliest weapon in Lebanon fighting, with their ability to pierce Israel's most advanced tanks.

Experts say this is further evidence that Israel is facing a well-equipped army in this war, not a ragtag militia.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060804/ap_on_re_mi_ea/mideast_fighting_hezbollah_s_missiles;_ylt=AilSODHhxt.F5ylyjty6FSus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE-

DeltaWhisky58
08-04-2006, 07:53 PM
Hezbollah defiant amid the rubble

By Kim Ghattas
BBC News, Beirut
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/999999.gif

Although Israel has fought Hezbollah in the past, it still seems surprised by the group's continuing ability to fire large numbers of rockets at northern Israel.

It also seems taken aback at how much support Hezbollah retains within its own community, and increasingly across Lebanon as a whole.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41966000/jpg/_41966252_nasrallahafp203.jpg
Hezbollah's leader insists his group is able to fight on


The supply routes for weapons to Hezbollah have been cut. Bridges and roads in and out of Lebanon have been bombed but Hezbollah is unlikely to need new supplies for some time.
In a speech on Hezbollah's al-Manar television, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, showed some readiness for a ceasefire but mostly he was defiant.
He said the "Party of God" was still strong despite claims by Israel that it had destroyed the group's infrastructure. Military analysts here agree with him.
Amin Hatate, a former Lebanese army general, believes Hezbollah can go on fighting for months.
"They are paid for such kind of guerrilla warfare. They are willing to fight. They know bridges and roads are going to be cut so each area is self-contained," he says.

War preparations

There is information that indicates Hezbollah had been preparing for a possible confrontation with Israel for a while and it had been stockpiling weapons.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41965000/jpg/_41965934_nasrallahsupport_ap203b.jpg
Hezbollah support appears to have remained strong despite the Israeli onslaught

Timor Goksel witnessed the birth of Hezbollah in the early 1980s when he was political adviser to the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.
"What we are seeing so far are what they call 'village reserves' - that's a very interesting thing. Hezbollah have not committed their troops yet," he says.
"What is in store for the Israelis if they go deeper, and then hold on to territory for a while, is that they are going to see the real combat in south Lebanon - a very classic insurgency and it will be a very costly one because then I think Hezbollah will commit its professional troops."
Hezbollah is not only a military group, and not only a political party; it also has social services that it provides for its supporters, Lebanon's Shia Muslims.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif Hezbollah has a full infrastructure that gives these people every possible means to keep standing http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Hussein, member of Hezbollah

At one Beirut school, 1,500 people are living in a refugee centre run by Hezbollah.
"The group has engineers, it has workers," says Hussein, one of the Hezbollah members running the centre.
"Hezbollah has a full infrastructure that gives these people every possible means to keep standing."
Another woman told me that even though they were refugees, Hezbollah was giving them everything they needed. The government had limited means, so Hezbollah was helping them, she said.
This is how Hezbollah guarantees unwavering loyalty and popular support - by providing for the Shia community.
The central government has been weak here for decades so it is easy for Hezbollah to step in.
But there is also a sense that Hezbollah monopolises the Shia and keeps the government at bay with its schools, hospitals and women's associations.
And with its substantial ****nal of weapons, many Lebanese see the group as a state within a state.
"Neither the government nor any segment of the Lebanese people can exert any control over what Hezbollah is doing or not doing," said Simon Karam, a former Lebanese ambassador to the US.
"Clearly Hezbollah did not calculate the consequences of its initial act and Lebanon was plunged into a total war with Israel. So this anxiety that was triggered by the initial action is still very strong and very present."
Anxiety and criticism are not voiced by many in Lebanon at the moment. There is a sense that now is the time for unity in the face of Israel. But eventually the Lebanese know they will have to address the issue of Hezbollah's military power inside Lebanon.


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5245116.stm)

Paracaidista
08-04-2006, 10:30 PM
Source: The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/04/world/middleeast/04mideast.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=all)

August 4, 2006
The Overview
Israel Renews Attack on Southern Lebanon

By RICHARD A. OPPEL (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/richard_a_jr_oppel/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Jr. and STEVEN ERLANGER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/e/steven_erlanger/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

MAALOT-TARSHIHA, Israel (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/israel/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), Aug. 3 — The Lebanese militia Hezbollah (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/hezbollah/index.html?inline=nyt-org) killed 12 Israelis — 8 civilians and 4 soldiers — on Thursday, making it Israel’s deadliest day in more than three weeks of conflict.

As Israeli troops tried to create a narrow buffer zone inside Lebanon (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/lebanon/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) and bombed southern Beirut, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/hassan_nasrallah/index.html?inline=nyt-per), warned that he would send his long-range missiles into Tel Aviv if the airstrikes continued.

“If you bomb our capital Beirut, we will bomb the capital of your usurping entity,” he said on Lebanese television. “We will bomb Tel Aviv.” But he also offered to halt Hezbollah’s missile barrage into Israel if it stopped bombing Lebanon.

[Israel pounded Hezbollah's southern Beirut strongholds with missiles early Friday, and in a sharp expansion of its bombing targeted bridges for the first time in the Christian heartland north of the capital, according to Associated Press reports.

Four civilians were killed and 10 wounded in the airstrikes on bridges, the Lebanese Red Cross said. A Lebanese soldier was killed and six people wounded in air raids near Beirut's airport and the southern suburbs of the capital overnight, security officials and witnesses said.]

The Israeli defense minister, Amir Peretz, told the army to begin preparing to push to the Litani River, some 15 miles north of the border, according to the newspaper Haaretz, a move that could mean a further call-up of military reservists. That would expand the security zone Israel is trying to create. But it is not clear whether he will receive government approval to do so.

Hezbollah launched more than 100 rockets on northern Israel in less than an hour, with most of the damage on the western edge, in Maalot, its associated Arab Israeli village of Tarshiha and the town of Acre.

Five Israelis, including a man and his daughter, were killed in Acre and another three, young Arab Israeli men, were killed when a rocket exploded in Tarshiha. Thirteen people were seriously wounded. Lebanese security officials said an Israeli missile killed a family of three in the border village of Taibe.

In Gaza, Israeli forces killed five Palestinian militants and three civilians in fighting on the edges of the southern town of Rafah as Israeli troops searched for tunnels to Egypt.

Israeli airplanes struck again at Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut, in the Bekaa Valley and in Nabatiye, while four Israeli soldiers were killed and four wounded in intermittently fierce fighting. Three were hit by an antitank missile fired by Hezbollah fighters near the southern village of Rajmin, and one was killed by an antitank missile in Taibe, the Israeli military said. The Israelis said they moved to take over new positions along the border and now control some 20 villages.

The Israelis are trying to create a new defensive line about four to five miles north of the border, recreating a security zone Israel intends to occupy until a multinational force can take its place. The zone is similar to that held by Israel in an occupation that ended in 2000. The government is debating whether to extend that zone north to the Litani River.

Maj. Zvika Golan, a spokesman for the northern command, said the zone would be expanded. “We are looking to clear 15 kilometers into Lebanon within the next few days,” he said. “We’re going to need more brigades, probably two more, and that will depend on government authorization.”

Adding two brigades could bring the number of Israeli soldiers in Lebanon to more than 12,000.

But Israeli troops have run into stiff resistance from Hezbollah fighters. One Israeli military official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that it had taught Israeli forces a “lesson” about the resolve, skill and discipline of the guerrillas.

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon said in a televised speech to an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, meeting in Malaysia, that 900 people had been killed, 3,000 wounded, and more than a million, a quarter of Lebanon’s population, displaced.

Mr. Siniora’s figures for deaths, like the Lebanese Health Ministry’s, appear to include those who are missing, and not just the 548 confirmed deaths, according to The Associated Press. The United Nations (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/united_nations/index.html?inline=nyt-org) estimated last week that 500,000 Lebanese had been displaced.

At the United Nations, France and the United States stepped up negotiations on the text of a Security Council resolution calling for an end to hostilities and establishing a path for a political settlement. Diplomats said the talks centered on two issues, which would take some time to resolve.

One, according to Jean-Marc de la Sablière, the French ambassador, was how to characterize the halt in fighting. A French-drafted resolution calls for “an immediate cessation of hostilities” while the Americans are insisting on a broader measure.

The other is the nature of the force in southern Lebanon once a truce begins. The French resolution suggests that it could be made up of the existing United Nations force and the Lebanese Army. The Americans favor Israel’s proposal to leave its own military there, with some restrictions on its power to conduct offensive operations but the right to respond if attacked.

Under this plan, Israeli troops would leave only when a new international force arrives. The international force would be authorized by a subsequent resolution that would also create a buffer zone in southern Lebanon, set up a way to disarm the Hezbollah militia, establish Lebanon’s borders and extend the Lebanese Army’s authority throughout the south.

One difficulty will be to persuade Hezbollah to accept any United Nations resolution. Its chief spokesman, Hussein Rahal, said Hezbollah would not agree to a cease-fire until all Israeli troops left Lebanon, a condition unacceptable to Israel.

“Declaring a cease-fire is not the concern of the people of Lebanon as long as there is one Israeli soldier on Lebanese soil,” he told Al Jazeera (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/al_jazeera/index.html?inline=nyt-org) television.

Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over parts of southern Beirut on Thursday warning residents to leave immediately, signaling attacks on the battered southern suburbs.

“Do it!” the leaflet warned.

[Israeli warplanes bombed the southern suburbs of Beirut early Friday. The Israeli Army said it had aimed at offices of Hezbollah, the house of a Hezbollah official and a building used by the Palestinian group Hamas (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/hamas/index.html?inline=nyt-org), ******* reported.

[Hours later, Israeli aircraft struck several bridges linking Beirut to the north of the country, ******* and Agence France-Presse reported, based on security sources and witnesses. Previously, Israel had focused on Lebanon’s east and south and Beirut’s southern suburbs.]

In a television appearance, Sheik Nasrallah spoke in a measured tone, occasionally peering at notes before him, flanked by a Lebanese flag on one side and a signature yellow Hezbollah flag on the other.

“You are victims, like the Lebanese and Palestinian people, of a personality complex in your Prime Minister Olmert,” he said, addressing the Israeli public directly. “The only choice before you is to stop your aggression and turn to negotiations to end this folly,” he said.

Sheik Nasrallah also taunted Arab leaders, calling on them to “be men for just one day” and work for an end to hostilities.

And he accused the United States of complicity in Israel’s attacks, saying, “the blood of children and women and civilians smear the faces of Bush, Condoleezza Rice (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/condoleezza_rice/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Cheney and Rumsfeld. This is the U.S. administration, which is supposed to be the friend of Lebanon and which wanted to make Lebanon an exemplary democratic country.”

The eight Israeli civilian fatalities represented the highest number of Israeli dead in a rocket attack since eight people were killed in the port city of Haifa on July 16.

The barrage of Hezbollah rockets — 120 for the day — displayed the continued ability of the militia to keep northern Israel paralyzed. Cars screeched to a halt as motorists ran for cover at the sound of explosions. Smoke rose over Maalot-Tarshiha and a nearby forest.

Tarshiha is a village of 4,000 Israeli Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, legally attached to the Jewish city of Maalot, which contains roughly 20,000 people, half of them immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The three young men, Muslim Arabs, were killed when a rocket struck next to the rock where they had taken cover.

“They had just parked to go to work,” said Capt. Gabby Elyahu of the Israeli border police, as he stood near the foot-deep crater left by the rocket. “They left their car and went to go hide behind the rock, and they were killed.”

In Milya, a Christian Arab village nearby, at least 10 people suffered slight wounds when rockets fell Thursday afternoon, said the mayor, Fathi Assaf. In Acre, five people died as they went out from a shelter to look around after an initial wave of rockets. The dead included Shimon Zaribi, 44, and Mazal, his 16-year-old daughter. One body lay on the front lawn by a small stone fence topped with a white-picket extension, covered with a blanket.

“People have been holed up in shelters,” said Mayor Shimon Lancry of Acre to Israeli television. “It’s difficult, but people understand that soldiers are still fighting in Lebanon, and we will get through this period.”

The area of southern Beirut that Israel attacked is the center of Hezbollah’s presence in the city. Much of the area is deserted, a ruin of crushed buildings and burned-out cars and trucks. Some of the rubble was still smoking at midday. Most of the residents have fled.

The Israeli Army also released the conclusions of its inquiry into the bombing on Sunday in Qana that resulted in the deaths of 29 civilians sheltering in a basement. The Israelis, in a brief announcement, said that more than 150 rockets had been launched since July 12 “from within the village of Qana itself and the immediate surrounding area” and repeated that “the residents of Qana and the villages surrounding it were warned several times, through various media, to evacuate.” The report did not assert that rockets had been launched before the bombing.

The report said that the army did not know there were civilians in the building. “Had the information indicated that civilians were present in the building, the attack would not have been carried out.” The army said it regretted the loss of life.

Hassan M. Fattah and John Kifner contributed reporting from Beirut for this article, and Warren Hoge from the United Nations.

Beaufort
08-04-2006, 10:33 PM
For first time: Hizbullah targets Hadera area

At approximately 9:15 p.m. siren heard in Hadera for first time since fighting in Lebanon erupted; three rockets land in area; no injuries reported; earlier rocket landings reported near Migdal Haemek; more than 200 rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon on Friday, three civilians killed

Ahiya Raved

For the first time since the fighting in the north broke out Hizbullah fired long-range rockets toward the Hadera area, with Northern District Police saying they received reports of three landings; no injuries or damage were reported.

A siren was heard from Haifa to the Hadera area at approximately 9:15 p.m.

The Orot-Rabin power plant is located in Hadera’s beachfront area.


'We immediately ran to a protected space'

Eight people suffering from shock after hearing the blasts were evacuated to the Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera.

Hadera Mayor Haim Avitan called on the residents to remain calm and follow instructions.

“In the past few weeks the local municipality has prepared for such an event,” he said. “The shelters were cleaned. Just a few days ago we conducted a drill; we are at war, we must deal with it.”

Amram Gutman was in the area at the time of the attack: “We heard a boom and saw a flash of fire. I was with my wife and we both saw it. We were not frightened; I understood what was going on, I have some experience in these matters. People around us left the area quickly.”

Hadera resident Yisrael Rachmaninov said, “The siren was activated at 9:16 p.m., and we immediately ran to a protected space in our apartment. My mother heard two blasts.

Ron of Binyamina told Ynet, “the blast rattled the windows in our house; the siren in Binyamina was not activated.”

Later on Friday the Israel Air Force struck an object suspected to be the launcher used to fire rockets at Hadera, south of the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon.

Several blasts occurred in the area after the strike.

More than 200 rockets were fired at Israel from Lebanon on Friday; three civilians were killed (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286247,00.html)in the attacks.

At 7:15 p.m. Hizbullah resumed the rocket fire on northern Israel. A number of rockets landed in the Migdal Haemek area, and Magen David Adom security services said two people were lightly injured in the attack.

Earlier on Friday Manal Azzam, a 27-year-old mother of two from the village of Mghar was killed; a few hours later two Majdel Krum resident were also killed by rocket fire.

Eli Marchasin of Migdal Haemek told Ynet that 5 or 6 rocket landings were heard near the city. Sirens were activated in several northern communities in the Binyamina, Zichron Yaakova and Ada region. Rockets also landed on the Syrian side of the border.


'More than 14,000 Katyushas in all of Lebanon'

Majdel Krum residents told Ynet that the two men killed in the rocket attack on the village were relatives; they were apparently traveling in their car when the siren was activated and stepped out of it to seek shelter when they were struck and killed.

Dr. Ali Naama, director of a medical center outside Majdel Krum, said some 30 people injured in the attack on village were evacuated to the center.

“Six people sustained mostly light shrapnel-related injuries, while 24 others were treated for shock,” he said.

Two houses in the village of Mghar suffered direct hits at about 2:15 p.m., killing Manal Azzam as she was protecting her two children; two other residents were seriously injured, and 22 others were treated for shock.

Meanwhile, the IDF is continuing its attacks deep inside Lebanese territory.

“The attacks on Shiite neighborhoods in Beirut have resumed, along with the strikes on infrastructure in the Bekaa Valley and on bridges in west and east Beirut,” Brig. General Shuki Shihrur, head of IDF Northern Command Operations said.

“We also targeted roads used in Syrian and Iranian attempts to smuggle arms designated for Hizbullah use in Lebanon.”

Shihrur said “we do not have an interest in a confrontation with Syria, and we are not targeting equipment and weapons caches on its territory, despite the fact that in most cases we know where the weapons came from.”

The Brig. General said the IDF struck a third of Hizbullah’s 122-milimeter rocker ****nal, which have a range of 25 kilometers and ‘cover’ all of northern Israel.

“Hizbullah still possesses several thousand Katyusha rockets and their rocket-launching capabilities have not been completely foiled as of yet,” he said.

According to Shihrur, some 400 Hizbullah members have been killed in the fighting so far “but we can publish the names of only 230 of them.”

Asked why Hizbullah is still able to fire Katyusha rockets at Israel, Shihrur said “there are more than 14,000 Katyushas in all of Lebanon. Some are hidden in bunkers underground caches and in the homes of hundreds of south Lebanon residents. This is the reason we see dozens of cells that fire rockets quickly and immediately return to their hideouts. Sometimes they fire rockets with the use of a timer.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286401,00.html

Darth Vidar
08-05-2006, 02:55 AM
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286507,00.html

8 soldiers hurt in raid on Tyre

Commando soldiers landed north of Tyre.

Severe 3-hour gunbattle erupted when troops encountered Hizbullah operatives. Eight soldiers wounded, seven Hizbullah operatives killed.
Efrat Weiss

Another raid against Hizbullah: Special commando forces operating overnight Saturday in the area of the Lebanese city of Tyre encountered harsh battles with Hizbullah operatives in the area.

Eight IDF soldiers were wounded in the fighting, two of whom suffered severe wounds.

The army reported that seven Hizbullah operatives were killed in the confrontation. Lebanese media reported that a Lebanese soldier was killed in the battle.

It was yet unclear what the aim of the nighttime raid was: The IDF would not reveal the target of the offensive, but Lebanese sources assessed that Israel was aiming for the sources of the longer-range rocket fire which came from the city.
The long-range rockets were fired at Hadera Friday night for the first time.

..........

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525809134&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Aug. 5, 2006 9:34
Soldier, officer killed in Lebanon overnight
By JPOST.COM STAFF (updates@jpost.com)


Two IDF soldiers were killed overnight Friday and eight were wounded during operations in Lebanon, it was released on Saturday morning.
A Naval commando officer was killed when his unit operated against long-range rocket launchers in Tyre. An engineering corps soldier was killed in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon when a mortar shell struck his vehicle.





Looks like the S`13 has been operating inside Tyre last night.........

Darth Vidar
08-05-2006, 03:16 AM
More on last nights commando raid:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286507,00.html

10 soldiers hurt in raid on Tyre


Commando soldiers landed north of Tyre; severe 3-hour gunbattle erupted when troops encountered Hizbullah operatives. Ten soldiers wounded, two of them severely, and seven Hizbullah operatives killed.
Efrat Weiss

Another raid against Hizbullah: Special commando forces operating overnight Saturday in the area of the Lebanese city of Tyre encountered harsh battles with Hizbullah operatives in the area.


Ten IDF soldiers were wounded in the fighting, two of whom suffered severe wounds. The rest were lightly
to very lightly injured.


The army reported that seven Hizbullah operatives were killed in the confrontation. Lebanese media reported that a Lebanese soldier was killed by IAF helicopter gunship fire. Additionally it was reported that a Lebanese civilian was killed.


The aim of the nighttime raid was apparently to hit those responsible for the rocket attack on Hadera Friday night. The city of Tyre and its surroundings have become a central source of the long-range rocket fire against Israel recently.


Lebanese sources reported that the IDF commando fighters arrived in two units by helicopter around 1:00 a.m. and landed in an orange grove by the city’s northern entrance.
The troops cut through a fence and opened fire towards an apartment on the second floor of a building. The apartment was directly hit, and eyewitnesses reported its occupants were wounded.


A gunbattle between soldiers and Hizbullah gunmen erupted, with Israeli Air Force helicopter gunships backing up the soldiers on the ground.
A Hizbullah source told news agencies that during the battle a number of soldiers were hits. Some three hours later, at around 4:00 a.m., the soldiers left the scene. The two severely wounded soldiers as well as the other casualties were airlifted to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Snoshi
08-05-2006, 04:04 AM
Soldier dies of wounds sustained in south Lebanon fighting
By Amos Harel and Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondents and News Agencies

An Israel Defense Forces soldier who was seriously wounded in a strike by a Hezbollah anti-tank missile in south Lebanon succumbed to his wounds before dawn Saturday.

An IDF officer and two soldiers were killed and six others hurt in fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas Friday as Israel continued its ground forces campaign in South Lebanon.

The officer and two soldiers were killed in fierce gunbattles in the village of Markaba. Golani Brigade infantrymen were marching near the village when an anti-tank missile was launched at the force.

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Since the outbreak of hostilities, 45 IDF soldiers have been killed.

Also Saturday, eight IDF troops were wounded, two seriously and the rest lightly, in a commando raid in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre. Seven Hezbollah fighters were killed.

Two other soldiers were wounded Friday, one seriously and the other lightly. They were evacuated to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and Sieff Hospital in Safed respectively.

The funeral of one of the dead soldiers, Staff Sergeant Daniel Shiran, 20, of Haifa, was held Friday afternoon. The other felled soldier has been identified as Staff Sergeant Omri Haim Almakeis-Yakobovitch, 20, a native of Ramle. He will be laid to rest Sunday afternoon.

In a separate incident, an armor corps soldier was seriously hurt and another was lightly wounded near the South Lebanon village of Taibeh. They were hurt by an anti-tank missile Hezbollah fired at the tank in which the soldiers were driving.

Two other soldiers were wounded predawn Friday, one moderately and the other lightly, in gunbattles with Hezbollah in the same area. Five Hezbollah gunmen were killed in the exchange of fire.

IDF troops were trading heavy fire with Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon. On Thursday, four IDF soldiers were killed in combat with Hezbollah.

IDF says captured Hezbollah prisoners of war
Northern Command Brigadier General Shuki Shihrur said Friday that IDF soldiers operating in Lebanon had taken into captivity at least six Hezbollah gunmen in addition to the two men seized Thursday.

Shihrur said he believed the growing number of Hezbollah prisoners of war indicates the fatigue that is being felt by the organization's fighters.

Shihrur added that the IDF knows for certain that at least 230 Hezbollah operatives have been killed since the start of fighting and that the army has destroyed 220 long-range missile launchers.

The IDF brigadier general also said that the military is in the final stages of its plan to destroy Hezbollah infrastructure in the region adjacent to the border fence separating Israel and Lebanon.

Shihrur noted that the IDF has struck bridges in both east and west Beirut as well as roads across Lebanon used to transport arms and ammunition from Syria.

Darth Vidar
08-05-2006, 04:37 AM
Collection of maps relevant to the current war:

Israel-Lebanon War Maps - 2006

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/mideast_war_2006.html

DeltaWhisky58
08-05-2006, 04:44 AM
Israel maintains Lebanon assault

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41968000/jpg/_41968704_tyre_*****203body.jpg
Israel targeted Tyre from the air and the ground

Israeli planes have been in action again over Lebanon with raids on the capital, Beirut, and other targets.

The army said its carried out more than 70 air strikes - hitting Hezbollah missile launchers and militant facilities in the south of the city.
There were fierce clashes in the city of Tyre, the army said, while a soldier was killed in Taibeh in the east.
Meanwhile Hezbollah fired more missiles at the Israeli port city of Haifa, injuring five people.
At the United Nations in New York, negotiations are continuing on the wording of a resolution to try to bring about a ceasefire.

Commando raid

Israeli fighter-bombers again struck Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut a number of times early on Saturday.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
In pictures: Aid challenge (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5245884.stm)


Israeli Apache helicopters also raked areas to the south and east of Tyre with heavy machinegun fire and missiles.
Hezbollah's al-Manar television said Israeli helicopters launched a raid on the outskirts of the city but were repelled by Hezbollah fighters.
Lebanese security officials said Israeli commandos clashed with Hezbollah gunmen after landing in citrus groves in the north of Tyre. At least one Lebanese soldier and one civilian were killed, the officials said.
The Israeli military said eight of its commandos were injured and several Hezbollah fighters were killed in an operation in Tyre, but did not give any more details.
It said an Israeli soldier was killed in Taibeh after coming under a Hezbollah mortar attack.

UN moves

As the violence raged, the United States and France continued to try to resolve differences over the wording of a UN Security Council resolution that could bring about a ceasefire.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41968000/jpg/_41968252_qaacasualties_afp_203b.jpg
Friday's attack on the Syrian border killed farm workers, officials said

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan telephoned US President George W Bush and French President Jacques Chirac to express his concern about delays in reaching an agreement.
Diplomats said the differences lay in the timing of a truce - whether it would come before an international force was deployed - as France wants - or along with the deployment.
Discussions followed a day of heavy fighting on Friday.
An Israeli air strike on the Lebanese village of Qaa, near Lebanon's north-eastern border with Syria, killed at least 28 people.
Local civil defence officials said it hit a vegetable warehouse where farm workers were loading produce.
An Israeli army spokesman said the building was believed to have taken delivery of weapons from Syria.
Hezbollah meanwhile fired some 190 missiles into Israel, killing three civilians. Several missiles hit Hadera, 75km (50 miles) south of the Lebanese border - the furthest rockets have reached since the conflict erupted more than three weeks ago.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5247670.stm)

Snoshi
08-05-2006, 05:03 AM
Ynet:Navy official praises efficiency of Tyre raid
A senior officer in the Israeli Navy said the raid in Tyre overnight Saturday was effective and quickly executed via a combination of “intelligence capabilities, which led forces to those responsible for the long-range missile fire towards Israel.”
According to the official, during the operation, which lasted three hours, roughly 10 Hizbullah men were killed. (Efrat Weiss)

Beaufort
08-05-2006, 07:59 AM
Naval commando unit raids Tyre in overnight operation

By JPOST.COM STAFF (updates@jpost.com)



Two Naval commando soldiers, including one officer, were seriously wounded and six more sustained light wounds, in an overnight raid on Tyre early Saturday morning. All the wounded were evacuated to Israel to receive medical treatment.

The operation, which was conducted based on military intelligence, targeted terrorists that were responsible for firing long-range rockets at Israel, including those that reached Hadera on Friday.

The commandos entered an apartment building in a crowded residential area in northern Tyre, where they engaged with Hizbullah operatives, including three senior members.

When the elite unit left the apartment, they were fired upon from several directions. IAF aircrafts and drones covered the force and cleared an exit for it. Seven Lebanese were killed in the operation.

Head of Naval intelligence told Army Radio that an aerial assault on the building was avoided since it was not known whether there were civilians in the building. He also mentioned that the ground operation sent a strong message to the fighters, indicating that the IDF can reach deep into
Lebanon.

A Hizbullah statement said that Naval commandos tried to land in the orchards of the village of Chabriha, just north of Tyre, at 3:30 a.m. but were repelled by Hizbullah guerrillas and Lebanese soldiers who heavily clashed with the forces.

"One member of the infiltrating force was killed and a large number of others were wounded," the Hezbollah statement said.
No IDF soldiers were killed in Tyre.

Operating in western Lebanon, IDF reserve forces uncovered a large weapons cache, including anti-tank missiles, in the village of Yaroun later in the day.

The IDF said that some 40 Hizbullah operatives were killed in the eastern sector since the beginning of the fighting.
In a later operation, IDF troops identified and destroyed a rocket launcher in the village of Bint Jbail, in the central sector of southern Lebanon on Saturday.
The launcher was aimed at the northern town of Ma'a lot, the IDF said.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525809088&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

DeltaWhisky58
08-05-2006, 08:01 AM
Israeli commandos stage Tyre raid

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41968000/jpg/_41968704_tyre_*****203body.jpg
Israel targeted Tyre from the air and the ground

Israeli commandos have clashed with Hezbollah fighters during a raid on the southern Lebanese city of Tyre.

The Israeli army said eight soldiers were wounded and several militants were killed in the operation which it said targeted Hezbollah rocket launchers.
Israel said it carried out more than 70 air strikes across Lebanon overnight, while Hezbollah fired more rockets at the Israeli city of Haifa on Saturday.
Diplomats meanwhile are continuing to work on a resolution for a ceasefire.
The US and France are trying to resolve differences over the wording of a UN resolution calling for an end to the violence and authorising the deployment of an international force in southern Lebanon.

'Spent bullets'
Israeli troops raided an apartment block in Tyre, from where, officials said, long-range missiles had been launched at Israel hours earlier.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
In pictures: Aid challenge (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5245884.stm)

One missile hit the town of Hadera, 75km (50 miles) from the Israel-Lebanon border - the deepest strike into Israel so far.
Lebanese officials said a unit of commandos landed by helicopter near an orange grove in the north of the city before storming the building, the Associated Press news agency reported.
******* news agency quoted an unnamed Israeli naval officer as saying the guerrilla cell was on the second floor of a five-storey block in a densely populated neighbourhood.
"As we burst inside, we hit a number of terrorists inside the apartment with close-quarter shots and grenades," the officer was quoted as saying.
Hezbollah al-Manar television said Hezbollah fighters repelled the attack, showing pictures of spent bullets and a blood-stained concrete floor.
Israel said eight soldiers were wounded in the operation, two seriously. It said a number of Hezbollah militants were killed and several rocket-launchers destroyed.
Lebanese officials said a Lebanese soldier and at least four civilians were killed.
Hezbollah said it fired more missiles at Haifa in retaliation for the raid, leaving five people wounded.
Elsewhere, an Israeli soldier died after coming under Hezbollah mortar fire in the eastern village of Taibeh.
Diplomatic moves
As the violence raged, the United States and France continued to try to resolve differences over the wording of a UN Security Council resolution that could bring about a ceasefire.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41969000/jpg/_41969146_protest_ap203body.jpg
David Welch's arrival in Beirut coincided with an anti-US protest

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan telephoned US President George W Bush and French President Jacques Chirac on Friday to express his concern about delays in reaching an agreement.
Diplomats said the differences lay in the timing of a truce - whether it would come before an international force was deployed - as France wants - or along with the deployment.
US Middle East envoy David Welch meanwhile arrived in Beirut at what could be a critical stage in the diplomatic process, says the BBC's Nick Childs in the Lebanese capital.
There was a heavy security presence close to the prime minister's office, in part because there was also a pro-Hezbollah demonstration in the square nearby, our correspondent says.
Mr Welch held talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and parliament speaker Nabih Berri, the leader of the Shia Amal movement and a possible conduit to Hezbollah. The envoy did not comment following the meetings.


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5247670.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-05-2006, 08:16 AM
Life on the Israeli border

By Martin Patience
BBC News, Kibbutz Menara, northern Israel
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/999999.gif

Yuval Kerer lives on a kibbutz so close to the Israeli-Lebanese border that he can see Hezbollah militants launching rockets into the Jewish state.

Looking through his binoculars a week ago, the Israeli farmer spotted suspicious activity about 400m (0.25 miles) away.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41968000/jpg/_41968424_kiryatshmona_*****_203b.jpg
Rocket attacks punctuate life in northern Israel


"You could see the movement of their hands. You could see the house owner remonstrating with a Hezbollah terrorist not to fire rockets from beside his house," says the 42-year-old.
Like Mr Kerer, life for many Israelis remaining in the north of the country means witnessing this conflict perilously close-up.
Here at Kibbutz Menara - just 30m (yards) from the border - there is an almost constant thunder of Israeli artillery shells echoing off the khaki-coloured mountains.
Occasionally, you see the trail of a Hezbollah rocket racing up into the sky and then a few seconds later you hear either a loud or quiet explosion, depending on where it lands.
From the kibbutz's hilltop you can make out the white mosque minarets in Lebanese villages like Maroun al-Ras that have seen fierce fighting between Israeli troops and Hezbollah militants in the last two weeks.

Orchards

Against this backdrop, thousands of Israelis have fled this part of the country.
Further south, in cities like Haifa, over half the population has left, while others are living in bomb shelters.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41968000/jpg/_41968404_hatandgun_203.jpg
Yuval Kerer always takes his gun with him as he visits his orchards

About 2,400 Hezbollah rockets have been fired into Israel, killing at least 29 Israeli civilians.
But even with a war that he can watch from his living room window, Mr Kerer, a lean man with a weather-beaten face, insists that he intends to remain in his home.

"It's easier for me to stay here than sleep in a strange bed," he says, his brown Rhodesian Ridgeback dog lying in a blue basket beside him for company.
"Even now I'm worried about getting hurt. I don't want to be mincemeat on the ground. But I've got to work. I can't leave this place."
The kibbutz derives the majority of its income from its apple orchards. Various varieties are grown such Golden Delicious and Royal Gala.

On fire

Now it is the picking season and the kibbutz has no labourers to harvest the fruit. The kibbutz's 24 Thai workers are staying in the community's bunker after a stray missile fired by an Israeli helicopter landed close to where they were working. Nobody was injured in the incident.
But every day, Mr Kerer carrying a sub machine gun - "you never know who you will meet," he says - checks and fixes the orchard's irrigation system.
Raised on the kibbutz, Mr Kerer says most of the 250 members of the community have left.
The children have been sent to different kibbutzim across Israel. Mr Kerer's girlfriend left a few days ago, fearful for her safety.
It is not difficult to be reminded why. As Mr Kerer talks his words are drowned out by the sound of the sirens and speaker announcement urging the community to run to its bomb shelters. A rocket attack is imminent.
Mr Kerer sits still, his face emotionless - he has become used to this. Ten seconds later, two tremendous bangs.
The rockets hit a wooded hillside, 300m (300 yards) below the kibbutz, setting trees on fire.
Half-an-hour later, a crop duster plane tries to douse the forest fires with plumes of bright red fire retardant. But the north of Israel is left burning in the heat of war.


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5247486.stm)

Beaufort
08-05-2006, 09:06 AM
Sgt. Or Shahar, 20, killed in Lebanon

By JPOST.COM STAFF (updates@jpost.com)


An IDF soldier, 20-year-old Sgt. Or Shahar from Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, was killed in the Lebanese town Nabi al-Awadi late Friday night.

While his engineering corps unit was operating in the area at about 1 a.m., Lebanese operatives fired a mortar shell at his vehicle, wounding both him and another soldier.

Shahar, who was seriously wounded, later died of his wounds. The other soldier was lightly wounded and did not require medical treatment in Israel.

Nabi el-Awadi is located north of Metulla near the Lebanese village of Ataybe, where Sgt. Yonathan Sharabi was killed (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1153292058886&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) on Thursday in a battle with Hizbullah guerrillas.

Shahar was meant to celebrate his 21st birthday on Sunday.
Army Radio reported that his grandfather was killed while defending Kibbutz Yad Mordechai during the War of Independence in 1948 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Yad_Mordechai).

These days, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is under the incessant threat of Kassam rockets fired by Palestinians out of the Gaza *****.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525810003&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

alexz
08-05-2006, 10:17 AM
3 More israelis (Probably Arabs) killed by hezbollah.

Western Galilee: 3 killed in rocket attack

Heavy rocket barrage hits north Saturday afternoon: Rockets land in Ma'alot, Tiberias, Nahariya, Shlomi and Kiryat Shmona. Three people killed near Shlomi after house suffers direct hit. Building, public sports facility hit in Ma'alot; building also hit in Nahariya area. In Shlomi, rockets start fires
Hagai Einav

Another rocket barrage hits Israel: A heavy rocket barrage landed Saturday afternoon in the area of Tiberias, Nahariya, Shlomi and Ma'alot.

One of the rockets directly hit a building in one of the communities near Nahariya. The rest of the rockets landed in open areas. There were no reports of injuries.

In the Shlomi area, rockets started a number of fires. The sirens in these communities, and next to them, have been activated once and again since the afternoon hours.

In Ma'alot, one of the rockets directly hit a building and another one hit a local sports facility. Another two rockets landed in open areas next to villages in the Ma'alot area. There were no reports of injuries.

A siren was also heard in Rosh Pina, Hatzor Haglilit, Safed, and the entire Galilee area. Sirens were also activated in Haifa and the surrounding areas, but there were no reports of rockets landing in there.

This was the second barrage fired at the northern communities Saturday. Earlier , at around 8:15 a.m., about 11 rockets fell in Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Motzkin, and Kiryat Bialik. An 85-year-old woman from Kiryat Ata was brought to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after going into cardiac arrest during a an air raid siren.

Upon arrival at the hospital, she was ****ounced dead. Her neighbors said that she ran to the shelter during the siren, but when she made her way back to her apartment her heart stopped.



http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286608,00.html

Snoshi
08-05-2006, 10:42 AM
Ynet:United States and France say they have reached a deal on a UN Security Council resolution to end fighting between Israel and Hezbullah in Lebanon. (AP)

Snoshi
08-05-2006, 10:44 AM
Saudi religious leader blasts Hizbullah
By CAIRO, EGYPT
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A top Saudi Sunni cleric, whose ideas inspired Osama bin Laden, issued a religious edict Saturday disavowing the Shi'ite guerrilla group Hizbullah, evidence that a rift remained among Muslims over the fighting in Lebanon.

Hizbullah, which translates as "the party of God," is actually "the party of the devil," said Sheik Safar al-Hawali, whose radical views made the al-Qaida leader one of his followers in the past.

"Don't pray for Hizbullah," he said in the fatwa posted on his Web site.

The edict, which reflects the historical stand of strict Wahhabi doctrine viewing Shi'ite Muslims as heretics, follows a similar fatwa from another popular Saudi cleric Sheik Abdullah bin Jibreen two weeks into the conflict with Israel.

"It is not acceptable to support this rejectionist party (Hizbullah), and one should not fall under its command, or pray for its victory," bin Jibreen said at the time. That fatwa set off a maelstrom across the Arab world, with other leaders and people at the grass roots level imploring Muslims to put aside differences to support the fight against Israel.

There have been daily demonstrations in support of Hizbullah around the region, including in predominantly Sunni and generally pro-western countries like Jordan.

Even the Saudi government, which initially condemned Hizbullah for sparking the fighting by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers in "uncalculated adventures," backed down and said it warned the United States the region would be headed toward war unless Washington halted the Israeli attacks.

Last week, al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri issued a videotape that urged all Muslims everywhere to rise up in holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza.

Mohammed Habib, deputy leader of Egypt's largest Islamic Sunni group, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, immediately rejected al-Hawali's new religious edict, saying Hizbullah is defending "the whole Islamic nation."

Al-Hawali is receiving medical treatment in Jeddah and could not be reached for comment.

In remarks published Saturday, Kuwait's prime minister, Sheik Nasser al-Mohammed al-Sabah, also warned that if the conflict does not end soon, it could give rise to new radicals.

"I believe that if this Israeli war on Lebanon goes on, it could contribute to creating new terrorists, and that of course would pose a new danger in the area," he told Egyptian magazine el-Mussawar.

Kaplanr
08-05-2006, 01:43 PM
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525797803&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Middle Israel: Who won?

Amotz Asa-El, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 3, 2006


At this writing it is still unclear whether Israel's offensive in Lebanon has been merely slowed down momentarily, or altogether stopped in its tracks. And yet several conclusions can already be drawn.

Militarily, the IDF has disappointed in its operation's lack of swiftness and imagination. Massive aerial bombardments on mountainous guerrilla enclaves, followed by ground forces frontally approaching villages just beyond the border fence, could hardly have been more banal. Had we been a superpower we may have been in a position to adopt such a quantitative, time-consuming attitude, but the fact is that Israel never gets enough time in its wars, and can therefore lose no time in rushing to the enemy's heart.

Considering south Lebanon's compactness, its proximity to Israel and the high motivation of our troops - many of whom are themselves residents of the North - it takes no military genius to believe that the situation demanded airborne commando raids in the enemy's rear, and Hizbullah's leaders to be targeted not with megatons of dynamite unleashed from warplanes far above them, but with 5.56-mm. bullets shot from their bunker's doorstep.

Instead we saw an over-reliance on air power that brought to mind military thinker Giulio Douhet, who is widely recognized as the prophet of the warplane's supremacy in the battlefield and of strategic bombing's decisiveness in winning wars. While pioneering, this Italian general's insights were conceived in the wake of World War I, and were already considered anachronistic before the end of World War II, which demonstrated that wars are won on the ground.

Judging by what we have seen so far, either the General Staff failed to recognize this simple fact or, worse, it just did not anticipate and prepare for an order to swiftly defeat Hizbullah.

HOPEFULLY, this war's aftermath will still be shaped by, and remembered for, a very inventive last act - but if it isn't, one of its conclusions may well have to be that Ariel Sharon's experimental appointment of a pilot as chief of staff has been a failure.

Equally disappointing, if less important, was the IDF Spokesman's performance. Brig.-Gen. Miri Regev's failure to silence all uniformed babblers - and at the same time assign one authoritative and eloquent general who would brief the public daily - has been unprofessional and damaging. No less perplexing was the initial failure to embed reporters and deliver footage from the battlefield, not to mention Regev's failure to effectively and personally address the big foreign networks, especially after Kana.

And yet all these drawbacks do not change the fact that Hizbullah has been dealt a strategic blow for which it did not prepare, and from which it is not likely to recover with its prewar clout intact.

FIRST OF all, while Hizbullah's troops were motivated and brave, at the end of the day they were defeated decisively in each encounter with IDF infantry. Even more importantly, Hizbullah lost its hard-won grip on the Israeli-Lebanese border, and will therefore find it more difficult in the aftermath of this war to disrupt its protection the way it could before.

Secondly, Hizbullah's main doomsday weapon - the ground-to-ground rocket and missile - has been exposed and severely damaged. Considering that Hizbullah's possession of this weapon, and its willingness to use it, were no secret, what remained to be seen was the impact of its unleashing; and that impact proved anti-climactic.

With nearly 2,000 rockets fired as of Tuesday, their potential damage seems no more challenging than the suicide-bomb attack, the last new weapon with which Israel was massively challenged. An attack that for nearly three weeks targeted a million civilians but managed to kill or seriously wound fewer than 100 is not what Hizbullah sought. Moreover, the Home Front Command has now been provided with vast hands-on experience in dealing with this threat, and can be counted on to use that experience in perfecting its ability to shield civilians from rocket attack.

MOST OMINOUSLY, Hizbullah has caused Israel to formally target civilian locations that shield terrorists. In this it has done a disservice to Israel's enemies, who will in the future find it more difficult to abuse the Jewish concern for human life.

Equally damaging from its viewpoint has been Hizbullah's contribution to the restoration of the Israeli consensus. The patriotism and unity with which Israel is taking this skirmish are for us priceless, and have already refuted Hassan Nasrallah's memorable boasts that Israel's social fabric is as weak as a spider web.

Having said all this, the worst blows to Hizbullah's position were beyond the battlefield and, in fact, beyond this region.

AROUND THE globe Hizbullah is now recognized as part of the fundamentalist threat to mankind's freedom and well-being; not because Israel has said anything about this with particular eloquence - it hasn't - but because the whole world watched the entire leadership of the industrialized powers, along with the major Arab countries, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, treat it with contempt.

True, this trend has yet to mature. As the Kana tragedy has demonstrated, fingering Israel in such moments still comes reflexively to too many people, most of whom didn't even bother to mention Hizbullah's unabashed targeting of a million civilians for the previous three weeks; if, as Hosni Mubarak demanded Monday, the Kana attack warrants an international inquiry, why wouldn't the attacks on Haifa, Tiberias and Nazareth?

Equally frustrating and unreconstructed was the French foreign minister's insistence this week that "Iran is a stabilizing factor in the Middle East" - a statement that makes sense if you also think that robbers stabilize the banking system and contraception makes more Catholics.

And yet even France and Egypt did nothing to stop Israel's assault on Hizbullah, and in fact still openly share Jerusalem's view that Lebanon's Islamist militia should be disarmed and pushed northward.

The extent to which this actually transpires remains to be seen, but the fact is that Nasrallah has overplayed his hand, emerging from this bout facing a world that has lost much of its prewar patience for his bravado and provocations. Lebanon's non-Shi'ite majority know he is out to hand Beirut to Teheran, they know he does not share their quest for liberty, and they know it is he who has inflicted all this damage on their land. Now they also know that if they won't challenge him, someone else will, even if it comes at their expense.

Snoshi
08-05-2006, 04:37 PM
Brazilian national killed fighting for Hizbullah
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
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A Brazilian teenager has been killed in Lebanon while fighting for Hizbullah, Brazil's foreign ministry said Saturday.

Ibrahim Saleh, 17, died Tuesday after an Israeli airstrike, the ministry said. Saleh's mother was Brazilian, but he never visited Brazil and lived in Lebanon all his life.

Authorities said he likely was recruited by Hizbullah at an early age, and that his 23-year-old brother also was in Lebanon fighting against Israel.

Snoshi
08-05-2006, 04:58 PM
IDF forces uncovered mortar weaponry with a diameter of 120 mm. aimed towards Israel in the village of Mehaviv in south Lebanon on Saturday night.

Found next to the mortar, were approximately one hundred mortar shells ready for use.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1154525811881

Beaufort
08-06-2006, 12:43 AM
Hezbollah anti-tank fire causing most IDF casualties in Lebanonhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

By Ze'ev Schiff (contact@haaretz.co.il)
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif
The majority of Israel Defense Forces ground troops casualties, both infantry and armored, were the result of special anti-tank units of Hezbollah, according to intelligence sources.

The same sources note that these units have not retreated from southern Lebanon following the deployment of large IDF ground forces in the area.

The Hezbollah anti-tank teams use a new and particularly potent version of the Russian-made RPG, the RPG-29, that has been sold by Moscow to the Syrians and then transferred to the Shi'ite organization.

Some of the IDF casualties resulted when the rockets struck homes in which IDF troops had taken positions. This was the case when four soldiers of the elite Egoz unit were killed in the village of Bint Jbail. In that case a Sagger anti-tank missile had been used.

The RPG-29's penetrating power comes from its tandem warhead, and on a number of occasions has managed to get through the massive armor of the Merkava tanks.

The IDF had intelligence information on Hezbollah plans to deploy specialized anti-tank teams in order to delay the advance of IDF ground forces. The special focus Hezbollah gave to anti-tank weapons as part of their doctrine was revealed during the raid on the border village of Ghajar in November 2005.

During that attack, Hezbollah fighters attempted to kidnap IDF soldiers, and some of the guerrillas were killed and their bodies left behind.

This was the same unit that fought in Bint Jbail and whose men were killed there.

During the battle at Ghajar, which is inside Israeli territory and has an Alawite population, Hezbollah fighters fired more than 300 anti-tank rockets of different types, including the new RPG-29, which targetted various armored vehicles and two Merkava Mark-2 tanks. One of the two tanks had the necessary armor to deflect the missiles, but the other took a hit to the body.

Following the battle at Ghajar, Israeli inquiries that Russia was transferring modern anti-tank weapons to Syria and on to Hezbollah were received with anger. The Russians demanded proof that this had been done.

Contrary to common practice, Israel transferred to Russia the tail-end of a rocket for analysis. The Russian response was that in the absence of a serial number they were hard pressed to identify it as part of a load delivered to Syria.

The IDF believes Hezbollah also has an advanced anti-aircraft missile, the SA-18, from Iran. It is particularly lethal against helicopters, and even though none of the missiles have been fired against Israel Air Force aircraft, the flights over Lebanon are taking the necessary precautions.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746929.html

jason82
08-06-2006, 12:56 AM
During the battle at Ghajar, which is inside Israeli territory and has an Alawite population, Hezbollah fighters fired more than 300 anti-tank rockets of different types, including the new RPG-29, which targetted various armored vehicles and two Merkava Mark-2 tanks. One of the two tanks had the necessary armor to deflect the missiles, but the other took a hit to the body.

Following the battle at Ghajar, Israeli inquiries that Russia was transferring modern anti-tank weapons to Syria and on to Hezbollah were received with anger. The Russians demanded proof that this had been done.

Contrary to common practice, Israel transferred to Russia the tail-end of a rocket for analysis. The Russian response was that in the absence of a serial number they were hard pressed to identify it as part of a load delivered to Syria.

The IDF believes Hezbollah also has an advanced anti-aircraft missile, the SA-18, from Iran. It is particularly lethal against helicopters, and even though none of the missiles have been fired against Israel Air Force aircraft, the flights over Lebanon are taking the necessary precautions.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746929.html

Quick report from the front: My unit has come upon some VERY concrete evidence proving this theory. I don't want to into detail, but I hope it will be brought to light soon. And just to let everyone know, i sadly agree with Amotz Asa-El's article on our relatively timid response. The battles are playing out like a game of hide and go seek, except both sides are playing 'hide'. I go back in tonight, and i will try to keep people updated...

Beaufort
08-06-2006, 02:36 AM
Iran to send missiles to Hizbullah

Jane's Defense Weekly reports of surface-to-air missile transfer between Tehran, Shiite terror group

Ynetnews

Hizbullah will receive shipments of surface-to-air missile systems in the coming months from Iran, enhancing the terror organization's ability to shoot at Israel Air Force crafts, according a Jane's Defense Weekly report released on Friday.
During a July meeting, Hizbullah called on Tehran to "accelerate and extend the scope of weapon shipments from Iran to the Islamic Resistance, particularly advanced missiles against ground and air targets."

The magazine added that Hizbullah sought "an array of more advanced weaponry, including more advanced SAM (surface-to-air missile) systems."

"Iranian authorities conveyed a message to the Hezbollah leadership that their forces would continue to receive a steady supply of weapons systems," Jane's said.

"The details coming from the meeting reveal that they are about ensuring a constant supply of weapons to support Islamic Resistance operations against Israel," said Robin Hughes, Jane's Middle East Editor.

"We are told the latest meeting was attended by senior representatives of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' Quds force which is responsible for training and logistic support for Iranian-backed insurgent groups."

The magazine also stated that Tehran supplied Hizbullah with Iranian-made Noor radar-guided anti-ship cruise missiles and Chinese QW-1 (Vanguard) shoulder-launched SAMs.

Russian made SAMs will, according to reports, be supplied at a later date.

Israeli corvette off the Lebanese coast was struck by a Hezbollah anti-ship missile a few weeks ago, killing four sailors. Israel said the missile was produced by Iran. Tehran claimed it was not involved.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286926,00.html

Tartalo
08-06-2006, 03:23 AM
Hezbollah anti-tank fire causing most IDF casualties in Lebanon
By Ze'ev Schiff

The majority of Israel Defense Forces ground troops casualties, both infantry and armored, were the result of special anti-tank units of Hezbollah, according to intelligence sources.

The same sources note that these units have not retreated from southern Lebanon following the deployment of large IDF ground forces in the area.

The Hezbollah anti-tank teams use a new and particularly potent version of the Russian-made RPG, the RPG-29, that has been sold by Moscow to the Syrians and then transferred to the Shi'ite organization.

Some of the IDF casualties resulted when the rockets struck homes in which IDF troops had taken positions. This was the case when four soldiers of the elite Egoz unit were killed in the village of Bint Jbail. In that case a Sagger anti-tank missile had been used.

The RPG-29's penetrating power comes from its tandem warhead, and on a number of occasions has managed to get through the massive armor of the Merkava tanks.

The IDF had intelligence information on Hezbollah plans to deploy specialized anti-tank teams in order to delay the advance of IDF ground forces. The special focus Hezbollah gave to anti-tank weapons as part of their doctrine was revealed during the raid on the border village of Ghajar in November 2005.

During that attack, Hezbollah fighters attempted to kidnap IDF soldiers, and some of the guerrillas were killed and their bodies left behind.

This was the same unit that fought in Bint Jbail and whose men were killed there.

During the battle at Ghajar, which is inside Israeli territory and has an Alawite population, Hezbollah fighters fired more than 300 anti-tank rockets of different types, including the new RPG-29, which targetted various armored vehicles and two Merkava Mark-2 tanks. One of the two tanks had the necessary armor to deflect the missiles, but the other took a hit to the body.

Following the battle at Ghajar, Israeli inquiries that Russia was transferring modern anti-tank weapons to Syria and on to Hezbollah were received with anger. The Russians demanded proof that this had been done.

Contrary to common practice, Israel transferred to Russia the tail-end of a rocket for analysis. The Russian response was that in the absence of a serial number they were hard pressed to identify it as part of a load delivered to Syria.

The IDF believes Hezbollah also has an advanced anti-aircraft missile, the SA-18, from Iran. It is particularly lethal against helicopters, and even though none of the missiles have been fired against Israel Air Force aircraft, the flights over Lebanon are taking the necessary precautions.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746929.html

Snoshi
08-06-2006, 03:24 AM
Ynet:A number of Hizbullah terrorists were killed during an operation of IDF special forces in the past 48 hours. During the operations south of the city of Tyre, the forces destroyed three rocket launchers, a bunker, three ammunition caches, and three vehicles used by Hizbullah.

In addition, a reserve force killed an armed terrorist during the night in the village of Beit Leif in the western zone of southern Lebanon. The force also identified a number of terrorists in the village of al-Tiri in the western zone, killing one of them and wounding many others. In Rajmin, the IDF killed an armed terrorist. (Efrat Weiss)

Tartalo
08-06-2006, 03:29 AM
Israeli pilots 'deliberately miss' targets

Fliers admit aborting raids on civilian targets as concern grows over the reliability of intelligence

Inigo Gilmore at Hatzor Air Base, Israel
Sunday August 6, 2006
The Observer

At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities.

Voices expressing concern over the armed forces' failures are getting louder. One Israeli cabinet minister said last week: 'We gave the army so much money. Why are we getting these results?' Last week saw Hizbollah's guerrilla force, dismissed by senior Israeli military officials as 'ragtag', inflict further casualties on one of the world's most powerful armies in southern Lebanon. At least 12 elite troops, the equivalent of Britain's SAS, have already been killed, and by yesterday afternoon Israel's military death toll had climbed to 45.

As the bodies pile up, so the Israeli media has begun to turn, accusing the military of lacking the proper equipment, training and intelligence to fight a guerrilla war in Lebanon. Israel's Defence Minister, Amir Peretz, on a tour of the front lines, was confronted by troubled reserve soldiers who told him they lacked proper equipment and training.

Israel's chief of staff, Major-General Dan Halutz, had vowed to wipe out Hizbollah's missile threat within 10 days. These claims are now being mocked as rockets rain down on Israel's north with ever greater intensity, despite an intense and highly destructive air bombardment.

As one well-connected Israeli expert put it: 'If we have such good information in Lebanon, how come we still don't know the hideout of missiles and launchers?... If we don't know the location of their weapons, why should we know which house is a Hizbollah house?'

As international outrage over civilian deaths grows, the spotlight is increasingly turning on Israeli air operations. The Observer has learnt that one senior commander who has been involved in the air attacks in Lebanon has already raised concerns that some of the air force's actions might be considered 'war crimes'.

Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a 'refusenik' letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of 'common sense' and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force's moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.

Shapiro said: 'Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they're afraid people will be there, and they don't trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets.'

He added: 'One pilot told me he was asked to hit a house on a hill, which was supposed to be a place from where Hizbollah was launching Katyusha missiles. But he was afraid civilians were in the house, so he shot next to the house ...

'Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.'

So far none of the pilots has publicly refused to fly missions but some are wobbling, according to Shapiro. He said: 'Their target could be a house firing a cannon at Israel and it could be a house full of children, so it's a real dilemma; it's not black and white. But ... I'm calling on them to refuse, in order save our country from self-destruction.'

Meron Rappoport, a former editor at the Israeli daily Haaretz and military analyst, criticised the air force's methods for selecting targets: 'The impression is that information is sometimes lacking. One squadron leader admitted the evidence used to determine attacks on cars is sometimes circumstantial - meaning that if people are in an area after Israeli forces warned them to leave, the assumption is that those left behind must be linked to Hizbollah ... This is problematic, as aid agencies have said many people did not leave ... because they could not, or it was unsafe to travel on the roads thanks to Israel's aerial bombardment.'

These revelations raise further serious questions about the airstrike in Qana last Sunday that left dozens dead, which continues to arouse international outrage. From the outset, the Israeli military's version of events has been shrouded in ambiguity, with the army releasing a video it claims shows Katyusha rockets being fired from Qana, even though the video was dated two days earlier, and claiming that more than 150 rockets had been fired from the location.

Some IDF officials have continued to refer vaguely to Katyushas being launched 'near houses' in the village and to non-specific 'terrorist activity' inside the targeted building. In a statement on Thursday, the IDF said it the air force did not know there were civilians in what they believed was an empty building, yet paradoxically blamed Hizbollah for using those killed as 'human shields'.

Human rights groups have attacked the findings as illogical. Amnesty International described the investigation as a 'whitewash', saying Israeli intelligence must have been aware of the civilians'.

One Israeli commander from a different squadron called the Qana bombing a 'mistake' and was unable to explain the apparent contradiction in the IDF's position, although he insisted there would have been no deliberate targeting of civilians. He said he had seen the video of the attack, and admitted: 'Generally they [Hizbollah] are using human shields ... That specific building - I don't know the reason it was chosen as a target.'

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1838437,00.html

Snoshi
08-06-2006, 03:30 AM
Heavy clashes reported in village of Ras A-Baida
By YAAKOV KATZ AND JPOST.COM STAFF
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Heavy clashes between IDF reservists and Hizbullah guerillas were reported in the southern Lebanese village of Ras A-Baida on Sunday morning as the IDF completed the establishment of a security zone in southern Lebanon.

At least one Hizbullah operative was killed.

Meanwhile, it was released on Sunday that in the past 48 hours, special forces operated south of Tyre. The troops destroyed 3 rocket launchers, a bunker, three weapons warehouses, and three cars used to transport rockets.



Two reserve soldiers were killed in clashes with Hizbullah in southern Lebanon on Saturday. Army forces killed at least 50 Hizbullah guerillas over the weekend, the IDF said.

Cpl. Kiril Kazhsan, 26, from Haifa, a reservist from Brigade Two, was killed when an anti-tank missile hit a building in which he was stationed in the southern Lebanese village of Ita A-Sha'ab Saturday afternoon. At least 19 others were wounded - one seriously - in heavy exchanges of fire in the same village. Kazhsan will be laid to rest at 4 p.m. on Sunday in the military cemetary in Haifa.

Capt. Dr. Igor Rothstein, 34, from Poriya Neve-Oved, also in the reserves, was killed by an anti-tank missile fired at ground forces on Friday during clashes in southern Lebanon. He will be laid to rest at 5 p.m. on Sunday in the military cemetary in Be'ersheba.

The two were the first reservists killed in combat since the fighting in Lebanon began.

Meanwhile, an IDF soldier was seriously wounded after being hit by a mortar shell on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon. He was evacuated to Nahariya Hospital where he was operated and stabilized. Another soldier sustained light injuries.

OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam said on Saturday that he expected to see a decrease in the extent and range of the Hizbullah rocket attacks on Israel, as the terrorists would be pushed further and further northward.

Snoshi
08-06-2006, 04:09 AM
Who Will Disarm Hizballah? Not the Lebanese Army
Despite the furious diplomatic debate over how and in what sequence it will be implemented, the peace plan for Lebanon requires the following: Israeli forces will withdraw; an international force will be deployed in southern Lebanon; Hizballah will be disarmed; and protection of the border will be handed over to the Lebanese Army.

In essence, though the Lebanese Army is envisaged as the foundation of the long-term solution, it has remained remarkably silent during the three-week war on what is, legally at least, its own territory. And the reasons for its passivity may hold important clues to the final shape of a peace agreement.

A few days after the Israelis began their air raids and artillery bombardment, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr talked tough: "The Lebanese army will resist and defend the country," he said in a televised address. "If there is an invasion of Lebanon, we are waiting for them." Twenty-four days into the conflict, the Lebanese army is still waiting, and has made no move against the Israeli invasion.

To have stood up to the advancing Israeli armored columns, of course, would have been suicidal: The poorly equipped Lebanese military, whose annual budget is $542 million, is vastly outgunned by the Israelis, who spend more than $9 billion a year on keeping one of the world's most advanced armies equipped with cutting-edge American technology. "There is no way we are going to get the army into this conflict because within an hour it would be decimated," said one government official. "The only official orders the army has are to 'react if attacked directly' and it has already been attacked directly. The army can do nothing."

The Lebanese Army is weak not just by neglect, but also by design, however. Like the Lebanese government, the military allocates power and position on the basis of maintaining the delicate sectarian consensus that ended decades of bloody civil war. Domestic political stability rather than military effectiveness has been the guiding principle of its development. "The Lebanese army is a mirror of all the country; its job is to maintain stability in the country," said Retired General Salim Abu Ismail, a former military attache to Washington and the managing editor of Al Defaiya Defense Magazine. "During the Civil War, every sect had a portion of the army. In the late '80s, we had at least two armies, one Christian, one Muslim."

The makeup and capability of the Lebanese Army render it unthinkable, say military observers and government officials, for it to forcibly disarm Hizballah or take control of southern Lebanon. More than one third of the army's personnel is Shi'ite, drawn from a community in which Hizballah is overwhelmingly popular. And as long as it is the only force fighting the Israelis inside Lebanon, Hizballah's support would be even wider, making it even less likely that the government could order the Army to move against it. "The Lebanese Army will never be given any orders to disarm any militia, especially under these circumstances when Hizballah is being attacked by Israel," said Gen. Ismail. "The Lebanese army is not going to fight other Lebanese. There would be civil war."

Instead, government officials say, the only way that the Lebanese Army would deploy to the south would be as part of a political framework agreed to by Hizballah. On present indications, that would require a cease-fire agreement that included a prisoner exchange and settling of border disputes. The Lebanese Army could then work with an international force to ensure that Hizballah abided by the cease-fire, and that no new militias move into southern Lebanon as the PLO did in the 1970s and 1980s. "You can't just throw a force down into southern Lebanon and have it create peace," said Dr. Mohammed Chatah, a senior advisor to the Lebanese prime minister. "There has to be peace first."

France and the U.S. are currently butting heads over the sequencing of a peace process — Lebanon's view, requiring a deal with Hizballah as a precondition for deployment, appears to be closer to that of France — and the outcome of that debate may be dictated by events on the battlefield.

But even once consensus is achieved, the long-term role of the Lebanese Army in protecting the border would require a massive modernization that would take at least three years and cost upward of $1 billion, according to Dr. Riad Kahwaji, the Lebanese founder of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, a think tank in Dubai. Right now, its 1960s-era American and Soviet armor is so obsolete that spare parts are no longer available. Its only air force consists of 16 very old Huey helicopters that pilots call "flying coffins"; it has no navy except for four or five patrol boats; no border sensors; no night vision goggles; and minimal special forces. "The Lebanese army needs to focus on becoming more flexible," said Kahwaji. "Weapons smuggling, drug trafficking, al-Qaeda infiltration, this can only be dealt with by special operations."

On the positive side, however, the Lebanese army seems to be recovering its independence after the 15 years of Syrian domination. Although the Defense Minister, Elias Murr, is sometimes allied with Lebanon's pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud, there has been an extensive purge of pro-Syrian officers in the past year, according to Kahwaji. That's been especially true in military intelligence, often the most political — and powerful — branch of Arab militaries.

Even with extensive modification, of course, the Lebanese army is unlikely to be a match for its more powerful neighbors, Israel and Syria. "We are a small country and we have to rely on international agreements to protect ourselves," said Gen. Ismail. But international treaties and allies have failed Lebanon in the past. And with the international community still refraining from imposing an immediate cease-fire, many Lebanese continue to look to Hizballah as their only defense against the Israeli invader.
http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...0.html?cnn=yes

Beaufort
08-06-2006, 04:24 AM
IDF Special Forces continue operating deep into Lebanon

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifBy Jonathan Lis (jlis@haaretz.co.il), Amiram Barkat, Yoav Stern (stern@haaretz.co.il) and Agencieshttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif
Israel Defense Forces Special Forces operating in the last few days south of the city of Tyre destroyed three rocket launchers, a bunker, munitions warehouses and vehicles used by Hezbollah, it was reported on Sunday.

Two IDF soldiers were killed this weekend in fighting in southern Lebanon. IDF ground forces continued their advance into Lebanon over the weekend and in some areas exceeded the borders of the security zone Israel pulled out from in May 2000.

Brigadier General Shuki Shahrur said Friday that the number of Hezbollah fighters killed in the fighting since 12 July had exceeded 400, and eight had been taken prisoner in recent days.

A reservist soldier was killed and four other troops were injured when an anti-tank missile hit a home in which they took up position in the southern Lebanese village of Ayta a-Shab. Corporal Kyril Kashdan, 26, of Haifa, is the first reservist killed in the IDF ground operation in Lebanon. He will be buried at the Haifa cemetery at 5.00 P.M. on Sunday.

Four soldiers had already been killed in that village, also from an anti-tank missile attack on a home. The village is about one kilometer north of the border with Israel, and is immediately across from the area where two IDF soldiers were abducted on July 12.

The second IDF reservist killed over weekend was identified as Captain Dr. Igor Rothstein, 34, of Poriyah near Tiberias. He will be laid to rest at 5.00 P.M. on Sunday in the military cemetery in Be'er Sheva.

Earlier in the day, an IDF engineering corps soldier died of his wounds after sustaining serious injuries from a mortar round that struck vehicle in which he was being transported.

The slain soldier has been identified as Staff Sergeant Or Shachar, 22, from Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.

Another soldier suffered light injuries and was treated at the scene.

The incident occurred near Nabi el-Awadi, which lies near the village of A'taibeh and is situated in the eastern sector of south Lebanon.

Israel called up about 30,000 reservists over the past week.

Altogether, 47 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the conflict.

At least 12 Hezbollah guerillas were killed in gunbattles with the IDF Saturday, bringing the total of Hezbollah men killed over the weekend to 50, Israel Radio reported.

Three guerillas were captured over the weekend in an IDF raid on the village of Sham'a, in the west of South Lebanon. The three were engaging in rocket launching at Israel, the radio said.

Lebanese sources: At least five more fatalities in IAF strikes
Israel Air Force strikes on the southern Lebanese village of Ansar killed at least five civilians on Sunday, police and local residents said.

They said Israeli aircraft had struck a residential area of Ansar.

Lebanese officials, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to talk to the media, said the five were a man named Ibrahim Asie and members of his family. It was not immediately clear whether Asie had relations with Hezbollah.

The area was attacked while rescue workers were trying to remove the casualties, the Lebanese said, adding that the toll could rise.

Warplanes bombed at least two camps of the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command in southeastern Lebanon, they said. No casualties were reported in either raid.

IAF planes launched at least eight air strikes on roads on the eastern Bekaa valley early on Sunday, virtually cutting off the region from the rest of the country and neighboring Syria, security sources said.

Other raids early Sunday hit a number of bridges near the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanese police said.

The jets blasted a bridge near Tripoli and a bridge near Akkar in northern Lebanon, police said. The warplanes also targeted a road near the Cedars, northern Lebanon.

There were no reports immediately available on casualties, police said.

The renewed air strikes came as a mother and her two daughters were killed (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746581.html) in a Katyusha attack in the Western Galilee, and France and the U.S. came up with a draft United Nations cease-fire resolution (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746660.html).

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened his seven-minister forum in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening to discuss the continuation of the Israel Defense Forces operation in Lebanon and the draft resolution. Government officials said initial response to the proposal was favorable, but Olmert's office declined to make any official comment.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz is to meet Sunday in Jerusalem with U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, who comes from talks in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Saniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri aimed at paving the way for ending hostilities.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746939.html

DeltaWhisky58
08-06-2006, 04:34 AM
UN considers Lebanon truce text

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41970000/jpg/_41970390_batteryafp.jpg
Tyre has been one of Israel's leading targets recently

The UN Security Council has begun considering a draft resolution aimed at halting fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

The US said it was encouraged by the response, but Lebanon criticised the draft as inadequate.
The draft demands that Hezbollah halt all attacks and Israel stop all offensive military operations.
Israel continued air raids, virtually cutting Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley off from the outside world.
Roads in the region were targeted, as well as positions held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a pro-Syrian group.
Meanwhile in the south, five civilians were killed early on Sunday in an air raid on the village of Ansar, according to Lebanese sources.
And the Israeli military said two reservists had been killed in separate clashes with Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon. They were the first reservists to die in the offensive.
Israel's campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.

'No delusions'

Correspondents say a vote at the UN could come on Monday or Tuesday. There is little sign hostilities will abate before then.
The draft resolution, agreed after much debate between France and the US, calls for a "full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations".

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249488.stm)


The text does not include the phrase "immediate cessation of hostilities" that France had wanted or an explicit demand for the return of the captured Israeli soldiers - a US preference.
The French and US envoys to the UN said they were encouraged by the initial reactions from others on the 15-member Security Council.
The White House said President George W Bush was happy with the draft but had "no delusions about what lies ahead".
A second resolution would be needed later to authorise an international peacekeeping force for southern Lebanon.

A Lebanese envoy to the UN, Nouhad Mahmoud, said: "We would have liked to see our concerns more reflected in the text."
"It lacks, for instance, a call for the withdrawal of Israeli forces which are now in Lebanon, and that's a recipe for more confrontation," he said.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the draft was "not adequate".
Lebanon is not currently a member of the Security Council, but the US says its government is being consulted about negotiations at the UN.
Senior Israeli officials said they were broadly happy with the text of the resolution.
Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said it was good for Israel but the country had to pursue its military goals.
"Even if it is passed, it is doubtful that Hezbollah will honour the resolution and halt its fire," he said.
"Therefore we have to continue fighting, continue hitting anyone we can hit in Hezbollah, and I assume that as long as that goes on, Israel's standing, diplomatically and militarily, will improve."

Commando raid

On Saturday, Israel dropped leaflets on the Lebanese city of Sidon, warning people there to leave.
The Israeli army said it intended to attack Hezbollah rocket-launching sites in the area and wanted to avoid civilian casualties.
In other developments:

Syria accused Israel in a letter to the UN of intentionally bombing a Lebanese village close to the Syrian border on Friday, killing 28 people, mostly Syrians
Hezbollah fired about 170 rockets into northern Israel on Saturday, killing three women in a mainly Arab village
An Israeli commando raid on Tyre on Saturday left several militants dead and eight Israeli troops wounded, the Israeli army said. Hezbollah said it repelled the raid
Thousands marched in London, UK, calling for an immediate ceasefireBBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249658.stm)

Darth Vidar
08-06-2006, 04:54 AM
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525814233&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Damaged navy ship returns to sea following attack
By YAAKOV KATZ (yaakovk@jpost.com)


The Israeli naval vessel Hanit which was struck by an Iranian C-802 missile off the coast of Beirut three weeks ago, killing four soldiers, returned to sea on Sunday morning. Navy crews worked around-the-clock to repair the damage and the ship reassumed its combat role in Lebanon.

...............


Anyone knows what happened to the helicopter onboard? Was it damaged/destroyed?

Atlantic Friend
08-06-2006, 04:55 AM
06/08 : French Jewish channel TFJ says Hezbollah had stockpiled explosives in the two houses bombed in Qana a few days ago.

Mr. Nielsen
08-06-2006, 07:15 AM
Hizbollah rocket kills 10 Israeli soldiers



KFAR GILADI, Israel (*******) - Ten Israeli soldiers were killed and at least nine others were wounded when a Hizbollah rocket slammed into a group of reservists in northern Israel on Sunday, medics and Israeli media said.


******* (http://today.*******.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=TopNews&storyid=2006-08-06T104014Z_01_L0690806_RTRUKOT_0_TEXT0.xml&WTmodLoc=NewsArt-L1-RelatedNews-3)

DeltaWhisky58
08-06-2006, 07:42 AM
Hezbollah launches rocket barrage

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41970000/jpg/_41970782_mortars_story_ap.jpg
Israeli raids are continuing in southern Lebanon

At least 10 people are feared dead in Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel, as the UN considers a draft resolution aimed at halting fighting.

Witnesses reported a huge barrage fired on Kiryat Shmona and other towns from across the Lebanese border.
The attacks came as Israel continued raids in Lebanon which killed at least eight people.
The UN draft demands that Hezbollah halt all attacks and Israel stop all offensive military operations.
Correspondents say a vote at the UN could come on Monday or Tuesday.

Israeli response

A spokesman for the Israeli ambulance service said Sunday's rocket attacks on northern Israel were the heaviest so far during the conflict.
At least 15 people were injured in the attacks, some of them seriously.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249488.stm)


Eyewitnesses said the barrage had lasted more than 15 minutes.
Many of the casualties came in a single attack on the town of Kfar Giladi.
Israeli media said some of the dead were reservist soldiers.
"The scene is very difficult, it can be described as a battlefield," Shimon Abutbul, a rescue worker at the scene, told the Associated Press news agency. "There was a lot of blood."
He added that this was the worst carnage he had seen in the conflict so far.
Hezbollah has fired more than 3,000 rockets into northern Israel since the conflict began.
Israeli artillery responded with heavy fire across the border into southern Lebanon.
Five Lebanese civilians died early on Sunday in an Israeli air raid on the village of Ansar, according to Lebanese sources.
Reports say three others were killed in an attack on the coastal town of Naquora.
Israel's campaign began three weeks ago after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers.
In other developments:

The Israeli military said two reservists had been killed in separate clashes with Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon. They were the first reservists to die in the offensive
Israeli air strikes targeted roads in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley, virtually cutting it off from the outside world
Positions in the region held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a pro-Syrian group, were also attacked
Three Chinese UN peacekeepers are injured in crossfire between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fightersLebanese critical

The UN draft resolution, agreed after much debate between France and the US, calls for a "full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations".

The French and US envoys to the UN said they were encouraged by the initial reactions from others on the 15-member Security Council.

The White House said President George W Bush was happy with the draft but Lebanese officials criticised its failure to mention a call for an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon. Senior Israeli officials said they were broadly happy with the text of the resolution. Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said it was good for Israel but the country had to pursue its military goals.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249972.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-06-2006, 08:09 AM
Stressed out and anxious in Beirut

By Hugh Sykes
BBC News, Beirut
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/999999.gif

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41969000/jpg/_41969278_beirut_woman302.jpg
For many in Beirut the bombing feels like collective punishment


People keep asking me, "Do you know when it will stop?"

I shrug my shoulders, and say: "Your guess is as good as mine."
Then they ask: "But Beirut - will they bomb Beirut again?"
"What would be the point?" I reply.
Then they bombed Beirut again.
Dozens of displaced children living in a school in a quiet neighbourhood near the city centre heard terrifying loud bangs in the middle of the night.
Four massive thumps one night, and six the next, as Israeli bombs or shells slammed into the ground a few kilometres away.
Or into the children's homes.
Their families fled with them from their apartments in the suburbs, before the first Israeli attacks in mid-July.
Most have not been back since. They hope and pray their flats are waiting for them to return - silent and gathering dust, but intact.

'Miscalculation'

People keep saying to me, "We are not Hezbollah - why are they bombing our homes?"

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41969000/jpg/_41969654_building_bombed203.jpg
There are few who find the Israeli bombardment understandable


The Israelis say that these renewed attacks on Beirut are justified because they are targeting Hezbollah. But for the hundreds of thousands of people in this city who don't support Hezbollah it feels like collective punishment.
Hezbollah's primitive, unguided Katyusha rockets hit civilians too - although far fewer have died in Israel than have been killed in Lebanon by the massive Israeli munitions.
Many Lebanese readily agree that Hezbollah gravely miscalculated when they captured those two Israeli soldiers on 12 July - but now they go on to say: "We were never Hezbollah. But we are all Hezbollah now. The Israeli response is completely unjustified."
I have met some who curse Hezbollah, and who say the Israeli bombardment is understandable. Some, but not many.
And I don't think "But we are all Hezbollah now" is just talk. The more Israel destroys, the more supporters Hezbollah will be able to recruit.

'This is terrorism'

There is a widespread and deeply felt sense of grievance here that the majority of Lebanese are suffering for the continued existence of the military wing of Hezbollah - something their weak government was not in a position to do much about.
Uncertainty - and incomprehension that any of this is happening - is eroding energy here, and wearing people down.
Beirut streets are power-cut dark at night. Shops close early. Cafes and restaurants are struggling to survive, often serving barely one tenth of the usual number of customers.
Taxis apologise in advance in case they run out of petrol before they reach your destination.
And faces grow taut with exhaustion at the stress, and the fear of explosions. Smoking hubble-bubble at a cafe one evening, I heard the sound of a fighter-bomber overhead. A young man at the next table leaned over to me, gestured in the direction of the menacing rumble, and said: "This - this also is terrorism!"

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5248500.stm)

frenchy
08-06-2006, 10:26 AM
Olmert tells Europe to stop preaching to Israel

In interview with German newspaper PM tells European leaders to stop preaching to him about civilian war casualties; says ‘European countries attacked Kosovo and killed 10,000 civilians. 10,000!’
*******

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told European leaders to stop preaching to him about civilian war casualties in an interview published on Sunday in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Olmert also said it would not be possible to completely destroy Hizbullah and insisted he did not underestimate them, saying they had fired just 3,000 of their ****nal of 15,000 rockets so far.

"Where do they get the right to preach to Israel?" Olmert said when asked about criticism from European capitals of Israeli military operations that have led to a heavy civilian toll.

"European countries attacked Kosovo and killed 10,000 civilians. Ten thousand! And none of these countries had to suffer before that from a single rocket.

"I'm not saying it was wrong to intervene in Kosovo. But please: Don't preach to us about the treatment of civilians."

Kosovo became a UN protectorate in June 1999 after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign forced out Serb security forces accused of atrocities against Albanian civilians during a rebel insurgency by separatist Albanian guerrillas.

'Not possible to completely destroy them'

The New York-based Human Rights Watch estimates about 500 civilians were killed in the NATO bombing in Kosovo.

Some 10,000 Albanians died in Serbia's 1998-99 counter-insurgency war and there were allegations of random brutality by both sides.

In the Welt am Sonntag interview, Olmert was asked if he had underestimated Hizbullah.

"No, we know that they have only fired 3,000 rockets so far and that they have 15,000," he said. "The question is more: If Hizbullah knew what the consequences of their attack would be, would they nevertheless have done it? I don't think so."

Olmert said Hizbullah was being defeated but it was not possible to eradicate a grass-roots guerrilla movement.

"They are beaten but it is not possible to completely destroy them. Israel has nevertheless been more successful than any other country in the battle against a guerrilla organization."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287189,00.html

Beaufort
08-06-2006, 01:15 PM
12 killed in rocket attack near Kiryat Shmona

(VIDEO) Ten Israelis killed after being hit by Katyusha rocket near Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, two die of their wounds in hospital; one person critically wounded, three seriously injured in attack. Northern Command chief: This is most difficult incident experiences by home front since fighting began
Sharon Roffe-Ofir

VIDEO – Deadly fire on northern border: A massive rocket barrage was fired Sunday afternoon at Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Kiryat Shmona area. Ten Israelis were killed in the attack and another person died of his wounds at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, to where he was evacuated in critical condition.

Ten people are still hospitalized at the Safed hospital and the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, four of them in serious condition.

Following a request made by the Magen David Adom rescue services, choppers were dispatched to area to assist in the evacuation of the wounded.

Shimon Abutbul, who commanded the event on behalf of MDA, said: "This is a very difficult incident with many casualties, one of the most difficult we have witnessed. We treated many areas at the same time and there were many injured."

Galilee Police Sub-District Commander Danny Hadad said that “this is one of the most severe incidents since the onset of the fighting in Lebanon; there are many casualties at the scene.”

Some three hours after the tragic incident in Kfar Giladi, resumed rocket fire once again bombarded northern Israel: Dozens of rocket hits were identified in Haifa and the Kiryaot (the city's northern suburbs), as well as in Safed and Kiryat Shmona. A few residents were injured and hospitalized.

A residence in Kiryat Shmona absorbed a direct hit, but was, fortunately, empty. Tenants in a neighboring building are suffering from shock. Warning sirens were heard across northern Israel, as far south as Zichron Yaacov.

Eli Peretz, the Jordan District MDA manager, was one of the first to tend to the wounded: "We arrived in full force and saw a were confronted with a very difficult sight," he recounts. "A whole group of injured, some of them in severe condition. Those lightly injured scattered in every direction. Those who sustained severe injuries were airlifted to Haifa and the rest were received in local hospitals. Since the onset of the fighting - and in my many years serving in the MDA - I have not seen such a damaging incident."

Northern District Police Chief Dan Ronen said: “There was a high concentration of people at the site, and that’s what made the difference."


'Several more difficult days ahead of us'

“Yesterday (Saturday) many people in the Krayot area were saved because they remained inside the bomb shelters and today one rocket causes so much destruction,” he said.

As to the ceasefire agreement being formulated in the UN, Ronen said “I do not understand diplomatic maneuvering, but I do know that we have several more difficult days ahead of us until the proposal is implemented.

The deadly noontime barrage included no less than 30 rockets that were fired at the Kiryat Shmona area.

Celebratory processions were held in Nablus following the lethal attack. Cars with photographs of Hassan Nasrallah drove past with Hizbullah flags.

Earlier three rockets landed Sunday in open territories in the Ma'alot area. There were no injuries and no damage was caused. Security forces are searching the area to ensure that no further rockets fell.

Two rockets fell in open territories in the center of the Golan Heights. There were no injuries reported there either.

At around 9:30 a.m. a rocket barrage was fired at Safed. Until now two rocket landings have been identified in open territories and no damage has been reported. Rescue workers and security forces are searching the area.

Air raid sirens have been heard in Nahariya, Maalot, the Upper Galilee and Tiberias. Residents have been called to enter protected areas out of concern for rocket landings.

Tiberias police said no rockets landed in the city.

Despite the IDF's intensive operations in southern Lebanon, Hizbullah has continued to fire rockets at Israel at a rate of almost 200 rockets a day. Over the weekend seven civilians have been killed by Hizbullah rockets. The terror organization succeeded for the first time at firing long-range missiles at Hadera.

The IDF has dispatched special commando forces into the heart of Sidon and struck the Hizbullah members behind the Hadera attack.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286975,00.html

pave_hawk
08-06-2006, 01:23 PM
A Hezbollah rocket fell into a corner of the Chinese UN peace keepers' camp in Lebanon on Aug 6th. 3 soldiers are injured, but their status are not critical and stable. The attack happened when IDF were attacking a village 500m away from the camp. A Chinese officer said at the moment, they were conducting a regular sentinel exchange.

Jaguar
08-06-2006, 01:27 PM
Public Support In Israel Frays As Toll Climbs

By Molly Moore and Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, August 6, 2006; Page A01

JERUSALEM -- With much of Israel's northern population huddling in underground shelters and Hezbollah proving more resilient than Israeli leaders had publicly predicted, Israel's news media, intellectual elite and public are starting to question the judgment of the country's political and military leadership.

After an extraordinary national surge of unanimity during the first days of the conflict, public support is starting to fray, with some of the nation's most influential voices criticizing political leaders and Israel Defense Forces generals for military strategies they say have failed to protect Israeli citizens.

hey blame Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz for trying to lull citizens into a false sense of security, fault generals for relying too heavily on air power to destroy Hezbollah rocket launchers, and worry that Israeli troops may not have been prepared to defeat a force far tougher than Palestinian fighters.

"The public should demand of the political echelon: Stop or reduce the Katyusha rocket fire," the popular daily newspaper Ma'ariv wrote Friday. "Do what you should have done two weeks ago. . . . Bang on the table in front of the white-faced IDF officers, and demand more proposals; think and think again. . . . The time for patience has passed. You have an army, use it, or go for a cease-fire."

he behind-the-scenes disagreements between the generals and the politicians, and among competing branches of the military, are becoming part of the public debate.

This weekend, Olmert's top security advisers are scheduled to debate whether Israeli forces should be sent deeper into Lebanon, beyond the approximately two-mile ***** they are now battling to clear of Hezbollah fighters. Olmert reportedly has been reluctant to expand the military operations, while military officers are said to be chafing under his restrictions. According to military officials, field commanders are pressing Olmert, Peretz and other key ministers to approve an expansion of their offensive to include all land up to the Litani River, which roughly parallels the Israel-Lebanon border and ranges 15 miles north of it in some places. The goal would be to push Hezbollah fighters who are firing rockets farther away from Israel.

"Wherever we are present, you do not see rockets fired," Brig. Gen. Guy Tzur, commander of the Steel Division, which includes armor and infantry units operating on the eastern half of Israel's border with Lebanon, said in an interview Friday at his headquarters in the northern town of Philon. "But we're getting to the edge of where the government permits us. We're not present everywhere we have to be present in order to stop more of the attacks. If we can go farther, the Israeli citizens will feel a difference."

Much of the Israeli news media and many analysts are skeptical, however .

"The strikes on the home front are becoming worse as the IDF sends more and more brigades into Lebanon," wrote Amos Harel in the daily newspaper Haaretz. "Launchings from areas in which the army is operating have been reduced by half, but Hezbollah combatants simply relocate to the next range of hills and fire from there."

But Brig. Gen. Tzur said intelligence shows that the vast majority of Hezbollah rockets have a range of 12 to 15 miles. If Israel can stop rocket launches south of the Litani River, the radical Shiite Muslim militia would be forced to use longer-range munitions, which take longer to launch, are easier to detect and destroy, and have been depleted already by Israeli bombardment.

Israel's top security officials already authorized one large expansion of the ground campaign in a four-hour meeting last week.

"I hope the new decision is to let us get to the Litani. Then we will need two weeks to finish things," Tzur said. "Believe me, after that the situation will be different. If we have the permission, we will achieve the goals. It's very easy, we know how to do it."

Many Israelis say they no longer trust that kind of bravado.

"Their thinking of the war is anachronistic," said Yaron Ezrahi, one of Israel's most prominent political analysts. "They set certain kinds of goals which are unachievable like crushing and stopping missiles."

Ezrahi said he thinks the hail of Hezbollah rockets into Israel has demonstrated to the rest of the world the dangers Israel faces in the region -- particularly the risks of letting Iran, one of Hezbollah's benefactors, proceed with its nuclear programs.

Rather than push deeper into Lebanon, where Israel ended an unpopular occupation of a self-declared security zone six years ago, Ezrahi said, "we can have a lot to gain by stopping now and moving to convert what we have done to political assets."

Public sentiment, which had overwhelmingly supported the war two weeks ago, is also beginning to waver. Even leftist groups supportive of peace moves with the Palestinians backed the anti-Hezbollah offensive in its first days, but several dovish groups have now called their first peace rally in Tel Aviv this weekend to demand a stop to the war.

"I fought the same battles against the same enemy in the same places 16 years ago," said Ido Ahronson, 36, a Jerusalem computer technician who served in Israel's previous conflict in Lebanon. "We didn't accomplish anything then, and I don't see how we can accomplish that much now. How would you feel if George Bush decided to send you back into Vietnam? We are fighting an enemy that uses civilians as protection, knows the terrain well and is brainwashed to believe they are fighting for Islam."

The Israeli public and news media are also growing disenchanted with what some analysts see as efforts by Olmert and Peretz -- both facing their first major crisis on the job -- to use overly optimistic rhetoric.

In a speech Tuesday, Olmert said of Hezbollah's capability to fire rockets at Israel: "Twenty-one days later, that threat is not what it was." The next day, Hezbollah pummeled Israel with 230 rockets -- the most of any day of the conflict.

In a public opinion survey published Friday by Ma'ariv, 55 percent of respondents said they thought Israel was winning the war, and only 3.5 percent said Hezbollah was winning. But nearly 38 percent said "no one" was winning.

"Look at what is going on in Haifa," said Shaul Malka, 28, a Jerusalem taxi driver. "Haifa is a huge busy city, and now it is a ghost town. People are scared to leave the bomb shelters and walk on the streets. So how can they say we are winning?"

Finer reported from Philon. Special correspondent Ian Deitch contributed to this report.

NimDod
08-06-2006, 01:39 PM
******* admits altering Beirut photo


******* withdraws photograph of Beirut after Air Force attack after US blogs, photographers point out 'blatant evidence of manipulation.' *******' head of PR says in response, '******* has suspended photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to photograph.' Photographer who sent altered image is same ******* photographer behind many of images from Qana, which have also been subject of suspicions for being staged
Yaakov Lappin


A ******* photograph of smoke rising from buildings in Beirut has been withdrawn after coming under attack by American web logs. The blogs accused ******* of distorting the photograph to include more smoke and damage.

The photograph showed two very heavy plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings in Beirut after an Air Force attack on the Lebanese capital. ******* has since withdrawn the photograph from its website, along a message admitting that the image was distorted, and an apology to editors.

http://www.ynetnews.com/PicServer2/20122005/856456/LBN20_wa(1).jpg
******* withdraws doctored image

In the message, ******* said that "photo editing software was improperly used on this image. A corrected version will immediately follow this advisory. We are sorry for any inconvience."

*******' head of PR Moira Whittle said in response: "******* has suspended a photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to a photograph showing smoke billowing from buildings following an air strike on Beirut. ******* takes such matters extremely seriously as it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures."

"As soon as the allegation came to light, the photograph, filed on Saturday 5 August, was removed from the file and a replacement, showing the same scene, was sent. The explanation for the removal was the improper use of photo-editing software," she added.

Earlier, Charles Johnson, of the Little Green Footballs blog , which has exposed a previous attempt at fraud by a major American news corporation, wrote : "This ******* photograph shows blatant evidence of manipulation. Notice the repeating patterns in the smoke; this is almost certainly caused by using the Photoshop “clone” tool to add more smoke to the image."

http://www.ynetnews.com/PicServer2/20122005/856455/LBN20_wa.jpg
News version of photo (Photo: *******)

Johnson added: "Smoke simply does not contain repeating symmetrical patterns like this, and you can see the repetition in both plumes of smoke. There’s really no question about it."

Speaking to Ynetnews, Johnson said: "This has to cast doubt not only on the photographer who did the alterations, but on *******' entire review process. If they could let such an obvious fake get through to publication, how many more faked or 'enhanced' photos have not been caught?"

A series of close ups are then posted on the blog, showing that "it’s not only the plumes of smoke that were 'enhanced.' There are also cloned buildings." The close ups do appear to show exact replicas of buildings appearing next to one another in the photograph.

The Sports Shooter web forum , used by professional photographers, also examined the photo, with many users concluding that the image has been doctored.

'Looks so obviously doctored'

"I'll second the cloned smoke...but it looks so obvious that I don't know how the photographer could have gotten away with it," wrote one user.

After further research, Johnson posted a photograph he says is the original image taken before distortions were made, showing much lighter smoke rising.

Other blogs have also analyzed the photographs, and reached similar conclusions, such as Left & Right , which states: "The photo has been doctored, quite badly."

The author of the Ace of Spades blog wrote: "Even I can see the very suspicious "clonings" of picture elements here. And I'm an idiot."

The Hot Air blog also looked at the photo, describing the image as "the worst Photoshop I have ever seen."

Adnan Hajj, the photographer who sent the altered image, was also the ******* photographer behind many of the images from Qana – which have also been the subject of suspicions for being staged.

"A photographer who would blatantly falsify an entire 'news' image would certainly not be above posing and staging photographs of rescue workers," Johnson concluded.


http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286966,00.html

Beaufort
08-06-2006, 01:45 PM
Dozens of victims trapped inside collapsed building

By YAAKOV KATZ, JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP (editors@jpost.com)


Over 30 people were wounded on Sunday evening when a massive barrage of rockets struck at least six sites in a crowded residential area of Haifa.

The wounded included one in critical condition and several seriously wounded.

One building sustained a direct hit and collapsed, trapping dozens of people inside. Emergency workers labored to extract the victims. The rockets were seen to have been launched from Tyre.


The barrage resumed after a lull of a few hours since the first rocket attack on Sunday morning that killed twelve people. In the second assault, some 10 rockets fell in the Haifa metropolitan area as well as in the Jezreel Valley, while sirens sounded throughout the North.

After the second attack, there were reports of several people who suffered from anxiety, though no one was wounded.

At least 160 rockets were fired into northern Israel throughout the day.
Ten people were killed on Sunday afternoon when a rocket hit a gathering spot in Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee.

An eleventh person died of his wounds shortly after he was taken to hospital. Another person died in the evening, raising the death toll to 12.
In addition, four people were listed in serious condition, one suffered moderate wounds, and three were lightly wounded.

MDA said that those who were badly hurt were treated on location, and were airlifted to hospitals in the region.

"It was a direct hit on a crowd of people," Dan Ronen, the chief of the northern police command, told Army Radio.

Convoys of police and rescue vehicles raced to the town.
"This was the most difficult thing I could have imagined in my career. There are nine bodies here covered in blankets, around us cars are going up in flames," Army Radio reporter reported as she choked back tears. "On one side is the cemetery, on the other side are the nine young bodies waiting for burial."


A security official said it was the "worst attack" that Israel sustained since hostilities broke out 26 days ago.

"The scene is very difficult it can be described as a battlefield," said Shimon Abutbul, a rescue worker who was one of the first to arrive in the area. "There was a lot of blood."

"We saw difficult scenes in the days of this fighting. This is the worst I have seen," he said, adding that the rocket hit cars among other things in the area.

A nearby forest burst into flames from the barrage and huge plumes of gray smoke rose into the air.

Many of the rockets hit the nearby town of Kiryat Shmona, damaging a synagogue and sparking a series of fires, Mayor Haim Barbivai said, calling on all residents to remain in their shelters because more barrages were sure to follow.

Rockets also landed in Haifa and the surrounding bay area, Nahariya, Karmiel, Rosh Pina, the Golan Heights, Ma'alot and Safed.
This latest barrages of rockets follows a weekend in which three people were killed (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525809679&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) when a rocket scored a direct hit at their home in a western Galilee Arab-Israeli town.

The three were a 60-year-old woman and her two daughters, both in their 30s. They were all in the same room at the time of the strike.
They were later identified as Fadya Juma, 60, and her daughters Samira, 33, and Sultana, 31.
Some 170 rockets landed in Israel throughout Saturday, with 120-130 of those falling in one hour in the late afternoon.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1154525814086&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

DeltaWhisky58
08-06-2006, 03:14 PM
A Hezbollah rocket fell into a corner of the Chinese UN peace keepers' camp in Lebanon on Aug 6th. 3 soldiers are injured, but their status are not critical and stable. The attack happened when IDF were attacking a village 500m away from the camp. A Chinese officer said at the moment, they were conducting a regular sentinel exchange.

Source please - otherwise I will delete the post.

Abu_Elvis
08-06-2006, 03:14 PM
Israel claims capture of soldiers' abductor

The Israeli army says it has captured one of the Hezbollah guerrillas who took part in the abduction of two Israeli soldiers on July 12.

The seizure of the soldiers in a cross-border raid sparked Israel's war against the guerrilla group in Lebanon.

An army spokeswoman confirmed that one of the Hezbollah fighters they had captured and interrogated was involved in the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers.

She declined to give any details of the capture.

Israeli commandos have carried out at least two helicopter-borne raids deep into Lebanon.

Israel said it seized several Hezbollah members in one raid, on the town of Baalbek last week. Hezbollah denied those seized belonged to the group.
Israel's statement that it holds a Hezbollah kidnapper came as the UN Security Council continued to consider a draft resolution aimed at a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200608/s1707575.htm

Abu_Elvis
08-06-2006, 03:20 PM
Source please - otherwise I will delete the post.
I have seen this story too... For example:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-5997163,00.html

Macs.
08-06-2006, 03:21 PM
3 Chinese peacekeepers injured

BEIJING (AP) — A rocket blast in southern Lebanon injured three Chinese peacekeepers on Sunday, just hours after China called on the United Nations to ensure the security of U.N. peacekeepers in the Middle East, state media reported.

A Chinese officer confirmed that the peacekeepers were injured by a Hezbollah rocket, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

"The rocket landed near our post at 11:55 a.m. (0855 GMT) as an Israeli military unit passed by a village close to the post," Luo Fuqiang, a Chinese officer who heads a sapper battalion, was quoted as saying.

The report not specify where the attack occurred or whether the peacekeepers had been hospitalized.

Earlier Sunday, China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a telephone conversation that the U.N. should take tangible measures to ensure the security of U.N. peacekeepers, Xinhua said.

A Chinese observer was among four U.N. peacekeepers killed last month in southern Lebanon by an Israeli attack on an observer post.
Li, who is on a visit to Papua New Guinea, also called on Israel and Hezbollah guerillas to declare a cease-fire and urged the United Nations to do more to prevent the conflict from escalating.

China's special envoy on Middle East issues, Sun Bigan, began a five-nation tour of the Middle East Sunday in an effort to reduce tensions in the region. Sun was to visit Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the government announced earlier.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-08-06-chinese-peacekeepers_x.htm

DeltaWhisky58
08-06-2006, 03:23 PM
I have seen this story too... For example:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-5997163,00.html

Then why not post the information?



Lebanon Rockets Hurt China Peacekeepers


Sunday August 6, 2006 2:01 PM

BEIJING (AP) - A rocket blast in southern Lebanon injured three Chinese peacekeepers on Sunday, just hours after China called on the United Nations to ensure the security of U.N. peacekeepers in the Middle East, state media reported.
A Chinese officer confirmed that the peacekeepers were injured by a Hezbollah rocket, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
``The rocket landed near our post at 11:55 a.m. (0855 GMT) as an Israeli military unit passed by a village close to the post,'' Luo Fuqiang, a Chinese officer who heads a sapper battalion, was quoted as saying.
The report not specify where the attack occurred or whether the peacekeepers had been hospitalized.
Earlier Sunday, China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a telephone conversation that the U.N. should take tangible measures to ensure the security of U.N. peacekeepers, Xinhua said.
A Chinese observer was among four U.N. peacekeepers killed last month in southern Lebanon by an Israeli attack on an observer post.
Li, who is on a visit to Papua New Guinea, also called on Israel and Hezbollah guerillas to declare a cease-fire and urged the United Nations to do more to prevent the conflict from escalating. China's special envoy on Middle East issues, Sun Bigan, began a five-nation tour of the Middle East Sunday in an effort to reduce tensions in the region. Sun was to visit Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the government announced earlier.


Thanks.

daily666
08-06-2006, 03:37 PM
http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/ap_small.gif
via
http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nt/ma/ma_nws_1.gif

Hezbollah rockets kill 15 in Israel
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060806/ap_on_re_mi_ea/lebanon_israel;_ylt=Av282lpwcR.7JvTbcreqIeys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--



By ARON HELLER, Associated Press Writer 33 minutes ago

KFAR GILADI, Israel - Hezbollah guerrillas unleashed their deadliest rocket attack on northern
Israel on Sunday, killing 12 reserve soldiers with a single missile at this kibbutz and killing at least three people and wounding dozens more with a barrage that battered Haifa.

Israeli warplanes and artillery also pounded Lebanon, causing at least 13 deaths as fighting intensified despite a draft U.N. cease-fire resolution. Loud explosions echoed across Lebanon's capital, Beirut, when Israeli jets fired missiles into its southern suburbs in the afternoon.

Hezbollah and its allies rejected the U.S.-French text of the U.N. resolution, saying its terms for a halt in fighting did not address Lebanon's demands — a signal that the nearly 4-week-old battle would burn on.

Both sides appeared to be aiming to inflict maximum damage in the few days before the resolution is expected to be voted on by the
U.N. Security Council.

Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets at Israeli towns, with one Katyusha making a direct hit on army reservists gathered at the entrance to Kfar Giladi, a communal farm 40 miles northwest of Haifa on the border with Lebanon.

Ten people were killed outright, and two died a few hours later from wounds, said David Ratner, spokesman for Rambam hospital. Five more people were wounded, one seriously, he said.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said all the victims were soldiers, and it was the worst toll from a rocket attack on Israel since the fighting began July 12.

When word of the Kfar Giladi rocket strike reached the Israeli Cabinet during its weekly meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: "Lucky that we are dealing with Hezbollah today, and not in another two or three years," according to a participant in the meeting.

Just after nightfall, Hezbollah rockets crashed into several residential areas in Haifa, a port that is Israel's third-largest city. At least three people died and more than 40 suffered injuries when rockets collapsed at least two houses and damaged others, authorities said.

It was unclear how many rockets fell on the city, but a spokesman for the Haifa fire department, Chezi Levi, said one crowded district had five or six hits. Smoke rose high over the city.

Until now, only isolated rockets had landed in Haifa. One rocket explosion at a train station killed eight people July 16 — the highest death toll until Sunday's hit on the soldiers at Kfar Giladi.

In southern Lebanon, dozens of Israeli airstrikes hit communities and roads, with some villages bombed continually for a half hour, security officials said. Ground fighting raged along a stretch of southern Lebanon where the Israeli army has crossed the border.

Israeli airstrikes killed a Lebanese army intelligence officer and wounded seven soldiers at Mansouri and wounded five other soldiers in Debbin. Israeli missiles also flattened a house in Ansar village, killing a man and four of his relatives, security officials said.

Other attacks killed three people in the frontier village of al-Jibbain, the driver of a bread van near Tyre and a third person in Naqoura, near the border on the Mediterranean coast.

Israel also bombed two camps of a Palestinian militant group in Lebanon, the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. The group reported one person killed in the attack.

A statement from Hezbollah announced the deaths of three of its fighters, but did not say when or where they were killed.

A Hezbollah rocket blast also injured three Chinese peacekeepers Sunday, China's state media reported, citing a Chinese officer. The report did not specify where the attack occurred or whether the peacekeepers had been hospitalized.

The U.S.-French agreement Saturday on a U.N. resolution calling for "a full cessation of hostilities" marked a significant advance after weeks of stalled diplomacy aimed at ending the conflict.

But getting the two sides — particularly Hezbollah — to sign on will likely require a greater push. Israel has said it won't halt its offensive until Hezbollah rockets are silenced.

The plan envisions a second resolution in a week or two that would authorize an international military force for the Israel-Lebanon frontier and the creation of a large buffer zone in southern Lebanon, monitored by the Lebanese army and foreign peacekeepers.

The deployment of the international force is a cornerstone of the U.S.-led Western effort to bring a long-term peace.

Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice stressed the resolution was aimed at stopping the large-scale violence to allow a focus on the underlying problems in the conflict.

"It's the first step, not the only step," she said at a news conference in Washington.

"We're trying to deal with a problem that has been festering and brewing in Lebanon now for years and years and years," Rice said.

Lebanon's parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, who represents the Shiite Islamic militant group in negotiations, said the draft was unacceptable because it would leave Israeli troops in Lebanon and did not deal with Beirut's key demands — a release of prisoners held by Israel and moves to resolve a dispute over a piece of border territory.

"If Israel has not won the war but still gets all this, what would have happened had they won?" Berri said. "Lebanon, all of Lebanon, rejects any talks and any draft resolution" that do not address the Lebanese demands, he said.

The Lebanese government said Saturday that it objected to portions of the draft resolution and demanded some amendments, but an aide to Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said that did not mean a flat rejection.

Hezbollah's two key allies,
Iran and
Syria, also rejected the resolution — suggesting they backed a continued fight by the guerrillas.

"The United States, which has been supporting the Zionist regime until today, has no right to enter the crisis as a mediator," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a phone conversation with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Assad said the presence of international troops with extensive power in Lebanon would cause anarchy in the country, according to a report on Ahmadinejad's official Web site.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, on his first visit to Lebanon since Damascus ended a 29-year military presence in its smaller neighbor last year, declared that the U.S.-French cease-fire plan was "a recipe for the continuation of the war" unless Israeli troops withdrew.

Arab foreign ministers planned a Monday meeting in Beirut that could see a stormy debate over the draft U.N. resolution. U.S.-allied Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are eager for a halt to the fighting — but their citizens would be angered if they were perceived as forcing a surrender on Hezbollah.

For Hezbollah, the resolution would be a tough pill to swallow, particularly language calling for the "unconditional release" of two Israeli soldiers captured by the guerrillas in a cross-border raid July 12. The abduction prompted the Israeli offensive in Lebanon.

The Israeli army announced Sunday that it had captured one of the Hezbollah guerrillas involved in the abudction raid.

So far, at least 590 people have died in Lebanon, including 507 civilians, 29 members of the army, one Palestinian militant and 53 guerrillas acknowledged dead by Hezbollah. Israeli security officials told the Cabinet on Sunday they had confirmed the deaths of 165 Hezbollah fighters and estimated 200 more had been killed, according to a participant in the meeting.

The toll in Israel stood at 94 dead — 49 killed by rocket attacks and the rest soldiers killed in ground combat.

____

Associated Press writer Joseph Panossian in Beirut, Lebanon, contributed to this report

Abu_Elvis
08-06-2006, 03:57 PM
About Haifa attack, they still didn't release any names of the victims, but tonight, on Israeli Channel 2 news they featured a story about rescue effort. Most of the locals were speaking arabic. It seems that they hit an arab neighbourhood in Haifa. We'll see who the victims are when the names are released. Probably in next several hours, names are never released until they notify first of kin.

Again, I don't have a link, since the names were not released yet. It was on israeli channel 2 news.

Edit:
Here's a linkable source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287237,00.html

Haifa: 3 killed in heavy rocket barrage

(VIDEO) Haifa under attack: Rocket hits building, causes it to collapse; body of one woman recovered. Two people critically injured, die in hospital. More than 100 residents hurt. Defense minister, army chief hold security consultation
Ynet reporters


VIDEO - After several days of calm, heavy barrage hits northern city of Haifa: Three people were killed, about 60 were injured, including three who sustained serious wounds, and dozens suffered from shock in a rocket barrage that hit the northern city of Haifa Sunday evening.


Nearly 20 residents were hurt in one of the landing sites and hospitals in the city declared a multi-casualty event.

Following the heavy barrage on Haifa and the earlier incident in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, in which 12 reserve soldiers were killed by a Katyusha rocket, Defense Minister Amir Peretz held a security consultation with IDF Chief of Staff Dan Hlautz.

Hizbullah announced that it fired Raad-2 rockets at Haifa. A statement issued by the organization said that the barrage was fired in response to the "ongoing Zionist acts of aggression against Lebanese citizens, and especially in response to the bombing of the Dahiya in southern Beirut."




Israel at war - full coverage (http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-4289,00.html)One of the rockets hit an apartment building. Following the hit, the building collapsed and several people were apparently trapped under the rubble. Large rescue forces were dispatched to the area and recovered the body of one woman. Another six people were rescued from the rubbles.


One person was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, where he died from his wounds. Another man also died at the hospital.

Several houses caught fire, some of them after being directly hit by rockets, but firefighters managed to gain control of the fire.

Haifa under attack (Video: Ido Becker)


Shaul from Haifa told Ynet: "At around 7:50 p.m. there was a siren. I work on the 17th floor, I entered the fortified room, and after a minute there were suddenly four great 'booms,' the entire building trembled. I also spoke to a friend working in the area, and there the building also shook. At least a minute passed between the siren and the landing, so we had enough time to reach the fortified room."

Ali Khalila, a Haifa resident, was with his brother Salah at the al-Hariri street when the rockets fell.
"Me and my brother Salah felt the fall," he told Ynet. "We did not hear a siren before, and my brother fell on the floor. I threw water at him, tried to wake him. I waited 10 minutes for someone to come, but no one came. I tool him to the hospital myself," he said.

Eyewitnesses at the hospital also said that a long time had passed before ambulanced arrived at the rocket landing site.

http://www.ynetnews.com/PicServer2/20122005/856917/AKCF104_wa.jpg
Rockets fired at Haifa from Tyre (Photo: AP)

Shortly after the rocket barrage, a commotion erupted at the Rambam medical center's emergency room, after dozens of angry residents, whose relatives were injured, demanded to enter the place. Police and Border Guard forces prevented them from entering the emergency room due to the large number of injured who arrived at the hospital.

The hospital said in response: "We serve a large population of people and this is not the first time such a situation is created. People want to enter the emergency room and they will not enter, and that's why we have the Border Guard and police here. There is nothing to do in such situations. People have to be calmed down. We cannot work in the emergency room like this, so they will have to stay outside."

Until Sunday, 10 people we killed in the three weeks of fighting in rocket attacks on Haifa and the surrounding areas. Eight of them were killed when a rocket directly hit a train depot near the port, another person was killed while driving his car and another man was killed while working in a carpentry shop in Kiryat Ata.



http://www.ynetnews.com/PicServer2/20122005/856863/RM1_wa.jpg
Rockets hit Haifa (Photo: Monette Galpaz)

Seven hours after the deadly barrage that killed 12 people (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286975,00.html) , a rocket hit a house in a community near Kiryat Shmona. No injuries were reported, but the rocket started a fire in the area.

A little before 7 p.m., sirens were heard in many communities in the north of Israel – from Nahariya to Hadera. Several landings were heard in the Migdal Haemek area, but no landings were located so far.

One rocket landed next to a building in a community near Haifa, but did not cause injuries. Several rockets landed in open area.

The Israel (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3284752,00.html) Air Force struck a rocket launcher near Tyre, which the army claimed was used to fire rockets at the Haifa area.

In addition, four rocket landings were located in the Ma'alot area, one landing was located in Carmiel, and another landing was located in the Rosh Pina area. About 17 rockets hit the Galilee area in the last barrage.


http://www.ynetnews.com/PicServer2/20122005/854608/JRL127_wa.jpg Rocket hits Kiryat Shmona (Photo: AP)


IDF sources reported that since Sunday morning, Hizbullah has fired more than 160 rockets at Israel. One of them landed in a Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, causing the death of 11 people and the injury of 11 others – four of them severely.


The rocket fire continued in the afternoon, as well. At approximately 4 p.m. a barrage of rockets landed in the area of Shlomi and kibbutzim near Nahariya. Police and Magen David Adom forces combed the area in order to search for casualties or damages.


An hour earlier, a volley of rockets hit the Kiryaot (Haifa's northern suburbs). Police reported that three rockets hit the area, one in a street. No casualties were reported. Pursuant to the situation, courthouses were closed in Akko and the Kiryaot. Legal services for residents of theses areas will be provided, until further notice, in the Haifa courthouse.


Concurrent to the attacks in the Krayot area, warning sirens were activated in Haifa, Nahariya, Afula, Zichron Yaacov, Givat Ada, Binyamina and the surrounding areas. No rocket hit were reported in any of these areas.




At 2:20 p.m. a building in Kiryat Shmona absorbed a direct rocket hit and went up in flames. Forces are searching the area to ensure that there are no casualties. The rocket was one of ten that landed in the area during the afternoon barrage, which caused significant damage to property.


Also on Sunday, two rockets landed near Nahariya, in open areas. An additional rocket hit near Ma'alot, also in an open area, not resulting in casualties or damages. Two more landed in the central Golan Heights, causing a fire, but no casualties.

Vered Luvitch, Ahiya Raved, Efrat Weiss, Sharon Roffe-Ofir, Hagai Einav and Aviram Zino contributed to the report

Abu_Elvis
08-06-2006, 04:20 PM
Israeli Arabs: Finish off Nasrallah

Latest barrage on city of Haifa leaves three killed, dozens wounded. Injured recall: We heard sirens, didn't escape in time. Israeli Arabs agree over Israel's failure to 'finish off' Nasrallah once and for all
Vered Luvitch

On Sunday evening, ambulances rolled in non-stop to three Haifa hospitals, after a fatal rocket barrage hit the city slightly before 8 p.m. Three people were killed and dozens were wounded after two rockets – one in the lower city and one in Wadi Nisnas – crashed into buildings.

Following the attack, city hospitals declared a mass casualty event and began receiving the injured. One woman arrived in critical condition, with Magen David Adom crews attempting to resuscitate her.

Following the attack, city hospitals declared a mass casualty event and began receiving the injured. One woman arrived in critical condition, with Magen David Adom crews attempting to resuscitate her.

Dozens of residents, mainly Israeli Arabs, congregated at the entrances to the Rambam Medical Center seeking to check on their loved ones injured in the attack.





Some of those present condemned Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Shadi Mzawin and his sister, who arrived at the hospital to visit their sister, said: "How can it be that with all its might Israel is incapable of eliminating Hizbullah and finish it once and for all? How can it be that with al this force he succeeds to do this for us?"
Shadi, whose grandmother and grandfather were also injured in the attack, said police officers positions at the entrance to the emergency room refused him entrance because he swore at them.

"Half of my family and my neighborhood are here inside and they are not allowing me in although I am injured. I don't understand that. Do I have no rights? I am a citizen too and I pay taxes – grandma and grandpa are here and they are not letting me see them," said Shadi who was lightly injured in the legs.

'Hope Nasrallah gets a rocket between legs'

Shadi expressed anger at the government for the lack of shelters in the neighborhood. "I live in Wadi Nisnas and we have no shelters, we hardly have where to live, we have no where to go, we have nowhere to go, and our shelter is the toilet. There are no shelters at all."

"I hope Nasrallah gets a rocket between the legs for what he is doing to me here, for harming grandma and grandpa."

Yossi Landau, an MDA volunteer who arrived at one of the damaged buildings, said that the carnage was severe: "We have a difficult situation, an almost complete collapse of the building, and many injured outside of it. There were people trapped in the building but we succeeded in evacuating them and are working to disconnect the gas main in order to prevent leaks."

Landau recalled trying to save the woman killed by the attack. "I treated her, I performed CPR but she died anyway." According to him, the crowds are hindering the rescue operations. "Curious people are doing things you can't imagine. It's a very crowded area and it really disturbs us in our work."

'Lying on the ground in shock'

Dudu Jozeen, 8.5 years old, arrived at Rambam hospital with her mother, who suffered from shock.

"I was with my mother at her friend's house. We heard sirens but didn't know where to go and also there wasn't time because we immediately heard an explosion," she recounted.


"It was really scary. It was a really loud boom. My mother, Ibatisam, is hospitalized and I hope they'll release her soon," she said, in tears.

A wounded man, Nazal Faisal, also arrived at Rambam. He told Ynet about the event: "I was in a restaurant and the siren went off only after the second rocket hit, so there was nothing to do. I went to my brother's nearby house and saw my friends, lying on the ground, in shock. Now some of them are in the hospital and some stayed home to help others who were injured."



Dozens of angry Haifa residents, whose family members were injured by the blast, raised a commotion outside Rambam's emergency room, after police forces forbade them to because of the crowding caused by the large number of patients. Some of the family members forced their way into the emergency room.

The hospital's spokesperson, David Ratner, explained: "We are treating a very large number of people and this is not the first time that such a situation has occurred. People want to enter the emergency room and we won't let them. That's why we have border guard and regular police forces here. There's nothing to be done in such cases. There are instincts that must be calmed. We can't work in the emergency room in such a fashion and this is why they will remain outside.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287380,00.html

Darth Vidar
08-06-2006, 04:26 PM
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525817968&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

IDF ditches plans to reach Litani River.
By YAAKOV KATZ (editors@jpost.com)


After completing the creation of a security zone in southern Lebanon and with diplomatic pressure mounting, the IDF, senior defense officials revealed Sunday, did not plan to move ground troops northwards towards the Litani River - a line initially named as the IDF's final destination in this current ground incursion.

An incursion up to the Litani - some 30 km from Israel - would require, a high-ranking source in the Northern Command said Sunday, the insertion of an entire new division into Lebanon. The IDF already has eight brigades on the ground in Lebanon made up of 10,000 troops. The source said that it would take several days to reach the Litani.
"This is not a simple mission," the source explained. "We cannot move north until we finish clearing out the area currently in the security zone. That will take us another few days."

Lokos
08-06-2006, 07:55 PM
Israeli pilots 'deliberately miss' targets

Fliers admit aborting raids on civilian targets as concern grows over the reliability of intelligence

Inigo Gilmore at Hatzor Air Base, Israel
Sunday August 6, 2006
The Observer


At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities.
Voices expressing concern over the armed forces' failures are getting louder. One Israeli cabinet minister said last week: 'We gave the army so much money. Why are we getting these results?' Last week saw Hizbollah's guerrilla force, dismissed by senior Israeli military officials as 'ragtag', inflict further casualties on one of the world's most powerful armies in southern Lebanon. At least 12 elite troops, the equivalent of Britain's SAS, have already been killed, and by yesterday afternoon Israel's military death toll had climbed to 45.

As the bodies pile up, so the Israeli media has begun to turn, accusing the military of lacking the proper equipment, training and intelligence to fight a guerrilla war in Lebanon. Israel's Defence Minister, Amir Peretz, on a tour of the front lines, was confronted by troubled reserve soldiers who told him they lacked proper equipment and training.

Israel's chief of staff, Major-General Dan Halutz, had vowed to wipe out Hizbollah's missile threat within 10 days. These claims are now being mocked as rockets rain down on Israel's north with ever greater intensity, despite an intense and highly destructive air bombardment.

As one well-connected Israeli expert put it: 'If we have such good information in Lebanon, how come we still don't know the hideout of missiles and launchers?... If we don't know the location of their weapons, why should we know which house is a Hizbollah house?'

As international outrage over civilian deaths grows, the spotlight is increasingly turning on Israeli air operations. The Observer has learnt that one senior commander who has been involved in the air attacks in Lebanon has already raised concerns that some of the air force's actions might be considered 'war crimes'.

Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a 'refusenik' letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of 'common sense' and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force's moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.

Shapiro said: 'Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they're afraid people will be there, and they don't trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets.'

He added: 'One pilot told me he was asked to hit a house on a hill, which was supposed to be a place from where Hizbollah was launching Katyusha missiles. But he was afraid civilians were in the house, so he shot next to the house ...

'Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.'

So far none of the pilots has publicly refused to fly missions but some are wobbling, according to Shapiro. He said: 'Their target could be a house firing a cannon at Israel and it could be a house full of children, so it's a real dilemma; it's not black and white. But ... I'm calling on them to refuse, in order save our country from self-destruction.'

Meron Rappoport, a former editor at the Israeli daily Haaretz and military analyst, criticised the air force's methods for selecting targets: 'The impression is that information is sometimes lacking. One squadron leader admitted the evidence used to determine attacks on cars is sometimes circumstantial - meaning that if people are in an area after Israeli forces warned them to leave, the assumption is that those left behind must be linked to Hizbollah ... This is problematic, as aid agencies have said many people did not leave ... because they could not, or it was unsafe to travel on the roads thanks to Israel's aerial bombardment.'

These revelations raise further serious questions about the airstrike in Qana last Sunday that left dozens dead, which continues to arouse international outrage. From the outset, the Israeli military's version of events has been shrouded in ambiguity, with the army releasing a video it claims shows Katyusha rockets being fired from Qana, even though the video was dated two days earlier, and claiming that more than 150 rockets had been fired from the location.

Some IDF officials have continued to refer vaguely to Katyushas being launched 'near houses' in the village and to non-specific 'terrorist activity' inside the targeted building. In a statement on Thursday, the IDF said it the air force did not know there were civilians in what they believed was an empty building, yet paradoxically blamed Hizbollah for using those killed as 'human shields'.

Human rights groups have attacked the findings as illogical. Amnesty International described the investigation as a 'whitewash', saying Israeli intelligence must have been aware of the civilians'.

One Israeli commander from a different squadron called the Qana bombing a 'mistake' and was unable to explain the apparent contradiction in the IDF's position, although he insisted there would have been no deliberate targeting of civilians. He said he had seen the video of the attack, and admitted: 'Generally they [Hizbollah] are using human shields ... That specific building - I don't know the reason it was chosen as a target.'



From: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1838437,00.html

I just want to make it clear that I think the above reflects well on the IDF - not adversely.

Lokos

alexz
08-07-2006, 01:03 AM
Israeli Arabs: Finish off Nasrallah

Latest barrage on city of Haifa leaves three killed, dozens wounded. Injured recall: We heard sirens, didn't escape in time. Israeli Arabs agree over Israel's failure to 'finish off' Nasrallah once and for all
Vered Luvitch

On Sunday evening, ambulances rolled in non-stop to three Haifa hospitals, after a fatal rocket barrage hit the city slightly before 8 p.m. Three people were killed and dozens were wounded after two rockets – one in the lower city and one in Wadi Nisnas – crashed into buildings.

Following the attack, city hospitals declared a mass casualty event and began receiving the injured. One woman arrived in critical condition, with Magen David Adom crews attempting to resuscitate her.


(VIDEO) Haifa under attack: Rocket hits building, causes it to collapse; body of one woman recovered. Two people critically injured, die in hospital. More than 100 residents hurt. Defense minister, army chief hold security consultation


Dozens of residents, mainly Israeli Arabs, congregated at the entrances to the Rambam Medical Center seeking to check on their loved ones injured in the attack.

Some of those present condemned Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Shadi Mzawin and his sister, who arrived at the hospital to visit their sister, said: "How can it be that with all its might Israel is incapable of eliminating Hizbullah and finish it once and for all? How can it be that with al this force he succeeds to do this for us?"

Shadi, whose grandmother and grandfather were also injured in the attack, said police officers positions at the entrance to the emergency room refused him entrance because he swore at them.

"Half of my family and my neighborhood are here inside and they are not allowing me in although I am injured. I don't understand that. Do I have no rights? I am a citizen too and I pay taxes – grandma and grandpa are here and they are not letting me see them," said Shadi who was lightly injured in the legs.


'Hope Nasrallah gets a rocket between legs'

Shadi expressed anger at the government for the lack of shelters in the neighborhood. "I live in Wadi Nisnas and we have no shelters, we hardly have where to live, we have no where to go, we have nowhere to go, and our shelter is the toilet. There are no shelters at all."

"I hope Nasrallah gets a rocket between the legs for what he is doing to me here, for harming grandma and grandpa."


Yossi Landau, an MDA volunteer who arrived at one of the damaged buildings, said that the carnage was severe: "We have a difficult situation, an almost complete collapse of the building, and many injured outside of it. There were people trapped in the building but we succeeded in evacuating them and are working to disconnect the gas main in order to prevent leaks."

Landau recalled trying to save the woman killed by the attack. "I treated her, I performed CPR but she died anyway." According to him, the crowds are hindering the rescue operations. "Curious people are doing things you can't imagine. It's a very crowded area and it really disturbs us in our work."

'Lying on the ground in shock'

Dudu Jozeen, 8.5 years old, arrived at Rambam hospital with her mother, who suffered from shock.

"I was with my mother at her friend's house. We heard sirens but didn't know where to go and also there wasn't time because we immediately heard an explosion," she recounted.

"It was really scary. It was a really loud boom. My mother, Ibatisam, is hospitalized and I hope they'll release her soon," she said, in tears.

a wounded man, Nazal Faisal, also arrived at Rambam. He told Ynet about the event: "I was in a restaurant and the siren went off only after the second rocket hit, so there was nothing to do. I went to my brother's nearby house and saw my friends, lying on the ground, in shock. Now some of them are in the hospital and some stayed home to help others who were injured."

Dozens of angry Haifa residents, whose family members were injured by the blast, raised a commotion outside Rambam's emergency room, after police forces forbade them to because of the crowding caused by the large number of patients. Some of the family members forced their way into the emergency room.

The hospital's spokesperson, David Ratner, explained: "We are treating a very large number of people and this is not the first time that such a situation has occurred. People want to enter the emergency room and we won't let them. That's why we have border guard and regular police forces here. There's nothing to be done in such cases. There are instincts that must be calmed. We can't work in the emergency room in such a fashion and this is why they will remain outside.

Moran Zelikovich contributed to the re
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287380,00.html

Snoshi
08-07-2006, 03:43 AM
IDF ditches plans to reach Litani River
By YAAKOV KATZ AND JPOST STAFF
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Talkbacks for this article: 161

After completing the creation of a security zone in southern Lebanon and with diplomatic pressure mounting, the IDF, senior defense officials revealed Sunday, did not plan to move ground troops northwards towards the Litani River - a line initially named as the IDF's final destination in this current ground incursion.

Meanwhile Sunday, five Golani soldiers were wounded after a bomb went off when they stormed a home in the Lebanese town of Mahbeeb. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to safety and then taken to Rambam Hospital in Haifa for further medical treatment.

Five other soldiers were wounded, one moderately and four lightly, during heavy clashes between IDF reservists and Hizbullah guerillas in the southern Lebanese village of Ras al-Baida. The troops from Brigade 609 killed over 35 Hizbullah gunmen since Friday and succeeded in destroying at least three Katyusha rocket launchers hidden in the village. Another soldier suffered moderate wounds when an anti-tank rocket hit his D-9 bulldozer near the village of Kila, west of Metulla. IDF troops took three Hizbullah guerrillas captive during operations in southern Lebanon overnight Saturday.

The fighting that continued on Sunday took place in the 20 some villages IDF troops had taken up positions in over the weekend as they finished recreating the 10-kilometer-deep security zone Israel held during its 18-year presence in Lebanon which ended in 2000.



While the IDF initially had planned to send troops north to the Litani River - a line from which officials said it would be easier to prevent rocket attacks - high-ranking military sources told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that due to the mounting diplomatic pressure the plan had been deferred for the time being.

An incursion up to the Litani - some 30 km from Israel - would require, a high-ranking source in the Northern Command said Sunday, the insertion of an entire new division into Lebanon. The IDF already has eight brigades on the ground in Lebanon made up of 10,000 troops. The source said that it would take several days to reach the Litani.

Clearday-TRForce
08-07-2006, 03:59 AM
Lebanon seeks emergency oil supplies from Turkey
Monday, August 7, 2006


Lebanon has asked Turkey for urgent supplies of petroleum products and Turkish companies are currently considering a route for shipments via Syria, a Turkish minister said Saturday.

"Lebanon is asking urgently for petroleum products to be shipped from Turkey by land.... This (request) has been forced by the significant decline in Lebanon's oil stocks," the foreign trade minister, Kürşad Tuzmen, told the Anatolia news agency.

"Turkish companies are currently working on the issue.... It appears the shipments will be made via Syria. Our companies are discussing the issue with the Syrian authorities," he said, without giving further details.

Israel's land, sea and air blockade of Lebanon has proved catastrophic for a country which unlike many other Arab nations has next to no fossil fuel deposits and has to rely on imports for over 95 percent of its energy.

As queues of cars lined up outside the small number of gas stations that remain open in Lebanon, United Nations officials said this week that the besieged country just had one or two days of fuel left.

Lebanese energy officials have played down the UN estimate.

"The UN figures are wrong," Ali Berro, advisor to Energy Minister Mohammed Fneich told AFP Friday. "There are enough supplies and it is being rationed to the stations."

Sami Brax, head of the Lebanese petrol stations union, said Friday there was a five-to-six-day supply left of petrol in Lebanon but said Syria would also send extra supplies to meet the market demand.

AFP



regards,
CDTRF

Atlantic Friend
08-07-2006, 04:07 AM
August the 6th : Swedish conservative paper Aftenposten has published this picture of an aera of Beirut,; before and after the beginning of the IAF strikes.

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/500/beibeforeuh2.th.png (http://img156.imageshack.us/my.php?image=beibeforeuh2.png)

Source : http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/midtosten/article1410076.ece


^ Correction: Norwegian Tabloid.

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 04:12 AM
Israel hits Lebanon in new raids

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41972000/jpg/_41972344_bay.jpg
The conflict is in its fourth week

Israeli jets have launched fresh attacks on Lebanon as troops battled Hezbollah fighters in the south.

Loud explosions were heard in southern Beirut, while planes also targeted the eastern Bekaa valley and the south.
Lebanese officials say 11 civilians have been killed in the latest strikes, including at least six in a hit on a house in the south of the country.
The action comes a day after at least 15 people were killed in Israel, in its deadliest day so far of the conflict.
Diplomats are battling to find a workable truce amid the escalating violence.
UN diplomats are due to meet again in New York to try to overcome Lebanese opposition to the text of a ceasefire, while Arab ministers are in Beirut to discuss a strategy on the truce.
More than 900 Lebanese, most of them civilians have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government says. More than 80 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.
The current conflict was sparked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on 12 July.

Tyre isolated

A series of loud bangs woke Beirut residents at dawn as jets pounded the southern suburbs - a Hezbollah stronghold that Israel has regularly targeted.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Mid-East press eyes text (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5250194.stm)


Correspondents say it is not clear what was targeted in the strikes, which sent smoke and dust into the sky.
Witnesses also reported air strikes in and around Baalbek in the Bekaa valley.
The strikes came amid further clashes on the ground, with Israeli troops battling Hezbollah fighters in the southern Lebanese village of Houla.
The Shia militia said it killed four Israeli soldiers but Israel said four of its troops were slightly wounded, ******* news agency reported.
The clashes follow exchanges on Sunday, which saw the deadliest rocket attacks by Hezbollah in nearly four weeks of conflict.
Twelve reservist soldiers died in an attack on the town of Kfar Giladi and three people were killed in the port of Haifa.
Israel said it had destroyed Hezbollah rocket launchers around Qana and Tyre that were used to attack Haifa.
The BBC's John Simpson in Tyre says the city, which now has only about 3,000 people left, many of them poor and elderly, has been cut off by Israeli bombing.
He says a crater blocks the farm track used to transport food and medicine to the city, and an Israeli spy drone flies overhead.

'Obstructing'

As fighting continues, UN Security Council members are expected to renew talks on the resolution aimed at stopping the conflict.
They are expected to discuss possible changes to a draft document to take account of Lebanese objections: Beirut is seeking a specific reference to a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
Correspondents say no vote is likely until Tuesday at the earliest.
The text calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and lays the groundwork for a second that would install an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.
Senior Israeli officials have said they are broadly happy with the text. Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers and the head of the 22-nation Arab League, Amr Moussa, are due to meet in emergency session in Beirut to discuss the crisis. They are widely expected to endorse Lebanon's position.


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5251370.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 04:34 AM
In pictures: Mid-East bloodshed goes on


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971760_boot_afp.jpg

Sunday was one of the bloodiest days of the Lebanon conflict for Israel.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971764_cars_afp.jpg

A barrage of Hezbollah rockets was fired into northern Israel. Ten reserve soldiers died in Kfar Giladi, when rockets struck a car park.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971770_kfargiladi_*****.jpg

More than three weeks after this conflict began, Hezbollah's capability seems largely undiminished, prompting questions about Israel's strategy in this war.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971774_strike_afp.jpg

Meanwhile, diplomats at the UN were hammering out a draft of a resolution calling for cessation of hostilities on both sides.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971768_groundtroops_ap.jpg

But Lebanon objected that the draft stopped short of calling for a complete Israeli withdrawal from its territory.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971754_tyre_afp.jpg

Israeli operations in Lebanon continued, with air strikes on various targets around the country - including the port city of Tyre.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971756_ansarman_ap.jpg

At least 10 Lebanese died in the strikes - including Ahmad Assi's brother, killed by an Israeli bomb on Sunday in Ansar, southern Lebanon.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971766_fishingboat_ap.jpg

With attacks on these fishing boats, livelihoods have been destroyed.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971762_bridge_ap.jpg

As the destruction of roadways and bridges continued, some parts of Lebanon are becoming virtually cut off from the outside world.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971784_unicef_ap.jpg

Many aid agencies cannot reach those most in need - or have insufficient guarantee of their workers' safety.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41971000/jpg/_41971772_londonprotest_*****.jpg

Protests against the Israeli offensive were held in Indonesia, Belgium and Egypt on Sunday - a day after tens of thousands took to the streets of London.

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ekranoplan
08-07-2006, 05:29 AM
Two high resolution satellite images by Digital Globe:

Beirut airport July 15th.

http://www.digitalglobe.com/images/qb/beirut_airport_bombed_july15_2006_dgwm.jpg

Beirut city Jully 22nd.

http://www.digitalglobe.com/images/qb/beirut_harat_july22_2006_dgwm.jpg

Sorry for links but images are just too big to be hosted or uploded on MP.net

Paracaidista
08-07-2006, 05:35 AM
Source: New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/07/world/middleeast/07mideast.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=all)

August 7, 2006
Violence
Rocket Barrage Kills 15 Israelis Close to Border

By RICHARD A. OPPEL (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/richard_a_jr_oppel/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Jr. and GREG MYRE (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/greg_myre/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

KFAR GILADI, Israel (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/israel/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), Aug. 6 — The deadliest barrage of Hezbollah (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/hezbollah/index.html?inline=nyt-org) rocket attacks in nearly a month of fighting hit northern Israel on Sunday, killing 12 army reservists resting near the Lebanon (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/lebanon/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) border and 3 civilians in a dusk attack in the port of Haifa.

In Lebanon, Israeli airstrikes killed more than a dozen people, according to Lebanese officials, and the damage from Israeli bombs on Lebanon’s already shattered road network increasingly cut sections of the country off from one another.

The damage inflicted by both sides came as diplomatic efforts at the United Nations (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/united_nations/index.html?inline=nyt-org) to reach a cease-fire proposal and arrange for an international force to move into southern Lebanon appeared to falter. The speaker of Parliament in Lebanon, Nabih Berri, said the current proposal was unacceptable, and Hezbollah’s principal foreign backers, Syria (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/syria/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) and Iran (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), expressed opposition.

Mr. Berri, authorized by Hezbollah to act as an intermediary, criticized the proposal because it did not call for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon or an exchange of prisoners. There were signs that Israel’s government was receptive to the proposal, but a Security Council vote was delayed by at least one day. [Page A6.]

Israel’s justice minister, Haim Ramon, said that Israel would press ahead with its attacks regardless of any diplomatic progress and that its forces would stay in southern Lebanon until an international force arrived. “We must continue the fighting, continue to hit whoever we can hit from Hezbollah,” he told army radio.

[On Monday, an Israeli airstrike killed seven civilians, all members of the same family, in a village in southern Lebanon, ******* reported. Two civilians were killed and four seriously wounded in a similar strike in another village in the south. Israeli jets also struck a southern suburb of Beirut and the eastern Bekaa Valley, both Hezbollah strongholds. One civilian died in the Bekaa strikes.

[Hezbollah battled Israeli troops on several fronts with the fiercest fighting in Houla, where the guerrilla group said it had ambushed and killed four Israeli soldiers. An Israeli Army spokeswoman said five soldiers had been wounded, but none killed.]

Despite days of aerial bombardment by Israel and a force of an estimated 10,000 Israeli troops now deployed in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah militants have intensified their daily barrage of rocket attacks into northern Israel and in recent days have launched roughly 200 a day. At least 160 had hit northern Israel by nightfall on Sunday, the Israeli military said.

The most destructive was a single rocket packed with ball bearings that slammed into a parking lot at Kfar Giladi, a kibbutz in the northeastern panhandle, scoring a direct hit on Israeli reservists who were staying there. All 12 of those killed were preparing to go into Lebanon.

The rocket sprayed the bearings in a deadly cloud up to 60 yards in diameter, leaving a scene that witnesses, including a war-weary ambulance driver, described as the most horrific carnage they had ever seen.

The rocket struck two small cars parked next to each other in front of a cemetery enclosed by a stone wall and tall trees that overlook the long valley that runs from northeastern Israel into Lebanon.

The dead were both inside and outside the two cars, said Maj. Zvika Golan, a military spokesman. The cars were in smoking ruins as emergency workers and soldiers rushed to bring the blanket-covered corpses and the wounded to ambulances that took them down the steep hill to helicopters waiting next to the highway below. The stone wall in front of the cars was covered in blood.

The victims were apparently “just resting,” Major Golan said.

Raging brush fires ignited by other rockets enveloped nearby Kiryat Shmona, the largest town in this part of Israel, in dense smoke and haze. Batteries of Israeli Army artillery blasted shells over the ridge above Kfar Giladi into Lebanon.

Gidon Giladi, whose family founded the kibbutz, or communal farm, said he rushed to the site of the attack to extinguish what he first thought was only a fire, and what he saw left him almost speechless. Warning sirens at the kibbutz had gone off several times during the day, and were on when the attack took place, an Israeli military spokesman said.

“This was an awful sight, and what bothers me is that it could have been avoided,” Mr. Giladi said, clearly shaken by the aftermath of the blast. “It is nothing that can be described. It’s something I’ll never speak about publicly.”

Hours later, around dusk, Hezbollah rockets hit Haifa, the normally bustling Israeli port that has been largely paralyzed by the daily barrages. Besides the three civilian deaths, dozens were wounded. One rocket collapsed a residential building and set it ablaze, as rescue workers and civilians scrambled to help those trapped inside.

The Israeli military said the rockets that hit Haifa were fired from the Lebanese village of Qana, and that the military had hit and destroyed the launcher shortly afterward. Last Sunday, Israel bombed a building in Qana that it said was near the site of a rocket launcher, and 28 Lebanese civilians, including many children, were killed, arousing widespread anger internationally about what critics have called the indiscriminate nature of Israel’s attacks on Lebanon.

Hezbollah rarely fires rockets after sunset because they send a streak of fire across the sky, making it much easier for the Israelis to detect the launching site.

While many of Israel’s aerial assaults on Lebanon were carried out before daybreak on Sunday, they also included an afternoon barrage of a half-dozen rockets that struck the already battered Shiite neighborhoods on the southern edge of Beirut, which sent the few vehicles on the roads scrambling for safety.

The Israeli strikes killed at least one Lebanese soldier, although the army generally has not been involved in the fighting, as well as eight civilians in two southern villages, Ansar and al-Jibbain, Lebanese officials said.

In the coastal town of Tyre, a missile hit a white Toyota in the morning, killing a man inside. North of the town, a van driving toward a United Nations aid convoy was struck by a missile, killing a passenger and wounding the driver, according to United Nations officials.

In addition, at least one member of a small Palestinian faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, was killed.

Hezbollah released a statement saying three of its fighters had been killed, but did not provide details.

In another development, Israel said it had captured a Hezbollah militant suspected of involvement in the cross-border raid on July 12, when two Israeli soldiers were seized and taken back to Lebanon, the act that precipitated the war that is now nearly a month old. The suspect was being interrogated in Israel.

With the possibility that a United Nations resolution could win approval in the coming days, there has been speculation that Israel would seek to step up its ground campaign in an attempt to control as much territory in southern Lebanon as possible before a resolution is adopted.

But Brig. Gen. Alon Friedman told Israeli radio that “we are not working against time.”

“We are involved mainly in completing plans as we have done over the past days,” he said.

Israel has said it is pushing to establish a buffer zone free of Hezbollah fighters, though neither the government nor the military has said exactly how large that zone would be.

Israeli forces are about three or four miles inside Lebanon in some places, and have been operating in 10 to 20 Lebanese villages, according to the military and Israeli news media reports.

Israeli troops have frequently encountered tough combat with Hezbollah, which has built a network of well-guarded posts, underground bunkers and tunnels near the border in the six years since Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, ending nearly two decades of occupation.

General Friedman said that the Israeli incursion was largely preventing Hezbollah from launching short-range rockets from near the border, but that the group was still firing from deeper inside Lebanon.

A senior Israeli military officer, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to talk publicly about military strategy, said Israel could go five miles or more into Lebanon to “clean” the border area before an international force arrives.

If the international force does not arrive relatively soon, Israel could advance all the way to the Litani River, about 15 miles north of the border, the officer said. That is the only way to ensure that the deluge of short-range Katyusha rockets is largely halted, he said.

Including the casualties on Sunday, 58 Israeli soldiers and at least 36 civilians have been killed. Before Sunday, the deadliest day for Israel was last Thursday, when 12 people were killed.

In Lebanon, about 700 people have been killed, a vast majority of them civilians, according to Lebanese security officials.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Israel arrested the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Aziz Dweik, adding to the growing number of Hamas (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/hamas/index.html?inline=nyt-org) legislators and cabinet ministers who are being detained.

Israel is now holding about 40 members of the Palestinian legislature and cabinet, most of them from Hamas, according to the Palestinians.

Most were arrested after Palestinian militants seized an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid from Gaza on June 25, an attack that bore strong similarities to the Hezbollah raid into northern Israel two weeks later that led to the current crisis.

Richard A. Oppel Jr. reported from Kfar Giladi, Israel, for this article and Greg Myre from Jerusalem. Michael Kamber contributed reporting from Kfar Giladi, John Kifner from Beirut, and Sabrina Tavernise from Tyre, Lebanon.

frenchy
08-07-2006, 05:43 AM
At least 14 Hizbullah gunmen killed in Monday clashes
By YAAKOV KATZ AND AP (editors@jpost.com)


One IDF paratrooper was killed and four others were lightly wounded in clashes in the south Lebanese village of Bint Jbail Monday morning.
At least six Hizbullah gunmen were killed in the battle and clashes were continuing.
The wounded were evacuated under heavy gunfire.
Earlier Monday, IDF forces destroyed Hizbullah's headquarters in the western sector of south Lebanon.
Combat engineers and infantry troops planted explosives, demolishing the outpost, which once served as the IDF's Karkoum outpost. Before the explosion, the soldiers discovered several rocket launchers in the outpost.
IDF troops killed two Hizbullah gunmen and discovered an ammunition cache inside a home in the south Lebanese village of Rabat-Taltin.
Another four Hizbullah operatives were killed in the village of Itaron in the western sector on Monday morning when IDF troops opened fire on an anti-tank rocket cell spotted in the area.
Meanwhile, IAF warplanes attacked Beirut's southern suburbs at daybreak Monday, renewing bombardment of the Hizbullah stronghold a day after cross-border guerrilla rockets killed 15 Israelis.
The sound of eight loud explosions in less than an hour from the southern suburbs and the roar of raiding jets shook the Lebanese capital. The missiles kicked up smoke and dust in the sky.
It was not clear what was hit in the eight airstrikes.
IAF jets also struck south Beirut on Sunday afternoon.
Three soldiers were moderately wounded in clashes in Houla in south Lebanon, just west of Kibbutz Manara. Two Hizbullah gunmen were killed in the battle.
Early Monday, IAF warplanes targeted a northeastern region that is a symbol of Hizbullah power, witnesses and the group said. At least four explosions were heard around the Bekaa Valley city of Baalbek, 100 kilometers (63 miles) north of Israel's border, witnesses said. There was no immediate word on casualties.
Warplanes struck roads about 20 kilometers (13 miles) south of Baalbek, and in the Rashaya region farther south on the corridor linking southern regions with the Bekaa in the country's east, the witnesses said.
Hizbullah has many bases in the Baalbek region. Israeli commandos on Wednesday landed troops in the Baalbek area, engaging the guerillas and kidnapping several Hizbullah operatives before withdrawing. Sixteen Hizbullah gunmen and Lebanese were killed in the raid.
Warplanes also carried out five air raids on the southern market town of Nabatiyeh. Two unleashed seven missiles on an empty, seven-story office building behind local government headquarters. One strike destroyed a two-story building housing one of the offices of Shi'ite Muslim Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah and another struck a house.
The renewed airstrikes came as Hizbullah battled Israeli forces attempting to advance deeper into southern Lebanon early Monday.
In addition to repeated air raids since fighting erupted July 12, Israel has sent thousands of troops into southern Lebanon to try to stop Hizbullah rocket attacks, which on Sunday killed 12 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in the deadliest such strikes. Three Chinese members of a UN peacekeeping force in south Lebanon were lightly injured when a mortar round fired by Hizbullah hit their headquarters south of Tyre, a UN spokesman said.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525819546&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 09:39 AM
Israeli strike 'kills 40 people'

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41973000/jpg/_41973346_tyre_ap203b.jpg
Many of those stranded in Tyre are poor and elderly

An Israeli air strike has killed more than 40 people in the southern Lebanese border village of Houla, Lebanon's prime minister has said.

Fouad Siniora told an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut that there had been "a horrific massacre".
At least 20 people died in earlier Israeli raids across Lebanon, as troops fought Hezbollah in the south.
The violence comes after at least 15 people were killed in Israel on Sunday - the country's deadliest day so far.
Diplomats are battling to find a workable truce amid the escalating violence, and Arab ministers are discussing a strategy on a ceasefire in Beirut.
"An hour ago, there was a horrific massacre in the village of Houla in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing," Mr Siniora told the meeting.
More than 900 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government says. More than 90 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.
Humanitarian groups say Israeli military action is hampering efforts to help many of the hundreds of thousands who have fled the fighting - sparked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on 12 July.

Tyre isolated

Details on the Houla strike are still sketchy, but it came as Israeli jets also hit southern Beirut and parts of the east and south, cutting off the city of Tyre.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
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Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Mid-East press eyes text (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5250194.stm)


The BBC's John Simpson in Tyre says a crater now blocks the farm track used to transport food and medicine to the city.
Israeli jets also pounded the southern suburbs of Beirut and struck around Baalbek in the Bekaa valley.
The air attacks came amid further clashes on the ground, while Hezbollah fired more rockets at Israel.
United Nations sources say Israeli commandos have been on the border hilltops since Sunday, trying to destroy Hezbollah positions.
The Israeli army said one of its soldiers and five Hezbollah militants died in combat in the village of Bint Jbeil.
The Shia militia said it killed four Israeli soldiers near Houla, but Israel said a number of its troops were slightly wounded.
The clashes follow exchanges on Sunday, when Hezbollah rocket-fire killed 12 Israeli reservist soldiers in the town of Kfar Giladi and three people in the port of Haifa.
Israel said it had destroyed Hezbollah rocket launchers around Qana and Tyre that were used to attack Haifa.

Ceasefire talks

As fighting continues, UN Security Council members are expected to renew talks on the resolution aimed at stopping the conflict.

They are expected to discuss possible changes to a draft document to take account of Lebanese objections: Beirut is seeking a specific reference to a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
Correspondents say no vote is likely until Tuesday at the earliest.
The text calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and lays the groundwork for a second that would install an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. Senior Israeli officials have said they are broadly happy with the text. Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut are widely expected to endorse Lebanon's position.


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5252842.stm)

Jaguar
08-07-2006, 10:00 AM
From Christopher Albritton

ZEBQINE, southern Lebanon — In this village, 10 km southeast of Tyre, the only signs of life are two donkeys rooting for food amid the rubble.
Formerly grand houses are now collapsed into piles of concrete. Childrens’ toys and family books lie scattered under the August sun. The tobacco leaves, a mainstay crop in the region, still hang on the wires, long-since dried. But there are almost no people.

“About 70 percent or more of the people in the south are already gone,” said Khalid Mansour, the spokesman for the United Nations in Lebanon. “They’ve been displaced.”

From journeys through more than a dozen villages on Tuesday, it appears he’s right; southern Lebanon has been largely depopulated, as the remaining residents took advantage of a 48-hour lull in Israel’s three-week long attacks to flee their destroyed villages. Even in towns that have largely escaped the destruction visited on places such as Zebqine and Qana, there are very few signs of activity. Most storefronts are shuttered, but not all. Except for a thick coating of grime, some stores and cafés look like the owners just stepped away for a moment and would be right back. Homes are usually locked, but one can look in to see old place settings on the table, a land-based version of the legend of the Mary Celeste.

It looks like the end of the world.

In Bourj ech Chemali, just outside of Tyre, about 1,500 remain out of some 10,000 people, according to Ali Talib, 57, a long-time resident. In Tibnine itself, a town of about 10,000 people, only about 200 remain according to Lebanese internal security forces. And in the town of Haris, just before Tibnine, only 40 people out of 8,000 remain, according to a woman awaiting a ride to Beirut along with six of her family members.

In all, some 800,000 to 900,000 Lebanese have been forced north from their homes, said Astrid van Genderen Stort, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. About 150,000 are in Syria, but the rest are stuffed into schools, community centers or the private homes of generous Lebanese.
“The situation is becoming increasingly dire,” said Astrid van Genderen Stort, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. “Host families are sharing their homes with up to 30 or 40 people. It’s been three weeks. They’re eating into their own reserves.”

The only other comparable mass displacement in recent memory is Kosovo in 1998, she said, where 800,000 people were displaced in the span of a month. And as bad as the displacement was, problems continued after the cease-fire was announced.

As soon as the Serbian forces withdrew, most of the 800,000 poured back across the border to go home. “They were unstoppable,” van Genderen Stort said. For months, the United Nations and other international organizations had to deal with refugees returning to a devastated country, destroyed homes and dead relatives. Much the same will happen in Lebanon, she said.

But for now, the problem is getting the people out of harm’s way, and most of them have largely moved north to Sidon or Beirut. Those too poor or too sick haven’t made it that far, and have instead clustered in the larger towns of the south such as Tibnine, Qana or Tyre, where they squat in school and hospital basements without electricity, surrounded in Stygian blackness and bathed in their own sweat.

With the announcement on Monday of the 48-hour lull in air strikes, hundreds of people emerged from towns across the south. For many, it was their first contact with the outside world in almost three weeks.

Between 500 and 600 refugees made it from the destroyed town of Bint Jbail in the south to the Tibnine Government Hospital, where they boarded buses and headed north to Sidon. About 200 remained in the hospital’s basement Tuesday, said Lebanese internal security officials.

But not all have left. Two brothers, Ali and Hussein Talib, 57 and 54, have stayed in Bourj ech Chemali to keep their general store open. It was one of possibly two stores seen open in the backroads of the south all afternoon. They see their decision to stay open as a combination of duty and defiance.

“The first reason is to help the people who cannot find anything to eat,” said Ali, the older one. “The second reason is to boost their morale.”

Beaufort
08-07-2006, 10:05 AM
Haifa hospital goes underground

For first time in war, Rambam Hospital moves whole wings to specially designed bomb shelter

Ahiya Raved

Hospital counters rocket threat: Officials at Haifa's Rambam Hospital began Monday morning the process of transferring whole wings and patients to a large underground bomb shelter containing hundreds of beds.

The bomb shelter was prepared in recent weeks in the wake of the outbreak of hostilities in the North. The advanced facility includes air-conditioning and other systems required in order to perform the functions of a regular hospital.

Earlier in the war, the hospital in the northern town of Nahariya moved its operations underground.

Recently, sensitive departments at Rambam were moved to old quarters at the hospital located at the basement. The latest move follows the heavy rocket barrage that struck Haifa Sunday night, killing three people and wounding scores.

Meanwhile, other hospitals are reviewing wartime procedures, while Hillel Yafe hospital in Hadera made special preparations over the weekend after rockets landed in the area. Just like northern hospitals, Hillel Yafe declared Level 3 readiness, which also means close supervision of doctor vacations.

Meanwhile, the IDF Home Front Command in conjunction with the Health Ministry was able to reinforce various types of infrastructure at the medical center, such as oxygen tanks. However, windows at the facility have not yet been reinforced.

Hospital Director Meir Oren told Ynet: "Our preparations are not random or sudden. This is joint preparation for emergency cases. Upon the outbreak of the war we prepared in accordance with Home Front Command and Health Ministry instructions."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287614,00.html

frenchy
08-07-2006, 10:21 AM
40 troops battling Hizbullah in attempt to destroy launchers
By YAAKOV KATZ, AP, AND JPOST.COM STAFF (editors@jpost.com)


About 40 IDF commandos landed on a southern hilltop near Lebanon's Mediterranean coast on Monday, fighting Hizbullah in close combat in a bid to destroy its rocket launchers.
Helicopters dropped off the troops on a hill overlooking Ras al-Biyada, south of Tyre, Lebanese security officials said. It is believed that the majority of rocket launchings take place in the region of Tyre.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525819546&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Darth Vidar
08-07-2006, 10:31 AM
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747356.html

Last update - 15:45 07/08/2006http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifIDF reservists: Our missions are unclear, our combat equipment is antiquatedhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif
By Amiram Barkat and Amos Harel (contact@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondents.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifReserve soldiers are returning from fighting in south Lebanon with harsh criticisms of their operational preparedness and the combat equipment with which they had been supplied.

After three days of combat in south Lebanon, infantry soldiers from the Israel Defense Force's reserve Carmeli Battalion returned Sunday to Israel.

A., a young reservist who spent his mandatory service in the Golani Brigade during the second intifada, said, "For two days, we barely made any progress. The soldiers simply don't really know what the mission is. You are mostly kept busy with protecting yourself."


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifAdvertisementInterviews with the battalion's soldiers revealed a picture of complicated fighting under heavy Hezbollah fire in which the soldiers know very little of their mission.

Nearly every reserve unit has complained about a lack of emergency equipment over the past several days.

The soldier's in A.'s brigade operated in the villages of Kila and Bnei al-Awad in the central sector. A. says that things he witnessed in recent days in Lebanon bear no resemblance to anything he saw as a recruit in the Palestinian territories. "We seized a few homes in the village under constant bombardment from mortar shells," A. says. "It is nothing like the territories. During daylight hours, you do not see a living soul. You barely see anything at night either. There are apparently people who pass Hezbollah information regarding the location of our forces and they fire mortar shells. The shells fall around you and that is frightening.

"Many soldiers don't have short-barreled M-16 rifles, communications equipment or even tourniquets," "A" said.

Hanan (fictitious name), who serves in an elite reserve unit, said soldiers returning from combat in Lebanon were forced to hand their weapons over to soldiers heading north across the border.

Gili is also a soldier in an elite reserve infantry unit that is supposed to be supplied with the most sophisticated equipment. One week ago, when his unit was deployed to Lebanon, it became clear that most of their wartime equipment was missing from their emergency warehouses.

"We are supposed to enter the fray against guerilla fighters who have been training for six years," Gili said Monday. "And our weapons are the only advantage that we have over them. During all the years that I served in the reserves, we had the best equipment but now that we have reached the moment of truth the equipment has vanished."

Soldiers from the Alexandroni Brigade now serving in Lebanon were shocked to discover they were issued equipment dating from the first Lebanon war in 1982.

"My helmet was manufactured in 1981," said 22-year-old Gal. "It is three years older than me."

The unit's maintenance officer, Eli Altman, said the newest equipment was naturally distributed to combat soldiers in the regular army. Altman added, however, "We could have ensured that the equipment in our warehouses would be useable."

Less deployment, more training
Former chief reserve officer Brigadier General Ariel Heimann said he was troubled by the combat fitness level of reserve soldiers.

It is no secret that the IDF's reserve units were the main victims of budget cuts over the past several years.

"The easiest thing is to cut training hours," Heimann said. "What is clear is that the reserve units have not been trained enough. The extent to which this lack of training is critical can only be measured during combat."

Against the background of budget cuts, Heimann and others led reforms in reserve service in which it was decided to exempt reserve forces from military operations and limit their days of service to training. Heimann maintains that the current war proves the wisdom of this decision.

Contrary to soldiers in the regular army, reservists are not required to maintain their fitness level.

Before their deployment in Lebanon, soldiers from the Alexandroni Brigade trained for three days. During this short period of time, the reservists were meant to prepare themselves long hikes through steep, rocky terrain while carrying equipment weighing up to 40 kilograms.

Reserve deputy battalion commander Major Ziv Rozelman said their extensive combat experience and their earlier periods of deployment in Lebanon give make up for their lower fitness levels.

Deputy Battalion Commander Major Ziv Rozelman claims that reservists' previous combat experience and the fact that, unlike recruits, they served in Lebanon in the past compensates for their lack of physical fitness. "There is no doubt that enlisted soldiers are stronger but we are like old bulls: We work slowly but surely and take no risks."


........

A sad read, is the IDF so badly prepared for a war......?

Some heads high up will roll after this war is over, I hope..........

Clearday-TRForce
08-07-2006, 11:21 AM
By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer
14 minutes ago



BEIRUT, Lebanon - An Israeli attack on a Lebanese border village killed more than 40 people Monday, Lebanon's prime minister said, despite cease-fire efforts. The Israeli army said fierce fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas killed one Israeli soldier.


Israeli warplanes repeatedly bombed Beirut's southern suburbs and pounded other areas of Lebanon, killing another 15 people to raise the day's death toll to 60, Lebanese officials said. In northern Israel, scores of Hezbollah rockets wounded five people, rescue workers said.

Both sides appeared to take advantage of the days before a cease-fire resolution, formulated by the U.S. and France, is put to a vote in the U.N. Security Council.

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora repeatedly broke into tears as he disclosed the latest attack during opening remarks at a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Beirut. He appealed to fellow Arab states to help a nation "stunned" by a nearly four-week Israeli onslaught that has devastated Lebanon's infrastructure and left hundreds of civilians dead.

Saniora said the attack occurred in the southern village of Houla, where heavy ground fighting between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israel has been raging in recent days. The Israeli army said it is checking the claims about Houla but repeated that residents in villages in southern Lebanon had been warned to leave.

There was no confirmation of the death toll from security officials, but witnesses said the airstrike flattened five homes in a tribal compound.

U.N. peacekeepers at a post near Houla reported Hezbollah fired rockets toward Israel twice Monday from positions near the UNIFIL base.

"An hour ago, there was a horrific massacre in the village of Houla in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing," he said. Saniora had to halt his remarks several times to choke back tears and wipe his eyes, and the ministers broke into supportive applause.

"If these horrific actions are not state terrorism, then what is state terrorism?" he asked, adding that Israel's attacks have set back Lebanon by "decades."

Local TV stations had reported about 40 people were buried under the rubble of houses targeted by Israeli airstrikes.

Israel's attacks on Lebanon have killed at least 651 people, including 524 civilians, 29 Lebanese soldiers and at least 53 Hezbollah guerrillas.

Hezbollah fired its deadliest rocket barrage Sunday on Israel, killing 12 Israeli reservists and three civilians. That brought the Israeli death toll to 94, including 46 soldiers, the 12 reservists and 36 civilians.

In other Israeli air raids across southern Lebanon, seven people were killed when a missile hit a house in Qassmieh on the coast north of the port city of Tyre, civil defense official Youssef Khairallah said.

An Israeli airstrike on an apartment complex in Tyre killed five people, witnesses and rescue workers said.

A woman and her daughter were killed near a Lebanese army checkpoint between the villages of Harouf and Dweir, security officials said. Four other people were killed in a raid on that destroyed a house in Kfar Tebnit.

Air raids on the town of Ghaziyeh also destroyed several buildings, killing at least one person and wounding 14, hospital officials said.

A building collapsed in the village of Ghassaniyeh, and at least one body was pulled from the rubble. Witnesses and civil defense workers said six more people were buried, but that could not be confirmed.

Five air raids struck the market town of Nabatiyeh, targeting two office buildings, a house and one of the offices of Shiite Muslim Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. No casualties were reported there or in raids on the villages of Jibsheet and Toul.

Attacks also were carried out in Naqoura on the border and Ras al-Biyada, about halfway between Naqoura and Tyre. About 30 Israeli commandos landed by helicopter on a hill overlooking Ras al-Biyada, where they battled Hezbollah militants, Lebanese security officials said. Israeli officials would not confirm the operation.

Meanwhile, one Israeli soldier was killed and four were slightly wounded in Bint Jbail, the army said. It said five Hezbollah gunmen were killed.

A new barrage of 83 rockets hit northern Israel on Monday morning, slightly wounding five Israelis, according to rescue services.

Ministers have called for a meeting of Israel's Security Cabinet later Monday to discuss whether to broaden the offensive.

One minister, speaking on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be seen as criticizing the military, said the army needed to send all available ground forces into Lebanon immediately to push Hezbollah and its rocket launchers out of the area south of the Litani River, about 18 miles from the border.

Hezbollah claimed to have killed four Israeli soldiers in Houla. The Israeli army said only three were wounded.

The U.N. plan would call for an immediate halt in the fighting, followed by a second resolution in a week or two to authorize an international military force and creation of a buffer zone in south Lebanon. It also says the two Israeli soldiers whose capture July 12 by Hezbollah guerrillas triggered the war should be released unconditionally.

Saniora and the Arab foreign ministers pressed for changes in the plan. He has proposed a speeded-up deployment of Lebanese troops with the support of U.N. forces in order to ensure that thousands of Israeli soldiers leave the south with any cease-fire, a Saniora aide said.

Washington and Paris were expected to circulate a new draft of the first resolution at the United Nations on Monday, taking into account some of the amendments proposed by Qatar, the only Arab nation on the Security Council, and other members, diplomats said.

Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon the U.S.-French draft was good for Israel — but the country still had military goals and would continue its attacks on Hezbollah. While Hezbollah has not rejected the plan outright, its two main allies — Syria and Iran — said it was without merit because it did not call for an immediate Israeli withdrawal, among other demands.

Lebanon's parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, also said the plan was unacceptable because it does not deal with Beirut's other key demands — a release of prisoners held by Israel and moves to resolve a dispute over a piece of border territory.

In other violence, Israeli warplanes hit roads in the Bekaa Valley, a northeastern region of Lebanon that is a symbol of Hezbollah power. At least four explosions were heard around the city of Baalbek, about 60 miles north of Israel's border, witnesses said. The Israeli military confirmed it had hit several targets in the area.

Warplanes also struck a large factory for construction materials just south of Baalbek.

Jet fighters attacked the Rashaya region farther south on the corridor linking southern regions with the Bekaa Valley, witnesses said. A road near the Beirut border post at Masnaa on the Beirut-Damascus highway, a frequent target of attack, was hit again Monday.

Israel's Haaretz daily, quoting an unidentified general, reported that attacks might be stepped up on Lebanese infrastructure and symbols of the government in response to Hezbollah's escalating rocket attacks. Israeli warplanes have repeatedly blasted Palestinian government buildings during a monthlong offensive in Gaza that began shortly before the fighting with Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has fired more than 3,000 rockets at Israel since the fighting began, Israeli officials said.

The 12 Israeli reservists were killed by a rocket that struck near the entrance to the communal farm of Kfar Giladi on the Lebanese border, hospital officials said. Dozens of other rockets hit Israel, including some that reached Haifa — the third-largest city — killing three civilians.

Hezbollah militants battled Israeli forces trying to push deeper into southern Lebanon, engaging Israeli infantrymen attempting to advance on the border villages of Aita al-Shaab, Rub Thalatheen and Dibel, the guerrillas' TV station said.

Some 10,000 Israeli soldiers are fighting several hundred Hezbollah gunmen in south Lebanon, trying to track and destroy rocket launchers and push the guerrilla group out of the area.

___

Associated Press writers Aron Heller in Kfar Giladi, Israel; Delphine Matthieussent in Haifa, Israel; Lauren Frayer in Beirut; and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060807/ap_on_re_mi_ea/lebanon_israel_842;_ylt=AiuZQ3Y1k285eVLzcWuJLfkUvioA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl



regards,
CDTRF

americanbychoice
08-07-2006, 11:31 AM
Follow up to the Houla "massacre"...

On CNN...
NEWS ALERT:
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Siniora now says one dead in Houla, not 40 as he said earlier.




http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/07/mideast.main/index.html
Lebanon's PM revises death toll from 40 to 1

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Monday that one person was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the southern village of Houla, not 40 as he had earlier reported.

"The massacre in Houla, it turned out that there was one person killed," ******* quoted Siniora as saying. "They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of about 40 people ... thank God they have been saved."


Siniora had earlier told Arab foreign ministers in Beirut that the attack "was a horrific massacre ... in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing."


Saniora said he had based the initial tally on unspecified information that he had received, The Associated Press reported. He offered no other explanation for the error.
...


The AP is also saying the same thing...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060807/ap_on_re_mi_ea/lebanon_israel;_ylt=AlzKkH70EoruA_Hj4H30bqms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-
Lebanese PM now says 1 killed in strike



By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer 29 minutes ago


BEIRUT, Lebanon - The Lebanese prime minister said one person was killed in an Israeli air raid Monday in the southern border village of Houla, lowering the death toll from 40. Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said at a news conference that he had based the initial tally on unspecified information that he had received.

He offered no other explanation for the error.


He had announced that 40 were killed in the attack during an emotional address during opening remarks at a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.


"It turned out that one person was killed. They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of about 40 people and it turned out, thank God because we are not happy if someone is killed, they have been saved," Saniora told reporters.



BBC have their own version as well now...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5252842.stm
Lebanon PM revises air raid toll

Lebanon's prime minister has said only one person was killed in an Israeli air strike that earlier he said had killed more than 40 civilians.

"They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of 40 people," Fouad Siniora told reporters in Beirut. "Thank God that they have been saved."


Several houses were reported to have been destroyed in the air strike in the southern border village of Houla.


At least 20 people have died in fresh Israeli raids across Lebanon.


...

nicholasjulian
08-07-2006, 12:15 PM
Aug. 7, 2006 17:40 | Updated Aug. 7, 2006 18:57
An Israeli propaganda war?
By ASSOCIATED PRESS (editors@jpost.com)
BEIRUT, Lebanon
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"Hassan," said the deep voice on the phone, "have you realized yet that the Israeli army is not as delicate as a spider's web? It's a web of steel that will strangle you!"
The "Hassan" being addressed was Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbullah leader, but the message was for all Lebanese. The automated, recorded calls have flooded Lebanese telephones since the war began 27 days ago.
Phone calls with recorded messages slam Hizbullah. Hizbullah's television stations are jammed with warnings to the group's members.
It seems Israelis are everywhere - not just on the ground in south Lebanon or the skies or on ships off the coast.
The Israeli army has refused to confirm that it was behind the calls that Lebanese throughout the country started to receive soon after the hostilities began July 12. But most Lebanese assume Israel is sending them.
"This is the beginning of the cellular phone war between Israel and Hizbullah," wrote Ahmed Mughrabi, a reporter for Al-Hayat newspaper who received the "Hassan" call.
Typically, the calls start coming in the afternoon and quite frequently in the middle of the night. A "0000" number flashes on the phone screen, indicating an overseas call. The voice on several other recorded messages is identical to the one on the "Hassan" message, and they deliver the same anti-Hizbullah line.
"This is the state of Israel," said one message that urged Lebanese to end their support for Hizbullah. "This resistance ... is forcing you to stay at home like rats."
Another posed questions: "Who is it that's putting your life in danger? Who is using you as human shields?"
During a recent prime time newscast on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV that was airing a footage of Nasrallah, viewers suddenly saw "Hizbullah members beware" splashed across the screen, the words running over the guerrilla leader's black turban.
They also flashed a picture of the body of a dead man sprawled on his back with a caption claiming it was a Hezbollah's special forces fighter.
"Nasrallah is lying to you. We're not the ones hiding our losses," said another caption.
Ibrahim Farhat, head of public relations at Al-Manar, dismissed the incident, saying Israel has been jamming and hacking into Al-Manar and other satellite stations almost every day, especially in coastal areas.
There have also been Lebanese claims of Israelis popping up in tiny, remote villages.
Al-Massira magazine said an Israeli airborne force consisting of dozens of troops landed in the village of Shabrouh near a dam project in the Christian heartland of Kesrouan one recent night. The soldiers, equipped with the latest night-vision technology, spent three hours inspecting tunnels and pipes. The magazine said the troops apparently were looking for Hizbullah rocket launchers.
"The Shabrouh operation has become the talk of town, spreading from house to house," said Al-Massira. But neither the government nor Hizbullah has commented on the alleged incident.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525824340&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 12:37 PM
N.B. - Possible partial re-post - revised data (DW58)

Lebanon PM revises air raid toll

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41973000/jpg/_41973346_tyre_ap203b.jpg
Many of those stranded in Tyre are poor and elderly

Lebanon's prime minister has said only one person was killed in an Israeli air strike that earlier he said had killed more than 40 civilians.

"They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of 40 people," Fouad Siniora told reporters in Beirut. "Thank God that they have been saved."
Several houses were reported to have been destroyed in the air strike in the southern border village of Houla.
At least 20 people have died in fresh Israeli raids across Lebanon.
Diplomats are battling to find a workable truce amid the violence.
Arab ministers have agreed to back Lebanese demands for changes to a proposed UN resolution on the crisis.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Mid-East press eyes text (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5250194.stm)

President Bush said he wanted the resolution passed as soon as possible.
Earlier, Mr Siniora broke down in tears as he told Arab leaders meeting that a "horrific massacre" had taken place in Houla village.
He later backtracked on the death toll, telling a news conference that only one person had died.
One resident quoted by ******* news agency said about 50 people had been found alive under the rubble.
The Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz has said Israel will step-up its offensive against Hezbollah rocket launching sites if the diplomatic process does not reach a successful conclusion.
More than 900 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government says. More than 90 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.
Humanitarian groups say Israeli military action is hampering efforts to help many of the hundreds of thousands who have fled the fighting - sparked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on 12 July.

Tyre isolated

The Houla attack came as Israeli jets also hit southern Beirut and parts of the east and south, cutting off the coastal city of Tyre.
The BBC's John Simpson in Tyre says a crater now blocks the farm track used to transport food and medicine to the city.
The air attacks came amid further clashes on the ground, while Hezbollah fired more rockets at Israel.
United Nations sources say Israeli commandos have been on the border hilltops since Sunday, trying to destroy Hezbollah positions.
The Israeli army said one of its soldiers and five Hezbollah militants died in combat in the village of Bint Jbeil.
The Shia militia said it killed four Israeli soldiers near Houla, but Israel said a number of its troops were slightly wounded.
The clashes follow exchanges on Sunday, when Hezbollah rocket-fire killed 12 Israeli reservist soldiers in the town of Kfar Giladi and three people in the port of Haifa.

Ceasefire talks

As fighting continues, UN Security Council members are gathering in New York for more talks on the resolution aimed at stopping the conflict.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif

President Bush, in Texas, said the concern of "all parties in the region is whether or not the resolution will create a vacuum into which Hezbollah and its sponsors will be able to promote more instability".
"We all agree that we ought to strengthen this government, the Lebanese government. That's the purpose of the resolutions as well as to stop the violence," he told reporters.
Security Council members are expected to discuss possible changes to a draft document to take account of Lebanese objections. Beirut is seeking a specific reference to a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
Correspondents say no vote is likely until Tuesday at the earliest. The text calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and lays the groundwork for a second that would install an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. Senior Israeli officials have said they are broadly happy with the text.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5252842.stm)

Darth Vidar
08-07-2006, 01:13 PM
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747413.html



Last update - 20:02 07/08/2006http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifIDF shoots down Hezbollah drone over sea near Haifa coasthttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifBy Amos Harel (contact@haaretz.co.il),

Haaretz Correspondent, and AP


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifIDF brought down an unmanned drone over the Mediterranean Sea on Monday night, near the coast of the northern city of Haifa. It is not clear whether it had explosives onboard.


In the past year, Hezbollah has twice managed to fly a drone into Israeli airspace, both of which returned safely to Lebanese territory.


"I can confirm that the airforce destroyed a Hezbollah drone," an army spokesman said, but would not provide any other details, including where the drone was flying.



http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifChannel One television reported that the drone was believed to be armed, but the army had no comment.


In November 2004, Hezbollah sent its first ever drone, named "Mirsad 1" over Israel, where it flew around for some 20 minutes while filming.


Despite broadcasting a short segment of the film taken by the unmanned vehicle, Hezbollah gave away few details on it and it was unclear if it was a homemade, makeshift aircraft or bought from abroad.


Israel makes frequent use of drones over the battlefield to give it real time intelligence during fighting.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

Snoshi
08-07-2006, 01:48 PM
Ynet:Northern Front Commander Udi Adam told journalists on the northern border that IDF soldiers killed 20 Hizbullah members.


"On the ground there are many successes and during every contact with the enemy our soldiers have the upper hand. We are killing more terrorists every day," he said. Adam said that since the start of fighting 450 terrorists have been killed, the identity of 250 of which are known. (Meital Yasur-Beit Or)

Snoshi
08-07-2006, 01:50 PM
The Lebanese army called up reservists on Monday ahead of a possible deployment of 15,000
troops to the south of the country, security and political sources said.

"This is a preparatory move ahead of a decision that may come out of the cabinet to deploy 15,000 soldiers to the south," the political source said. A security source said: "We need to boost our numbers." (*******)

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 02:28 PM
Israeli reservists ready for action

By Martin Patience
BBC News, Jerusalem
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/999999.gif


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41975000/jpg/_41975666_reservist1_afp203b.jpg
Almost everyone in Israel knows someone currently on duty

Yakir Segev, 27, was supposed to spend this August hiking in the mountains of northern Israel with his wife and their one-year-old son.

Instead, Mr Segev is sleeping outdoors beside a column of tanks close to the Israeli - Lebanese border awaiting orders to deploy into southern Lebanon.
"I was expecting the call, I knew it was coming, I was ready," says Mr Segev, who was visiting his mother in Tel Aviv last Friday for Shabbat dinner when he was told by the army to mobilise.
Two hours later he was travelling in his car to a military base in the north of Israel.
"I was at peace with doing it. Unfortunately reserve duty is a normal part of our lives in Israel."

Vital reserves

The reserve platoon commander is one of thousands of Israeli citizens called up by the military to bolster the country's war effort as the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah militants continues into its fourth week.
Because of Israel's small population of about 6.4 million citizens it depends heavily on the reserves in times of war.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41975000/jpg/_41975558_reservistdead_*****203b.jpg
A Hezbollah rocket killed 12 reservists on Sunday


While Israel refuses to say how many reservists have been called some media estimates say the figure is about 15,000 soldiers.
Almost everyone in Israel knows someone currently serving reserve duty.
Israel's standing army of about 186,500 troops can jump to 631,500 with a mass call-up of reserve soldiers, according to the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv.
Most 18-year-old Israelis, males and females, serve two to three years of military service in the army.

During the current conflict, some of the reservists are heading for the West Bank replacing better trained soldiers who are transferred to Lebanon to fight Hezbollah.
But like Mr Segev, most of the soldiers willingly do reserve service even if it means disruption to their daily lives or putting themselves in danger.
On Sunday, 12 reserve soldiers were killed by a Hezbollah rocket attack on the Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in northern Israel.
"It's the clearest case of defence I can think of," says Mr Segev, a student of public administration at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "Israel was attacked within its sovereign borders by a terrorist organisation."
While opinion polls in Israeli newspapers show that an overwhelming majority of the public here support the war, there has been one high profile case of an Israeli reserve army officer refusing to fight.
Amir Fester, 32, was sentenced to 28 days in a military prison for refusing to serve in Lebanon.

Waiting for the call

As the war continues, more reserve soldiers have been notified to expect a call-up.
Many are told by a phone call, others get a brown envelope through their post boxes, while some get a text message sent to their mobiles.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41975000/jpg/_41975562_yoav_203b.jpg

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif I have family and friends in Haifa and I feel that this is a war on my house. http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Yoav Kedem, 30, youth worker

Yoav Kedem, 30, learned of a possible call-up last week.
The youth worker immediately packed a bag of clothes, sun cream, a razor, and two novels. He also removed his brown army combat boots from a cupboard in readiness for deployment.
"I want to join my friends in the north," says Mr Kedem, at his apartment in Jerusalem.
"I have family and friends in Haifa and I feel that this is a war on my house." But his wife, Hadas, 27, is fraught with worry. She calls him up to six times a day to ask whether he has been drafted. "But she understands that winning this war is very important for Israel's existence," says Mr Kedem.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5253868.stm)

Irish
08-07-2006, 03:03 PM
50 saved after Israeli air strike in Lebanon (http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0807/lebanon.html)http://www.rte.ie/news/images/audio_sml_but.gifhttp://www.rte.ie/news/images/video_sml_but.gif
(19:24) The Lebanese Prime Minister says only one person has been killed in an Israeli airstrike on Houla.

Beaufort
08-07-2006, 03:16 PM
2 more troops killed in Bint Jbeil

Cleared for publication: Two Armored Corps soldiers killed, two others wounded by missile fired at their tank by Hizbullah terrorists during battles in south Lebanese town; earlier it was reported that paratrooper Malko (Moshe) Ambao killed in same incident

It was cleared for publication Monday evening that two more IDF soldiers were killed in battles with Hizbullah gunmen in the south Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil.

Earlier it was reported that Staff Sergeant Malko (Moshe) Ambao, 22, from Lod, of the IDF Paratroopers Brigade, was killed (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287579,00.html) in the same incident.

A paratrooper unit that was operating in town against terrorists and in a bid to uncover weapon caches has clashed with gunmen and fir exchanges broke out, during which the paratrooper was killed and four of his comrades were wounded. The exchanges of fire lasted several hours, and at some point terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF tank, killing two crew members and injuring two others.

IDF forces have killed 15 terrorists in different sectors across south Lebanon , five of them in Bint Jbeil.
Additionally, an IDF officer and two soldiers were injured early Monday morning during fire exchanges with Hizbullah gunmen in the village of Houla in the eastern sector of the southern Lebanon. The force killed four terrorists in the clash who were hiding in a house used as a weapons depot.

Engineering Corps and infantry units blew up Hizbullah headquarters in southwestern Lebanon Monday morning, completely destroying the structure. Troops uncovered stashes of rockets and antitank missiles in the place.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...287899,00.html (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287899,00.html)

Snoshi
08-07-2006, 03:18 PM
Hezbollah fighter confesses to kidnapping IDF soldiers
By *******

A Hezbollah fighter captured by Israel has told interrogators he received training in Iran and arrived there on a flight from Syria, a tape of the interrogation released by the Israeli army showed on Monday.

During questioning the man also confessed to taking part in the cross-border raid on July 12 in which two Israel Defense Forces soldiers were captured, the incident which sparked the current conflict.

"We trained in Iran," the man, who gave his name as Mahmoud Ali Suleiman, told the interrogator. "We went from Beirut in civilian cars... to the airport in Damascus."

Advertisement

Suleiman, who gave his age as 22, said between 40 and 50 people went with him for the training, which involved instruction in the use of anti-tank weapons. He didn't say when the training took place or how long it lasted.

The man, speaking in Arabic, said he joined Hezbollah in 2000 and had carried out two operations with the Lebanese guerrilla group, the first in December 2005 when they had tried to take on an Israeli tank entering southern Lebanon.

The second operation was the one in July, when the two Israeli soldiers were seized and eight were killed in subsequent mortar fire and clashes.

In addition to the brief stint in Iran, Suleiman said he had done extensive training at a Hezbollah camp in Baalbek, in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa valley.

Beaufort
08-07-2006, 03:25 PM
Peretz signals stepped-up offensive
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP (editors@jpost.com)


Defense Minster Amir Peretz said Monday he has ordered the army to step up the offensive against Hizbullah rocket launching sites in Lebanon if the diplomatic process remains inconclusive.

"We are at one of the most decisive stages of this war," Peretz told the
Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Peretz said in the absence of a diplomatic agreement, he had instructed the army to "take control" of launching sites "wherever they are to minimize the fire of Katyusha rockets and take the Israeli people out of the shelters."


Peretz said Israel was determined to stop the rocketing of its northern territories, either through political or military means, but Israel was not holding back because of diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis. "The two paths are going on in parallel, and I hope the goals will be reached," he said.

"If the political process can stop the firing, Israel can say its operation changed the equation of the situation in the north," he said.
In the meantime, he said, the military had received all the backing it had sought from the government.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Peretz visited the IDF's Northern Command on Monday morning. Ministers Eli Yishai and Rafi Eitan joined them.

The four held a briefed with Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and other senior officers following Sunday's deadly attacks in Haifa and Kfar Giladi.

The army presented plans to take over the area up to the Litani River. According to Army Radio, Peretz and Eitan approved of the plan though no decision had been taken.

Defense officials said that the rockets that hit Haifa on Sunday night, killing three and wounding at least 150, were launched from a village near the Litani.
They also met with met 30 reserve officers to "get a feel for what was happening on the ground. "

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525824281&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Snoshi
08-07-2006, 04:03 PM
Ynet:A senior officer in IDF intelligence told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that "the Syrians are continuing to supply arms to Hizbullah and the Iranians are involved in managing the war, in close consultations, and operational aid."

"Hizbullah also has the ability to fire long-range missiles at Gush Dan (the greater Tel Aviv area)," the officer said. He added that the "rockets that struck the village of Giladi were fired from the town of Marj Ayoun, populated by Christians who were not allowed by Hizbullah members to leave." (Ilan Marciano)

Snoshi
08-07-2006, 04:15 PM
Yadlin: Quarter of Hizbullah fighting force has been killed
By HERB KEINON
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Despite the rain of deadly Katyusha rockets in the North, OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin told the cabinet Sunday that Hizbullah has suffered a significant blow during the last 26 days of fighting, and that more than a fourth of its fighting force has been eliminated.

He said Israel has the names of 165 Hizbullah men who were killed during IDF operations in southern Lebanon, and that another 200 were believed to be dead underneath the ruins of collapsed buildings. All in all, he said, some 250-400 Hizbullah men, out of a "regular" fighting force of 1,000-1,500, have been killed.

Officers in the Northern Command put the number even higher.

"Hizbullah has never suffered a blow like this before," Yadlin said.

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah badly miscalculated Israel's response to his July 12 provocation that killed eight soldiers and led to the capture of two, Yadlin said. Instead of being perceived as the "defender of Lebanon," he said, Nasrallah is now widely perceived in Lebanon as "the destroyer of Lebanon." Yadlin said that Nasrallah erred badly in his estimation about how Israel would respond, how the country was prepared, how the home front would respond and the length of the confrontation.

"Hizbullah today is a lot less frightening," he said.

Yadlin characterized Nasrallah as a "demon who hides in bunkers," and said that not only has the organization been severely weakened militarily and as a political force, but that Nasrallah's position inside the organization has also been weakened because of his miscalculations.

"Nasrallah is now widely viewed more as a liability than as an asset," he said.

Nevertheless, Yadlin said, Syria and Iran continue to support Hizbullah, with Iran providing intelligence information and operational assistance. It was not clear whether this was a reference to the presence of Iran's Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon.

In addition, Yadlin said, Hizbullah still retained its ability to shoot 122-mm. Katyushas that have a range of about 21 km. He said, however, that this capacity has also been damaged.

He said that the most significant achievement of the operation so far has been that it has motivated the international community to get behind UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for the Lebanese army to move its troops south and for the disarming of Hizbullah, in a much more serious way.

Yadlin said that a large number of the Katyushas that have been fired at Israel have fallen in the sea and a number have also fallen on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

As opposed to the short-range Katyushas, the majority of Hizbullah's 240-mm. Iranian-made Fajr-3 missiles, with a range of 45 km., were destroyed during the first 24 hours of the fighting, he said.

Yadlin said that Syria sees Hizbullah as its proxy and has supplied it with both short- and long-range rockets.

Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizencott, head of operations at the General Staff, said the air force has hit 4,400 targets during the fighting, and is continuing its activities throughout Lebanon.

He said that ground forces are clearing a buffer zone 10-15 kilometers from the border, and is also carrying out commando operations in different locales. He said that 19 terrorists were killed in Baalbek last week and 8-10 in Tyre over the weekend.

On the Palestinian front, the deputy head of the Shin Bet, whose name cannot be published, said that attempts to come to an intra-Palestinian agreement on a cease-fire and the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit have gone nowhere. He said that the Hamas leadership in Damascus, and its military wing in Gaza, are opposed to any agreement and are "setting the tone."

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 04:27 PM
Diplomats wrangle over UN draft

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41976000/jpg/_41976146_aid203ap.jpg
Aid efforts are hampered by Lebanon's destroyed infrastructure

Talks are being held at the United Nations on possible changes to a draft resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah.

An Arab League delegation is travelling to New York to push Lebanon's demands for an amended text.
Lebanon wants the proposed resolution to call for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces.
The Lebanese government has offered to send 15,000 troops to the border when Israel pulls out.
Lebanon is pressing for the US to accept that plan and work it into the draft resolution.
The current text - drafted by the US and France - calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and lays the groundwork for a second that would install an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.
At least 33 people have died in fresh Israeli raids across Lebanon, while Hezbollah fired more than 100 rockets at Israel, wounding some civilians.
After nightfall, at least eight people were killed and several wounded in an Israeli air strike in the south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, rescue workers said.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Mid-East press eyes text (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5250194.stm)

Three Israeli soldiers were killed in clashes in the southern Lebanese village of Bint Jbeil, the Israeli military said, adding that five Hezbollah militants were also killed.
The Israeli military said it had also downed an Hezbollah drone - the first time an unmanned spotter plane has been destroyed in the conflict.
The Israeli army has warned southern Lebanese residents to stay indoors from 2200 (1900 GMT).
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora drastically revised down the death toll of an Israeli air strike in the village of Houla.
In tears, he had told a meeting of Arab foreign ministers that 40 civilians had been killed, but later said the attack had in fact killed one person.
"They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of 40 people," he told reporters in Beirut. "Thank God that they have been saved."

US to 'listen'

Senior Israeli officials have said they are broadly happy with the text of the UN resolution.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41976000/jpg/_41976144_attack203*****.jpg
Northern Israel was again hit by a barrage of Hezbollah rockets

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged that there were differences but called the resolution "a reasonable basis that I think both sides can accept" once the details are finalised.
"We're going to listen to the concerns of the parties and see how they might be addressed," she said.
France's ambassador to the UN, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, also defended the resolution but admitted it "could be improved".
US President George W Bush, at his ranch in Texas, called for a resolution to be passed as soon as possible.
But he insisted it must not lead to a situation where Israeli troops withdrew from southern Lebanon too quickly and Hezbollah militants were able to re-arm.

City cut off

More than 900 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government said. More than 90 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.
Israeli Defence Minster Amir Peretz said Israel would step-up its offensive against Hezbollah rocket-launching sites if the diplomatic process does not reach a successful conclusion.

And Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to his office, told reservists on a visit to the Lebanese border: "I give to you all the power and the backing. We are not stopping."
Earlier, Israeli strikes focused on the Lebanese coastal city of Tyre. The BBC's John Simpson in Tyre says the city is virtually cut off, with a crater now blocking the farm track that had been used to transport food and medicine. Humanitarian groups say Israeli military action is hampering efforts to help many of the hundreds of thousands who have fled the fighting - sparked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on 12 July.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5254116.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 04:29 PM
Poorest migrants leaving Lebanon

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41975000/jpg/_41975250_*****_crying_203i.jpg
Domestic workers arrive home traumatized by the bombing


Efforts are being stepped up to evacuate hundreds of thousands of Asian and Ethiopian migrant workers still stranded in war-torn Lebanon.

About 200,000 Bangladeshi, Ethiopian, Filipino, Nepali and Sri Lankan workers are still thought to be in the country.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says it expects to move at least 750 people a day over the next five days unless the security situation deteriorates further.
The organisation says it has evacuated more than 4,000 foreign nationals from Beirut since 20 July.
However, the evacuations were interrupted on Friday after Israeli air raids struck key routes leading out of Lebanon.

Waiting in vain

A convoy of 22 buses embarked on the three-hour journey to the Syrian border from Beirut, carrying 716 evacuees from the Philippines on Saturday and a further 252 from Sri Lanka on Sunday.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41975000/jpg/_41975484_ap_ethiopian_203b.jpg
Ethiopians are amongst those nationals stranded in Lebanon

Many of the evacuees are low paid, female domestic workers, some of whom have no travel documents and very little money, according to IOM spokesman in the region, Jean Philippe Chauzy.
Many have waited in vain for help from home.
The Philippines government has been trying to help their nationals but without the resources that richer countries have been able to provide.
However, at their evacuation centre in Beirut, a Philippines government official, Resty Belafuenta, said things are better than they were.
"There is no problem as to funds. We have already evacuated 3,167 and right now we are preparing to evacuate 500 tomorrow. The families are now quite satisfied at the rate we are mobilising the workers," he said.

Returning empty-handed

But at the Raifoun refugee camp outside Beirut, Sri Lankan nun Sister Leela says things are difficult for her own country's nationals.
"They say, 'We want to go,' but we have to try hard to explain to them the evacuation is a very slow process. It's about eight or nine hours to get to Damascus and the roads are really terrible. It's very difficult for them to get out of Lebanon." Meanwhile, several hundred women are camped out in the compound of the Sri Lankan embassy in Beirut waiting for the next convoy, said Mr Chauzy. "For many who have been in Lebanon for years and may not have been paid, the prospect of returning home with nothing is very sad," he said.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5253524.stm)

Snoshi
08-07-2006, 04:42 PM
IDF warned Lebanese in S.Lebanon that everyday starting from 22.00 there will be a curfew in S.Lebanon. Anyone that will be seen outside may be counted for a HA terrorist.
http://newsru.co.il/mideast/07aug2006/kom_chas.html
http://newsru.co.il/mideast/07aug2006/22h.html

Abu_Elvis
08-07-2006, 05:50 PM
The TimesAugust 05, 2006
http://images.thetimes.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,327420,00.jpg
http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gif
Soldiers collapsed with relief and exhaustion, greeting colleagues and calling home (JACK HILL)http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gif
'Hezbollah aren't suckers, they know how to fight. You're scared all the time'

By Stephen Farrell
Israeli soldiers recount stories of a terrifying week facing the snipers and missiles of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon

http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gif
AT FIRST light they filtered from the undergrowth, camouflaged, laden with captured hunting rifles and crested Lebanese scimitars, and high-fiving with relief at still being alive.
After nearly a week of vicious ditch-to-ditch fighting with Hezbollah fighters in the village of Taibeh, hundreds of exhausted Israeli soldiers slipped back across the border early yesterday after the hardest fighting they had ever experienced.
NI_MPU('middle');As they trudged across the brow of a hill in broken single file they were indistinguishable in their battle fatigues and green face paint — some even black out their teeth in Hezbollahland — and all were drunk on adrenalin. “I was hoping to go in and kill Hezbollonim. I killed three,” one shouted as he embraced colleagues from the Nahal Brigade.
As soon as they reached the outskirts of an Israeli hilltop town, which cannot be named for security reasons, they stopped and cleared their M16 automatic rifles in unison — the last task before they could relax. Some then reached inside their huge battlepacks for their mobile phones to call families and girlfriends. Others collapsed with exhaustion, washing away their fear with bottles of cola and lungfuls of cigarette smoke. A few grabbed newspapers to find out how their war was going. “What is happening in other places? What is happening in Gaza?” one asked The Times.
Down a sidestreet a cluster of Israeli tourist buses waited with drinks and packed lunches. Slowly the soldiers began morphing from death-bringers to nice Jewish boys preparing for the Sabbath, peeling off clothes and cavorting half***** with each other beside the bougainvillea.
As they did so, all the rainbow shades of Israeli society began to re-emerge — secular, Orthodox, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Sabra, Ethiopian, Russian, Brooklyn. To their matted hair they pinned all types of skullcap — knitted, military-green, Braslav, settler or none at all. But on one thing they were unanimous: the prowess of their foe.
“It was hell. They are really well trained. They’re not suckers, they know how to fight,” said one, slumped on the pavement. “You’re scared the whole time over there. We didn’t get any sleep the whole week.” There was not a voice of dissent.
The soldiers told how they had worked their way through the dry, scrubby hillsides towards Taibeh, facing continual attacks from Hezbollah sniper and anti-tank missile positions concealed in houses, farms, underground bunkers and seemingly deserted streets.
To counter this they called in frequent support from 155mm artillery batteries on the Israeli side of the border, which pounded Taibeh sending huge plumes of smoke into the sky.
“We killed ten, and the artillery must have killed thirty or forty,” said a soldier who, like his colleagues, was not allowed to give his name. He had simply lost count of Hezbollah’s attacks. “Many, many, it was very bad because you don’t know where they are coming from. But we succeeded.”
Another soldier said that serving in the Palestinian militant stronghold of Jenin in the West Bank, as he had, was nothing compared with fighting Hezbollah’s guerrillas. “It was horrible,” he said. “You don’t know what it’s like, with every second a rocket- propelled grenade shooting over your head.”
A third soldier said: “All the time, they fired missiles at us. They never come face to face, just missiles. When we find them we kill them. It’s just not right, the way we are doing it. Our air force can just bomb villages and not risk our lives fighting over there.”
Another, slugging cola as his friends posed for photos, added: “It feels good to do the job. And come out alive.”
More than 40 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the 25 days of fighting.
Watched by bemused Thai immigrants, who, post-intifada, have replaced the cheap Palestinian labour upon which the Israeli economy once relied, one soldier shouted: “I love this country.”
Some of the returned fighters were optimistic. “We will defeat all the Arabs,” said one.
But others, chastened by their experiences north of the border, were less sure. “It’s a lose-lose situation,” said one. “They’re a bunch of terrorists. We are an army. We can never beat them completely because we have to obey certain rules. They operate from within civilian populations, and can do whatever they like. They don’t give a **** about these things. “So it doesn’t matter if we are there for another couple of days or two weeks. But what is very important is that this is a just war on our part. Because they are a bunch of f***ing terrorists.”


Additional reporting by Yonit Farago</I>

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2299682,00.html

DeltaWhisky58
08-07-2006, 06:08 PM
A bit off topic, but still relevant ... ... (DW58) - Ironically the BBC have got the image way wrong - it shows what appears to be an RAF C-130K (N.B. IFR probe)!


'Bomb' protesters board aircraft

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41975000/jpg/_41975856_militaryplane*****t203.jpg
Police have arrested a total of 12 people at Prestwick

Eight people have been arrested at Prestwick Airport after protesters boarded a plane.

A spokesman for campaign group Trident Ploughshares told BBC Scotland three people had managed to get onto a US military personnel carrier.
He said they were searching for evidence to suggest the plane was carrying bombs to Israel.
On Sunday, four people were arrested after demonstrators broke through security fencing onto the main runway.
It was reported last week that US military flights carrying bombs to Israel would no longer use any civilian airports in the UK for refuelling.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif We are satisfied that our security measures are working effectively as these people were apprehended very quickly http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Prestwick Airport spokesman

The protesters describe themselves as "citizen weapons inspectors" and said they were searching for evidence to suggest the plane was en-route to Israel carrying bunker busting bombs.
Trident Ploughshares said seven people got through security fencing at the airport and got into the freight area, with three managing to get on board a US plane.
It is claimed one of the protesters was sitting in the pilot's seat reading a manual when he was arrested.
Strathclyde Police said seven people had been arrested at the airport on Monday morning and confirmed a number of protesters had been on board a plane.
A 65-year-old woman was arrested later on Tuesday bringing the total number to eight.

'Full security review'

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Learmonth said: "These alleged breaches are of concern and further talks were held today between myself and representatives of the airport.
"We have asked that they undertake a full security review and we will support them by providing expert help."
A spokesman for the airport said: "Glasgow Prestwick Airport is investigating the incidents, as are the authorities, and additional security resources have been in place since we became aware of a similar incident on Sunday morning which led to four arrests.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41973000/gif/_41973760_prest_airport_2_203.gif

"We are satisfied that our security measures are working effectively as these people were apprehended very quickly.
"Aviation security is tighter than that of most other industries and security at Glasgow Prestwick Airport is consistent with the measures in place at other major airports in the UK."
A 25-year-old man and three women aged 36, 45 and 52 were arrested at 0045 BST on Sunday.
Three women aged 48, 55 and 68-years-old and four men aged 25, 46, 50 and 56-years-old were arrested at 0330 BST on Monday.
All are expected to appear at Ayr Sheriff Court on Tuesday.
John Scott, Conservative MSP for Ayr, said he was extremely concerned about the lack of security at the airport.
He said: "This is a matter of the greatest concern for the safety of the airport.
"I don't think protesters are going about this the right way. I share their concerns this ordnance may have been going through this airport. "I believe that ordnance has stopped going through this airport. "I am concerned that the protesters are putting users of the airport at risk, the passengers, the staff and, indeed, themselves."


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5251438.stm)

Beaufort
08-07-2006, 06:13 PM
Know the enemy

By YAAKOV KATZ (yaakovk@jpost.com)

My mission was to prevent armored Israeli reinforcements from chasing after the kidnappers," Hussein Ali Suleiman, a Hizbullah operative captured by the IDF, said when describing his role in the kidnapping last month of reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

Suleiman, 22, was captured several days ago by troops from the Golani Brigade operating in the southern Lebanese village of Ayta A Shayeb. Officers said that the operation was not related to the Hizbullah operative, who they said, surrendered to the troops after he realized that he was completely surrounded. Suleiman, a high-ranking officer revealed Monday, was part of the 100-man force that participated in the cross-border kidnapping on July 12.

A commander of an anti-tank rocket cell, Suleiman did not cross the border into Israel, but was part of an outer-envelope force that the Hizbullah deployed to prevent Israeli reinforcements from chasing after the abductors. Suleiman did not provide any new information regarding the condition of the Israeli soldiers being held by the Hizbullah.

Senior military officials stressed this week however that the IDF was working according to the assumption that both Goldwasser and Regev were still alive and were being held in Lebanon. Last week, Special Forces conducted a raid in Baalbek in the Beka Valley deep in Lebanon following information that the kidnapped soldiers were treated in a hospital in the area.

In a videotaped segment of Suleiman's interrogation released on Monday by Military Intelligence, the Hizbullah operative revealed how he was recruited into the guerrilla group in 2000 and how he participated in a religious "brainwashing" seminar following which he was sent to Iran for tactical warfare training. He said that he was trained how to use a number of weapons, in the use of explosives and first aid.

The Golani Brigade, Suleiman told his interrogator, was respected by the Hizbullah and was referred to by the guerrilla group as a "group of soldiers well-trained in warfare and military tactics."

July's cross-border attack was not the first time Suleiman participated in a Hizbullah attempt to abduct Israeli soldiers. He told his interrogator that he was also part of a guerrilla force that attacked an IDF outpost in the northern village of Rhajar last November. "The main goal was to abduct soldiers," Suleiman said of the failed attempt in Rhajar. "But the secondary goal of striking Israeli outposts was achieved."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525825283&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525825283&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull)

Abu_Elvis
08-07-2006, 06:43 PM
Title: A Lebanese Shia explains how Hezbollah uses Human Shields
Source: Der Tagesspiegel
URL Source: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/browse
Published: Jul 31, 2006
Author: Dr. Mounir Herzallah
Post Date: 2006-07-31 18:25:48 by Magician
1 Comments





In a letter to the editor of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel a Lebanese Shia explains how after Israel’s withdrawal from South Lebanon, Hezbollah stored rockets in bunkers in his town and built a school and residence over it.

""I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajun that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to have the say in our town and all other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters, they appeared armed to the teeth and dug rocket depots in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers!

A local sheikh explained to me Laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rocket depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.""

Dr. Mounir Herzallah Berlin-Wedding (translated from the German by David Ouellette)



German original:

Ich wohnte bis 2002 in einem kleinen Dorf im Süden nahe Mardschajun, das mehrheitlich von Schiiten wie mir bewohnt ist. Nach Israels Verlassen des Libanon dauerte es nicht lange, bis die Hisbollah bei uns und in allen anderen Ortschaften das Sagen hatte. Als erfolgreiche Widerstandskämpfer begrüßt, erschienen sie waffenstarrend und legten auch bei uns Raketenlager in Bunkern an. Die Sozialarbeit der Partei Gottes bestand darin, auf diesen Bunkern eine Schule und ein Wohnhaus zu bauen! Ein lokaler Scheich erklärte mir lachend, dass die Juden in jedem Fall verlieren, entweder weil die Raketen auf sie geschossen werden oder weil sie, wenn sie die Lager angriffen, von der Weltöffentlichkeit verurteilt werden ob der dann zivilen Toten. Die libanesische Bevölkerung interessiert diese Leute überhaupt nicht, sie benutzen sie als Schilder und wenn tot als Propaganda. Solange sie dort existieren, wird es keine Ruhe und Frieden geben.

Dr. Mounir Herzallah
Berlin-Wedding

Translation: http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=152798
German original: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/archiv/30.07.2006/2660279.asp

Hoodless
08-07-2006, 06:43 PM
lebanese reservists to be called up.

For the purpose of the deployment, the Lebanese defense minister Monday announced the mobilization of reservists. All Lebanese soldiers who were discharged in the past five years will be called up for duty.

Reports say that the Lebanese army will call up some 15,000 reservists for deployment in the south. They will be mobilized August 10-16, in keeping with orders published in Lebanon on Monday.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747344.html

AOCBravo2004
08-07-2006, 07:39 PM
******* sacks freelancer over doctored photo

Duncan Campbell
Tuesday August 8, 2006
The Guardian

*******, the international news agency, has dispensed with the services of a freelance photographer after discovering that he had doctored a picture of the aftermath of an Israeli air attack on Beirut and other events in the conflict.

The photo, by Lebanese freelancer Adnan Hajj, had been altered so it showed more smoke than was in the original. The image was published on news websites on Saturday, but withdrawn after a number of bloggers suggested it showed signs of being doctored using Photoshop software. ******* withdrew the altered image as soon as it became aware of the alteration.

"This represents a serious breach of *******' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him," ******* spokeswoman Moira Whittle said in a statement issued in London.

"The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under."

******* has decided to withdraw all photos taken by Hajj after discovering that he also altered a photo of an Israeli F-16 warplane in action over Lebanon and supposedly firing missiles on August 2. Hajj has supplied pictures to ******* for more than 10 years.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1839505,00.html

Beaufort
08-07-2006, 08:58 PM
Cabinet to meet over expansion of ground operationshttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

By Aluf Benn (aluf@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondent, and Agencieshttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will convene his security cabinet Wednesday for a discussion on expanding the IDF ground offensive in south
Lebanon.

Olmert met Monday with Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Chief of
Staff Dan Halutz and other senior military and Military Intelligence officials who presented him with their plan for taking control of areas used by Hezbollah to fire its short-range rockets.

Under the plan, the IDF will take control of the area south of the Litani
River.

The military officials also presented Olmert with a plan for an operation north of the Litani, in the area of Ramat Nabatiyeh where rockets were launched into Kiryat Shmona. The operation in Ramat Nabatiyeh, however, is likely to be put off for a later stage if necessary.

Olmert gave the military the go-ahead to present the plan to the cabinet, but refrained from expressing his views on it.

General Staff officers believe that the political leadership will approve an expansion of the ground offensive in the near future. Nevertheless, the officers are waiting to see how the new initiative by the Lebanese government to deploy 15,000 soldiers in the south will be welcomed.


Olmert: No limitations on IDF in fight against Hezbollah rockets

Olmert said Monday that the Israel Defense Forces would have no limitations in the fight against rocket fire in the north, saying it was unacceptable that so many people were forced to exist in bomb shelters.

"We have to stop the rockets," Olmert said during a visit to the Northern Command.

"We cannot have a million residents living in shelters. On this matter, there will be no limitations on the army. This war has involved fatalities, which hurts and is traumatic. This we know, but at the moment we have to cope with it, both on the battlefield and the home front. I will give you every strength and support, we are not stopping [the fight]."

GOC Northern Command, Major General Udi Adam told reporters Monday that the military is prepared for an expansion of the ground operation in southern Lebanon.

"We are ready for this, and the minute we get the signal we will move to reach the launch sites and end the Katyusha fire," he said.

"The military leadership has plans, and I expect that there are other considerations," Adam said regarding a possible IDF advance across the Litani River, 20km inside southern Lebanon.

"There is a readiness for such a move should the talks between the U.S., France and Lebanon fail."

Olmert was accompanied by Defense Minister Amir Peretz and ministers Eli Yishai and Rafi Eitan. IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and several generals were also present.

During the visit they met with dozens of IDF reservist officers and were presented with a number of military assessments.

The prime minister's bureau, said that the officers asked Peretz and Olmert to step up the fight until the enemy had been defeated. The officers said that the soldiers' motivation is high and they are ready to fight to bring quiet to the home front.

Peretz said later Monday that he has ordered the IDF to step up the offensive against Hezbollah rocket launching sites in Lebanon if the diplomatic process remains inconclusive.

"We are at one of the most decisive stages of this war," Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Peretz said in the absence of a diplomatic agreement, he had instructed the army to "take control" of launching sites "wherever they are to minimize the fire of Katyusha rockets and take the Israeli people out of the shelters."

Peretz said Israel was determined to stop the rocketing of its northern territories, either through political or military means, but Israel was not holding back because of diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis.

"The two paths are going on in parallel, and I hope the goals will be reached," he said.

"If the political process can stop the firing, Israel can say its operation changed the equation of the situation in the north," he said.

In the meantime, he said, the military had received all the backing it had sought from the government.

His opening remarks to the committee, broadcast live by the media, came after Peretz returned from a tour of the northern areas with Olmert.

Olmert and Peretz also met top defense officials Monday to discuss broadening air and ground attacks in Lebanon, a day after Hezbollah rockets killed 15 people in northern Israel.

There was no announcement after the talks concluded, but the sources said Peretz urged an expanded ground push up to the Litani River.

Peretz was quoted as saying that he has ordered the army to eliminate Hezbollah rocket launching sites "wherever they are" if the diplomatic process isn't concluded soon.

Speaking to the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Peretz said that he has instructed the Israel Defense Forces to "take control" of launching sites "wherever they are to minimize the fire of Katyasha rockets and take the Israeli people out of the shelters."

The IDF plans to ramp up their offensive in Lebanon in response to Sunday's rocket attacks on northern Israel.

A senior General Staff officer told Haaretz that for the first time since the fighting began, Israel plans to attack strategic infrastructure targets and symbols of the Lebanese government.

Other than bombing the Beirut airport to prevent arms transfers to Hezbollah, Israel has hitherto not targeted Lebanon's infrastructure, insisting that it is only at war with Hezbollah, not with the Lebanese government or people.

However, the officer said, "we are now in a process of renewed escalation. We will continue hitting everything that moves in Hezbollah - but we will also hit strategic civilian infrastructure."

Altogether, Hezbollah fired more than 170 rockets at Israel on Sunday, including a barrage of at least 22 rockets on Haifa at about 8 P.M. that killed three people and wounded about 40.

The 12 reservists were killed, and another 12 wounded, by a single rocket - one of about 35 fired at the Galilee panhandle Sunday - that hit their muster point at around noon.

Sources in the IDF General Staff said that until the chances of a UN-sponsored cease-fire become clearer, which is expected to happen in the coming days, Israel will continue to press its offensive.

If Hezbollah has not ceased its fire by this weekend, they added, the IDF will recommend an additional significant expansion of the operation, including the conquest of most of Lebanon south of the Litani River, including the area around Tyre, and a significant increase in air strikes on infrastructure targets. "It could be that at the end of the story, Lebanon will be dark for a few years," said one.

The General Staff believes that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has recently stepped up his attacks because he expects the international community to impose a cease-fire soon.

"He thinks that we're nearing the end, and therefore, he's taking risks, such as activating long-range rocket launchers, even though he knows that the air force will destroy almost every such launcher immediately after the launch," explained one officer.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747386.html
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Norcom
08-07-2006, 11:34 PM
Israel widens targets to hit civilian sites

Abraham Rabinovich and Martin Chulov August 08, 2006
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,1658,5208899,00.jpg http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/icon/mmdot.gif Video: Global protests against war (http://media.theaustralian.news.com.au/20060807-antiwar_player.htm)
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/icon/mmdot.gif Video: Rocket attacks in Israel (http://media.theaustralian.news.com.au/20060806-rockets_player.htm)
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/icon/mmdot.gif Video: Lebanon pushes own plan (http://media.theaustralian.news.com.au/20060806-plan_player.htm)

ISRAEL plans to ramp up its offensive in Lebanon by attacking the nation's strategic civilian infrastructure to make Beirut more amenable to ceasefire proposals acceptable to Jerusalem.


Stung by increasingly deadly rocket attacks and believing an imminent ceasefire to be unlikely, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met his senior security advisers yesterday to discuss proposals to reinforce and speed up the army's northward movement in order to push most of Hezbollah's rockets out of range of Israel. "We are now in a process of renewed escalation," a senior general defence staff officer said. "We will continue hitting everything that moves in Hezbollah, but we will also hit strategic civilian infrastructure."
Although he did not mention specific civilian targets, Beirut's power grid would appear to be particularly vulnerable.
Another Israeli official said he expected no ceasefire for another two weeks.
With progress on the diplomatic front painfully slow, the Israeli Defence Force yesterday sharply escalated its ground and air war south and east of the port city of Tyre, from where Hezbollah guerillas are firing most of the rockets hitting northern Israel,
A barrage of at least 60 rockets was fired in quick succession from east of Tyre at 11am as unmanned Israeli drones circled nearby and warplanes roared overhead.
Warplanes repeatedly hit targets around the city, destroying the road south of the Litani River just before midday, effectively isolating southern Lebanon.
After 15 Israelis were killed by rockets at the weekend, military officers, politicians and commentators are advocating more aggressive action. "There is no way to stop the ceaseless barrage of rockets," wrote Ze'ev Schiff yesterday in the daily Ha'aretz, "without the Israel Defence Force undertaking a prompt, more extensive aerial and ground operation designed to neutralise Hezbollah rockets south of the Litani River, perhaps beyond."
The IDF estimates that 70per cent of Hezbollah's rocket ****nal consists of short-range weapons that must be fired south of the Litani in order to hit Israel.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is believed to closely read, in translation, articles written by Schiff, Israel's most respected military analyst.
Schiff's sentiments were echoed by Agriculture Minister Shaul Simhon, who said the Israeli army should push beyond the Litani River, 30km north of the border, to the Alawi River, 25km beyond that, if necessary.
"We have to get it into our heads that this is not just a military operation; this is war," Mr Simhon said. "We've got to stop going for surgical strikes and put down massive fire. We've been treading water."
Retired general Yoram Yair, a paratroop commander in the 1982 Lebanese war, noted yesterday that the Israeli army then faced 15,000 fighters from the Palestine Liberation Organisation, with the Syrian army hovering not far away, inside Lebanon.
"Yet in 48 hours we were on the Alawi," he said. If the IDF undertook a similar push today, he said, "we could in 48 hours push most of the Katyusha rockets out of range".
Israelis are increasingly disturbed at the inability of the IDF to stop, or even diminish, the rocketing after almost a month of warfare. Hezbollah fired an average of about 100 rockets a day in the first weeks of the war but in the past week this has more often been close to 200.
Israel Radio said ground forces were expected to move on Tyre, although they remain about 20km south of the city.
Israeli sources said commandos destroyed several long-range rocket launchers near Tyre yesterday and killed three Hezbollah fighters before withdrawing.
Naval commandos had raided an apartment on Tyre's outskirts at the weekend and killed several Hezbollah commanders.

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Norcom
08-07-2006, 11:54 PM
First draft for Lebanon truce skirts the difficult questions

ANALYSIS
Bronwen Maddox August 08, 2006

THE weekend draft UN resolution might contain the kernel of a solution to the crisis in Lebanon. But, as it stands, it's an exercise in avoiding difficult questions.


The most encouraging point is that the US and France have compromised. But although they have reached a deal between themselves, its glaring weakness is that Lebanon, Israel and Hezbollah have not signed up to it. France, the US and Britain want this draft resolution to be the first of a pair from the Security Council. It calls for a truce (something short of a formal ceasefire) and asks Unifil, the UNforce in southern Lebanon, to stay until a new international force arrives.
The second resolution would define the mandate of that force, and set out terms for a permanent ceasefire, the disarming of Hezbollah and the establishment of Lebanon's permanent borders, including those in the disputed Shebaa Farms region.
In calling for "an immediate cessation of all attacks by Hezbollah" and of "offensive military operations by Israel", this goes some way to answering the fear of many governments that the violence and desire for revenge on both sides might escalate beyond hope of resolution.
But even though this scheme leaves all the most intractable issues to the second resolution, the draft of the first resolution fails to deal with the immediate obstacles.
It does not require a prisoner exchange, although Israel has made the return of the two soldiers captured by Hezbollah a condition for ceasing hostilities. Nor does it mention the return of Lebanese prisoners, an objection raised by Qatar, the Arab representative on the Security Council.
Perhaps most inflammatory, the draft does not require Israel to pull out of southern Lebanon until a new UN force arrives (and so, not until after the second resolution). Israel could also argue that it could continue with "defensive" military action to prevent, for example, Hezbollah rearming.
Both Lebanon and Hezbollah object to this clause. Hezbollah said it would not observe a truce while a single Israeli soldier remained on Lebanese soil (it is presumably ignoring, for the sake of rhetoric, the two Israeli soldiers it has kidnapped).
If Hezbollah is taken at its word, then that means no truce at all, of the kind that this draft resolution takes as its starting point. Lebanon objects to the draft because it fears that it gives Israel licence to stay inside its borders - and to continue attacking.
France, the US and Britain say a second resolution should follow within a few weeks. But Lebanon's scepticism that this will happen is understandable, given the complexity of the problems the second resolution is supposed to tie up neatly.
One of the central problems of the second resolution would be defining the mandate of a new UN force. This week's draft says the force would preside over the region from the border to the Litani river, which is Hezbollah's heartland. Its mission would be to work with the Lebanese Army to keep this zone free of all military forces (meaning Hezbollah, but also Israel).
France, Britain and the US also agree that the mandate should be tougher than that of Unifil, derided by Israelis and Lebanese for its inability to take on Hezbollah.
But it is still not clear what this means in practice.
The Times

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Abu_Elvis
08-08-2006, 07:18 AM
Last update - 07:42 06/08/2006
The seven lost villages



By Danny Rubinstein

Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah and his followers occasionally mention the fact that in 1948 the "Zionist entity" annexed several Lebanese villages, expelled their residents, stole their property and destroyed their homes. He is referring to seven villages that were part of Mandatory Palestine, and whose inhabitants were Shiite Muslims. At the time they were called Metawalis, a name almost certainly derived from the word wali, which in Arabic means "to be loyal and holy"; the loyalty is to Caliph Ali and his descendants, who are central to Shiite Islam.

Although Nasrallah's principal demands are Israeli withdrawal from the Shaba Farms and the release of Lebanese prisoners, it is clear that when circumstances allow, he will demand the return of these villages to Lebanon and the return of the refugees to their lands.

Between 1916 and 1923, struggles, mainly diplomatic, took place over setting the northern border of Mandatory Eretz Israel, which is the present border line. The main players in the dispute were France, which had received the mandate over Syria and Lebanon, and Britain, which had received the mandate over Palestine-Eretz Israel. Other political groups also were involved, such as the Zionist Histadrut and representatives of the Arab National Movement, which was then just starting out.

When the border was finally drawn, there were several Shiite villages on the Eretz Israel side. According to the population registries of the end of the British Mandate period, a small community of about 4,000 Metawali Shiites remained in Eretz Israel. Some researchers believe this group originated in Persia, and that they arrived in South Lebanon in the seventh century, at the initiative of the Caliph Muawiya. There is no proof of that.

The northernmost of the Shiite villages is Ibel al-Qamah, which was located about two kilometers south of Metula. Until it was destroyed in 1948, this little village stood on the ancient tel of the biblical city of Avel Beit-Maakha, which is mentioned in the book of II Samuel. Metula-born archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov remembers that there were few families in the village, half of them Christian and half Shiite. He says there was a small church in the village, whose bell served after 1948 to summon the members of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi to their dining room.

At the time there were rumors that the Shiite mukhtar of Ibel al-Qamah, Abu Sheikh, had a lover with whom he met secretly in Metula. According to Ben-Dov, in 1948 Abu Sheikh went on a pilgrimage to the sacred burial site Nebi Yusha (today the Yesha Fortress, west of the Hula Valley). On the winding road ascending to the grave the bus was attacked by a unit of the Palmach (the pre-State Jewish commando force) and Abu Sheikh was killed. Despite that, Ben-Dov testifies to the exceptionally good relations that prevailed for many years between the residents of Metula and their neighbors, the Metawali farmers.

Nebi Yusha was one of the important gravesites of holy men visited by the Metawalis living in the hills of south Lebanon, hills that were then called Jebel Amal. Magen Broshi, former head of the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, was a Palmach man, and a member of Kibbutz Maayan Baruch in 1947-48. A fluent speaker of Arabic, he hiked in the surrounding villages and once participated in the regular hilula (pilgrimage celebration) at Nebi Yusha.

According to Broshi, surrounding the grave were several houses of the Metawalis who were in charge of the compound, and members of the small Bedouin tribe who hosted and protected him lived nearby. Broshi particularly remembers how strictly the Metawalis observed the laws of purity. They avoided eating with anyone who was not a Shiite, and this custom distanced them from the Sunni majority in the region.

In any case, Broshi says he often visited the largest Shiite village in Eretz Israel - Hunin. The village was located on the spot where Moshav Margaliot stands today, on a hill west of Kiryat Shmona. Some of Hunin's houses were built with the stones of the large Crusader fortress called Chateau Neuf (in Arabic, Qal'at Hunin), whose central section is still standing. Mustafa Dabar, an Arab from Jaffa who was exiled in the 1948 war, wrote in his encyclopedia, "Our Land of Palestine," that on the eve of the war, almost 2,000 people lived in Hunin.

Three additional Shiite-Metawali villages were located within the boundaries of the British Mandate. The first, Qadas, was small, and stood adjacent to Nebi Yusha, near the tel of the bibilical city of Kedesh Naftali. To the south stood the village of Malkiya, adjacent to the kibbutz of the same name, where the only battle against the Lebanese Army was waged during the War of Independence.

During that same battle, Rehavam Zeevi commanded a Palmach unit while the unit of the Lebanese army was commanded by Hazim Khaladi, a scion of a famous Palestinian family from Jerusalem. Khaladi was a professional soldier, who fought in the ranks of the British army during World War II and afterward served as the commander of an officers' training school in Damascus. Later he returned to his home in East Jerusalem and served as the director of the Jordanian tourist bureau in the city. After the Six-Day War, Zeevi, who was then the head of the IDF Central Command, met him, and they went together to Malkiya and recalled the 1948 battle.

Southeast of Malkiya, on the northern highway near present-day Moshav Avivim, stood the village of Salha. The village was known for its Taggart fort, which was built by the British in 1938 as a garrison fort at the height of the Arab rebellion, as part of the plan for building the "northern fence" to separate Eretz Israel from Lebanon. The fortress - like those in Nebi Yusha and in other locations in the Galilee - was named after British police officer and engineer Sir Charles Taggart, who initiated their construction after have acquired experience in suppressing insurgencies in India. The residents of the Shiite villages in Eretz Israel, which were part of the Safed district, fled in May of 1948, with the capture of the Arab part of the city of Safed by Palmach forces. The refugees crossed the border to the nearby Metawali villages in south Lebanon. Broshi recalls that at least in one instance he and his friends distributed leaflets in the villages of the Upper Galilee, asking the residents not to leave.

In the late 1970s, when the Israeli government opened the Good Fence, and many of the villagers of South Lebanon began to work in Israel, archaeologist Ben-Dov visited Nebi Yusha and was surprised to discover the holy site had been cleaned and renovated somewhat. It was obvious to him that some of the Metawali workers were coming to prostrate themselves on the grave of the holy man.

When Nasrallah and Hezbollah talk about the Shiite villages under Israel's jurisdiction, they mention two additional ones, which were located in the Western Galilee: Tarbikha, which is now the site of Moshav Shomera, and the town of Al-Bassa - now Betzet - whose residents were Metawalis and Christians.

The comprehensive book "The Arabs of Eretz Israel" written in 1947 by Yaakov Shimoni (in Hebrew), also tells of Shiites from South Lebanon who came during the British Mandate years to work as laborers in Haifa. They even had a small clubhouse in the lower city. As far as we know, none of them remained in Israel.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746274.html

Abu_Elvis
08-08-2006, 07:23 AM
Fight a democracy, kill the people
By Spengler

Conventional armies can defeat guerrilla forces with broad popular support, for it is perfectly feasible to dismantle a people, destroy its morale, and if need be expel them. It has happened in history on occasions beyond count.

The British did it to the Scots Highlanders after the 1745 rising, and to the Acadians of Canada after the Seven Years' War; Ataturk did it to the Greeks of Asia Minor in 1922; and the Czechs did it to the Sudeten Germans after 1945. It seems to be happening again, as half or more of Lebanon's 1.2 million Shi'ites flee their homes. To de-fang Hezbollah implies the effective dissolution of the Shi'ite community, a third of whom live within Katyusha range of Israel.

A real war - that is, a war that is fought to a decisive conclusion - finally may have begun in the Middle East. To the extent Israel's campaign succeeds, it will have knock-on effects throughout the region, starting with another accident-****e multi-ethnic patchwork, namely Syria, with grave implications for Iraq. It is easy to say that the present war has unleashed chaos, but the question is: Upon whom? The collapse of Lebanon's Shi'ite community opens the prospect of chaos in the region, but to Israel's advantage.

Iran will face the humiliation of seeing dissolved a Shi'ite community it armed and nurtured, at the same time that Western powers demand the abandonment of its nuclear-weapons program. This will be too great for Tehran to bear; ultimately the West will have to take on Iran directly, for Iran has other means at its disposal to make life miserable for the West, including the so-called oil weapon.

"Fight a dictatorship, and you must kill the regime; fight a democracy, and you must kill the people," I warned on January 31 (No true Scotsman starts a war (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HA31Ak01.html)), meaning that one turns a proud and militant folk into a deracinated rabble. Sometimes it is not necessary to kill a single individual to crush an entire people. When a warlike people rather would fight, eg the Chechens, the result is butchery.

Blame George W Bush for this grim necessity in Lebanon, where the refugee count already has reached 15-30% of the total population. In the name of Lebanese democracy, Washington brought Hezbollah into mainstream politics, and the newly legitimized Hezbollah in turn became the focus of life for Lebanon's 1.2 million Shi'ites. To uproot Hezbollah, one has to uproot the Shi'ite community.

One has to evaluate with caution reports trickling in from the battlefield, but it appears that Hezbollah undertook vast works of military engineering under the guidance of Iranian advisers. Who dug the honeycombs of bunkers underneath Shi'ite villages south of the Litani River and in the Bekaa Valley? Hezbollah's fortifications must have provided the lion's share of the livelihood of numerous Shi'ite villages.

Given that Hezbollah emplaced its rocketry in Shi'ite civilian neighborhoods, Israel must reduce civilian areas to stop rocket attacks. The fact that casualties number in the hundreds rather than the tens of thousands shows that Israel has been meticulous about creating refugees rather than corpses. Nonetheless, Israel has forced the burden of uncertainty on its enemies, including by implication Syria and eventually Iran.

At least 200,000, and perhaps twice that number of refugees, have descended on Syria, joining half a million displaced Iraqis and perhaps 300,000 Palestinian refugees. Refugee streams clog the few undamaged routes between Syria and Lebanon. Evidently Syria fears destabilization; Information Minister Mohsen Bilal linked his July 23 threat of military action against Israel to the "evacuation" of Lebanon. He told the Spanish daily ABC:
It is unjustifiable that the superpower [ie, the US] does not work for a quick ceasefire. What is it waiting for - for Israel to destroy all of Lebanon so that it has to be evacuated completely? But Israel is not the only player in this region. I repeat: If Israel stages a ground invasion of Lebanon and comes close to us, Syria will not remain with its arms crossed. It will enter the conflict.[1] Bilal's outburst is all the more extraordinary given that Israel's most hawkish defense analysts, eg Michael Oren in the July 17 New Republic Online, badly want to draw Syria into the war. It is hard for Israel to root Hezbollah out of its nest, but easy to destroy Syrian armor and air capability. The fact that Israel has not done so already is due to Washington's horror of further instability in Mesopotamia. The destabilization of Syria would produce more chaos in Iraq, as numerous commentators aver. [2] Washington still hopes that it can drive a wedge between Syria and Iran, which must be the second-silliest idea (after "Lebanese democracy") to possess the United States in years.

What, then, provoked Mohsen Bilal to offer to jump headlong into an Israeli trap? Contrary to Washington's hopes, the Bashar al-Assad regime may not be viable after the destruction of Hezbollah. The flood of refugees is painful to absorb. In addition, Syria's economy depends on Lebanon. Syrian workers in Lebanon remit US$4 billion a year, double Syria's reported exports. [3] The Assad regime and its supporters draw substantial income from Lebanon's black market, which Syria continues to dominate despite the removal of Syrian troops last year.

US as well as Israeli analysts assume that the Syrian regime will do anything to survive, but in the wake of Hezbollah's collapse and the breakdown of Lebanon's Shi'ite community, it may not be obvious to Bashar Assad how he may accomplish this. Without the skim from Lebanon's black market and the remittances from Syrian workers in Lebanon, the regime's purse will shrivel and its hold on the reins will slacken. Double-crossing its allies in Tehran at just that moment might not be the wisest move, particularly with remnants of Hezbollah fleeing into Syria.

Peaceful outcomes are possible when people have peaceable things to do. Lebanon's Shi'ites, the country's resentful underclass, have little stake in the tourism industry and other objects of Saudi investment in their country. Their livelihood is a function of war, of Iranian subsidies in particular. The fortification of southern Lebanon was not intended as a public-works project but, like Adolf Hitler's autobahn, it kept people employed. If Hezbollah is destroyed and the flow of Iranian largess stops, much of the Shi'ite population will lose its economic viability, and the Shi'ite community never will reconstitute itself in anything resembling its form prior to July 12. Syria, in turn, may lose a great deal of economic viability if Lebanon is cut off.

When chaos is inevitable, it's best to learn to like it, as I advised on March 14 (How I learned to stop worrying and love chaos (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HC14Ak02.html)). Ultimately the chaos in the Middle East plays to US advantage. In the meantime, it would not hurt to print gasoline ration cards.

Notes
1.Moshe Bilal, ministro de informacion sirio: 'Si Israel invade el Libano, Siria entrara en el conflicto' (http://www.abc.es/20060723/internacional-oriente-medio/israel-invade-libano-siria_200607230245.html); my translation.
2. Syria seen as linchpin in Lebanon (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/07/23/MNG98K42611.DTL&type=politics), San Francisco Chronicle, July 23.
3. Economics of the Syria-Lebanon relationship (http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/syriablog/2005/04/economics-of-syria-lebanon.htm), SyriaComment.com, April 24, 2005.


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HG25Ak01.html

Abu_Elvis
08-08-2006, 08:56 AM
Troops catch 2 guerrillas with missiles
Yaakov Katz, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 8, 2006

IDF reservists from Brigade 609 took captive two Hizbullah guerrillas overnight Monday in the village of Bint Jbail as the operatives were setting up anti-aircraft missiles that they planned to use against Israeli fighter jets.

In addition to the two, paratroopers from Battalion 890 caught three other Hizbullah men who were sleeping in a house in Bint Jbail.
Since the beginning of operation change of direction, IDF troops have caught over 20 Hizbullah operatives.

The group was known to have anti aircraft missiles, but the army has said it was unclear how advanced their weaponry was.
On Monday, F-16 fighter jets shot down a Hizbullah Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) 10 kilometers off the coast of Acre.

A senior IDF officer said it was possible that the UAV was sent over to conduct surveillance for the Hizbullah, which has flown two UAVs over northern Israel twice in the past two years.

Several days ago, troops from the Golani Brigade operating in the southern Lebanese village of Ayta A Shayeb caught Hizbullah operative Hussein Ali Suleiman Suleiman, 22. He surrendered to the troops after he realized that he was completely surrounded. Suleiman, a high-ranking officer revealed Monday, was part of the 100-man force that participated in the cross-border kidnapping on July 12.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525829818&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Holycrusader
08-08-2006, 08:59 AM
I hope it is not a repost


There are burnt-out tanks, but few Israeli troops

Evidence in border villages shows heavy price paid for limited incursion

Jonathan Steele in Marwahin
Monday August 7, 2006
The Guardian


It is perhaps the world's most dangerous road, snaking up and down through boulder-strewn hills and wadis along the Lebanese-Israeli border. By Israel's account, its forces are moving between four and six miles beyond it to take control of a long ***** of Lebanese territory before the UN security council votes for a cessation of hostilities.
But reporters travelling along the border road on Saturday found few signs of an Israeli presence, let alone success. People in only one village had seen Israeli troops recently. Elsewhere, there was evidence of Israeli failures: burnt-out or crippled tanks. Despite the message of success Israel's generals and politicians are giving their public, the reality on the ground appeared mixed.



At the western end of the border road just inland from the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (Unifil) at Naqura, Hizbullah fighters were launching Katysuha rockets from positions within three miles of Israel.
Scarred

Driving east through Aalma ech Chaab and Dhaira, reporters could see clusters of antennae and army huts on the Israeli side of the border but no sign of any incursion.

At Marwahin, where the road offers a clear view of the greenhouses and neat red-tiled roofs of the Israeli community of Zarit only 200 yards away, the ground was scarred with tank tracks. A broken metal towing cable lay on the ground, an apparent sign of mishap. Nearby were bits of caterpillar track. A mile further at the junction of the side-road to Debel a burnt-out Merkava tank was stuck in the trees, its cannon pointing limply downwards.

Here the border runs along the top of a hill where a heavily fortified Israeli base sits cheek by jowl alongside UN monitoring position 5-42, a collection of white trailers and a watchtower inside blast walls. The road to Debel was littered with more broken tracks and towing cables. Hizbullah's resistance had clearly made its mark.

Beyond the Debel turnoff, reporters could hear a fierce battle for the village of Aita ech Chaab. Israeli shells and tank rounds were pounding it and setting fire to bushes on the hillsides to deny Hizbullah fighters cover. It is the only place on the north-south border where Israel seemed to be trying to advance.

Israel has not sought to penetrate the next village of Rmeish, which has a Christian population of several hundred. The last portion of the border before it turns north towards Metulla -the current centre of the fighting - contains the towns of Bint Jbeil and Aitaroun, which Israeli forces tried to take in the first days of the war and then withdrew after losing nine men.

The trip along the border road became possible when Israel allowed a UN convoy to bring food aid to the isolated Christian village of Debel. This was the first access to border villages for 10 days.

With one white armoured personnel carrier in front and another at the back, three UN food lorries set off from Naqura. The thump of outgoing tank and artillery rounds provided a constant accompaniment from the Israeli side.

In a press car behind the convoy sat the Archbishop of Tyre, clad in a white cassock. The Israeli onslaught has hit Shia Muslim villages hardest because of suspected links with Hizbullah's guerrilla fighters, but many Christans have stayed, their houses intact but their supplies dwindling fast.

Control

"They have the dignity of mountain people. They don't want to live as refugees in a school in Beirut", said Archbishop Chucrallah Hajje, while French and Ghanaian troops unloaded food parcels outside the small church.

Before the convoy set off from UN headquarters, monitors said Israeli forces came in by day but pulled back at night, remaining a few hundred yards inside the border. As a claim to control territory this seemed less than convincing. Israeli troops were still being shot at from villages, the observers said.

The deepest Israeli presence inside Lebanon that the convoy encountered was at Jibbain, a Sunni village two miles from the border. The archbishop wanted to give aid here too, in part to show his concern was not only for bringing aid to Christians.

On Sunday Israeli commandos landed near Mansouri on the coast north of Naqoura, killing a Lebanese army intelligence official and wounding seven soldiers. The purpose may have been to squeeze the Hizbullah launch teams between Jibbain and Mansouri.

If so, it would confirm that, rather than an occupation of south Lebanon, the Israelis are going for limited gains.

Jaguar
08-08-2006, 10:07 AM
Air strike on oil depot threatens ecological disaster
August 8, 2006

http://img461.imageshack.us/img461/5568/oilspillku9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

The Mediterranean faces an environmental catastrophe as millions of litres of crude oil gush from a Lebanese storage depot struck by Israeli warplanes.

United Nations experts say the oil could reach the beaches of Turkey, Cyprus and Greece, depending on wind direction and speed.

More than 12,000 tonnes of oil have already spewed into the sea since Israel bombed the depot in Jiyeh, 25 kilometres south of Beirut, three weeks ago. By Sunday night the slick stretched along more than 100 kilometres of the Lebanese coastline and had reached Syrian waters.

Not since Saddam Hussein deliberately pumped crude oil into the Persian Gulf in 1991 has an act of war caused so devastating a maritime ecological crisis.

If the conflict prevents the flow from being stemmed soon, Lebanese environmentalists warn that the spill could reach almost 30,000 tonnes - nearly as much oil as spewed out of the Exxon Valdez when it struck a reef off Alaska in 1989. Yet because of an Israeli naval blockade of Lebanon, work cannot begin until a ceasefire is in place.

"Three weeks have passed in which there has been no remedial action whatsoever," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Program. "Lebanon … depends on tourism and this will make it even more difficult to recover."

Elie Geagea, the proprietor of a beach resort south of Beirut, said: "The Israelis don't need to kill me with bombs. They have killed me with this oil."

In Israel's greenest corner, meanwhile, much of the land is charred black. Hezbollah rocket attacks have set off hundreds of fires in the forests and fields of northern Israel, turning a nature lover's getaway into a smoke-veiled battleground for an army of overworked firefighters. Officials estimate that the fires have destroyed half a million trees in the pine forests that blanket the hills of the northern Galilee. Thousands of hectares of grasslands in the Hula Valley below have also burned.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/air-strike-on-oil-depot-threatens-ecological-disaster/2006/08/07/1154802823186.html

Jaguar
08-08-2006, 10:48 AM
Published: 08/06/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)

Christian support to Israel dies under hail of bombs
The Telegraph Group Limited



Jounieh: It was the most astonishing escalation on a particularly bloody day.

For the first 24 days of Israel's campaign against Hezbollah, Lebanese Christians in the Beirut area believed they were protected from the mayhem gripping other parts of the country.

But a 15-minute air raid shortly after dawn yesterday on the attractive port of Jounieh destroyed the complacency of the Christians and served to turn them against the Israelis. The capital of Lebanon's Christian heartland is unused to such violence.

Even during the 15 years of the 1975-1990 civil war, when Christian and Muslim militias sowed destruction across the country, Jounieh survived unscathed a party zone of nightclubs and beach resorts 10 miles from Beirut.

The Israelis' target was not the Christians of Jounieh but its bridges, two in the town and two a little to the north. The intent was to sever the last artery connecting Beirut to the outside world, and in that the Israelis succeeded.

But the strikes also destroyed whatever support Israel still enjoyed among Lebanon's Christians.

Among the dead was Joseph Bassil, a Christian. Out for his morning jog, he passed under the 300 metre Fidar bridge, to the north of Jounieh, just as it was destroyed by a huge bomb that pitched cars into the ravine below. Bassil was crushed to death and three motorists were killed.

"Hezbollah has never bombed us here, yet Israel bombs us here so who are the terrorists?" asked Manal Azzi, a 26-year-old HIV specialist, as she stood in the chasm where the Fidar bridge had stood. "We have spent 30 years rebuilding this country and now Israel is taking us back to the Middle Ages."

As the scale of the civilian casualties in the early stages of the conflict became clear, Lebanon's Christians dutifully expressed their solidarity with the Shias in the south. Yet some Christians remained unconvinced.

On Thursday, the hillside resort of Broummana just outside Beirut seemed a place untouched by war. Many of Beirut's trendy Christians had escaped here at the start of the conflict, and the party was continuing in its bars and restaurants. "We cannot blame the Israelis alone for this," said Elie Dahoud.

"The Shiites are our enemy and it is they who have brought Lebanon to disaster.'"

But by Friday night he had changed his mind. "I was wrong," he admitted. "The Israelis no longer care who is Muslim and who is Christian. We are all enemies to them."

Kaplanr
08-08-2006, 10:52 AM
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525832127

General Kaplinski to join Northern Command
By YAAKOV KATZ


IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Haltuz has decided to appoint deputy chief of staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinski as his representative in the Northern Command for the duration of the war.

The reason behind the decision was not immediately clear. It may be connected to the planned cabinet meeting on Wednesday and the possible approval of a massive expansion of the ground operation up to the Linati River or even further north.

OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam has to respond to the decision.

Like Bar-Lev's appointment during the Yom Kippur War to "assist" the commander of the Southern Command Shmuel Gonen?

Abu_Elvis
08-08-2006, 12:12 PM
Hizbullah equipment surprises IDF

Troops discover cutting-edge cameras, gas masks in Lebanon; IDF official: There's no doubt Hizbullah was prepared
Hanan Greenberg


Sophisticated enemy: IDF officials say they were surprised by advanced Hizbullah military equipment recovered by troops in Lebanon that presents Israeli forces with difficult challenges as the fighting continues to rage.

After the outbreak of hostilities, IDF officers realized all assessments regarding Hizbullah arms were accurate, while some findings even exceeded predictions. Equipment recovered by Israeli troops includes night-vision equipment, gas masks, cutting-edge radio equipment, dozens of rifles, various types of handguns, silencers, helmets, and protective vests.

Soldiers also found computer parts attesting to the fact Hizbullah was acting in an orderly manner and documenting its operations.

"Suddenly, during battle, we saw a bush moving up and seconds later turn into a terrorist firing at our troops, " one IDF soldier told Ynet. "If we thought we knew everything about Hizbullah, we cannot hide the fact some things surprised us, at least among the group's elite units, whose surprise capabilities are not unlike elite IDF units."

Troops also uncovered a special command system that allows terrorists to observe developments outside their bunkers while they're hiding inside. The electronic system was installed inside the bunker, while a special camera was installed outside.

"There's no doubt this…is part of the organization's preparations ahead of ground action against our forces," a military source said. "We're still studying the subject, as well as other issues, and undertaking suitable actions in response."

Some equipment used by Hizbullah, such as motorcycles, were not brought back to Israel and instead were blown up by troops.

The commander in charge of the IDF unit responsible for handling recovered Hizbullah weapons, identified only as Major Meir, says all equipment is checked by sappers to ensure it was not ****y-trapped.

"The booty is examined and analyzed by various IDF elements in order to study it and draw conclusions, which are of great importance," he said.

(08.08.06, 18:24)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288322,00.html

Abu_Elvis
08-08-2006, 12:19 PM
Analysis: Assad is crazy like a fox
Barry Rubin, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 8, 2006
Is Syrian President Bashar Assad a fool or a genius? That cannot be determined directly. What can be said is that his policy is simultaneously brilliant and disastrous for Syria.
To understand Syria - which is in many ways typical of Middle East politics - two basic principles must be taken into consideration.

First, the worse Syria behaves, the better its regime does. Syrian leaders do not accept the Western view that pragmatism, moderation, compromise, an open economy, and peace are always better. When Syria acts radical, up to a point of course, it maximizes its main asset - causing trouble - rather than its weakness in terms of its bargaining position. As a dictatorship, tight control and popularity achieved through demagoguery work better.

Secondly, success for the regime and state means disaster for the people, society, and economy. The regime prospers by keeping Syrians believing that the battle against America and Israel, not freedom and prosperity, should be their top priority. The state's control over the economy means lower living standards but a rich elite with lots of money to give to its supporters. Imprisoning or intimidating liberal critics means domestic stability, but without human rights.

This brings us to Bashar's task. Since the 1980s, Syria has faced big problems. Its Soviet ally (and arms supplier) collapsed; the economy has not done well, domestic unrest has increased, Israel has widened the military gap, and Saddam Hussein was overthrown by the Americans.
Bashar's father and predecessor, Hafez, maneuvered very well. He participated in the battle against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait enough to win help from the rich Gulf Arabs and the United States. His participation in negotiations with Israel also helped, though he refused to make an agreement in the end. Then, Hafez died and passed on the presidency to his inexperienced son.

Clearly, Bashar is no Hafez. His father was a far better strategist. In contrast to Bashar, he probably would never have withdrawn from Lebanon and would have been more careful to avoid friction with the Gulf Arabs and America. He would never have let Iran turn Syria into something like a client state or treat the Hizbullah leader on an equal basis.
Still, the Assad genes are still working. Bashar withdrew from Lebanon, but kept the security and economic assets in place. Almost 20 major bombings and assassinations have shown Lebanese that Syrian interests better be honored. And by killing Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, Bashar got into some apparent trouble but eliminated the only man who could unite the country and stand up to Hizbullah.

Today, Bashar's risk-taking seems to be paying off. On the Iraqi front, he is waging war against America at almost no cost to himself. Syria is equipping, training, and sending into battle terrorists who are killing hundreds of Iraqis and Americans without any threat of international action or even condemnation.

On the Lebanese-Israeli front, he has mounted what is basically a conventional war against Israel, again with no cost to himself. In this case, most of the arms and money is coming from Teheran, with Syria getting a free ride. Today in Damascus, Bashar is a hero for confronting Israel at Lebanese expense. He has also piled up considerable credit with radical Islamists by being their friend and ally in Iraq.

The whole thing might blow up against Bashar some day through international pressure or a domestic Islamist upheaval based on the Sunni Arab majority who hate Bashar and his Alawite minority. For the moment, though, he is riding high. And maybe that answers the question at the beginning of this article: someone who acts like a fool in Western terms is a genius as a Middle East leader.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center, and is writing a book on Syria.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1154525826328&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Beaufort
08-08-2006, 12:55 PM
Olmert: Lebanon decision to deploy 'interesting,' needs studyinghttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

By Yoav Stern (stern@haaretz.co.il), Aluf Benn (aluf@haaretz.co.il) and Amos Harel (contact@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that the Lebanese government's decision to deploy its army in the south of the country is "interesting" and worthy of further consideration, but said such a move must go hand-in-hand with the disarming of Hezbollah.

The Lebanese cabinet agreed Monday night to deploy troops in the south after an Israel Defense Forces' withdrawal from the area, in a decision supported by all the ministers present, including the five Shi'ite ministers who represent Hezbollah and Amal.

"I heard about the Lebanese government decision yesterday to deploy 15,000 Lebanese Army soldiers," Olmert told a news conference.


"This decision is an interesting step which we have to study and examine and look at all the implications - to see to what degree it is practical and in what timeframe," the prime minister said.

"The faster we leave south Lebanon, the happier we will be, especially if we have achieved our goals," he added.

He said that any Lebanese army deployment in the south should be accompanied by a strong international force made up of combat units and that Hezbollah must be disarmed.

The decision marks the first time since 1982 that the Lebanese government has decided to impose its sovereignty in the south of the country.

Lebanese officials are hoping that in the wake of the night's decision, the United Nations Security Council will agree to an amendment to the U.S.-French draft resolution that calls for the withdrawal of the IDF from the southern Lebanon.

Political sources in Jerusalem said Monday in response to the Lebanese cabinet decision that Israel was waiting to see how the decision fit in with the Security Council deliberations. The proposal, the sources said, was outlined in an interview Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora gave to The Washington Post on Monday.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called on Siniora to take action and deploy the forces in the south.

"Yesterday I saw the tears of Siniora. We all cry over our dead, whether in public or in private," Livni told the Knesset on Tuesday, referring to a tearful speech Siniora to Arab foreign ministers in Beirut.

"This is the place to tell him to wipe away his tears and start working to create a better future, a more normal future for those civilians for whom he is crying."


U.S. calls Lebanese proposal 'significant'

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday called the Lebanese proposal to deploy troops to the south 'significant.'

"Of course these Lebanese forces would need to be supported by international forces," State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said. "It certainly is a significant proposal."

McCormack said deployment of the troops is a necessary step for peace, but added that discussion and actual implementation of the idea needs to take place in the context of discussions at the United Nations on an overall approach to the conflict in Lebanon.

Those talks, he said, are centered on the idea that once a cessation of violence is reached, there must be a plan that ensures the pre-war situation does not recur.

The French foreign minister Tuesday praised the deployment plan, calling it an "important contribution" to resolving the crisis.

"It is a testament to the willingness of all Lebanese parties to allow Lebanon's government to exercise its sovereignty throughout its territory," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said in a statement.

"In my opinion, this is an important contribution toward solving the current crisis," he added.


15,000 mobilized

For the purpose of the deployment, the Lebanese defense minister Monday announced the mobilization of 15,000 reservists. All Lebanese soldiers who were discharged in the past five years will be called up for duty.

The soldiers will be mobilized August 10-16, in keeping with orders published in Lebanon on Monday.

The measure was announced by Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi al-Aridi, who outlined the considerations that led to the decision. Al-Aridi said that the upcoming political developments were dependent on the response of the international community to the decision.

According to the minister, in recent weeks, the heads of the Lebanese security forces have been party to government discussions and have indicated their needs ahead of the deployment in the south.

"Our objective is to bring about a cease-fire and emphasize Lebanon's right to its land and sovereignty," al-Aridi said.

He stressed that the decision was taken as part of Lebanon's efforts to demonstrate a willingness to make progress toward a resolution of the crisis and the implementation of the seven-point plan approved by the Lebanese government.

The plan calls for an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the Shaba Farms area, a prisoner exchange deal and a state monopoly on the use of weapons in its territory.

Al-Aridi hinted that Lebanon was expecting positive reactions to its decision.

He also added that, following the deployment of the army in the south of the country, Hezbollah would remain in the area "as a party that represents an entire segment of the population."

Al-Aridi stressed that the organization would remain a partner to decision-making in the country and that the deployment of the army was designed "to reap the fruits of Lebanon's military achievement."

Lebanon's prime minister, choking back tears, demanded a "quick and decisive cease-fire" Monday, as he and Arab foreign ministers on Monday pressed for changes in a U.S.-French peace plan aimed at ending nearly a month of warfare between Israel and Hezbollah.

"It is imperative that the Israeli enemy stops its aggressive actions and withdraw immediately..., hand it [territory] over to international forces, exchange prisoners, and reveal land mine maps," he said.

Siniora earlier expressed a new willingness to quickly deploy Lebanese troops in the south to bring a halt in the fighting.

Siniora has backed the idea of swiftly moving in Lebanese troops, with the support of beefed-up UN forces, in order to ensure that thousands of IDF soldiers leave the south with any cease-fire, an aide to the prime minister said.

A previous Lebanese peace proposal called for deploying the Lebanese army in the south, but only after a cease-fire was reached and a set of political demands was met - including a release of Lebanese prisoners in Israel and steps toward resolving Lebanon's claims on a patch of border territory held by Israel for years.

But Siniora was backing a speeded-up deployment because the U.S.-French cease-fire plan - due to be voted on by the UN Security Council in the coming days - would leave IDF troops in south Lebanon after a halt in fighting. Hezbollah immediately rejected that as unacceptable, raising the likelihood of a continued escalation in the violence.

Siniora said leaving Israelis in the south was "impractical" because it was certain to mean continued fighting.

In the interview with The Washington Post, Siniora said the U.S.-French draft resolution should be changed to call for an Israeli withdrawal, and said the deployment of Lebanese troops in the south "can be done quickly."

Siniora's aide said the prime minister has proposed deploying 15,000 Lebanese soldiers in the south along with an additional 2,000 UN peacekeepers to back them up. That would be an increase over the 2,000 UN peacekeepers already in the south, who are lightly armed and have had no role in stopping the violence.

Siniora made the proposal in talks last week with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and European leaders, said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make statements to the media.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747344.html

Beaufort
08-08-2006, 01:20 PM
PM mulls Lebanon deployment plan
By HERB KEINON (keinon@netvision.net.il)


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert termed the Lebanese decision to move its army southward (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525825704&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) an "interesting" one that needs to be considered carefully.

At a press conference after a meeting with President Moshe Katsav, Olmert said that since the beginning of the military operation Israel has said its goals were the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for the deployment of the Lebanese army on the border with Israel, and the dismantling of Hizbullah.

Olmert said Israel must carefully weigh to what extent this deployment is practical. There is some concern in Jerusalem that the Lebanese announcement is a ploy to get the IDF to withdraw, while forestalling the deployment of a significant multinational force that would keep Hizbullah from redeploying in the south.

The US State Department said the Lebanese decision was significant.
Spokesman Sean McCormack said deployment of the troops is a necessary step for peace. However, McCormack also said discussion and actual implementation of the idea needs to take place in the context of discussions at the United Nations on an overall approach to the conflict in Lebanon.

"Of course," the spokesman said, "these Lebanese forces would need to be supported by international forces." He said, "it certainly is a significant proposal."

Olmert said that attention should be paid to the fact that Hizbullah agreed to the deployment of the Lebanese army troops, a sign he said indicated a recognition by Hizbullah that its position in the region has been severely weakened.

"The faster we leave south Lebanon, the happier we will be," Olmert said. "Of course we will only do this if we can ensure that we have achieved our goals."

Olmert cautioned patience regarding this development, as well as regarding discussions at the UN, where he said an initial draft on the US-French Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire is still in the making.

Amid reports that the government has held back the IDF and not given it full rein to accomplish its goals in Lebanon, Olmert said that every military plan that has been presented to the government has been approved. He said that Sunday was the first day that the IDF had proposed to him a military offensive that would go beyond the current lines the IDF is holding in south Lebanon, and that this would be brought to a decision by the security cabinet on Wednesday.


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525830875&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Snoshi
08-08-2006, 01:59 PM
Ynet:Heavy exchanges of fire between IDF, Hizbullah continue in village of Bint Jbeil; seven troops hit by anti-tank missile. Two reserve soldiers killed early Tuesday near village of Labouna; soldier seriously wounded near Aytaroun
Hanan Greenberg



It has been cleared for publication that two IDF reservists were killed and another two were lightly and moderately injured in exchanges of fire with Hizbullah early Tuesday morning. The battle took place near the village of Labouna in the Bint Jbeil area in southwest Lebanon.


Deadly Battle
Soldier killed in south Lebanon / Hanan Greenberg
Hizbullah gunmen fire antitank missile at armored vehicle operating in Dibel village near Bint Jbeil; Staff Sergeant Philip Mosko, 21, from Maale Adumim - who served as paramedic in Paratrooper Brigade – killed, five troops lightly injured
Full Story

One of the reservists killed is Gilad Balachsan, 28, from Carmiel. The soldiers that were injured in the clash have been evacuated to a hospital in Israel for treatment.



The two killed troops served in the Baram Brigade (the western brigade) as part of its reserve force, which has been assigned border patrol duties. On Monday night the force entered into Lebanese territory and encountered a terror cell near the village of Labouna.



Balachsan and another reservist were killed in the fire exchanges that ensued.



So far 65 IDF soldiers have been killed in three weeks of fighting. Twelve of them were killed in the village of Bint Jbeil.



Exchanges of fire continued in the area on Tuesday afternoon. Seven soldiers were hurt when an anti-tank missile was fired at an IDF tank north of Bint Jbeil. Another tank which arrived in the area was hit by an explosive device, but no injuries were caused.



More then 30 terrorists have been killed in the western sector throughout Monday night and Tuesday morning, in a series of incidents. More than 480 terrorists have been killed in the fighting.



An IDF soldier was seriously wounded early Tuesday morning in fire exchanges with Hizbullah near the village of Aytaroun in the western sector. At the same time, exchanges of fire were also carried out in the village of Labouna; several troops sustained injuries.



The soldier that was seriously injured has been evacuated to a hospital in Israel, and the army is looking into the possibility he was hurt by friendly fire.



Hizbullah's improved missiles



Staff Sergeant Philip Mosko, 21, from Maale Adumim, who served as a paramedic in the Paratrooper Brigade, was killed during fierce fire exchanges between IDF soldiers and Hizbullah in the village of Dibel near Bint Jbeil Monday night. Five troops were injured in the incident.



The injured troops were evacuated to Israel by IDF forces and the families of the soldiers that have been hurt were notified.



Hizbullah gunmen used an improved antitank missile, which was fired at a Puma-type armored vehicle that was carrying a number of auxiliary forces troops, including paramedics.



"Hizbullah has a variety of improved missiles and when such a missile is fired at an armored vehicle, damage cannot be completely prevented. Usually the vehicle sustains slight damages and the troops remain unharmed. In some cases the outcome is more severe, and this is something we will need to address," a military official told Ynet.

Jaguar
08-08-2006, 03:48 PM
Red Cross: Israel violates Geneva Conventions

Tuesday, August 8, 2006; Posted: 3:35 p.m. EDT (19:35 GMT)

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross accused Israel on Tuesday of violating the Geneva Conventions by preventing aid convoys from getting into areas targeted by Israeli airstrikes.

The official, Jakob Kellenberger, demanded more access to civilians in southern Lebanon. He will meet with Israeli officials on Wednesday.

"By letting down leaflets you cannot get rid of your responsibilities under international humanitarian law," Kellenberger said, referring to warnings the Israeli military has issued before airstrikes.

Earlier, a Red Cross spokesman said the group was able to win "freedom of movement" for convoys after repeated requests to Israel.

Thousands of people are still believed to be living in shelters in southern Lebanon villages, Red Cross spokesman Roland Huguenin-Benjamin said. While the Red Cross is allowed to bring ships into the Lebanese ports of Tyre and Sidon, he said, damaged roads have hindered the delivery of aid into the countryside.

The destruction of a main road and a makeshift bridge by airstrikes forced Doctors Without Borders to bring supplies into the southern Lebanese city of Tyre by forming a human chain across the Litani River, said a spokesman for the aid group.

Israel to southern Lebanese: Stay off roads

The Israeli military dropped leaflets Tuesday over Tyre, warning of stepped-up operations and urging people to stay off the roads or risk being targeted.

One leaflet, which a Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. reporter showed on the air, said that "terrorist elements ... are using you as human shields by launching rockets toward the state of Israel from your homes."

The translated leaflet continued, "All cars and of any type will be shelled if seen moving south of the Litani River because it will be considered a suspect of transferring rockets, military ammunitions and those causing destruction."

The warning is in effect for all residents south of the Litani River.

The area is also a launching point for Hezbollah's rockets. The Lebanon-based militant group had launched 145 rockets into Israel by Tuesday evening, Israeli police said, wounding two people. Rockets struck in northern towns such as Safed, Kiryat Shmona and Maalot; set fields ablaze; and damaged buildings, police said.

Meanwhile, the IDF reported it carried out 82 airstrikes in Lebanon overnight targeting buildings, access routes and missile launchers.

The death toll from Monday's Israeli attack on the southern Beirut suburb of Shiyah has risen to 30, according to Lebanon's security forces. Another 64 were injured in the attack. Security sources also said an Israeli warship off the coast fired on Shiyah on Tuesday night, hitting a building near a mosque.

Also Tuesday, Israeli airstrikes hit the southern Lebanese town of Ghaziye, near Sidon, killing eight civilians and wounding 33, Lebanon's security forces said. The attacks occurred as mourners were burying villagers killed in a bombing the previous day, the AP and ******* reported.

Israeli forces also killed four Hezbollah fighters in the Lebanese village of Al Mansouri and three others in Bint Jbeil and Ramiya, the IDF said. Five guerrillas were taken prisoner in Bint Jbeil and Shihin, according to the Israeli military.

Overnight combat left one Israeli soldier dead and four wounded, officials said.

Darth Vidar
08-08-2006, 04:32 PM
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525833167&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Faulty parts suspect in Apache crash
By YAAKOV KATZ (yaakovk@jpost.com)


In an effort to prevent the grounding of the IAF's Apache Longbow squadron, top technicians from Boeing - the aircraft's manufacturer - arrived in Israel this week and replaced parts of the attack helicopter suspected to have been behind the mysterious crash last month of a helicopter along the northern border.

A source close to the investigation confirmed that Boeing experts had arrived in Israel and had replaced a small part of the aircraft which connected the rotor to the body of the helicopter.
The IAF has 11 Apache Longbows.

The IDF initially believed that an artillery missile fired by Israeli forces was what had shot down the helicopter, but after the investigation ruled out that possibility, IAF officers began to suspect that a technical failure was what had led to the tragic crash.

A spokesperson in Tel Aviv told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that the Boeing Company was committed to supporting the IDF investigation into the Apache Longbow accident on July 24 that claimed the lives of two IAF pilots.

"We have been actively involved in the IDF investigation and have sent several Apache program technical experts to Israel to provide any assistance requested or needed," said Boeing Spokesman in Israel Amiram Fleischer. "We will continue to support this investigation throughout its conclusion."

Fleischer declined to give any details from the investigation and said, "Since the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for Boeing to comment any further at this time."
Called Saraf by the IAF, the Longbow, manufactured by Boeing, is said to be the superior attack helicopter of the world and has highly-advanced radar, firing, and maneuvering abilities.

Since the beginning of Operation Change of Direction, launched on July 12 following the abduction of two soldiers in a cross-border Hizbullah attack, IAF attack helicopters - including the Saraf - have carried out some 1,000 sorties over Lebanon.

Beaufort
08-08-2006, 04:58 PM
Israel names new commander for Lebanon offensive

By Allyn Fisher-Ilan

JERUSALEM, Aug 8 (*******) - Israel named a new top commander for its Lebanon war effort on Tuesday, effectively demoting another general after criticism of the army's handling of the four-week-old offensive.

The military said in a statement that Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky, a veteran of previous Lebanon campaigns, was named "to coordinate the Israeli army's operations in Lebanon".

Israeli commentators saw the move as effectively pushing aside Gen. Udi Adam, head of northern command, at a time when some Israelis are asking why the region's mightiest army has failed to halt Hizbollah rocket fire after 28 days of fighting.

Channel Two television said Kaplinsky, the deputy chief of staff and former commander in the occupied West Bank, was named because Adam had angered Prime Minister Ehud Olmert by accusing politicians of limiting the Lebanon campaign.

Some commentators voiced concern that tensions within the army could hurt Israel's war effort, and that the change in leadership may reflect frustrations within a force that has long prided itself on defeating its enemies swiftly.

Still, opinions polls have shown strong public support for the war.

Fighting erupted on July 12 when Hizbollah guerrillas captured two soldiers and killed eight in a cross-border raid. Israeli warplanes retaliated by bombing targets in Lebanon, and Hizbollah began raining rockets on northern Israel.

The last time an Israeli general lost a command role at the height of battle was during the 1973 Middle East war, when Israel was surprised by attacks by Syria and Egypt and suffered heavy losses, experts said.

The change of command was decided by army chief Gen. Dan Halutz, who assumed his post last year.

Defence chiefs have tried to persuade the government in the past week to widen the ground campaign in Lebanon, a move Olmert has so far opposed. He planned to meet top ministers on Wednesday to consider a possible expansion of the offensive.

Despite Kaplinsky's appointment, Adam, whose father, Gen. Yekutiel Adam, was the highest-ranking commander killed in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, will remain in his post, the army statement said.

Adam told Israeli television he preferred not to step down while his troops were at war, but did not rule it out.

"Decisions regarding northern command are mine to make," he told Channel One television. "If that won't be the case, we shall decide how to proceed."

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L08149670.htm

About Moshe Kaplinski:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Kaplinsky

Beaufort
08-08-2006, 05:26 PM
IDF broadcasts Hizbullah's dead on al-Manar

(VIDEO) Israeli army takes over terror group's TV station airwaves twice daily to show propaganda films presenting Nasrallah as liar, showing Hizbullah operatives fleeing from battle
Ynet

VIDEO - While Israel Defense Forces soldiers are fighting brutal battles in the villages of south Lebanon, the army is also fighting a fierce PR war against Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The IDF took over the airwaves of Hizbullah's al-Manar television network as it showed Nasrallah's last speech (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285976,00.html) and replaced the broadcast with propaganda footage. The video showed the bodies of Hizbullah operatives and asserted that fighters were fleeing from the battlegrounds.

Since the beginning of fighting in Lebanon the IDF has briefly taken control of the airwaves of al-Manar, Radio Nour, and Radio Sawt Al-Shab (the radio station of the communist party, which identifies with Hizbullah) to relay Israeli messages aimed at boosting deterrence, demoralizing Hizbullah and presenting Nasrallah as a liar and incapable leader.

Clips broadcast on al-Manar made use of motifs taken from the world of Lebanon and Hizbullah, including quotes from Nasrallah.

The IDF has only assumed control of ground transmissions via regular antennae; satellite broadcasts were uninterrupted.

Like everything in the IDF, there was a three-part explanation supporting the take-over of Hizbullah media:

1. Use of the organization's own platforms to broadcast Israel 's messages
2. Creating the sense that the organization is "penetrable" and that Israel has powerful capabilities
3. Damaging the organization's abilities for set periods of time, and using the media as part of the war on to access the consciousness of the Lebanese community.

The propaganda videos expose Nasrallah's lies regarding the number of casualties the organization has suffered in fighting against Israel.

Likewise, a clip was produced showing "the escape legend" of Hizbullah fighters in battles in the south and in Baalbeck, weighed against a letter Hizbullah operatives sent to Nasrallah which he presented as a "Letter of the brave."

In addition, the clip shows Israeli commando activities in Baalbek, as well as the report on the IDF take-over of al-Manar in a Lebanese newspaper.

The IDF broadcasts the programs twice daily at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288442,00.html

DeltaWhisky58
08-08-2006, 05:30 PM
UN hears plea to amend resolution

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41980000/jpg/_41980036_injuredap203story.jpg
Children were among the casualties of overnight strikes on Beirut

The Arab League is making a formal bid at the UN to secure changes to a draft Israel-Hezbollah ceasefire resolution.

The delegation wants to add demands for an Israeli pullout from Lebanon. But France and the US, which thrashed out the text, do not want major changes.
A UN vote on the resolution is expected on Wednesday at the earliest.
In continuing violence, Hezbollah fired dozens more rockets at Israel, while an Israeli strike killed 13 villagers as funerals for earlier victims were held.
The strike, on the southern village of Ghaziyeh, also left about two dozen people injured, local officials said.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Full text: Lebanon's proposal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5256936.stm)


The Arab League's representations to the UN Security Council come after Lebanon said it found aspects of the draft resolution unacceptable.
As well as the demand for an Israeli pullout to be included, there is also dispute over wording which currently demands that Hezbollah ends all attacks and Israel only ends "offensive" military operations.
"Regrettably, the draft resolution not only falls short of meeting many of our legitimate requests, but it also may not bring about the results that the international community hopes it would achieve," Lebanese Acting Foreign Minister Tarek Mitri told the council.
"We requested an immediate ceasefire. What has taken so much time is still not an immediate ceasefire."
Earlier, the UN abandoned its daily attempt to get an aid convoy through to south Lebanon, citing security fears.
"There has been so much bombing. There is no guarantee of safety," Christiane Berthiaume of the UN's World Food Programme told the BBC News website.

"It is really very bad. It is getting worse.

"We have not been able to maintain a rhythm of two convoys per day, but even two would not be enough. A good number would be six."
The decision came a day after Israel imposed an open-ended curfew on all residents south of the Litani River.
Israel said any moving vehicles in the zone - up to 30km (18 miles) inside Lebanon's border - would be destroyed.
Leaflets dropped in Tyre, the biggest Lebanese city south of the Litani river, said operations against what they described as terrorist elements would be escalated with extreme force.
The BBC's Jeremy Bowen in Lebanon says Israel may be using threats to step up military action as a means of putting more pressure on the Lebanese government.
Roads and bridges linking Tyre and the outside world have been bombed, making it almost impossible to get aid in or civilians out.
In other developments:

Lebanese police said at least 30 people were now known to have died in Israeli strikes on south Beirut on Monday night, ******* news agency reported
At least three Israeli soldiers died in clashes with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, the Israeli military said
Israel said it was temporarily moving all remaining residents from the city of Kiryat Shmona - hit by more Hezbollah missiles than any other town in Israel
King Abdullah of Jordan, in a BBC interview, said the international community had shown only piecemeal ways of dealing with the Middle East and had no overall strategy.Lebanon has told army reservists to report for duty after the cabinet decided to send 15,000 soldiers to the southern border area once the Israelis pull out. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the plan as an "interesting step" and said his government would study it. Nearly 1,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government has said. More than 100 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5258234.stm)

Beaufort
08-08-2006, 07:17 PM
IDF to ask cabinet to expand operation to Litani

Army representatives expected to present ministers Wednesday morning with proposal to expand ground operation in Lebanon to Litani River. Goal: Destroying rocket launchers. Defense minister in favor of offer, PM's aides fear massive operation will increase international pressure, impose ceasefire on Israel under inconvenient conditions

Ronny Sofer

The national security cabinet is expected to decide on Wednesday morning whether to expand the military operation in Lebanon to the Litani River, following the UN Security Council's attempt to reach a ceasefire.

The defense establishment plans to present the political-security cabinet with a proposal to operate against Katyusha launchers in all of southern Lebanon, aiming to locate and destroy rocket launchers directed at the north.

The ground operations will take place in the entire south of Lebanon, up to the Litani River. The aerial, naval and artillery actions are expected to take place also north of the Litani. Defense Minister Amir Peretz supports the Israel Defense Forces' plan.

However, officials at the Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Ministry seek to carefully examine the proposal to expand the area where the IDF will deploy in Lebanon, in light of attempts by Security Council members, headed by the United States and France, to create infrastructure for a ceasefire in the area.

The caution the officials are demanding stems from the fear that such a move will accelerate the pressure on Israel to cease the fire also under conditions which do not suit the goals set by Israel. Diplomatic officials fear that Israel will lose the trust of the western world and some of the Arab worlds over its operation in Lebanon.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288465,00.html

Norcom
08-08-2006, 11:11 PM
Indonesia vows to block jihadis



JAKARTA: Hardline Indonesian Islamic volunteers who want to go to fight Israel in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories paraded in Jakarta yesterday as police vowed to stop them leaving the country.


About 30 black-clad members of the Indonesian Mujaheddin Council (MMI), led by the radical cleric convicted over the 2002 Bali bombings, jogged in formation as members opened registration for more volunteers. The MMI - headed by Abu Bakar Bashir, who was released from prison in June - is the latest of several radical Indonesian groups to put forward potential fighters.
The vast majority of Indonesia's Muslims practise a moderate form of Islam, but anger against Israel has been on the rise in the world's most populous Muslim nation since the Israeli military offensive began. "Each of our 50 chapters have readied at least 10 volunteering members," said Hari Samir Fallah, a worker at the MMI's Jakarta chapter.
The members, who donned black balaclavas and went barefoot, held a roll call inside the group's headquarters before jogging in formation for some 10 minutes in the surrounding neighbourhood, without any weapons. In a statement read out at the headquarters, the organisation called on the Government to facilitate the departure of the "jihadis". But national police spokesman Anton Bahrul Alam said none of the would-be fighters were going anywhere.
"We can and will prevent them from leaving," he said. "Their departure for the Middle East would be a violation of our state constitution, which says Indonesia should pro-actively contribute to world peace."
National Police Chief General Sutanto said their departure would only worsen the situation in the Middle East.
AFP

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DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 03:14 AM
UN powers re-think Lebanon draft

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41980000/jpg/_41980966_tank*****203story.jpg
Israel is not required to pull out of Lebanon under the current text

French and American diplomats at the United Nations are beginning work on re-drafting their plan to end the crisis in the Middle East.

An Arab League delegation argued that a resolution should call for an immediate Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon.
But France and the US do not want major changes to their text and diplomats at the UN say prospects for an early vote on a peace plan are fading.
Israel is considering a plan by the army to push further into Lebanon.
The security cabinet will hear details of an army plan to take control of areas used by Hezbollah to fire rockets into Israel.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given the military permission to present the plan, but has refrained from expressing his own view.

Refugee camp hit

Meanwhile Israel's campaign continued, with 120 air strikes overnight and clashes with Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif We requested an immediate ceasefire - what has taken so much time is still not an immediate ceasefire http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Tarek Mitri
Acting Lebanese Foreign Minister

A two-storey building in the town of Mashghara in the eastern Bekaa Valley was levelled, trapping five people under the rubble.
Medical sources told ******* news agency a local Hezbollah official lived there.
And for the first time since the start of the conflict, Israel struck Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, Ein al-Hilweh, near the port city of Sidon.
The Israeli army said it was targeting a house in the camp belonging to a member of Hezbollah. Lebanese officials say at least one person was killed.
Lebanese and Palestinian officials said the settlement was hit by a shell from an Israeli gunboat, in the first attack on the camp during the current fighting.
On Tuesday, Hezbollah fired dozens more rockets at Israel, while an Israeli strike killed 13 villagers as funerals for earlier victims were held.
The strike, on the southern village of Ghaziyeh, also left about two dozen people injured, local officials said.

'Bloodbath'

The Arab League's representations to the UN Security Council come after Lebanon said it found aspects of the draft resolution unacceptable.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Full text: Lebanon's proposal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5256936.stm)


As well as the demand for an Israeli pullout to be included, there is also dispute over wording which currently demands that Hezbollah ends all attacks and Israel only ends "offensive" military operations.
"It is most saddening that the council stands idly by, crippled, unable to stop the bloodbath which has become the bitter daily lot of the defenceless Lebanese people," the delegation head, Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, told the meeting.
Lebanon, which has put forward its own seven-point proposal for peace, said the current resolution was flawed.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41980000/jpg/_41980974_injured203afp.jpg
Israel's raid on Ghaziyeh came as funerals were held for earlier victims

"Regrettably, the draft resolution not only falls short of meeting many of our legitimate requests, but it also may not bring about the results that the international community hopes it would achieve," acting Foreign Minister Tarek Mitri told the council.
"We requested an immediate ceasefire. What has taken so much time is still not an immediate ceasefire."
Veto-wielding Russia earlier said it would not vote for any resolution which did not have the backing of Lebanon.
The BBC diplomatic correspondent says the UN is likely to offer some new language to bolster Lebanon's government and push on towards a vote in the next few days.
Earlier, the UN abandoned its daily attempt to get an aid convoy from Beirut to south Lebanon, citing security fears.
"There has been so much bombing. There is no guarantee of safety," Christiane Berthiaume of the UN's World Food Programme told the BBC News website.

"It is really very bad. It is getting worse.
"We have not been able to maintain a rhythm of two convoys per day, but even two would not be enough. A good number would be six."
The decision came a day after Israel imposed an open-ended curfew on all residents south of the Litani River.
Israel said any moving vehicles in the zone - up to 30km (18 miles) inside Lebanon's border - would be destroyed. Leaflets dropped in Tyre, the biggest Lebanese city south of the Litani river, said operations against what they described as terrorist elements would be escalated with extreme force. Nearly 1,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government has said. More than 100 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5258234.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 03:16 AM
******* drops Beirut photographer

The news agency ******* has withdrawn from sale 920 pictures taken by a photographer after finding he had doctored two images taken in Lebanon.

Bloggers first spotted that smoke on Adnan Hajj's image of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike in Beirut appeared to have been made darker.
A ******* investigation confirmed this and also found two flares had been added to an image of an Israeli jet.
Mr Hajj told the BBC he denied doctoring the content of the images.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/06/in_pictures_enl_1155029587/img/laun.jpg (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/06/in_pictures_enl_1155029587/html/1.stm)
Adnan Hajj's doctored image following an Israeli air strike
http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/opennews.gifEnlarge Image (http://javascript<b></b>: void window.open('http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/06/in_pictures_enl_1155029587/html/1.stm', '1155029796', 'toolbar=0,scrollbars=0,location=0,statusbar=0,menubar=0,resizable=1,width=360,height=558,left=312,top=100');)


He said had tried to clean dust off the first image, a shot of buildings in a suburb of Beirut, on which ******* found smoke plumes had been darkened and expanded using computer software.
"It was so badly done - an amateur could have done better," Bob Bodman, picture editor at the Daily Telegraph newspaper, told the BBC.
Mr Hajj, a freelance photographer working for *******, denied altering the second photograph, an image of an Israeli F-16 fighter over Nabatiyeh in southern Lebanon.
"There's no problem with it, not at all," he said in a BBC interview.

'Lapse'

Paul Holmes, editor of political and general news at *******, told the BBC that senior photographers at the agency "weren't convinced" that cleaning dust off the first image would result in the manipulation the image showed.
He said there had been a "lapse in our editing process", but stressed that ******* had moved swiftly to address the issue and tighten editing procedures.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifTHE EDITORS' BLOG
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41818000/gif/_41818980_ed_blog6666_putty.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif All of us need to know how these pictures are obtained and used http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Steve Herrmann,
BBC News website editor

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Read the comments in full (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/)

Global picture editor Tom Szlukovenyi said all of Adnan Hajj's images had been removed from the company's database.
He described it as a precautionary measure, but said the manipulation undermined trust in Mr Hajj's entire body of work.
"There is no graver breach of ******* standards for our photographers than the deliberate manipulation of an image," Mr Szlukovenyi said in a statement. Questions were raised about the accuracy of the image on Sunday in several weblogs - personal online diaries by writers known as "bloggers" - including ones which scrutinise media coverage of the Middle East for bias. Mr Holmes said ******* welcomed the growth of weblogs, which had made the media "much more accountable and more transparent".


BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5254838.stm)

Holycrusader
08-09-2006, 03:24 AM
Haaretz
Last update - 07:58 09/08/2006


Five IDF soldiers killed in combat in south Lebanon

Six IDF soldiers wounded by anti-tank fire in Bint Jbail

By Amos Harel and Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies

Two IDF paratroopers were killed Tuesday evening in battles in the south Lebanon village of Bint Jbail, the Israel Defense Forces announced early Wednesday.

Early on Tuesday, three soldiers were killed and at least 14 wounded in southern Lebanon, where heavy battles between IDF troops and Hezbollah militants have been raging since late Monday.

One of the paratroopers was treated by medics at the scene, but he could not be extricated due to heavy gunfire from Hezbollah militants. During the rescue attempt, a soldier from the paratroopers' search and rescue force was also killed.




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The slain paratroopers, both of whom belonged to a reconnaissance battalion, were identified as Staff Sergeant Oren Lifschitz, 21, of Kibbutz Gazit and Staff Sergeant Moran Cohen, 21, of Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov.

A third soldier was lightly injured.

Six IDF soldiers were wounded, one seriously and another moderately, when their unit came under anti-tank fire during clashes in Bint Jbail Tuesday evening. Another tank that arrived on the scene was hit by explosives, but there was no word of injuries in that incident.

The IDF said that two reservist soldiers were killed early Tuesday, during fighting in the southwestern Lebanese village of Labouna. Another soldier was moderately wounded and a fourth sustained light wounds.

One of the slain soldiers was identified as Gilad Belachsan, 29, of Carmiel.

Another soldier was killed late Monday when Hezbollah fighters fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF "Puma" armored personnel carrier in the village of Dibel, close to Bint Jbail. He was named as Philip Mosko, 21, of Maaleh Adumim. Five other soldiers were lightly wounded in the battle.

Two Hezbollah men were killed in the early morning clashes on Tuesday.

IDF troops began battling Hezbollah gunmen in Labouna on Monday night. Overnight, soldiers killed seven Hezbollah fighters, and captured another five Lebanese suspected of belonging to the organization.

The IDF said it killed some 30 Hezbollah guerillas during the operation Monday night and Tuesday.

Three IDF soldiers killed Monday
Three IDF soldiers were killed and nine others wounded Monday in fierce battles with Hezbollah.

On Tuesday morning, the third soldier killed in the fighting the day before was named as Staff Sergeant Noam Meirson, 23, from Jerusalem.

The two other casualties were named Monday as Major Yotam Lotan, 33, of Kibbutz Beit Ha****a and Staff Sergeant Malko Mosha Ambao, 22, of Lod.

South Lebanon under curfew
On Monday evening, the IDF warned residents of south Lebanon that a curfew was to be imposed, saying anyone moving around outside after 10 P.M. (1900 GMT) would be at risk, a military source said.

"Anyone who does travel is taking a high risk. There is no end period," the source said. "This will allow us to track anyone potentially trying to launch rockets."

The source said the restriction on movement applied anywhere south of the Litani river, which is roughly 20 km from Israel's northern border. He did not specify how the warning had been delivered.

General Staff officers believe that the political leadership will approve an expansion of the ground offensive in the near future. Nevertheless, the officers are waiting to see how the new initiative by the Lebanese government to deploy 15,000 soldiers in the south will be welcomed.

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 03:27 AM
InetWarrior - Please post links to these sources to verify them

Holycrusader
08-09-2006, 03:54 AM
http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/747820.html
I cannot edit my own post. Here is a link

Snoshi
08-09-2006, 04:19 AM
Olmert wavers over IDF plan to expand ground operations
By Aluf Benn, Shmuel Rosner and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents

Israel's security Cabinet convened Wednesday for expected approval of a broader ground offensive in Lebanon, with some ministers arguing that the military must deal more blows to Hezbollah before a Mideast cease-fire is imposed.

However, a decision to send troops deeper into Lebanon was fraught with considerable risk. Israel would set itself up for new criticism that it is sabotaging diplomatic efforts. Also, a wider ground offensive might do little to stop Hezbollah rocket fire on Israel, while sharply increasing the number of casualties among Israeli troops.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is still debating whether to approve the proposed expansion of the Israel Defense Forces' ground operation in south Lebanon. The proposal will be brought to the diplomatic-security cabinet Wednesday morning for approval.

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Olmert fears that the plan presented by the defense establishment will result in hundreds of casualties, and therefore, wants to subject it to a careful cost-benefit analysis. In Tuesday's fighting in Lebanon, five soldiers were killed and 23 others wounded, two of them seriously.

According to a government source, Olmert has also asked the army to present him with several different options for a ground operation.

While most of the cabinet is expected to back whatever Olmert decides, sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that three to four ministers are likely to oppose a large-scale ground operation regardless of Olmert's position.

The IDF's proposal is for a two-week ground operation that would involve conquering the entire area south of the Litani River, and even a few areas north of it, with the goal of significantly reducing Hezbollah's short-range rocket launching capabilities. Most Katyusha rocket launches take place from within this area.

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Tuesday that such an operation is necessary "in order to end this war differently." People who participated in discussions of the plan with him said they had never heard him speak as forcefully in favor of anything as he did in favor of the proposed ground operation.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz fully supports the army's plan, which he considers essential for Israel to achieve its diplomatic goals.

The cabinet discussion is taking place against the background of the new diplomatic situation created by Lebanon's offer to finally deploy its army in the South. Earlier this week, an American-French draft Security Council resolution had proposed a two-stage solution to the conflict: first, a cease-fire, and then, deliberations on stationing a robust international force in south Lebanon. However, the Lebanese offer has led some Security Council members to argue that the international force can now be scrapped, as the Lebanese Army, backed by the existing UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), will be sufficient.

Thus far, the United States has not accepted this position. The U.S. Tuesday termed Lebanon's proposal "positive" and interesting," but rejected the idea that the Lebanese Army could assume sole responsibility for south Lebanon. Various administration spokesmen explained that unless the army can bring about a "genuine and long-range solution" to the conflict - in other words, disarm Hezbollah or keep it from attacking Israel - its deployment would be insufficient. And Washington does not believe that the Lebanese Army is capable of dealing with Hezbollah without assistance.

American officials, therefore, are deeply worried that other council members, such as France, might seize on the Lebanese Army's deployment as an excuse to avoid creating such an international force. Israeli officials also said that they now doubt such a force will ever be established.

The Security Council Tuesday began discussing Lebanon's proposal, as well as its reservations to the American-French draft. Lebanon, backed by the Arab League, is demanding that the resolution call for an immediate Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon. The U.S., in contrast, believes that the IDF should not withdraw until an international force is ready to replace it.

However, American officials also stressed in their talks with Israeli counterparts that the administration is committed to ensuring the survival of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's government, and this commitment will be a determining factor in its decisions.

Olmert also reacted unenthusiastically to Siniora's offer to deploy the Lebanese Army Tuesday, saying merely that it was "interesting" and needed study. Government sources explained that Israel wants to know how the proposal will be implemented, and what the Lebanese Army actually intends to do about Hezbollah, before formulating its position. "We will not be satisfied with vague promises, like Abu Mazen's promises to fight terror in the territories," said one, referring to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Olmert stressed that Israel insists on full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for Hezbollah's disarmament, and believes that this will require "strong military assistance from other countries."

Tuesday's heaviest fighting took place around Bint Jbail, to where Hezbollah fighters had returned when the IDF withdrew from the town after capturing it more than a week ago. According to the army, more than 30 Hezbollah fighters were killed during Tuesday's battles.
http://www.haaretz.com/

Darth Vidar
08-09-2006, 05:42 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/07/AR2006080701453.html

Israeli Soldiers Find a Tenacious Foe in Hezbollah


By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, August 8, 2006; A01

KIRYAT SHEMONA, Israel, Aug. 7 --

Late last week while guarding a house in southern Lebanon that Israeli forces were using as a command post, Cpl. Matan Tyler received an unusual order from his commander: Watch out for guys wearing Israeli uniforms.

A day earlier, a nearby regiment had been approached by fighters wearing familiar olive shirts and vests with Hebrew writing, Tyler said he was told. The fighters -- Hezbollah militiamen disguised as Israelis -- opened fire on a house full of Israeli soldiers.

"You really can't underestimate the Hezbollah," said Tyler, 20, a member of the army's Nahal Brigade. "They are the masters of the field. They know the area better than us. They know where to hide and when to move. They always know where we are."

The incident is just one among dozens of examples of an enemy that has proven more resilient and better-equipped than Israeli military forces anticipated.

After nearly four weeks of air attacks and ground combat, Israeli military officials say that they have killed only a small fraction of Hezbollah's fighters and that the group still has hundreds of launchers and thousands of rockets at its disposal.

"What we face is an infantry division with state-of-the-art weaponry -- night-vision gear, advanced rifles, well-equipped -- deployed along our border," said Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, who until last month was director of analysis for Israeli military intelligence.
"They have some of the most advanced antitank missiles in the world."

In more than two dozen interviews at army bases, hotels, artillery batteries and staging points for their entry into Lebanon since the heaviest ground fighting began last week, Israeli soldiers expressed confidence in their superiority over Hezbollah, but frustration that they are fighting an elusive enemy as difficult to find as it is to defeat.

"Most of the time we only see them when they want to draw attention to themselves, then they kick us from behind," said Tyler, who was resting with his battalion at a lakefront hotel near Tiberias after a week in southern Lebanon. "It's horrible, yes. You feel -- not weak, but how do you say it, threatened? There is always, always uncertainty."

Several soldiers said they were surprised by how long the operation has taken. When Israelis invaded Lebanon in 1982, they reached to within 10 miles of Beirut in two days. In the current conflict, after more than three weeks of fighting, the heaviest ground combat is still in a string of towns along the border.

"It's so slow and you're just going crazy. You're not really getting very far in there and it's brutally hot just sitting in those houses," said Cpl. David Gross, 22, of Livingston, N.J., who moved to Israel two years ago to join the army.

"Look, we're all smart enough to know it's probably best that they do it this way. Fewer people get killed," he added. "But it's also hard because I don't know if we will ever be able to stop the rocket attacks. You just feel like we'll keep pushing them back and they'll just shoot the rockets farther. Is that frustrating? Yes."

The soldiers described a battlefield littered with ****y traps and fortified by fighters who have been preparing to repel a ground invasion since Israeli withdrew from southern Lebanon six years ago, after an 18-year occupation.

Master Sgt. Yusaf, a scout for the army's Baram Brigade who spent 16 years fighting in southern Lebanon during the 1980s and 1990s and who spoke on the condition that only his first name be used, said comparing Hezbollah's capabilities then and now "is like talking about the difference between men who have guns and an army."
Moving at the front of an advancing infantry platoon, he is always on the lookout for traps and hiding places, he said during an interview at a base in Shomera, near the border, hours after leaving a village in southern Lebanon. He described one bunker near the Lebanese town of Maroun al-Ras that was more than 25 feet deep and contained a network of tunnels linking several large storage rooms and multiple entrances and exits. He said it was equipped with a camera at the entrance, linked to a monitor below to help Hezbollah fighters ambush Israeli soldiers.

Israeli soldiers and commanders are quick to point out that Israel is winning by most traditional measures, such as equipment destroyed, territory seized and casualties -- 61 Israeli soldiers have died in the fighting, along with about 450 Hezbollah fighters, by Israel's count. But in comments that echo those of earlier guerrilla conflicts, they also acknowledge that the two sides have different standards of success.

"All they have to do is survive and some people will say they won," one soldier said in a recent interview near the Israeli border town of Avivim.

First Sgt. Dekel Peled, who suffered cuts to his head and hands in a Lebanese village 10 days ago when a mortar shell struck a house in which he was waiting, said he is fighting in a "a war that no one can be mentally prepared for."

He was interviewed at an army-run hotel in Kiryat Shemona this week as he returned to his unit, though he still can't fight because he lost feeling in his trigger finger.
"Some days it seems like it is going to be over tomorrow, and on other days I get the impression it can last another month," he said.

Few said they had experienced sustained firefights. Rather, they said, there were long hours of edgy anticipation, and short bursts of intense combat.

The most feared weapons in Hezbollah's ****nal, they said, are the antitank missiles that have been responsible for dozens of Israeli casualties, blasting through the armor of the most advanced Merkava tanks or at infantry soldiers maneuvering on foot.

Cpl. Eviatar Shalev, 19, described spotting a Hezbollah fighter standing 200 yards away and aiming a shoulder-fired missile at the house where he was posted. "He was already in the firing position, so we called up a combat helicopter," Shalev said. "We entered the inner-most part of the house. We put on all of our defensive gear and we prayed. When you are in there, you can't stop imagining a red spot on your window."
The fighter was killed by an Israeli airstrike before he could shoot the missile, Shalev said in an interview at the hotel in Kiryat Shemona.

Israeli commanders say Hezbollah has obtained its sophisticated weaponry from its main backers, Syria and Iran. "Some have Arabic inscriptions on them, some Iranian, some Russian," said Maj. Gen Udi Adam, commander of Israel's northern forces, in a recent briefing for reporters. "The ones with Russian on them come from Syria," he added.

Several soldiers said they felt the army should be striking harder at Hezbollah but was being held back by concern for civilian casualties.
Lt. Col. Svika Nezer, the commander of an artillery battery a few miles outside Kiryat Shemona, said his unit was operating at about 20 percent of its firepower.

"We could do much, much more. But the orders we get are limited," said Nezer, a reservist who is a lawyer in civilian life.

Among the main challenges facing Israeli soldiers, they say, is that Hezbollah chooses to fight in and among civilian centers, making it difficult to target its fighters without killing bystanders.
Lebanese officials and human rights organizations have criticized Israel for what they term indiscriminate bombing, but commanders say that, if anything, they err on the side of caution when deciding whom to shoot.

"There have been many times when we let go someone whom we knew was a terrorist because we are not sure we could take them down safely," Adam said. "Meanwhile, they try to kill as many of our civilians as they can."

Lt. Itamar Abo, 20, on his way back to the front after a weekend at home in the northern town of Tzfat, said his friends and family grilled him throughout his time off about when the fighting would end and the rocket barrage would stop.

"When a Katyusha falls on somebody's house, it's hard to tell them this is going well. They keep saying, Please get it over with. I don't know what to tell them," he said. "We have to do what we are doing, and I think it is helping, but I also think that no matter what, when this war is over, the threat will still be there, right on our border."

Seated nearby, Cpl. Shai Kaplan, 19, was blunt. "They are experts at deception. Everyone will think they won no matter what. That's how you win when there's a few thousand of you and 50,000 of us," he said. "The more of them we kill, the more of them who are generated. Unfortunately, this is a lost war."


Special correspondent Tal Zipper contributed to this report.



© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Darth Vidar
08-09-2006, 08:58 AM
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288768,00.html

Golani fighters' new weapon: Chechen snipers

Golani fighters joined by snipers hailing from states that fought in Chechnya, Afghanistan
Yossi Yehoshua

Fighters of the 51st Battalion of Golani received aid from an unusual source Tuesday.

A group of snipers hailing from states that had fought in battles in Chechnya and Afghanistan the joined the battalion as it entered Bint Jbeil for the second time after it suffered a serious blow two weeks ago when eight of its soldiers, including the deputy battalion commander, were killed. The snipers were called up in an emergency draft to the war.

The snipers, between 35 and 40 years old, immigrated to at the beginning of the 90s and in the past few years have been considered excellent fighters. They were active in the past in operational activity in the Gaza division, but at a certain point finished their service in the division once the impression was created that they were "trigger happy."


The snipers were stationed Tuesday at one of the entrance points to Lebanon alongside Golani fighters. They displayed high motivation. They are soon expected to join the operations of the brigade inside Lebanon.

Darth Vidar
08-09-2006, 09:02 AM
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747978.html

Under fire: Reservists report problems with equipment, shelterhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif.
By Roni Singer

Herutihttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifReserve soldiers called up for duty in the North are reporting a severe lack of equipment and major problems with equipment they have been issued, unsuitable protection during Katyusha fire, and insufficient food.

"I feel like we've been thrown into the field and told to get along," Ram Dagan, who serves with a combat unit called up to the Lebanese border 10 days ago, said on his first leave.
"I'm not talking about showers, not even about the food that's lacking, but about basic equipment to protect us. The helmets we've been issued are old-fashioned and hardly can be closed, and the body armor is 30 years old. It doesn't close on the sides or on the neck. We don't have a place to take shelter from rocket attack, and we are under fire all the time.
We've been told that when we come under fire we should go into the APCs. But there are too many soldiers and not enough APCs. And anyway, they're not missile-proof," he said.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gifDagan said he was near the site of the rocket attack that killed 12 reservists at Kfar GIladi, and the soles of his shoes were burned in the ensuing fire. "I asked for new shoes, and I was told the supply truck left, and nobody knows when it will be back. Since then, I've been walking around wearing shoes with no soles. "

Ilan Sasson, a reservist who serves in the artillery corps, said: "I don't like to talk against the army, but this time it's gone too far. There's hardly water for a shower and drinking water is a problem. There's either not enough food, or there's too much and it gets thrown out. We haven't been issued helmets or body armor. We have nowhere to go when under fire, because the buildings are like cardboard. That's all everybody talks about. I don't even know who to turn to about it," he said.

Dagan said that when he approached his battalion commander, he was told "that's the way it is in war."

"Next to Beit Hillel, we saw a pile of concrete barriers nobody was using. If they had brought those to protect the soldiers at Kfar Giladi, nobody would have been killed," Dagan said. "It angers me to hear criticism of the soldiers, as if they didn't follow procedure. What procedure? We have no protection. Let the commanders who are criticizing come out of their bunkers and see how we look.

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 09:03 AM
Israeli cabinet mulls offensive

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41413000/jpg/_41413157_camp_story_afp.jpg
A Palestinian camp near Sidon was hit in Israeli strikes

The Israeli cabinet is discussing an army plan to push deeper into Lebanon, to try to take control of areas used by Hezbollah to launch rockets on Israel.

An extra 30,000 troops may be needed for the advance, which aims to reach the Litani river, 30km (18 miles) from the Israeli border.
The meeting came as French and US diplomats at the UN began re-drafting their plan to end the crisis.
Arab League officials are calling for an immediate Israeli withdrawal.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif Our objective is to achieve cessation of hostilities so that... the thousands of deaths, suffering and destruction should be put to an end http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Jacques Chirac
French president

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Mid-East press sceptical (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775085.stm)
Excerpts: Council speeches (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775095.stm)


Its representations to the UN Security Council came after Lebanon said it found aspects of the draft resolution unacceptable.
France and the US do not want major changes to their text and diplomats say prospects for an early vote are fading.
But French President Jacques Chirac said a workable resolution was essential and called for an immediate ceasefire.
"Our objective is to achieve cessation of hostilities so that ... the thousands of deaths, suffering and destruction should be put to an end. This is our absolute priority," he said.
Veto-wielding Russia earlier said it would not vote for any resolution which did not have the backing of Lebanon.
As discussions continued in New York, US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch held talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. No details have been released of the meeting.

Additional pressure

The BBC's Bethany Bell in Jerusalem says the Israeli cabinet's decision will be a difficult one.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41956000/gif/_41956284_leb_baal_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Full text: Lebanon's proposal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5256936.stm)


A new offensive would put additional pressure on Lebanon to accept a peace deal on Israel's terms, but could lead to heavier casualties on both sides, she says.
The cabinet meeting came a day after Israel imposed an open-ended curfew on all residents south of the Litani River.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has refrained from expressing his personal view about the plan.
Earlier, the Israeli military announced that it was sending one of its most senior generals, Maj-Gen Moshe Kaplinsky, to co-ordinate the offensive.
Israeli media say this is a response to growing criticism of the conduct of the campaign.

Bekaa strike

Meanwhile Israel's campaign continued, with 120 air strikes overnight and clashes with Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon, as the militant group continued rocket attacks.

At least six people were killed when a two-storey building in the town of Mashghara in the eastern Bekaa Valley was hit and collapsed on top of them.

Medical sources told ******* news agency a local Hezbollah official lived there.
In other developments:

Israel struck Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, Ein al-Hilweh, near the port city of Sidon, killing two people. The Israeli army said it was targeting a house there belonging to a Hezbollah member
The death toll from an Israeli air strike on a residential building in southern Beirut on Monday went up to 41 after more bodies were found in the rubble
International Committee for the Red Cross chief Jacob Kellenberger was forced to take refuge in an air-raid shelter during a Hezbollah rocket attack soon after crossing the border from Lebanon to Israel
Al-Arabiya TV reported that four Israeli soldiers had been killed in a rocket attack in southern Lebanon. There is no confirmation from Israeli sources
At least five Hezbollah rockets landed in a border area of the West Bank. No-one was hurtNearly 1,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government has said. More than 100 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775689.stm)

Beaufort
08-09-2006, 09:15 AM
Golani fighters' new weapon: Chechen snipers

Golani fighters joined by snipers hailing from states that fought in Chechnya, Afghanistan

Yossi Yehoshua

Fighters of the 51st Battalion of Golani received aid from an unusual source Tuesday.

A group of snipers hailing from states that had fought in battles in Chechnya and Afghanistan joined the battalion as it entered Bint Jbeil for the second time after it suffered a serious blow two weeks ago when eight of its soldiers, including the deputy battalion commander, were killed. The snipers were called up in an emergency draft to the war.

The snipers, between 35 and 40 years old, immigrated to Israel (http://www.militaryphotos.net/articles/0,7340,L-3284752,00.html) at the beginning of the 90s and in the past few years have been considered excellent fighters. They were active in the past in operational activity in the Gaza division, but at a certain point finished their service in the division once the impression was created that they were "trigger happy."

The snipers were stationed Tuesday at one of the entrance points to Lebanon (http://www.militaryphotos.net/articles/0,7340,L-3284170,00.html) alongside Golani fighters. They displayed high motivation. They are soon expected to join the operations of the brigade inside Lebanon.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288768,00.html

I don't think they would like to be called "Chechen" snipers... but the nickname has stuck.

Beaufort
08-09-2006, 09:24 AM
Cabinet set to approve ground push

By HERB KEINON (keinon@netvision.net.il)



With the French reportedly weighing changes to the UN cease-fire resolution that would tilt it in Lebanon's favor and a "war of the generals" taking place in the Northern Command, the security cabinet met on Wednesday morning to approve an expanded ground operation up to the Litani River, and perhaps beyond.
Government sources said that the 12-person security cabinet, which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday had so far okayed all plans the IDF had brought for approval, would not likely reject plans for a wider operation, especially amid growing public impatience with the pace of the war.


Diplomatic officials said that Israel had not come under any US pressure to shelve plans for an expanded operation as various drafts of a US-French cease-fire resolution were being considered in the UN.

According to these officials, the US position that Israel has the right to defend itself was as firm today, with the country coming under a daily barrage of Katyusha fire, as it was during the first days of the war.
This position would only change, they said, once the UN cease-fire resolution has been voted upon. This is not expected until Thursday at the earliest.

Defense officials said that the IDF could be ready to push further into southern Lebanon within hours of the security cabinet decision.

Channel 1 reported Tuesday night that the government was considering sending Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to the UN Security Council debate on the cease-fire resolution, but this could not be confirmed by the ministry. Jerusalem is concerned that detrimental changes may be made in the resolution, especially considering the timing of an IDF withdrawal. The draft resolution circulated on Saturday did not call for a withdrawal until an international force arrived.


The Arab League is expected to try to alter the resolution, and government officials said the specter of the security cabinet debating the widening of the operation was being used as a threat to the Lebanese that it would not be in their best interest to push for a proposal with which Israel would be unable to live.

Israel has made it clear that it would not accept a call for an immediate withdrawal of IDF troops.

There are different opinions in Jerusalem, however, about the decision to deploy 15,000 Lebanese army troops in the south announced Sunday by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, and how this could come into play in the new wording of the cease-fire resolution.

While some expressed concern that this was just a ploy to get the IDF to withdraw, while forestalling the deployment of a significant multinational force that would keep Hizbullah from redeploying in the south, others said it could presage a significant change in Lebanon's reality.

Olmert, at a press conference after meeting President Moshe Katsav Tuesday, termed the decision an "interesting" one that needed careful consideration.

He said that since the beginning of the military operation, Israel has said its goals were the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for the deployment of the Lebanese army on the border, and the dismantling of Hizbullah.

Olmert also said Israel must carefully weigh to what extent this deployment is practical. Attention should be paid to the fact that Hizbullah agreed to the deployment of the Lebanese army, he said, as it indicated recognition by Hizbullah that its position in the region has been severely weakened.

"The faster we leave south Lebanon, the happier we will be," Olmert said. "Of course we will only do this if we can ensure that we have achieved our goals."

One senior official said that Israel was awaiting details of the plan to deploy the Lebanese army, including when it would take place, where the troops would be deployed and what the "mission statement" would entail.
At face value, he said, Hizbullah's agreement to the deployment marks a significant change from the staunch opposition it expressed in the early days of the war.

Senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office said that no detailed plan of the Lebanese army deployment had been passed on to Jerusalem, and that there was no third party shuttling messages on this matter between Jerusalem and Beirut, although US State Department envoy David Welch has spend the last few days in both capitals, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Jerusalem last night, straight from Beirut.

Another issue relating to the cease-fire resolution has to do with Israeli opposition to its Shaba Farms reference. The intensive work that has begun this week in the Foreign Ministry to prepare Israel's case on this issue signals Jerusalem's doubt that its opposition to the clause will be adopted.

Meanwhile, in a foreshadowing of what has been described as the effective sidelining Tuesday of OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam, Olmert - asked at his press conference to respond to Adam's criticism last week that the IDF's hands were being tied at the political level - said that every military plan that has been presented to the government has so far been approved.
Olmert said that only on Sunday did the IDF recommended going beyond the current IDF lines in southern Lebanon and that he agreed to discuss this issue Wednesday with the security cabinet.


As to why the security cabinet was not being convened until Wednesday, if the IDF had raised the issue already on Sunday, one senior official in the Prime Minister's Office said, "We have not yet completed the current operation." He also said that it takes time to plan and prepare for an expanded IDF operation.

Only Science and Technology Minister Ophir Paz-Pines and Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai, who in previous security cabinet votes have both come out against committing more ground troops into Lebanon, have been mentioned as possibly opposing expanded IDF action.

Among the ministers who have been most verbal in favor of expanding the operation are Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, Justice Minister Haim Ramon and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.
The other ministers, Olmert, Livni, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson, Interior Minister Roni Bar-On and Pensioners Minister Rafi Eitan are expected to go along with the IDF recommendations.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1154525833875&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

alexz
08-09-2006, 09:24 AM
Live on Israeli Radio Rshet Bet.
Israeli cabinet approves a wider offensive.

Snoshi
08-09-2006, 09:30 AM
Ynet:The cabinet approved IDF recommendations to continue ground operations in Lebanon. Based on the recommendation, IDF anti-rocket operations were expanded.


Nine cabinet members voted in favor of the decision, with three members abstaining. (Ronny Sofer)

Beaufort
08-09-2006, 09:31 AM
Yishai: New offensive set to take 30 days (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/748019.html)

By Aluf Benn (aluf@haaretz.co.il), Shmuel Rosner (rosner@haaretz.co.il) and Amos Harel (contact@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondentshttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

The security cabinet approved Wednesday a broader ground offensive by the Israel Defense Forces in Lebanon, after some ministers argued that the military must deal more blows to Hezbollah before a Middle East cease-fire is imposed.

Nine of the 12 ministers in the cabinet voted in favor of the move, while the other three abstained. There were no votes against.

Trade Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) said after the meeting that the proposed new ground offensive in Lebanon was expected to take 30 days.

However, a decision to send troops deeper into Lebanon was fraught with considerable risk. Israel would set itself up for new criticism that it is sabotaging diplomatic efforts. Also, a wider ground offensive might do little to stop Hezbollah rocket fire on Israel, while sharply increasing the number of casualties among Israeli troops.

The security cabinet met as the IDF reported casualties in battles (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747820.html) with Hezbollah guerillas in the southern Lebanon villages of Ayta al-Shaab and Dibel.

Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was still debating whether to approve the proposed expansion of the IDF ground operation in south Lebanon.

Olmert was concerned that the plan presented by the defense establishment will result in hundreds of casualties, and therefore, wanted to subject it to a careful cost-benefit analysis. In Tuesday's fighting in Lebanon, five soldiers were killed and 23 others wounded, two of them seriously.

According to a government source, Olmert had also asked the army to present him with several different options for a ground operation.

While most of the cabinet was expected to back whatever Olmert decides, sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that three to four ministers were likely to oppose a large-scale ground operation regardless of Olmert's position.

The IDF's proposal is for a two-week ground operation that would involve conquering the entire area south of the Litani River, and even a few areas north of it, with the goal of significantly reducing Hezbollah's short-range rocket launching capabilities. Most Katyusha rocket launches take place from within this area.

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Tuesday that such an operation is necessary "in order to end this war differently." People who participated in discussions of the plan with him said they had never heard him speak as forcefully in favor of anything as he did in favor of the proposed ground operation.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz fully supports the army's plan, which he considers essential for Israel to achieve its diplomatic goals.

The cabinet discussion took place against the background of the new diplomatic situation created by Lebanon's offer to finally deploy its army in the South. Earlier this week, an American-French draft Security Council resolution had proposed a two-stage solution to the conflict: first, a cease-fire, and then, deliberations on stationing a robust international force in south Lebanon.

However, the Lebanese offer has led some Security Council members to argue that the international force can now be scrapped, as the Lebanese Army, backed by the existing UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), will be sufficient.

Thus far, the United States has not accepted this position. The U.S. Tuesday termed Lebanon's proposal "positive" and interesting," but rejected the idea that the Lebanese Army could assume sole responsibility for south Lebanon.

Various administration spokesmen explained that unless the army can bring about a "genuine and long-range solution" to the conflict - in other words, disarm Hezbollah or keep it from attacking Israel - its deployment would be insufficient. And Washington does not believe that the Lebanese Army is capable of dealing with Hezbollah without assistance.

American officials, therefore, are deeply worried that other council members, such as France, might seize on the Lebanese Army's deployment as an excuse to avoid creating such an international force. Israeli officials also said that they now doubt such a force will ever be established.

The Security Council began discussing Lebanon's proposal Tuesday, as well as its reservations to the American-French draft. Lebanon, backed by the Arab League, is demanding that the resolution call for an immediate Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon. The U.S., in contrast, believes that the IDF should not withdraw until an international force is ready to replace it.

However, American officials also stressed in their talks with Israeli counterparts that the administration is committed to ensuring the survival of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's government, and this commitment will be a determining factor in its decisions.

Olmert also reacted unenthusiastically to Siniora's offer to deploy the Lebanese Army on Tuesday, saying merely that it was "interesting" and needed study. Government sources explained that Israel wants to know how the proposal will be implemented, and what the Lebanese Army actually intends to do about Hezbollah, before formulating its position.

"We will not be satisfied with vague promises, like Abu Mazen's promises to fight terror in the territories," said one, referring to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Olmert stressed that Israel insists on full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for Hezbollah's disarmament, and believes that this will require "strong military assistance from other countries."

Tuesday's heaviest fighting took place around Bint Jbail, to where Hezbollah fighters had returned when the IDF withdrew from the town after capturing it more than a week ago. According to the army, more than 30 Hezbollah fighters were killed during Tuesday's battles.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/748019.html

Jaguar
08-09-2006, 10:25 AM
Midday Roundup: Israeli Bombardment Unabated Amid Lack of Diplomatic Progress

Israeli bombardment pummeled Lebanon Wednesday as a high-ranking U.S. State Department official arrived on a surprise visit to Beirut amid intense but slow diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the four-week conflict.

Prime Minister Fouad Saniora said after meeting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch that there was still no progress in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, additional bodies were pulled out from under the rubble of a building in Beirut's southern district of Shiah, destroyed Monday by an Israeli airstrike, raising the death toll to 41, security officials said. The number of wounded in that attack are 61, they added.

In Paris, French President Jacques Chirac said that giving up on efforts for an immediate ceasefire would be "the most immoral of solutions," while implicitly criticizing U.S. reservations about pushing for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the country.

As diplomats failed to come to terms, Israel intensified its bombardment of the south, particularly towns and villages near the port city of Tyre.

Early morning airstrikes targeted the Ain al Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Sidon killing two people and wounding 15. Air raids on the home of a Hizbullah political member in the Bekaa Valley town of Mashghara killed him, his wife and five children.

Also in the Bekaa, an airstrike cut the main Baalbeck-Homs road where it runs near the village of Qaa, severing one of the few remaining links connecting the country with the outside world.

In Beirut, Saniora told reporters there were contacts on several fronts to end the violence but "there is nothing new so far."

Asked if he expects the U.N. Security Council to issue a resolution on Wednesday, he said "I don't expect a resolution will be issued today or tomorrow."

Welch also held talks with Speaker Nabih Berri.

Lebanon, backed by Arab countries, wants a U.N. draft resolution aimed at ending the conflict to call for an immediate ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the south. It also wants an agreement to put the disputed Shabaa Farms area on the Lebanon-Syria-Israel border under U.N. jurisdiction.

Chirac, speaking at a news conference in southern France after an urgent meeting with three Cabinet ministers, said the U.N. text should take into account Lebanese and Arab demands for changes -- but did not specify which ones.

Paris -- which has historic ties to Lebanon and the Arab world and could lead a proposed multinational peacekeeping force to back up a ceasefire -- has sought to soothe Lebanese and Arab concerns about the draft resolution. The United States and France appear to be at odds over how to respond to Lebanese and Arab demands for changes.

"Our objective is to achieve a cessation of fighting," Chirac said, calling that France's "absolute priority."

Also Wednesday, Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets over Beirut and Tyre criticizing Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, saying he was "playing with fire" and that the Lebanese people were "paying the price."

Hizbullah issued a statement saying the group killed or wounded 10 Israeli soldiers and destroyed a tank as it advanced toward the village of Qantara in the south. The Israeli army said 15 soldiers were wounded in overnight clashes.

Another statement on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV said guerrillas fired a barrage of Khaibar-1 rockets at Beit Shean, deep inside Israel, in response to "Zionist aggression and massacres against unarmed civilians." But Palestinian security officials and witnesses said five Hizbullah rockets landed in the West Bank town of Arabani, about 15 kilometers from Beit Shean.

Israeli troops landed by helicopter around 4 a.m. in the village of Kharayeb, southeast of Sidon, and searched three houses there, Mayor Hatem Akkoush and security officials said. Their sniffer dogs bit one resident, who was hospitalized.(Naharnet-AFP-AP)
Beirut, 09 Aug 06, 14:26

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&9E466A72A7FE337AC22571C4005BAE9D

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 10:42 AM
Israel approves deeper offensive

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A Palestinian camp near Sidon was hit in Israeli strikes

The Israeli cabinet has approved an army plan to push deeper into Lebanon, to try to take control of areas used by Hezbollah to launch rockets on Israel.

An extra 30,000 troops could be needed for the advance, which aims to reach the Litani River, up to 30km (18 miles) inside Lebanon.
The offensive could take at least a month, one cabinet minister warned.
The meeting came as French and US diplomats at the UN began re-drafting their plan to end the crisis.
The Arab League wants the text to be amended to include a demand for an immediate Israeli pullout from Lebanon once the violence has ceased.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif Our objective is to achieve cessation of hostilities so that... the thousands of deaths, suffering and destruction should be put to an end http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Jacques Chirac
French president

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Mid-East press sceptical (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775085.stm)
Excerpts: Council speeches (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775095.stm)

It made a formal request for the change to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, backing Lebanon's objections to the original draft resolution.
France and the US do not want major changes to their text and diplomats say prospects for an early vote are fading.
But French President Jacques Chirac said a workable resolution was essential and called for an immediate ceasefire.
"Our objective is to achieve cessation of hostilities so that... the thousands of deaths, suffering and destruction should be put to an end. This is our absolute priority," he said.
Veto-wielding Russia has said it will not vote for any resolution which did not have the backing of Lebanon.
As discussions continued in New York, US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch held talks in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

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Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Full text: Draft UN resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5249488.stm)
Full text: Lebanon's proposal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5256936.stm)

The Israeli cabinet decision to push further into Lebanon came two days after Israel imposed an open-ended curfew on all residents south of the Litani River.
Nine ministers voted in favour of the new offensive, and three abstained, news agencies reported.
Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz backed the deeper offensive, but reports in the Israeli media had suggested doubts on the part of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was said to fear heavy Israeli casualties.
One of those who abstained, Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai, said after the meeting that weeks more conflict were anticipated.
"The assessment is it will last 30 days. I think it is wrong to make this assessment. I think it will take a lot longer," Mr Yishai said.
The 10,000 Israeli soldiers already in Lebanon are involved in fierce clashes with Hezbollah militants.

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Earlier, the Israeli military announced it was sending one of its most senior generals, Maj-Gen Moshe Kaplinsky, to co-ordinate the offensive.
Israeli media say this is a response to growing criticism of the conduct of the campaign.
Meanwhile Israel's campaign continued, with 120 air strikes overnight and clashes with Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon, as the militant group continued rocket attacks.
At least six people were killed when a two-storey building in the Lebanese town of Mashghara in the eastern Bekaa Valley was hit and collapsed on top of them.
Medical sources told ******* news agency a local Hezbollah official lived there.
In other developments:

Israel struck Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, Ein al-Hilweh, near the port city of Sidon, killing two people. The Israeli army said it was targeting a house there belonging to a Hezbollah member
The death toll from an Israeli air strike on a residential building in southern Beirut on Monday went up to 41 after more bodies were found in the rubble
Al-Arabiya TV reported that seven Israeli soldiers had been killed in a rocket attack in southern Lebanon - there was no confirmation from Israeli sources
At least five Hezbollah rockets landed in a border area of the West Bank, causing no casualties
UN environment experts said an oil slick from a bombed Lebanese power plant had now reached Syria
The UN Human Rights Council will meet on Friday to discuss the conflict, after a request from 16 states led by TunisiaNearly 1,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, the Lebanese government has said. More than 100 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775689.stm)

Snoshi
08-09-2006, 10:44 AM
Al-Jazzera and Al-Arabiya report 11 dead IDF soldier in S.Lebanon today.

Darth Vidar
08-09-2006, 11:51 AM
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525840554&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

40,000 soldiers await word to enter southern Lebanon
By YAAKOV KATZ (yaakovk@jpost.com)


Tens of thousands of IDF troops amassed along the northern border Wednesday evening in preparation for Israel's largest and deepest ground incursion into southern Lebanon since the beginning of Operation Change of Direction last month.

The security cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan presented by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, under which military forces by the thousands will head up to the Litani river over 20 kilometers from Israel and beyond in an effort to prevent the incessant Katyusha rocket attacks on northern Israel.

Some 7,000 IDF troops were operating in southern Lebanon Wednesday, clashing with Hizbullah guerrillas in several villages while holding and maintaining position along a 10-kilometer-deep security zone the IDF had created.
An additional 40,000 IDF troops and reservists were waiting along the northern border in preparation for the major push to the Litani.

A high-ranking IDF officer and member of the General Staff told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that it would take the military at least one week to reach the Litani and beyond, and to set up position and begin taking control of the area.

The officer said that it would then take four to six weeks to clear out southern Lebanon, from the Litani river south, of the Hizbullah presence and to destroy the thousands of Katyusha rockets and rocket launchers believed to be in that area.
The IDF estimates that the area between the Litani river and the security zone that military forces are currently maintaining is home to 70 percent of the Katyusha rockets launched at northern Israel.

In the plan approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, the IDF was also granted permission to cross the Litani river into areas like Nabatiyeh, from where Hizbullah has been firing rockets at the upper Galilee, as well as Haifa and other coast-lying cities.

Hizbullah's Nasser Unit, in charge of southern Lebanon, was still operational, the high-ranking officer said, and numbered several thousand Hizbullah fighters, including reservists, which the guerrilla group had called up in anticipation of Israel's planned massive ground incursion.

Hizbullah, the officer said, still retained its command and control abilities throughout Lebanon and had fighters deployed in between 100-130 villages from the Litani south. North of the river, the officer said, Hizbullah had a smaller presence, but one that still numbered several thousand fighters.
In southern Lebanon, within the security zone the IDF had created, soldiers were still battling in two Hizbullah strongholds - Bint Jbail and Ayta a-Shaab, scenes of heavy fighting between IDF troops and Hizbullah gunmen on Wednesday.

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 03:21 PM
Israel's offensive one month on

By Martin Asser
BBC News
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Israel has launched air strikes throughout Lebanese territory

The ever-volatile Middle East has been in turmoil since Hezbollah guerrillas launched a cross border attack from Lebanon into Israel four weeks ago, killing eight Israeli soldiers and capturing two others.

The conflict has marked a new escalation of the Arab-Israeli struggle - taking hundreds of lives, causing massive destruction and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
It pits the region's most powerful and technologically advanced army against a small, lightly-armed guerrilla force galvanised by a taste for engagement with the enemy and martyrdom.
Fighting has been fierce and bombs have continued to rain down on both civilian populations.
Israel, despite its overwhelming military advantage, has been forced into a radical re-think tactically and strategically in the last month.
Meanwhile, international diplomacy has been powerless to halt the killing, as a humanitarian catastrophe looms in Lebanon.
And the parallel Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the most important factor to deal with in any Middle East settlement, rages on unabated.

Elusive success

It is probable that Hezbollah seriously underestimated Israel's response to its 12 July raid which triggered the crisis.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifFOUR WEEKS' FIGHTING
Deaths: 998 Lebanese, 102 Israeli
Injuries: 3,493 Lebanese, 690 Israeli
Displaced: 915,762 Lebanese, 500,000 Israeli
Official sources and NGOs as of 8 Aug 2006
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Conflict facts and figures (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5257128.stm)

A similar foray several years ago led to a prisoner-swap deal that saw hundreds of Palestinian detainees released, as well as prominent Lebanese held for decades by Israel.
This time, with a newly-elected Israeli government that had yet to win its spurs, the response was more like Israel's bloody 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
But if Israel's goal was to free its soldiers and scotch the shower of unguided missiles fired at it by Hezbollah, it has failed.
In fact, the Katyusha salvoes have hit more and more frequently and deeper into Israel, unchecked by the massive air power used to combat them.
Israel has been criticised internationally for what many see as its disproportionate military response, just as Hezbollah has been criticised for its unguided rocket attacks against Israel.

New tactics

The big question is whether Hezbollah will be goaded into firing its longest-range missile type, the 100km Zilzal, at Israel's largest city Tel Aviv.

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Israel has tried to undermine support for Hezbollah in Lebanon

Speculation in the Lebanese capital Beirut is that that could trigger a much wider bombardment by Israel - beyond the mainly Shia southern suburbs that have been hit so far.
While an attack on Tel Aviv remains very much up Hezbollah's sleeve, Israeli tactics have been steadily evolving.
At the beginning it was suggested, somewhat naively perhaps, that air power and artillery could achieve Israel's stated goal of removing Hezbollah as a hostile force in Lebanon.
Israeli jets are unopposed in the skies over Lebanon, but they are mostly powerless to deal with the highly-mobile rocket crews.
Thousands of ground forces have been steadily introduced, but they have had to fight for every inch of territory and pay for it in soldiers' blood.
The plan now appears to be to carve out what Israel is calling a "security zone" in southern Lebanon, to put a buffer between it and the rocket crews.

Sectarian cracks

On Wednesday the Israel security cabinet approved a risky new thrust north to the strategic Litani River, up to 30km (18 miles) into Lebanon.
If prolonged, the deployment could expose Israeli forces to the kind of attritional armed resistance that forced their retreat from Lebanon in 2000.

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Hezbollah has taken the fight to civilians in northern Israel

This time though they would not have a proxy militia from southern Lebanon to bear the brunt of attacks.
It also seems inevitable that the punishment meted out across Lebanon, aside from the onslaught faced by Hezbollah, will continue and increase.
Key infrastructure items, such as roads, factories and bridges, have already been destroyed.
An environmental disaster followed the Israeli bombing of a coastal power station and fuel storage depot.
But the most acute situation could come if petrol and diesel ran out, preventing transport and electricity generation, which could happen within days.
Israel's unstated intention could be to show the wider Lebanese population that they too have to pay for Shia Muslim resistance, and it is a price not worth paying.
However, in many quarters, Hezbollah's prestige has been enhanced, for its steadfast stance, compared with the ineffective governments across the Arab world. If small cracks are forming in Lebanon's fragile sectarian system of power-sharing, most Lebanese people still view Israel as the enemy, especially given the heavy civilian toll it has exacted. The consensus is that the cracks would open up only if Israeli forces remained in the south, especially if allowed to do so under an international resolution pushed through by Israel's allies at the UN.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4777337.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 03:23 PM
In pictures: Lebanon conflict


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As the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah continues, people on both sides of the Lebanese border bury their dead and treat their wounded.

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Israeli soldiers held a funeral for one of their colleagues, as more deaths were reported from fighting in southern Lebanon.

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The death toll from an Israeli strike on the southern Beirut suburb of Chyah on Monday has risen to 41.

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A mass funeral in Beirut was interrupted, with mourners forced to run for cover, after Israel launched fresh strikes nearby.

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In the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, an evacuation had to be abandoned as Hezbollah launched a barrage of rockets across the border.

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Israeli firefighter planes were drafted in to put out the fires caused by the rocket barrage.

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Some Hezbollah rockets landed near the Palestinian West Bank town of Jenin.

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Israel has dropped leaflets into Lebanon blaming Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah for the crisis.

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Large parts of southern Lebanon are destroyed and deserted, making it difficult for aid workers to reach those that remain.

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Israel has called up thousands of reservists over the last four weeks of fighting.

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Kaplanr
08-09-2006, 03:38 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060809/ap_on_re_mi_ea/mideast_fighting_nasrallah;_ylt=An2lIjyxHep.8vJrOMWqcjwUvioA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Nasrallah urges Arabs to leave Haifa
By JOSEPH PANOSSIAN, Associated Press Writer
10 minutes ago


BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday warned all Israeli Arabs to leave the port city of Haifa so the militant group could step up attacks without fear of shedding the blood of fellow Muslims.

Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, has been the frequent target of Hezbollah's rocket attacks. "I have a special message to the Arabs of Haifa, to your martyrs and to your wounded. I call on you to leave this city. I hope you do this. ... Please leave so we don't shed your blood, which is our blood," Nasrallah said.

The Shiite cleric also gave a deeply negative assessment of the proposal to halt fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon in his first comments on a draft U.N. cease-fire resolution.

"The least we can describe this (draft resolution) is as unfair and unjust. It has given Israel more than it wanted and more than it was looking for," he said in a televised speech.

But in a policy shift, Nasrallah said the guerrilla organization was solidly behind a Lebanese government plan to deploy 15,000 soldiers in south Lebanon if a cease-fire is reached and Israel pulls out its forces.

"In the past we used to oppose or not agree on deployment of the army at the borders," the Hezbollah leader said. Now, he said, "we agree on deployment of the army."

Lebanon has been pushing to amend the U.S.-French proposal to require that Israeli withdraw its troops from the south immediately after a cease-fire is agreed. But U.S. envoy David Welch told Prime Minister Fuad Saniora that Israel had rejected the demand.

Nasrallah heaped criticism on the assistant U.S. secretary of state for visiting Beirut Wednesday as the Israel's Security Cabinet decided to expand the ground offensive in southern Lebanon.

"We will be waiting for you at every village, at every valley. Thousands of courageous holy warriors are waiting for you," he warned the Israelis.

Welch's visit to the Lebanese capital, he said, was designed "to terrify the government and the Lebanese to pressure them to accept old-new conditions."

He said the Americans were trying to undermine any attempt at a solution that takes into consideration Lebanese demands and he urged Beirut not to buckle under U.S. pressure.

"I call for political will and steadfastness," he said.

He also said the guerrillas would not falter, promising "We'll keep fighting to the last shot."

Nasrallah said his fighters already had won the conflict by putting up such a fierce fight through the monthlong Israeli onslaught that began after guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers July 12 in a cross-border mission.

"On the battlefield, we remain steadfast and that in itself is a victory for the resistance, and defeat for the enemy," he said.

Snoshi
08-09-2006, 04:20 PM
MARJAYOUN, Lebanon, Aug 9 (*******) - Israeli ground troops expanded their offensive against Hizbollah guerrillas on Wednesday, pushing further into southern Lebanon and reaching the village of Qlaya, 5 km (3 miles) from the border, witnesses said.

Israeli troops launched the expanded offensive only hours after it was approved by the security cabinet, Israeli television said. They have been carrying out incursions into southern Lebanon for four weeks.

Jaguar
08-09-2006, 04:53 PM
MP resigns over Middle East crisis

Matthew Tempest
Wednesday August 9, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

The government today suffered the first resignation over its stance on the Lebanon crisis.

The Scottish MP Jim Sheridan resigned from his post within the defence team over the use of Prestwick airport for flights supplying arms to Israel.

Mr Sheridan announced he would be stepping down from his role as parliamentary permanent secretary to the defence team at the Ministry of Defence.

Although it is the most junior post a backbencher can have, the resignation comes as more than 100 MPs urged parliament to be recalled over the Lebanon crisis.

Growing numbers of Labour MPs have voiced discontent over Mr Blair's personal stance on the conflict, which has claimed well over 1,000 lives, most of them on the Lebanese side.
"I regard myself as a friend of the prime minister, but sometimes it takes a friend to say 'stand back' and consider your position [over Israel/Lebanon]," Mr Sheridan said.

Mr Sheridan told Sky News he was not expecting his announcement to spark other "heads above the parapet" from colleagues, but - with the failure of progress of any UN resolution in New York - the pressure on Mr Blair is increasing.

The PM left for his family holiday in the Caribbean at the start of this week.

" I can no longer support the government's position of calling for restraint on both sides of the current conflict in Lebanon whilst, in my view, facilitating the refuelling of aircraft in our country that are carrying real weapons of mass destruction, as seen on our television screens," Mr Sheridan added.

He said he would "definitely" support a recall of parliament to debate the crisis, adding that he thought a "significant" number of his party colleagues regarded current Middle East policy as flawed.

"I think we are now in danger of embarking on an extremely dangerous strategy, and we have to stop the bombing and killing of people on both sides of this conflict."

The resignation of Mr Sheridan - a normally loyal government supporter who strongly backed the war in Iraq - underlines the depth of concern within the Labour party about Mr Blair's stance on the crisis.

The Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, Michael Moore, said the resignation "draws further attention to the serious dispute in the Labour party and reinforces the need for a recall of parliament".

Angus Roberston, the Scottish National party's defence spokesman, applauded Mr Sheridan's decision.

"This is the first major crack in the Labour line over the conflict in Lebanon," he said. "He [Mr Sheridan] was right to be angry over the use of Scottish airports to transfer weapons of death from the US to Israel.

"If Blair is too ignorant to listen to the people of Scotland, we can only hope he will listen to his own MPs."

Kaplanr
08-09-2006, 04:54 PM
From Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/748013.html

Once, long before Nasrallah was born

By Danny Rubinstein


In February, 1920, one week before the attack on Tel Hai in which early Zionist activist Joseph Trumpeldor and his comrades were killed, 120 farmers and their families left the moshava agricultural community in Metula to seek shelter in neighboring villages. The Galilee panhandle was delivered to the French Mandate (which controlled all of Lebanon and Syria) at the end of World War I. Arabs and Druze fought the French regime, and Jews were sometimes suspected of collaboration with the French. Only three years later, the panhandle became part of the British Mandate.

Meir Ben Dov, 70, an archaeologist and third-generation resident of Metula, is piecing together a book about the moshava and writing down the legendary tales of the evacuation of the farming community. His grandfather and grandmother, members of the celebrated Lishansky family, with other farm families, found a safe haven in the khan (caravansary) in Nabatiya, which then, as now, was the capital of mountainous South Lebanon and mainly inhabited by Lebanese Shi'ites (called mtewleh at the time).

Kfar Giladi residents also left their settlement during those volatile days and found shelter with Shi'ite leader Sheikh Kamal Assad Bek in the village of Taybeh.

Why did escaping Jews choose to seek asylum in these particular settlements? Ben Dov says that Jewish farmers enjoyed far better relations with their Shi'ite neighbors than with any other ethnic group in the region.

The ethno-religious mosaic on the slopes of the Hermon and surrounding mountains was highly varied in those days. There were Druze, left behind when most of their brethren abandoned the region for the East following bloody battles between Druze and Christians in 1860; Bedouin who sold dairy products to families in Metula; Maronite Christians, Catholics, and Greek Orthodox. One of them, a doctor in Marjayoun, treated Ben Dov's grandmother with leeches.

There were Alawites, like Bashar Assad, who became the military elite that controls Syria. Still living in the village of Ghajar, east of Metula, the Alawites were considered unsophisticated rubes because, in addition to other practices, they banged on pots during eclipses of the moon to repel the demon attempting to devour it. The clamor was heard all the way to Metula.

There were Circassian, Kurd, Moughrabi, and Turkmen villages in the Golan and, of course, Sunni Muslims in the eastern town of Rashaya al-Foukhar. Residents of "Rashaya" made ceramic utensils and sold them throughout the region. Nawar, Muslim gypsies, forged iron, sharpened knives, made horseshoes and lined bronze cooking pots with zinc to prevent poisoning.

Ben Dov says that, in many cases, central regimes intentionally settled minority groups in the area because of its strategic location as a point of passage between the coastal plain and interior regions and because minority groups are typically loyal to the government. They tend to fight among themselves but often turn to reigning governments to settle scores between them. This may be why, during the latter years of the Ottoman Empire, rulers allowed Jews, including the farmers in Metula, to settle in the region. There were so many minorities in the area, there might as well be another.

When the Metula farmers returned from exile to the moshava in 1920, they discovered that their Arab neighbors did not loot the farms and did nearly no damage to them. Relations with the neighboring Shi'ite village of Kila were especially warm. The families that worked the relatively large Jewish farms required hired labor. Most of these hired hands came from Kila and were considered "part of the family." They helped to plow fields with bulls and knew how to geld the animals to tame them and make them suitable for work. They did yard work, herded sheep and guarded fields. They also sold the farmers wooden utensils for home and field - plows, handles for hoes and brooms made with sira kotzanit, a type of poterium plant. After the harvest and threshing, they received their wages in the form of meticulously weighed sacks of wheat.

Once a year, Shi'ite villagers in the region gathered for a massive feast in the yard of Sheikh Assad Bek in Taybeh. This reception represented an expression of loyalty to their leader. In those years, rumor had it that the Mtewleh Shi'ites were very strict in their observance of ritual purity and that they did not use dishes touched by a foreign hand.

Famous hunter Yehezkel Hankin, brother of early pioneer and "Redeemer of the Valley" Yehoshua Hankin, traveled throughout the region and visited the homes of Shi'ites while hunting wild animals to deliver to taxidermist Yisrael Aharoni, considered the father of native Israeli zoology. Hankin says that if a non-Shi'ite drank from a pitcher in a Shi'ite home, the latter would break it to pieces. Ben Dov says that while this practice may have been common in an earlier period, when he was a boy in Metula, in the latter part of the British Mandate, he knew his Shi'ite neighbors well, and they ate and drank with the Jewish settlers without limit.

Author and archaeologist Pesach Bar Adon, who lived among Bedouin tribes in the Beit She'an Valley and the Upper Galilee in the '20s and '30s, was one of the very few outsiders who participated in the Shi'ite Ashura ritual in Nabatiya. Then, as now, tens of thousands of residents gather in the capital of the southern mountain region, march together on the 10th day of Muharram (the first month in the Muslim calendar) and beat themselves till blood is drawn to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn Ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammed, who died on that day in the Battle of Karbala. Then called, "Aziz Effendi," Bar Adon published many stories about the Ashura that were very popular in those years.

Turban is Iranian

Hassan Nasrallah was born and raised nearby in the village of al-Bazuriya, not far from Tyre. Ben Dov says that, in the past, religious figures in the region did not wear the turban and robes worn by Nasrallah. This style of clothing is apparently the result of Iranian influence and the long years that many religious leaders in South Lebanon spent studying in Iran. The traditional garb of Shi'ites in South Lebanon is somewhat different from that of other ethnic groups. The men wore the kaffiyeh and akal (traditional Arab headcloth and cords) and wide, low-crotched sharwal trousers. Married women did not wear veils - they wore white head scarves and narrow, ankle-length pants covered in a short dress.

The southern Shi'ite region has changed considerably since those days. Agricultural families with many children moved to south Beirut. Mohammed Ayil, who, 60 years ago, as a young boy from Kila, cleaned farmer Ben Dov's yard in Metula, became a construction worker and contractor in Beirut. From there he moved to Kuwait and became a wealthy man. Relatives told Ben Dov that all of Ayil's sons and daughters studied at Beirut University. One is a doctor, one a lawyer, and one an engineer. They are probably part of the rising upper-middle class of Shi'ites in Lebanon that is changing the Christian character of that multi-ethnic nation.

Beaufort
08-09-2006, 05:24 PM
Released for publication: 15 soldiers killed, 4 injured in various incidents in southern Lebanon

15 soldiers were killed in four incidents in southern Lebanon. In one incident an anti-tank missile was fired at a tank. Members of the tank crew were killed.

In another incident, a missile was fired at a structure containing soldiers from an elite reserve unit. Military arms were also blown up. Part of the building crashed causing the deaths of nine soldiers. (Hanan Greenberg)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3289000,00.html

Clarsachier
08-09-2006, 05:36 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060809/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_mideast;_ylt=AjWhslDMPWRQ07yH.2.zDkys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--

CRAWFORD, Texas - The White House said Wednesday neither Israel nor Hezbollah should escalate their month-old war, as Israel decided to widen its ground invasion in southern Lebanon.

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White House press secretary Tony Snow said the U.S. message was for both sides, though his remarks came after Israel's Security Cabinet voted to expand the war effort in an attempt to deal further blows to Hezbollah.

"We are working hard now to bridge differences between the United States position and some of the positions of our allies," Snow told reporters in Texas, where President Bush was vacationing. "We want an end to violence and we do not want escalations."

Meanwhile, rifts over a plan to stop the fighting delayed approval of a resolution at the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. and France were offering competing versions.

France proposed new language on a cease-fire and Israeli pullout, but the Americans rejected it out of concern that the Lebanese could not assert control over Hezbollah strongholds in the south without help from a robust international force.

"The Lebanese army, while an absolutely essential part of any solution, is not itself independently capable of dealing with the problem, at least not yet," Snow said.

He said the United States was working on another draft resolution, but he would not estimate when a vote might be possible.

"I think at this point it's beyond any of us to come up with a firm prediction about when you get a resolution," he said.

U.S. and French diplomats had been hoping for a vote on the draft early this week. But the differences between the co-sponsors meant that a Security Council vote on the resolution to try to end the fighting would be delayed at least until late Thursday.

"I know from the outside, diplomacy looks a bit like a mosh pit, but there is actually a structure and order to the discussions," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.

Neither McCormack nor Snow would talk in detail about disagreements at the U.N. or how the United States was negotiating to solve them.

"The question is whether the United States and its allies can bridge those gaps," Snow said. "We're not declaring an impasse here."

In Washington, other U.S. officials said negotiators have the framework of a deal that could address Lebanese, Arab and French concerns over the timing of an Israeli withdrawal. Lebanon and other Arab nations have demanded an immediate pullout.

As a practical matter, Israeli forces would need several days or longer to leave, and the departure would be coordinated with deployment of a replacement force that is acceptable to the Lebanese, U.S. officials said. They spoke only on condition of anonymity as the discussions were continuing.

The composition and mandate of the replacement force is also a sticking point in the Security Council negotiations over a cease-fire proposal, but U.S. officials said it could be a combination of Lebanese and foreign forces, perhaps under the banner of an existing United Nations peacekeeping force.

Bush talked to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the phone for 20 minutes Wednesday, and U.S. diplomats have been calling other foreign leaders and updating the president.

"I dare say the president's very actively engaged in this," Snow said. "He may go for a bike ride in the morning, but he's spending a lot of time, morning, noon and night working these issues."

The United States has been Israel's strongest supporter during its cross-border war with Hezbollah, an Islamic political and military movement that had held de facto control of southern Lebanon along the Israeli border. The fighting began after Hezbollah crossed the border and killed and kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

___

jeffe
08-09-2006, 05:38 PM
Fox news is reporting that Iranian troops have been found among Hezbollah in south Lebanon and some have been killed by IDF.

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 06:26 PM
Fresh Israeli push into Lebanon

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41416000/jpg/_41416323_tank_afp_203body.jpg
Israeli ground troops have been in action close to the border

Israel has launched a new operation in south Lebanon, with troops and armoured columns moving across the border.

An Israeli army spokesman said the aim was to quell rocket fire by Hezbollah from the town of Khiam, which has already seen heavy fighting.
The move did not mark the start of a wider push approved by the government earlier on Wednesday, he added.
The security cabinet authorised a push towards the Litani River - which lies up to 30km (18 miles) into Lebanon.
Israel says the objective of the planned wider offensive is to destroy Hezbollah positions in the region and prevent the group from firing rockets into Israel.
Nine ministers voted in favour of the new offensive, and three abstained, amid reports that large Israeli casualties were feared.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41415000/gif/_41415173_leb_baal_map203x152.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Latest Mid-East crisis map (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Press sceptical on diplomacy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775085.stm)
Excerpts: Council speeches (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775095.stm)


Earlier in the day, there were more fierce clashes between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanese villages along the border.
The Israeli army has confirmed that 15 of its soldiers died in Wednesday's operations. It said 40 Hezbollah guerrillas were killed.
As the fighting continued, Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, commented publicly for the first time on the draft security council resolution on the crisis drawn up by France and the US, describing it as "unfair and unjust".
He re-iterated Hezbollah's support for the Lebanese government's plan to deploy the Lebanese army in the south, but expressed reservations about an international force. In negotiations at the UN, attempts to reword the resolution - to take in Lebanese and Arab League demands for an immediate Israeli withdrawal - have so far failed. The BBC's Bridget Kendall in New York the mood at the UN is downcast, amid possible signs that both the French and Americans are beginning to worry the fragile diplomacy could collapse.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4778133.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-09-2006, 06:31 PM
Fox news is reporting that Iranian troops have been found among Hezbollah in south Lebanon and some have been killed by IDF.

Incorrect!

Fox news actually reports it as having been broadcast in Israeli TV.

1. Please get these things correct before posting
2. Only verifiable news, i.e. with links.



http://www.foxnews.com/images/headers/fnc_logo05.gif (http://www.foxnews.com/index.html)


http://www.foxnews.com/images/rede04/tab_breakingnews.gif
Iranian Fighters Found Among Hezbollah Dead, Israeli TV Reports
(http://www.foxnews.com/index.html)Israel Launches New Ground Assault (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,207537,00.html)
(http://www.foxnews.com/index.html)

Beaufort
08-09-2006, 07:12 PM
15 reservists killed in Lebanon battles

Bloody day for Israeli army: Troops killed in series of incidents across southern Lebanon; one reservist killed by friendly fire. IDF helicopters evacuate 34 injured troops to hospitals in north

Hanan Greenberg

Entire country weeping: Fifteen reserve soldiers were killed on Wednesday in four different incidents across south Lebanon. The reservists' families have been notified of their death.

On 8 a.m. a reservist was killed by friendly fire in the eastern sector. Three hours later, an antitank missile was fired at an IDF tank, killing the four crewmen inside. The most difficult incident took place at about noon, when a missile that was fired at a building soldiers were staying in caused the building to collapse, claiming the lives of nine reservists.

In the evening, a reservist was killed by a mortar shell.

Throughout the day, helicopters have evacuated the wounded to hospitals across Israel's north: Rambam in Haifa, Ziv in Safed and the Nahariya hospital.


8 a.m. – Reservist killed by friendly fire

The deadly day began when a reserve soldier was killed Wednesday morning, two of his comrades were seriously injured and another five troops sustained light injuries in a friendly fire incident near the village of al-Taibeh in the eastern sector of south Lebanon.

Nahal Brigade forces entered the eastern sector Tuesday night, along with the 52 Armored Battalion, and moved westward in the direction of the town of Qantara. At the same time, a reserve Paratrooper force was conducting an ambush in the area. As a result of what appears to be a mistaken identification, the Nahal force came to believe that the reserve units were Hizbullah gunmen, and consequently a tank was ordered to fire a missile at their direction, hitting the reservists.

An initial IDF inquiry indicated that the mistake was the result of a failure in coordinating the forces' moves in the sector. However, army officials said that it was still early to draw final conclusions, and that it was possible that fire was also opened at the force from a different direction.

The casualties are members of the 226 Paratrooper Brigade, whose men were hurt in the Katyusha attack on Kfar Giladi on Sunday.


11 a.m. – Tank destroyed by missile

Four soldiers were killed before noon Wednesday after an antitank missile fired by Hizbullah gunmen hit and destroyed an IDF tank in the village of Aita al-Shaab. The soldiers' families have been notified of their death.
The tank that was struck belonged to the 847 reserve brigade, which has been operating in the sector under the command of the Carmeli reserve brigade. IDF sources reported that immediately after the attack the tank caught fire and soldiers were unable to approach it.

IDF sources assessed that a Kornet-type missile hit the tank, probably from close range. The fire that had erupted in the tank led officials to believe that the tanks' fire extinguisher system had failed to function.

"Hizbullah's gunmen are using modern missiles. Unfortunately, in this case, the missile hit the tank and caused the death of the four crewmen," an official explained.


1:30 p.m. – Soldiers trapped underneath building

Nine elite IDF unit soldiers were killed, seven troops have been seriously injured, and 10 sustained light to moderate wounds after a building they were staying in collapsed as a result of a missile strike in the Lebanese village of Dibel.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Hizbullah gunmen fired several missiles at a structure in which the soldiers were staying. One missile hit the building, causing an arms cache to explode. Several soldiers were hurt as a result. A short while later, the structure partially collapsed, and a few other troops were hurt as well.

The forces on the ground reported of difficulties in rescuing the soldiers that have been buried underneath the rubble. Home Front Command units stationed in northern Israel have also been placed on high alert in case they need to enter Lebanon and assist with the rescue efforts.


8 p.m. – deadly mortar shell in eastern sector

In the evening hours, a reserve soldier was killed by a mortar shell in the village of Kalia near Marj Ayoun in the eastern sector. Two other troops were moderately injured.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288870,00.html

One?
08-09-2006, 10:44 PM
Al-Arabiya:
-Security sources say Golani Brigade Leader Injured
-Galilee commander injured (roughly translated)
Confirm anyone?




Israel suspends Lebanon offensive for talks: paper


JERUSALEM (*******) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert put plans for an expanded Lebanon offensive on hold on Thursday to give a chance for U.S.-led efforts to form a peacekeeper force that could curb Hizbollah, a newspaper said.
Israel's Maariv daily said the suspension decision was made after midnight, hours after Olmert's security cabinet decided to deepen an already four-week-old assault on Hizbollah positions in southern Lebanon.

http://today.*******.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-08-10T023637Z_01_L10140043_RTRUKOC_0_US-MIDEAST-LEBANON-SUSPENSION.xml&WTmodLoc=NewsHome-C1-topNews-2

G3-X
08-09-2006, 11:52 PM
Pictures taken from FOX News Video, Two Merkava's stuck in the minefield and a large explosion. Video was taken from Israel side of the border, not very far in Lebanon...

Anyone good at capturing videos? head to the fox news site and download it and then share with the rest of us.

http://i1.*******.com/241wc9c.jpg

http://i6.*******.com/241wfpz.jpg

Beaufort
08-10-2006, 12:40 AM
Report: Israeli troops enter south Lebanon town of Marjayoun

Israeli troops, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, entered the south Lebanon town of Marjayoun early Thursday, after the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to expand its ground offensive in Lebanon, witnesses said.

Israeli troops have taken up positions at the northern entrances of Marjayoun, said people in the Christian town, about 9 kilometers from the border with Israel. The troops met no resistance as they pushed their way in, the witnesses said. (AP)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3289038,00.html

Beaufort
08-10-2006, 12:59 AM
IDF troops enter town of Marjayoun in s. Lebanon

By YAAKOV KATZ, JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP (editors@jpost.com)

IDF troops, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, entered the south Lebanon town of Marjayoun early Thursday, witnesses said.

Residents said the soldiers took up positions at the northern entrances of the Christian town, located about 9 kilometers from the border with Israel.

The troops met no resistance as they pushed their way in, the witnesses said.

Fifteen IDF soldiers were killed in fighting in south Lebanon Wednesday. The names of two of the reservists were released for publication on Thursday morning.

Cap. Gilad Shtukelman, 26, of Timrat in the Jezreel Valley and Igor Kubelik, 26, of Upper Nazareth were killed when an anti-tank missile hit their tank during a fierce gun battle in the south Lebanese village of Ayta al-Shaab in the western sector. Two other reservists were killed in the battle. All four belonged to the 847th Brigade.

Nine reserve infantry soldiers from an elite unit were killed on Wednesday afternoon when an anti-tank missile was fired at the house they were stationed in during clashes with Hizbullah forces in the village of Dbil in the western sector of south Lebanon.

Another soldier was killed in a mortar attack in Kliya south of Marjayoun in south Lebanon.

On Wednesday morning, one soldier was killed, two were seriously wounded and two others were lightly wounded when an IDF tank crew exchanged fire with an IDF infantry reserve force on Wednesday morning. The friendly fire incident took place in the village of Atayba in south Lebanon during which infantry troops opened fire on a Lebanese home that fellow IDF tank men were stationed in.

Immediately after the event, troops operating in Atayba were ordered to suspend their gunfire activity. Clashes between the IDF and the Hizbullah resumed in Atayba later Wednesday afternoon.

There have been several incidents of friendly fire since the launch of Operation Change of Direction last month. One case involved an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that opened fire on troops in the south Lebanese village of Bint Jbail.

At least 37 soldiers were wounded in various degrees in the fighting. Most were evacuated to Haifa's Rambam Hospital.

At least 40 Hizbullah gunmen were killed in the fighting.
During IDF operations in the village of Rajamin, reserve forces killed nine Hizbullah guerrillas and wounded two.

Earlier, a Golani soldier was moderately wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the Hizbullah in Bint Jbail.

The IAF targeted Hizbullah headquarters in the city, killing 10 guerrillas. Later on, IDF troops killed another eight guerillas in the same town.

Meanwhile, a top Hizbullah official, Hassan A-Sader, and an additional four people were killed by an IAF airstrike on Wednesday morning in the Lebanese city of Masjara.
The other four other people were suspected to be A-Sader's family.

A reservist force operating in the village of Ayta a-Shaab on Wednesday killed two Hizbullah gunmen as well.

On Wednesday, the air force and navy renewed attacks on Beirut, hitting four buildings, including one belonging to Hizbullah's Al-Manar television.

On Tuesday night, the IAF carried out 120 airstrikes on Lebanese targets, attacking close to 80 buildings and headquarters of Hizbullah. Also targeted were four rocket launchers, 25 roads, several vehicles and seven bridges, mostly along the Litani river.

Also on Tuesday night, two IDF soldiers were killed in an operation in the south Lebanese village of Bint Jbail, the IDF announced early Wednesday.

The two were identified as St.-Sgt. Oren Lifchitz, 21, of Gazit and St.-Sgt. Moran Cohen, 21, of Ashdot Ya'akov.

They belonged to a force from the Paratroopers Brigade that was engaged in fierce firefights in the village.

One of the soldiers was seriously wounded when the force came under heavy fire from a group of Hizbullah guerrillas. The second soldier was hit during the evacuation of the first when Hizbullah forces fired at the rescue squad.

A third soldier was lightly wounded in the second gun battle.

The rescue operation lasted several hours, during which the soldier who was seriously wounded died of his wounds.

At least 20 Hizbullah guerrillas were killed in the operation.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1154525834576&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Paracaidista
08-10-2006, 01:08 AM
Source: New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/09/world/middleeast/09israel.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=all)

August 9, 2006
Polarization
Left or Right, Israelis Are Pro-War

By STEVEN ERLANGER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/e/steven_erlanger/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

JERUSALEM, Aug. 8 — As Israel (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/israel/index.html?inline=nyt-geo)’s war with Hezbollah (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/hezbollah/index.html?inline=nyt-org) finishes a fourth difficult week, domestic criticism of its prosecution is growing. Yet there is a paradoxical effect as well: the harder the war has been, the more the public wants it to proceed.

The criticism is not that the war is going on, but that it is going poorly. The public wants the army to hit Hezbollah harder, so it will not threaten Israel again.

And while Israelis are upset with how Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/ehud_olmert/index.html?inline=nyt-per) has run the war, they seem to agree with what he told aides this week — that given the weaponry and competence of Hezbollah and the damage already done to Israel, “I thank God the confrontation came now, because with every year their ****nal would have grown.”

Abroad, Israel is criticized for having overreacted and for causing disproportionate damage to Lebanon (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/lebanon/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) and its civilian population and even for indiscriminate bombing. But within Israel, the sense is nearly universal that unlike its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, this war is a matter of survival, not choice, and its legitimacy is unquestioned.

Even the bulk of the Israeli left feels that way. There is no real peace camp in Israel right now, says Yariv Oppenheimer, the secretary general of Peace Now, which has pressed hard for a deal with the Palestinians and on June 22, before this Lebanon war, called for a halt to air raids over the Gaza *****. “We’re a left-wing Zionist movement, and we believe that Israel has the legitimate right to defend itself,” Mr. Oppenheimer said. “We’re not pacifists. Unlike in Gaza or the West Bank, Israel isn’t occupying Lebanese territory or trying to control the lives of Lebanese. The only occupier there is Hezbollah, and Israel is trying to defend itself.”

In the daily newspaper Haaretz, a cartoon satirized the group, showing a Peace Now advocate, balding with a ponytail, in a coffee shop saying, “It won’t end until we wipe Beirut off the map.”

After the war, Mr. Olmert and his defense minister, Amir Peretz, will face hard questioning, particularly from the center-right, about why there was such an early and naïve dependence on air power and why the ground war began so tentatively, especially in the face of so many rocket attacks on northern cities.

But as the fighting against Hezbollah has proved difficult and hazardous, most Israelis have come to believe that it is important to press ahead with the war and try to secure a visibly successful outcome rather than risk leaving Hezbollah emboldened enough to threaten Israel again.

Ehud Yaari, an Arab affairs analyst with Israeli Channel 2, sees popular opinion reflected in his mother. He is from Metulla, in northern Israel. His mother, 85, grew up in southern Lebanon and knows it well, and knows what it is like to be shelled.

“She calls me all the time to ask me how come the army is still having a fistfight with Hezbollah in places 500 meters from the border,” Mr. Yaari said. “I think she’s very typical. There is a feeling that Olmert was right to respond with force on July 12, but he should now do it properly, and that the harder it is, the more important it is to continue it, so Hezbollah can’t regroup and rebuild themselves.”

With the diplomacy so unclear, and no end to the fighting in easy sight, the Israeli government sees the best chance of a conclusion favorable to Israel, and to the government’s political reputation, coming from aggressively moving farther northward into Lebanon to try to reduce Hezbollah’s ability to fire its extensive stockpile of short-range rockets at Israeli civilians.

Continuing blows to Hezbollah will inevitably weaken it further, the Israelis feel, and make it more likely to bow to international pressure to allow a robust multinational force to patrol Lebanon south of the Litani River and prevent Hezbollah from regrouping there.

Mr. Oppenheimer of Peace Now said the only dispute in his group was over timing and tactics. Some feel Israel hit Lebanon’s infrastructure too hard in the beginning, trying to punish Lebanon to hurt Hezbollah, and in the process hurt too many civilians, he said, but now the army has shifted its sights more directly at Hezbollah.

The real debate, he said, “is whether this is the right time to stop the fighting and get a good agreement that accomplishes our goals, or do we have to keep hitting Hezbollah harder in order to get a good agreement.”

In this debate, too, he said, Peace Now “is together with the mainstream of Israelis.” On Wednesday, he said, Peace Now will publish an advertisement — not calling on the government to stop the war, but to “take seriously” the new Lebanese offer to deploy its army to the south.

Similarly, Yossi Beilin, the leader of the dovish Meretz Party, said the left must hold to the principle that the Jewish people have the right to “a democratic and secure state.” In an opinion column in Haaretz, he wrote that the war in both Gaza and Lebanon to secure the release of captured Israeli soldiers is legitimate, “but that is not reason enough to support all aspects of the war,” including the government’s falling “into the trap set by Hezbollah of an extended war of attrition.”

Once the war is over, Mr. Beilin said, “the right will turn against the government, because they’ll say the army didn’t go far enough. But a big land operation could push us into a long battle that will be very costly.”

There have been weekly demonstrations against the war from smaller, more pacifist groups, but they have rarely drawn more than a few hundred supporters.

Yaron Ezrahi, an Israeli political scientist, sees two other reasons for strong popular support for the war. After years of seeing its army deployed to occupy the West Bank, “pride in Israel’s people’s army has been eroded because of the checkpoints, the shooting of civilians, the confrontation with women and children,” he said. “Suddenly you have a war against an unambiguous enemy and the army is defending the Israeli public.”

Second, he said, Israelis see Hezbollah as a proxy for Iran (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), which wants to destroy Israel. “It’s unifying,” he said. “People see it intuitively as part of the war against Iran.”

The fiercest critics of Mr. Olmert and Mr. Peretz, the head of the Labor Party, have come from the right, especially from the Likud Party that Ariel Sharon (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/ariel_sharon/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Mr. Olmert left behind when they formed Kadima, now the ruling party. The Likud leader, Benjamin Netanyahu (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/benjamin_netanyahu/index.html?inline=nyt-per), has been a loyal supporter of the government and the war, but most expect him to be scathing about the government’s performance after the conflict is over.

But there are even strong murmurings within Kadima that neither Mr. Olmert nor Mr. Peretz was experienced enough in security matters to ask the military leaders tough questions about war plans, especially given a chief of staff who is, for the first time in Israel’s history, from the air force, and a chief of military intelligence also from the air force.

Gerald M. Steinberg, who directs the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University, says Mr. Olmert and Mr. Peretz have been badly damaged. “This is not the disaster of the Yom Kippur war” in 1973, when Golda Meir was pushed out of office after Israel was judged to have been taken by surprise, he said. “But there is a strong sense of hesitation, of the lack of military leadership needed in times like this.”

Once the war is over, Mr. Steinberg said, regardless now of the outcome, “there will be investigations, and serious questions in Parliament and out, and you could have some defections from the current government.”

Yuval Steinitz of Likud, head of the parliamentary subcommittee for defense preparedness, is already loaded for bear. “Doubts?” he asked. “That’s an understatement. People are talking of failure.

“The bombardment of Israeli cities was supposed to be over after 48 hours. The fact that only now the government is ready to even start the real ground campaign is overwhelming.”

Israeli defense doctrine, formulated by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, is that tiny Israel should immediately carry the fighting “deep into enemy territory to protect its civilian rear,” Mr. Steinitz said. “This didn’t happen, and against who? Hezbollah, which is the size of a Syrian division without any air defense. So what would we do against Syria (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/syria/index.html?inline=nyt-geo)?”

Dan Schueftan, deputy director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, said that “what will determine Olmert’s future is not one good or bad day, but the outcome and how it affects the larger issues.”

“It’s not just rooting out Hezbollah,” he said. “The real issue is Iran and the nuclearization of Iran.”

The diplomacy at the end is crucial. “Olmert comes out well if at the end of this, the United States (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/unitedstates/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), France and Egypt will have greater sway over the Lebanese government than Hezbollah,” Mr. Schueftan said. “If Iran and Syria can no longer use Hezbollah as a proxy, Olmert comes out well.”

Greg Myre contributed reporting for this article.

Beaufort
08-10-2006, 02:37 AM
Cabinet told IDF operation will take month, but likely to take twohttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

By Aluf Benn (aluf@haaretz.co.il), Haaretz Correspondenthttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

The security cabinet Wednesday gave approval in principle to the defense
establishment's plan for an expanded ground operation, but delayed its implementation in order to give the UN Security Council's bid to end the crisis a chance.

The operation, proposed by Defense Minister Amir Peretz, is intended to "significantly reduce" Hezbollah rocket fire into Israel, destroy Hezbollah's infrastructure in south Lebanon and kill as many Hezbollah operatives as possible. It calls for a few Israel Defense Forces divisions to operate throughout the area south of the Litani River. The operation would last a month, the ministers were told. But according to another estimate, it will take double that time.


The cabinet resolved that the plan's implementation would depend on diplomatic developments.


"There is a certain diplomatic process under way," Tourism Minister Yitzhak Herzog told Army Radio on Thursday morning. "We can allow a little more time to see if there's a possibility for a diplomatic process."


But Herzog made clear Israel would go ahead with its military plans if the talks failed.


"If there won't be a diplomatic solution, there will be a need to remove this threat," he added, referring to more than 3,300 rockets Hezbollah has rained on northern Israel since July 12.


IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz suggested destroying civilian infrastructure in Lebanon, such as the power grid. But Peretz interrupted him - "that's not in the plan I submitted to the cabinet" - and the issue was removed from the agenda.


During a recess, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who updated Olmert on the diplomatic developments, government sources said. She said the chances of the Security Council adopting a resolution calling for an end to the fighting were "not bad."


After speaking with Rice, Olmert called Peretz and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to his office, and the three agreed to give the diplomatic moves a chance before expanding the ground operation. Some ministers received the impression that Livni would not have supported the operation otherwise.


The cabinet authorized Olmert and Peretz to decide when to launch the operation. Government sources said that no "deadline" had been set, but the diplomatic effort would be given from "a few hours to a few days."


Olmert said that if diplomatic efforts do not achieve Israel's goals, "we must act resolutely, with a strong military force, even at the cost of human life. But if we can achieve our goals through diplomatic moves, it would be irresponsible not to do so."


The six-hour cabinet meeting was tense and punctuated with arguments among the ministers. Everyone understood that an extensive ground operation would involve many fatalities and could set Israel at odds with the international community.


A particularly loud argument erupted between Peretz and former defense minister Shaul Mofaz. "If you had brought the plan on Sunday, I'd have supported it," Mofaz said. "But when I asked on Saturday whether we intend to reach the Litani, the defense minister said no. Now it's late. We don't have two months to complete the operation, and I think it will take longer."


Mofaz suggested simply capturing the Litani. "You can get there in 48 hours and say we won, and south Lebanon is surrounded. If you want, clean the area from south to north," he said.


Peretz interrupted: "Why didn't you do anything when you were chief of staff and defense minister? Where were you when Hezbollah created this deployment?"


Most of the ministers supported Mofaz's proposal, including Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Rafi Eitan. Avi Dichter supported Peretz's proposal. But Olmert did not bring Mofaz's proposal to a vote, saying the cabinet should accept the defense establishment's proposal.


Nine ministers supported this proposal: Olmert, Peretz, Livni, Haim Ramon, Abraham Hirschson, Mofaz, Dichter, Ben-Eliezer and Eitan. Three abstained: Shimon Peres, Ophir Pines-Paz and Eli Yishai. Peres said that he did not support the move because it has already forfeited the element of surprise, may involve numerous fatalities and would endanger Israel's relations with Arab and Muslim states.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0.gif

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/749019.html

DeltaWhisky58
08-10-2006, 04:01 AM
Israel seizes south Lebanon town

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41416000/jpg/_41416707_tank_afp_203body.jpg
Israel has vowed to move deeper into Lebanon

Israeli troops have seized the southern Lebanese town of Marjayoun, a day after the cabinet decided to expand ground operations, eyewitnesses say.

Troops entered the town, 9km (5.5 miles) into Lebanon, as well as nearby villages overlooking the Litani river.
Forces also advanced on the town of Khiam, to quell Hezbollah rocket fire.
The army says the action is not the start of a broader offensive, which officials say has been delayed to give more time for diplomacy on the crisis.
Wednesday saw fierce fighting in southern Lebanon, with 15 Israeli soldiers killed in action - the highest number in a single day since the conflict began almost a month ago.
More than 1,000 people, most of them civilians, have now been killed in the hostilities, the Lebanese government has said. More than 100 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.

Threats and diplomacy

On Wednesday the Israeli cabinet backed a push towards the Litani river, which lies up to 30km (18 miles) from the border.
Speaking hours after the Israelis announced their expanded ground offensive, Hezbollah's leader said his guerrillas would turn southern Lebanon into a graveyard for Israeli soldiers.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41416000/gif/_41416719_leb_baal2_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Press sceptical on diplomacy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775085.stm)
Excerpts: Council speeches (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775095.stm)


Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah endorsed a government plan to send 15,000 Lebanese soldiers to the south.
But he repeated his opposition to the idea of sending international troops to the border region to disarm the Shia militia, as demanded by the Israelis and a draft UN resolution.
At the UN, diplomats are attempting to reword the draft calling for a ceasefire, to take in Lebanese and Arab League demands for an immediate Israeli withdrawal.
On Wednesday differences surfaced again between France and the US - which co-sponsored the original draft - leading some diplomats to express concerns that diplomacy could collapse.
But the BBC's Bridget Kendall at UN headquarters says that there is now a mood of cautious optimism.
The five permanent members of the Security Council held a late-night meeting focusing on the main sticking points - how to get agreement on a ceasefire and Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon, without allowing Hezbollah to rebuild their positions.
Correspondents say the members states are considering a French proposal to deploy Lebanese forces alongside the existing UN force, which would be strengthened, as the Israelis begin a phased withdrawal. The US has yet to respond - so far it has insisted that any Israeli withdrawal can only follow the deployment of a new, robust multi-national force. The new proposal is being discussed in members states' capitals before talks resume on Thursday.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4778591.stm)

Holycrusader
08-10-2006, 04:46 AM
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/749015.html

Friendly fire kills one IDF soldier, may have caused other fatalities

By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

An Israel Defense Forces soldier was killed Wednesday by friendly fire from a tank in the eastern sector of south Lebanon. The IDF will also be investigating whether one of the two paratroopers killed on Tuesday in Bint Jbail was also hit by friendly fire.

Wednesday's incident took place in the village of A-Taibeh. A reserve paratroopers force had taken up position in a home in the village and was mistakenly identified by an IDF tank crew as a Hezbollah cell. The tank then opened fire on the house, killing one of the soldiers.

A second soldier was seriously wounded in the incident; one other soldier sustained moderate wounds and eight were lightly hurt. The wounded were evacuated to Israeli hospitals during the course of the day.




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The casualties were part of the same reserve brigade that lost 12 of its soldiers on Sunday when a Katyusha rocket slammed into them close to Kibbutz Kfar Giladi.

Over the coming days, the IDF's Paratroopers Brigade will conduct an inquiry into the death of Staff Sergeant Oren Lif****z , from Kibbutz Gazit, who was killed on Tuesday while trying to rescue Staff Sergeant Moran Cohen, a fellow paratrooper from Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov Ichud who died from wounds sustained in clashes with Hezbollah guerrillas in Bint Jbail.

A senior officer in the Paratroopers Brigade said Wednesday night that Lif****z may have been killed by friendly fire.

The current conflict in Lebanon has produced a large number of friendly-fire incidents, with military sources putting this down to the number of troops in operation, the intense fighting and the lack of experience of some of the junior commanders in the field.

Friendly-fire incidents claimed the lives of five soldiers during the IDF's Operation Defensive Shield in the territories in April 2002.

Snoshi
08-10-2006, 09:26 AM
An elite IDF force uncovered and destroyed rocket launchers in the coastal area, south of the city of Tyre in Lebanon. Meanwhile, a reserves force which operated in the village of Aita al-Shaab killed three Hizbullah terrorists.


The IDF said a force operating north of the town of Bint Jbeil destroyed a rocket launcher in the village of Tamura, in the western district, and killed four Hizbullah terrorists. (Ynet)

daily666
08-10-2006, 09:29 AM
Israel stopping offensive until weekend
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By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer
51 minutes ago


JERUSALEM -
Israel will hold back on its new ground offensive in Lebanon until the weekend to give cease-fire efforts another chance, senior officials said Thursday, a day after the government approved a major expansion of the monthlong war.
But prospects for a quick cease-fire resolution by the
U.N. Security Council were uncertain, with the United States and France still divided over a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Israeli missiles hit Beirut proper for the first time, damaging a historic lighthouse. Warplanes also dropped leaflets over downtown Beirut, urging residents of three southern suburbs to leave the area. More leaflets were scattered over northern Lebanon, warning trucks off a coastal road linking Lebanon to
Syria.

Hezbollah claimed it destroyed 13 Israeli tanks in south Lebanon. The Israeli military declined comment. On Wednesday, 15 Israeli soldiers were killed in Lebanon, the deadliest day for Israeli soldiers in the war.

Hezbollah rockets killed a woman and her young daughter, a toddler, in the Israeli Arab village of Deir el Assad, medics said.

The deeper push into Lebanon was approved Wednesday by Israel's Security Cabinet, but a senior government official said Thursday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided to delay the offensive until the weekend.

The campaign could begin earlier if Hezbollah launches a major attack on Israel, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the issue with reporters.

Cabinet minister Rafi Eitan confirmed the government's decision to wait.

"There are diplomatic considerations," he told Israel Radio, when asked about a planned delay. "There is still a chance that an international force will arrive in the area. We have no interest in being in south Lebanon. We have an interest in peace on our borders."

The government's conduct of the war was coming under growing criticism at home.

The army has failed to make a dent in Hezbollah's ability to fire rockets at Israel — the guerrillas fired 170 on Wednesday, for a war total of more than 3,500 — and critics said pushing deeper into Lebanon would not stop such attacks since longer-range rockets can still reach Israel.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported an angry exchange between Defense Minister Amir Peretz and his predecessor, Shaul Mofaz, in the Security Cabinet meeting. When Mofaz criticized plans for the new offensive, Peretz reportedly shot back: "Where were you when Hezbollah built up this array (of weapons)?"

Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice called during the meeting, officials said, and Olmert told ministers after his half-hour conversation with her that the offensive would be accompanied by a new diplomatic push.

Under the army plan, Israeli forces would move to the Litani River, some 20 miles from the Israel-Lebanon border. At the moment, more than 10,000 troops are engaged in house-to-house battles against Hezbollah fighters in a ***** less than half that size.

Even in the current war zone, Israeli troops have had trouble taking control of towns and villages. Security officials say the guerrillas' bunkers, well equipped with food, weapons and electricity, are a reason for Hezbollah's stamina. During lulls in the fighting, gunmen emerge and set up new ambushes for troops.

The U.N.'s top humanitarian official criticized Israel and Hezbollah for hindering aid agencies' access to trapped civilians in southern Lebanon.

"The Hezbollah and the Israelis could give us access in a heartbeat," Jan Egeland said in Geneva. "Then we could help 120,000 people in southern Lebanon. I don't think that any military advantage has been gained in these last days or will be gained in the next few hours."

The Red Cross asked the Israeli rescue service to help lobby the Israeli government to allow more aid supplies into Lebanon, said Paul Conneally, deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel.

On Thursday, troops backed by tanks and armored vehicles took up positions on the outskirts of the Christian town of Marjayoun in south Lebanon, about six miles from the border. Troops met no resistance. Soldiers also moved to a nearby hill overlooking the Litani River Valley, witnesses said. Heavy battles were reported in south Lebanese villages across from Israel's Galilee panhandle, hard hit by rockets.

Israel hopes an expanded offensive will force Hezbollah guerrillas out of their strongholds across southern Lebanon. The offensive is expected to last a month and eliminate 70 percent to 80 percent of Hezbollah's short-range rocket launchers, but not its long-range launchers, senior military officials said.

However, Trade Minister Eli Yishai, who abstained in Wednesday's vote, said the assessment is too optimistic, saying he thought it would take "a lot longer."

Danny Yatom, a senior member of Peretz' Labor Party and a general in the reserves, said moving deeper into Lebanon was pointless.

"We are banging our head against the wall," he told Israel TV's Channel One. "And even if we reach the Litani, the Katyushas (rockets) won't stop.

So far, the fighting has killed 711 people on the Lebanese side and 120 Israelis, including 38 civilians and 82 soldiers.

The economic price was also going up. Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson said the war has cost Israel some $1.6 billion so far. He said he will ask the government to cut $650 million from the 2006 state budget to help pay for the war. Israel's total budget for 2006 is $56 billion.

The prospect of a wider war would put tremendous pressure on the
United Nations to rapidly agree on a cease-fire. The fighting has caused widespread destruction across southern Lebanon and forced hundreds of thousands of Israelis to flee or take refuge in bomb shelters.

However, France and the U.S. remained divided over a proposed truce resolution, particularly at whether Israeli troops would be able to stay in south Lebanon until they can hand over to a multinational force. French
President Jacques Chirac appealed for rapid agreement.

In a televised speech Wednesday night, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah chief, rejected as "unfair and unjust" a draft U.N. resolution that would temporarily let Israeli troops remain in south Lebanon and take defensive action.

"It has given Israel more than it wanted and more than it was looking for," he said.

The Israeli government's decision came two days after Lebanon offered to send 15,000 soldiers to patrol the border region, a key Israeli demand intended to prevent future attacks on Israel. The current fighting began when Hezbollah fighters raided Israel July 12, killed three soldiers and captured two others.

In a major shift, Nasrallah said Hezbollah supported an army deployment, after a cease-fire is declared and Israel leaves.

Israeli officials remained skeptical of the Lebanese offer and were not convinced Lebanon's army would take concrete action to stop future Hezbollah attacks.

"It is important that the Lebanese army will be accompanied by an international force that will enable it to reach the south in an organized manner, and to leave the place clean of Hezbollah," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said.

Jaguar
08-10-2006, 01:05 PM
Israel TV reports armoured push into south Lebanon

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

JERUSALEM, Aug 9, 2006 (AFP) - Ground troops backed by armoured cars moved into south Lebanon late Wednesday from Israel's northeastern panhandle, the privately run Channel 10 television said.

An Israeli military spokesman told AFP the advance did not mark the major extension of ground operations decided on by the security cabinet after a six-hour meeting earlier.

"Our forces are currently carrying out a limited operation against Hezbollah positions in Khiam from which they fired more than 60 Katyusha rockets against the town of Kiryat Shmona and the panhandle," the spokesman said.

"This is not the major offensive authorised today by the security cabinet." The armoured column crossed into Lebanon from around the border town of Metulla, Channel 10 said.

Israeli artillery pounded border areas as the troops advanced.

Lebanese police said around a thousand shells struck the Khiam area.

Warning sirens also sounded across nearby areas of Israel, many of them already largely emptied of their inhabitants in the face of repeated strikes by Hezbollah rockets.

The Shiite militants fired some 20 rockets on the Israeli armour advancing on Khiam from Metulla, Lebanese police said. Hezbollah said it fired on a "Zionist force on the edge of the village of Qantara".

UN peacekeepers confirmed that Israeli troops were advancing in the area.

"The Israeli army is maintaining its presence in various parts of south Lebanon and seems to have attempted limited advances in the direction of Labbuneh, Qantara and Khiam," a statement from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon said.

Further west, fierce clashes were raging between Israeli ground troops and Hezbollah for control of a strategic hilltop overlooking the southern port of Tyre, Lebanese police said.

Troops backed by tanks were advancing on the hilltop known as Al-Hardan, near the village of Jibbain, some five kilometres (three miles) from the border, the police said.- AFP

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=74625

Jaguar
08-10-2006, 01:08 PM
Midday Roundup: Israeli Missiles Hit Historic Lighthouse in Beirut and Leaflets Threaten to Expand Operations in the Capital

Israeli missiles hit a historic lighthouse in a densely-populated upscale Beirut neighborhood Thursday and jets dropped leaflets over the capital threatening a "painful and strong" response to Hizbullah rocket attacks on Israel.

In the south, columns of Israeli tanks thrust into Lebanon and battled Hizbullah fighters in a push to widen their hold on border areas before a possible drive deeper into the country.

At midday, four loud explosions rocked the residential Ras Beirut area when Israeli missiles hit a French colonial-era lighthouse in the Koreitem neighborhood blowing off part of the structure's top.

Two people were slightly injured in the blast that shattered windows of cars parked nearby.

A senior security official told AFP that the old lighthouse included a relay for the Radio Liban state station. He said another relay station in the northern coastal village of Am**** was also hit by Israeli fire.

The strike was the first on Beirut proper since Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah issued a warning to Israel on August 4, warning that his fighters would fire rockets at Tel Aviv if Israel hit the Lebanese capital.

The lighthouse, which is no longer in use, is located between the Saudi embassy compound, the Lebanese American University, a French school and the heavily-guarded private villa of the family of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Also Thursday, Israel extended its warnings to new areas of the city and the country.

Leaflets dropped over Beirut's downtown and other neighborhoods threatened a "painful and strong" response to Hizbullah attacks and warned residents of Hayy al Sellum, Bourj al Barajneh and Chiyah in the southern suburbs to evacuate immediately.

"The Israeli Defense Forces intend to expand their operations in Beirut," the single-page leaflet read. It said the move came after statements from "the leader of the gang" -- an apparent reference to Nasrallah -- who made a taped television address the night before.

In his speech, Nasrallah said that the offensive against his group had failed to harm its rocket launching capacity.

On Thursday, fighters fired rockets at the Arab village of Deir al Assad in Israel seriously killing a woman and her baby daughter, medics said.

Other flyers dropped in northern Lebanon warned that trucks "of any kind" could face attack after 8 p.m. along the northern coast road linking Lebanon to Syria. The notice said vehicles would be "suspected of carrying rockets, military hardware and saboteurs."

A similar round-the-clock road curfew has been in force across southern Lebanon since early Tuesday.

Israeli forces on Thursday withdrew from the southern town of Marjayoun after taking control of it for several hours.

"There is no more Israeli presence in Marjayoun," General Adnan Daoud, who leads a 1,500-strong joint police and army force in the area, told the private LBCI channel.

A security source said Israeli soldiers carried out a search for rockets inside the armory of a Lebanese army barracks in the town but discovered no munitions.

The Israeli army had said it was operating in the area of Marjayoun, a mainly Christian town and that its forces were "going in and out of the town."

Hizbullah also was launching a counter-offensive against Israeli troops trying to advance towards the group's stronghold of Khiam in the southeast, witnesses told AFP.

Hizbullah said it destroyed 13 Israeli tanks, including at least seven during fierce fighting on a critical travel route called the Khiam plain. Israel says Hizbullah has used the flatland for its rocket barrages on the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona. Israel did not immediately announce on possible tank losses or casualties.

The fighting came just hours before a senior Israeli official, Rafi Eitan, announced that a planned expansion of the ground offensive would be delayed to give diplomats at the United Nations more room to seek a ceasefire deal. Lebanon and its Arab allies demand that Israel withdraw it forces as a precondition to any plan.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes on Thursday pounded a ***** of the coastal highway junction for roads connecting three major southern cities.

Israeli airstrikes on July 12 -- the first day of fighting -- spared only a single lane of the junction that links the cities of Sidon, Tyre and Nabatiyeh. It was not clear if the road was completely cut off.

In the coastal city of Tyre, civil defense officials say a motorcyclist was killed by an Israeli rocket. In the eastern Bekaa Valley town of Rayak, an Israeli drone fired a missile into a minibus wounding 12 people, residents said.

Thursday's operations came shortly after Israel's Security Cabinet decided to expand the ground offensive and thrust toward the Litani river valley.

But Israel is now waiting to see whether Arab and Western diplomats can find a solution to end the month-long conflict.

"There are diplomatic considerations. There is still a chance that an international force will arrive in the area. We have no interest in being in south Lebanon. We have an interest in peace on our borders," Eitan told Israel Radio.

Aid efforts, meanwhile, have been severely restricted by Israel's attempts to curtail roadway traffic.

Roland Huguenin, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said Israel has repeatedly denied request to reach "a whole list of places," including a plan to rescue a family believed trapped in an abandoned orphanage in Maarub, about 20 kilometers from Tyre.

On Tuesday, Huguenin said Red Cross crews found about 500 families still remaining in Marakay, northeast of Tyre.

"We asked them why they stayed and they said they had no place to go," he said.

The Red Cross estimates roughly 33,000 people are still living in villages in south Lebanon, another 27,000 are still in Tyre and 40,000 Palestinians in four camps in the south. (AP-AFP-Naharnet)

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&F947AA5331390779C22571C50020EDA5

saigonsmuggler
08-10-2006, 03:56 PM
Lebanon: Soldier killed by anti-tank missile



Hizbullah terrorists fire advanced missile at IDF Merkava tank in south Lebanon’s el-Khiam region; one soldier killed, another seriously wounded; soldiers part of IDF reservist brigade that entered Lebanon a few days ago
Hanan Greenberg



It has been cleared for publication that an IDF soldier was killed and another was seriously wounded Thursday morning when a missile struck an IDF Merkava-3 tank in the el-Khiam area in south Lebanon.



The tank crewmembers belong to the reservist 434 Brigade, which entered Lebanon a few days ago. IDF sources said they estimate the missile that hit the tank was an advanced anti-tank missile.


Earlier Defense Minister Amir Peretz made it clear that diplomatic efforts to end the fighting in Lebanon will have to be exhausted
before he gives the go-ahead to expanded military operations.


"We must be able to look at every mother, father, and child, and say that we tried every other move," Peretz said during a briefing that also included Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and Northern Command Chief Udi Adam. Peretz was standing between the two military officials, who did not exchange any words.


On Wednesday 15 reserve soldiers were killed and 34 others were injured in four different incidents across south Lebanon.


The tragic day began at 8 a.m., when a reservist was killed by friendly fire in the eastern sector. Three hours later, an antitank missile was fired at an IDF tank, killing the four crewmen inside. The most difficult incident took place at about noon, when a missile that was fired at a building soldiers were staying in caused the building to collapse, claiming the lives of nine reservists.


(08.10.06, 20:50)

DeltaWhisky58
08-10-2006, 04:32 PM
Lebanon: Soldier killed by anti-tank missile



Hizbullah terrorists fire advanced missile at IDF Merkava tank in south Lebanon’s el-Khiam region; one soldier killed, another seriously wounded; soldiers part of IDF reservist brigade that entered Lebanon a few days ago
Hanan Greenberg



It has been cleared for publication that an IDF soldier was killed and another was seriously wounded Thursday morning when a missile struck an IDF Merkava-3 tank in the el-Khiam area in south Lebanon.



The tank crewmembers belong to the reservist 434 Brigade, which entered Lebanon a few days ago. IDF sources said they estimate the missile that hit the tank was an advanced anti-tank missile.


Earlier Defense Minister Amir Peretz made it clear that diplomatic efforts to end the fighting in Lebanon will have to be exhausted
before he gives the go-ahead to expanded military operations.


"We must be able to look at every mother, father, and child, and say that we tried every other move," Peretz said during a briefing that also included Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and Northern Command Chief Udi Adam. Peretz was standing between the two military officials, who did not exchange any words.


On Wednesday 15 reserve soldiers were killed and 34 others were injured in four different incidents across south Lebanon.


The tragic day began at 8 a.m., when a reservist was killed by friendly fire in the eastern sector. Three hours later, an antitank missile was fired at an IDF tank, killing the four crewmen inside. The most difficult incident took place at about noon, when a missile that was fired at a building soldiers were staying in caused the building to collapse, claiming the lives of nine reservists.


(08.10.06, 20:50)

Links/Sources ???

DeltaWhisky58
08-10-2006, 06:09 PM
Walking in fear in Lebanon's no-drive zone

By Jim Muir
BBC News, Tyre
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http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41420000/jpg/_41420811_ap_mantyre203.jpg
The streets of Tyre are largely deserted except for those on foot


Moving anywhere in Lebanon south of the Litani River today is an eerie and unnerving experience.

Since Monday, when Israeli jets dropped leaflets warning unequivocally that any vehicles daring to travel would be hit, there has been virtually no traffic on the roads. Not that there was much before.
So in Tyre, the only way to move without that dire threat hanging over you, is to walk. And even that is hardly comfortable.
Often the only sound is the buzz of the drones, small pilotless reconnaissance aircraft that are rarely seen but always heard as they scan every inch, transmitting laser-sharp images to someone, somewhere, who you hope is in a good mood.
Above that, the howl of aircraft cruising the skies which Israel masters unchallenged.
Based on the drone images, strikes can be ordered up instantly and with devastating accuracy from often unseen helicopters, jets or gunboats.
And, every so often, massive explosions echo through the streets. Sometimes you cannot tell whether it is bombs coming in or Hezbollah rockets being fired out from the nearby hills.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif Every so often, massive explosions echo through the streets. You feel exposed and vulnerable http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif


In either case you feel very exposed and vulnerable. When things go out, worse things come back in.
The results are on display everywhere. Vast craters smack in the middle of the main roads. Burned-out cars. The mangled wreckage of motorcycles - for Hezbollah operatives are known to travel on bikes, and several have paid with their lives for being spotted.
Such sights and sounds are not reassuring as you plod through the sun, wishing that boy on a motor-scooter would pass more quickly in case whoever is watching is not in a good mood.
The streets look deserted, but some people are still around. On the edge of town, a man appears from behind a small house.
"I just came out to get some air and have a cigarette, we've been so cooped up," he says, and speaks in slogans.
"My family's still here. We're steadfast in the Lebanese homeland. May God mend the situation and bring us peace. War isn't good for anybody. Peace is better. War doesn't give you anything. We're not afraid. What is written comes from God, but may he bring peace."

Ambulances in danger

Around the corner is the Lebanese Red Cross. Lots of ambulances outside, immobile. Then the sound of an engine, and one moves.
"Don't worry, I'm just parking!" shouts the driver. He is Kassem Shaalan. He knows what it is like to be hit by a rocket.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41420000/jpg/_41420807_afp_crater203.jpg
Red Cross vehicles face destroyed roads as well as direct hits

On the evening of 23 July, he and two other medics answered a call to rendezvous with an ambulance from Tibnin, in the hills to the east, to relay three civilian patients down to Tyre.
Both ambulances were struck precisely by separate rockets as they were stopped at the roadside near Qana for the transfer.
It was 2230 at night. There was nothing else on the road. They were clearly marked, and lit up with flashing blue lights and illuminated Red Cross flags.
Kassem, his two colleagues, the three medics in the other ambulance, and the three Lebanese patients, were all injured.
One of the patients, 38-year-old Ahmad Fawwaz, lost his leg in the ambulance. His mother Jamileh, 58, and son Ahmad, 8, were both seriously injured.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif We get many calls from villages saying they have injured people, but there is no permission to go http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Kassem Shaalan
Lebanese Red Cross

But they all survived. And Kassem is back at work.
"Until now, we don't understand why they did it," he says now. "It has confused us. But it will not stop us. I'm still wearing the Red Cross uniform, and if they tell me to go, I'll go and help.
"Because of the Israeli warning, every movement we do goes through the International Red Cross," he says.
"They ask Israel for permission. If we have it, we go. If we don't, we can't. We get many calls from villages saying they have injured people, but there is no permission to go. Yes, people could be dying because we can't get to them in time. If you don't get treated within one hour, you are much more likely to die."

'Please don't hit us'

In the centre of town, Tyre's souk, usually vibrant and crowded, is deserted. Usually you cannot walk here without being jostled in the crowd.
Around the corner by the harbour, dainty colourful fishing boats bob up and down in the sunshine.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41420000/jpg/_41420809_ap_jetplane203.jpg
Israeli jets can drop bombs moments after receiving intelligence

But the fishermen are sitting idle in the dockside cafe, where they cannot afford to buy themselves a coffee.
"There's no work, no money, just hunger," grumbles one. "The boats are forbidden to go out from the port. We can't fish at all. We're just living off what they give us to eat and drink, that's all.
"If we had any money, we'd have run away. Of course we're afraid, but they haven't hit this area yet. This is a safe area, there's no resistance here. There's only the sea and us fishermen."
He hopes the message is received and understood: please don't hit us. A little up the empty road, one of the few shops that are still open. The shopkeeper is a woman with startling blue eyes. She speaks in slogans too. "No, we're not frightened. We're not leaving. This is our land, our home. So what if they've decided to come further in. We're staying. It is God's will."

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4781551.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-10-2006, 06:10 PM
Defiant Nasrallah rallies support

By Magdi Abdelhadi
Arab affairs analyst, BBC News
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http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41417000/jpg/_41417679_manargrabb2ap.jpg
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah spoke calmly and confidently

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has given a defiant speech in which he said his guerrillas would turn south Lebanon into a graveyard for the invading Israeli troops.

There were no surprises in the speech, broadcast on Hezbollah's al-Manar television on Wednesday.
Like previous speeches since the conflict began nearly a month ago, the aim was to boost morale, rally support and challenge the Israelis.
But the timing was significant, because
it came only hours after the Israelis announced that their army would expand its ground offensive.

Message for Israelis

Sheikh Nasrallah spoke calmly and confidently, as the confrontation with Israel was about to enter a critical stage.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif You will not be able to stay on our land. If you enter it, we will drive you out by force. We will turn the land of our precious south into a graveyard for the Zionist invaders http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

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Text: Nasrallah' defiant address (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4779757.stm)


The televised address was clearly designed to send a message to the Israelis and the wider world - namely that Hezbollah remained a coherent, strong and unbroken organisation.
He urged the Lebanese to remain steadfast and united in the battle against Israel, and warned the Lebanese government against making any concessions to Israel and America.
He endorsed a government plan to send 15,000 Lebanese soldiers to the south.
But he repeated his opposition to the idea of sending international troops to the border region to disarm Hezbollah, as demanded by the Israelis and by a draft UN resolution sponsored by the French and the Americans. He said the aim behind the UN resolution was to enable Israel to achieve by diplomatic means what it had failed to achieve on the battlefield. Sheikh Nasrallah said his guerrillas were still strong and ready to take on the Israeli army when it pushed deeper into Lebanon.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4779331.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-10-2006, 06:11 PM
UN attacks Lebanon aid 'disgrace'

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41418000/jpg/_41418859_unicef_ap203body.jpg
Agencies are looking for ways to get supplies into southern Lebanon

The UN's top humanitarian official has criticised Israel and Hezbollah for hindering access to southern Lebanon, calling the situation a "disgrace".

Jan Egeland said both sides could give aid agencies access in a "heartbeat". Hospitals in south Lebanon are also said to be low on food and fuel.
The warning came amid more violence across the Israel-Lebanon border.
Two Israeli Arabs were killed in Hezbollah rocket fire, while Israeli air strikes killed two Lebanese.
An Israeli soldier was also killed in fighting in southern Lebanon.
Israeli planes also dropped leaflets on southern Beirut, warning residents of three districts to leave immediately.
More than 1,000 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have now been killed in the hostilities, the Lebanese government has said. Some 122 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed.

'Under siege'

Speaking at UN offices in Geneva, Switzerland, Mr Egeland said Israel and Hezbollah were preventing relief workers from saving people's lives.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41416000/gif/_41416719_leb_baal2_map203.gif
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Mid-East crisis: Key maps (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/5177932.stm)
Nasrallah rallies support (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4779331.stm)


"It is a disgrace really. We have not had any access for many days to the besieged population of southern Lebanon," he said.
The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) also called on both sides to allow humanitarian aid through.
"Our aid operation is like a patient starved of oxygen facing paralysis, verging on death " said Zlatan Milisic, WFP emergency co-ordinator in Lebanon.
Mr Milisic said about 100,000 people were stranded south of the Litani River.
WFP spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume said relief supplies reached the coastal city of Sidon on Wednesday but the Israeli Defense Forces had not granted permission for a convoy to go to Nabatiyeh, north of the river.
Medical aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has meanwhile warned that hospitals in south Lebanon are running out of food, fuel and medical supplies.
As the humanitarian crisis deepened, violence between Hezbollah and Israel showed no sign of easing.
Among the main developments:

Israeli forces said they had taken control of the strategically placed town of Marjayoun - a mostly Christian town about 8km (five miles) from the border
Hezbollah reported destroying at least 13 tanks in south Lebanon
Israel fired about 1,000 artillery shells at the Hezbollah stronghold of Khiam, with ground battles also reported in the area
Israeli rocketed a disused lighthouse tower carrying a television mast in west BeirutOn Wednesday the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to thrust deeper into Lebanon, towards the Litani River, up to 30km (18 miles) from the Israeli border.

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Press sceptical on diplomacy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775085.stm)
Excerpts: Council speeches (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4775095.stm)

Israeli officials however say the plan has been delayed.
The BBC's Christian Fraser in Beirut says it seems the timing for that push depends to a large extent on what is happening in New York, where the UN Security Council is working on a ceasefire resolution. US ambassador John Bolton said there could be a vote on a resolution on Friday. The council's five permanent members are holding further talks to try to resolve the remaining obstacles to a final text. The dispute is over a timetable for Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon - France thinks Israel should pull out as Lebanese troops take over, while the US supports Israel's contention that it must stay put until a new international force can be deployed.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4778591.stm)

DeltaWhisky58
08-10-2006, 06:13 PM
Annan warning over Gaza situation

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Israel has been carrying out operations in Gaza for six weeks

The war in Lebanon and northern Israel should not distract attention from events in Gaza, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has warned.

The killing of civilians, including children, in Gaza was "utterly unjustifiable", his spokesman said.
Three people died in an Israeli strike on Wednesday, including a little girl.
Israel began operations in Gaza on 28 June after the capture of its soldier, Cpl Gilad Shalit. Palestinians say more than 170 people have been killed.

'Two-state solution'

On Wednesday Mr Annan expressed fears that the war in Lebanon and northern Israel could overshadow events in Gaza and "the urgent need to work towards a solution to the current crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory".
"The continued killing and injuring of hundreds of civilians, including children, in Gaza, by Israeli forces is utterly unjustifiable," spokesman Stephane Dujarric added.
He voiced particular concern about the "arbitrary arrests" of senior Palestinians including Aziz Dweik, the Palestinian parliamentary speaker detained by Israel on Sunday.
This "further undermines the Palestinian institutions which must be preserved if a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be achieved", he said.
Mr Annan also reiterated his call for an end to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants firing from Gaza into Israel, and urged renewed dialogue.

Missile strike

At least one Israeli missile was launched at a citrus grove in Gaza City, a site used by militants for training, witnesses said.
A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees - one of three militant groups which jointly captured Cpl Shalit six weeks ago - said two of its members were killed. A three-year-old girl also died, and at least three people were injured - one of them a child who is in critical condition, witnesses told ******* news agency. The Israeli army confirmed that it had attacked what it described as a "terrorist training camp" in Gaza, but gave no further details.

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4778255.stm)

Ea$y-8
08-10-2006, 07:10 PM
Israel delays northern push in Lebanon
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press Writer




Israel grabbed strategic high ground in south Lebanon on Thursday but delayed a major push northward, as diplomats cited progress toward agreement on a U.N. cease-fire resolution that could soon go to a vote.

With Israeli troops closer to Beirut than at any time since the war began, diplomats said they were close to unlocking the stalemate over a U.N. effort toward a cease-fire. The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, said a vote was possible on Friday.

The United States and France have been trying to bridge differences over a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Israeli ground troops took control of the mainly Christian town of Marjayoun before dawn and blasted away throughout the day at strongly fortified Hezbollah positions in several directions.

An Israeli soldier was killed and two were wounded in fierce battles with Hezbollah guerrillas Thursday, a day after the Israeli military suffered its worst one-day military loss, with 15 soldiers killed. More than 800 people have died in the month-long conflict, including 715 in Lebanon.

A huge explosion rocked the center of the town and the surrounding countryside about sunset and a big fire could be seen raging from a vantage point in Ibl el-Saqi, about two miles to the east.

By taking Marjayoun the Israeli army was closer to Beirut than at any time since the fighting began July 12 after a cross-border raid in which Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three.

At the same time, the army was still within about five miles of the Israeli border. Marjayoun, which sits near major road junctions in the south, lies due north of Israel's Galilee panhandle that juts north into Lebanon.

Marjayoun was used as the command center for the Israeli army and its allied Lebanese militia during an 18-year occupation of south Lebanon that ended in 2000. The high ground around Marjayoun, including the village of Blatt, overlooks the Litani River valley, one of the staging sites for Hezbollah's relentless rocket assaults on Israel.

Diplomatic efforts had stalled as the Lebanese called for Israeli troops to start pulling out once hostilities end and Beirut sends 15,000 troops of its own to the south, while Israel has insisted on staying in southern Lebanon until a robust international force is deployed, which could take weeks or months.

"We've closed some of the areas of disagreement with the French," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said.

Suggestions that a new resolution was in the works also emerged.

"A new proposal is being drafted, which has positive significance that may bring the war to an end," Israeli member of parliament Otniel Schneller quoted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying. "But if the draft is not accepted there is the Cabinet decision."

The Israeli Security Cabinet authorized Olmert to expand the current offensive in Lebanon, but Israeli officials said they would hold off to give diplomacy more time to work.

"If we can achieve that by diplomatic means and are sure that there is an intention to implement that document, we shall definitely be in a position where the military operation has achieved diplomatic space and a new situation has been created here in the north," Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said.

But he warned Israel was ready to use "all of the tools" to cripple Hezbollah if efforts toward a cease-fire failed.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora met twice Thursday with U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman. An aide to the Lebanese leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information, said new ideas for ending the fighting involved combining two envisioned resolutions into one overarching document.

Broadly speaking, the U.S.-French draft Security Council resolution called for a cessation of hostilities and the deployment of the Lebanese army into southern Lebanon to the Israeli border, in cooperation with U.N. peacekeepers who are already there. As the Lebanese start deploying, the Israeli army will begin withdrawing, according to council diplomats.

Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat told The Associated Press about 350 Lebanese soldiers and police garrisoned in Marjayoun were taken into custody. Residents said the Israelis also took over one building in the barracks, locked up the ammunition and weapons depot and took away the keys.

An Israel military spokeswoman said troops arrived at a building in the town, where there were soldiers, police and refugees, but only advised them to remain there for their own safety.

"Nobody has been taken prisoner," she said, declining to be identified because military rules did not allow her to make public comments.

Israel reported one of its soldiers was killed and two were wounded in Qleia, just south of Marjayoun, when Hezbollah guerrillas fired a missile at a tank. Hezbollah reported killing as many as 16 Israeli soldiers and destroying 18 tanks.

Two Israeli civilians also died in Hezbollah rocket attacks, an Arab-Israeli mother and her young daughter in the village of Deir al-Assad. Israel reported 160 Hezbollah rockets landed during the day.

On the Lebanese side the death toll was significantly lower than in recent days, with only four people killed, all of them civilians hit in Israeli air and artillery strikes.

More than 800 people in Lebanon and Israel have died since fighting erupted — 715 on the Lebanese side and 121 on the Israeli side.

In Beirut, Israeli warplanes blanketed the downtown area with leaflets that threatened a "painful and strong" response to Hezbollah attacks and warned residents to evacuate three southern suburbs. Other warnings dropped from planes said any trucks on a key northern highway to Syria would be considered targets for attack.

Earlier, missiles from Israeli helicopter gunships blasted the top of a historic lighthouse in central Beirut in an apparent attempt to knock out a broadcast antenna for Lebanese state television.

Top U.N. humanitarian official Jan Egeland criticized Israel and Hezbollah for hindering the delivery of aid to civilians trapped in southern Lebanon, saying it was a "disgrace" they had failed to allow convoys to get through.

Egeland said a plan worked out with Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah to funnel aid through humanitarian corridors has not worked the way each side had promised.

"The Hezbollah and the Israelis could give us access in a heartbeat," Egeland said at the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva. "Then we could help 120,000 people in southern Lebanon.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060810/ap_on_re_mi_ea/lebanon_israel_953

Decebalus
08-10-2006, 09:02 PM
Israel struggles to capture strategic hills

Conal Urquhart in Metulla
Thursday August 10, 2006
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

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An Israeli artillery unit fires a shell towards Lebanon from its position near the Israeli-Lebanese border. Photograph: Yonathan Weitzman/*******


Israeli forces today struggled to secure strategic hills close to the border town of Metulla, despite weeks of bombardment and days of fighting.Dozens of tanks withdrew from hills close to the Lebanese Christian village of Marjayoun this morning and repeatedly came under anti-tank fire as they approached the border. One tank was set ablaze by a missile within a quarter of a mile of the village. The crew climbed on to another tank and were driven to safety.
As more tanks returned, pumping out smoke for cover, several more missiles were fired, narrowly missing their targets and setting light to scrub on the valley floor. A tank crew extinguished the fire in the damaged tank and towed the blackened vehicle to Metulla as Israeli artillery fired shells around it to create dust clouds for cover.
Israeli troops succeeded in taking control of one ridge east of Metulla. Scores of soldiers could be seen standing on the ridge next to a quarry, looking at the action in the valley below.
On a ridge west of Metulla, Hizbullah fighters fired anti-tank missiles, which resembled red darts, across the valley, exploding in a ball of fire on impact.
Throughout the night the valleys were illuminated and shaken by an endless bombardment. Tracer fire and rockets could be seen in the darkness.
There were reports of deaths and casualties in the fighting around Metulla but the Israeli army refused to comment until relatives had been informed.
The problems involved in taking control of the hills close to Metulla are the same all along the border. Although 10,000 troops and hundreds of tanks are deployed, Hizbullah fighters can easily evade them and attack when convenient.
"It is very difficult for a hundred tanks to find small teams of three or four men running over the hillside," said one soldier in Metulla.
According to reports, Israel is trying to remedy its failure to flush out Hizbullah fighters with air strikes and tanks by sending infantry into the villages on foot. ******* quoted witnesses who saw Israeli troops moving on foot through Marjayoun about five miles inside Lebanon and neighbouring villages.
"I can see two tanks burning some 500 metres from Marjayoun," one resident told the news agency by telephone.
A third tank arrived later and removed several casualties, he said, adding that Hizbullah fighters were raining rocket and mortar fire on the Israeli force between Marjayoun and Khiam.
Both villages are dominated by Christian Maronites who were allied with Israel until it withdrew from Lebanon in 2000.
Hizbullah said in a statement it had destroyed 11 Israeli tanks, killing or wounding their crews in the fighting.
Israel has lost 82 soldiers in the fighting. Yesterday it lost 15, the highest number of fatalities in a single day.
The government decided to expand its operations in Lebanon, allowing the army to move to the Litani river, 18 miles inside Lebanon. However, there is growing dissent within Israel about the war's conduct.
Danny Yatom, a reservist general and senior member of the Labour party, said that moving deeper into Lebanon was pointless. "We are banging our head against the wall," he told Israeli TV. "And even if we reach the Litani, the Katyushas won't stop."
Some 160 rockets were fired at Israel yesterday and the pattern continued today. One rocket hit an Israeli Arab village, killing a two-year-old and an adult.
So far, the fighting has killed 120 Israelis, including 38 civilians. In Lebanon, officials say 711 people have been killed. The death toll among Hizbullah fighters remains unclear.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1841637,00.html