Israeli-Hezbollah Conflict Open Thread X

This is the Tenth Middle East Crisis open-thread. Please post all developments, news stories, comments, links, theories, ideas, etc. . . here in this thread. The earlier threads by number are IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIX. If you post comments in this thread, please do not post identical news articles in the newsqueue.

Israel, Lebanon: Llamas, Power Stations and Big Moves

At first glance, it appears like an odd role-reversal when Israeli reconnaissance units are leading pack animals into battle while Hezbollah fighters are wielding modern anti-tank weapons. But as U.S. special operations forces calling in airstrikes from horseback in Afghanistan showed, mountain and fourth-generation warfare present new challenges that must be met on the ground.

Sustained special operations deep inside enemy territory have always meant heavy loads of food and ammunition, now compounded by the need to haul modern communications and surveillance equipment. While raids based on intelligence can be inserted by helicopter, move to the target and pull out, pack animals indicate invaders plan an extended stay. This is generally indicative of long-range patrols and reconnaissance units setting up observation posts deep inside enemy territory. Even in the era of surveillance satellites, some of the best intelligence still comes from human observation. Israeli patrols fitting this description were spotted returning from Lebanon a week ago. We suspect many more are now well-positioned to observe much of the southern Bekaa Valley.

Full disclosure, Stratfor has been calling for “BIG MOVES” for three weeks now.

Israel: Hezbollah Rockets Land in Hadera

Three artillery rockets slammed into a field outside the coastal town of Hadera, Israel, on Aug. 4. Hadera is midway between Haifa and Tel Aviv, 50 miles south of the Lebanese border. This is the farthest penetration of a Hezbollah artillery rocket into Israeli territory yet — and only about 30 miles from downtown Tel Aviv. [snip]

The Hadera attack follows Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah’s Aug. 3 threat to strike Tel Aviv with Hezbollah’s long-range missiles. The fact that Hezbollah has resorted to launching one of its more-capable long-range rockets further indicates that Nasrallah is under no illusion that Israel will back down from its ground offensive. Hezbollah cadres are under heavy pressure from Israeli forces, and the time may have come for the militants to use their most prized long-range missiles. Furthermore, aiming in a trajectory toward Tel Aviv can only be an intentional escalation on Hezbollah’s part.

More as it develops. Updated map below.

Lebanon: IAF Hits North Of Beirut

The Israeli air force (IAF) on Aug. 4 launched its first major attack on Christian areas north of Beirut, Lebanon, including the resort town of Jounieh. The strikes killed five people and wounded several others. The IAF also carried out strikes on the four bridges on the main coastal road linking Beirut to Syria. The 90-minute drive to the border now takes about three hours.

Tactical Update, August 4

The elite Israeli Golani Brigade lost two men Aug. 4 in Markaba, Lebanon, where fighting is reportedly heavy. Nevertheless, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) units are moving en-masse into the southern part of the country, engaging in urban combat all along the border and sustaining few of the casualties seen in Bent Jbail last week.

Israel has gotten no respite from Hezbollah rocket attacks, with 70 rockets falling in less than an hour Aug. 4 and a total of 135 by 2:28 p.m. local time. The northern city of Qiryat Shemona is coming under increasing fire. It is on nearly the same latitude as Tyre, making it one of the most vulnerable cities to artillery rockets from both southern Lebanon and the mouth of the Bekaa Valley. It is also the staging area for an enormous number of IDF troops.

Israeli air force strikes resumed in full force, hitting at least 15 infrastructure targets — mostly bridges. Three bridges linking Beirut to northern Lebanon were taken out, further isolating the capital. Airstrikes also knocked out a power station in the Bekaa, leaving the entire Kiraoun area without power.

IDF belatedly realizes Lebanon assault is no Kosovo

An examination of the ground forces’ achievements to date shows that they have not hit more than ten launchers. The immediate goal of the fighting is not stopping the rockets, but eliminating Hezbollah’s southern unit, the Nasser, on the assumption that this will crack the organization’s fortitude. Hezbollah’s losses are already estimated at some 380 combatants. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is convinced that Hezbollah’s breaking point is near. The army is more skeptical.

Col. Pat Lang: Israeli Defense Forces – all they can be?

So far, Israel’s performance in this war has not been impressive. Its air and artillery fire has not hindered Hizbullah’s ability to fire rockets into Israel. The heliborne raid on Baalbec this week signals Israel’s intent to change to a more aggressive use of ground combat power. But it is another fair question to ask how much damage that poor performance in the early stages of this campaign has done to effective deterrence, which the fear of Israeli and US forces has exerted until now.

Israeli Elite Forces Official: We Need Bargaining Chips

Uzi Dayan — former commander of Sayeret Matkal, an elite unit — said Israel needs “bargaining chips” in the form of Hezbollah leaders, in order to secure the return of captured Israeli soldiers. That was an interesting statement, not because it was official — it wasn’t — but because it indicated the mood of senior Israeli military leaders. If you are looking for bargaining chips, you expect to be bargaining.

Lebanon: Israel Deploys 3 Reservist Brigades

Israel Defense Forces deployed at least three brigades of reservists to the “security zone” in southern Lebanon on Aug. 3 in addition to paratroopers and regular forces, Israel National News reported.

Lebanon: IDF, Hezbollah Clash In SW Lebanon

Israel Defense Forces’ Druze Patrol Brigade clashed with Hezbollah members in the western region of southern Lebanon, Ynetnews reported Aug. 3. One member of the militant group was killed and another injured in the village of Menahla.

Saudi Arabia: Shia Rally For Hezbollah

Police in Saudi Arabia broke up a pro-Hezbollah Shiite protest Aug. 3 in Al Qatif in the eastern region, home to the kingdom’s Shiite minority. Demonstrators carried banners of Hezbollah and pictures of its leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and burned Israeli flags.

Lebanon: IAF Resumes South Beirut Strikes

The Israeli air force resumed strikes on southern Beirut, Lebanon, early Aug. 4, firing at least four missiles at Hezbollah and Hamas offices in the Dahiniye neighborhood. Israeli airplanes dropped leaflets over the area earlier in the night, warning residents of impending attacks. Israel also targeted Lebanon’s northern border with Syria in an effort to stop the flow of weapons to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah: Still Sending Rockets Downrange

Two hundred and thirty artillery rockets — by far Hezbollah’s largest single-day barrage so far — struck northern Israel on Aug 2, including a strike in the West Bank, close to the maximum range of the Fajr-5. The Fajr-5, which Hezbollah calls the Khaiber-1, was at about its maximum range from the border of Lebanon when several struck Jenin. Then, on Aug. 3, the second-deadliest day for Israeli civilians so far, over 160 rockets were launched — more than 100 within a few minutes — and eight civilians were killed.

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Sean Paul Kelley

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  • Halutz’s Bombing War
    Hezbollah’s Top Ally in Israel

    excerpt ” when he was asked what feelings, what moral tremors he might have had about the dropping of a one-ton bomb in a house in Gaza. Halutz’s jaunty reply was to the effect that all he felt was “a slight tremor in the wing of the airplane.”

    “Israel is doomed,” said a friend of mine some months ago, returning to the U.S. after a trip to Israel. I asked him why, and my friend, who spent twenty years working at a high level in the Pentagon, answered, “They’ve put in an Air Force man as chief of the General Staff.”

    He was talking about Dan Halutz, appointed chief of the General Staff of the IDF in February of this year.[…]

    […]The trouble is that history shows air power doesn’t win wars, or even battles. The best known example is the bombing of Germany by the Americans and the British in World War Two. The plan, as advanced by Britain’s Arthur “Bomber” Harris, was to kill a million Germans and paralyze industrial production. Harris began his career with the British bombing campaigns in Mesopotamia in the 1920s, then Palestine, against the Great Rising, in the 1930s.

    The Allies’ bombs killed many Germans, though not a million. But as postwar investigators headed by the late J.K. Galbraith found, war production actually increased. The bombs stiffened German morale and loathing of the enemy.

    Galbraith’s investigations failed to dent the myth of air power. America’s most famous Air force general in the postwar period was Curt LeMay, headed of America’s nuclear air fleet, the Strategic Air Command. In World War Two he had overseen the firebombing of Tokyo. It was LeMay who boasted to President John Kennedy that his planes could “reduce the Soviet Union to a smoldering, irradiated ruin in three hours.”

    Dan Halutz is in the LeMay tradition, a brutish lout. He raised a storm when he was asked what feelings, what moral tremors he might have had about the dropping of a one-ton bomb in a house in Gaza. Halutz’s jaunty reply was to the effect that all he felt was “a slight tremor in the wing of the airplane.”[…]

    If this were 1700, they’d be saying: “Since civilization began, slavery has existed. It’s human nature.” I would have believed it. If 1800: “Women will never vote. They are not born rational”. I would have believed it.
    2006: Make war irrelevant

  • Looks to me like it was a very targeted operation. i.e., not random carpet bombing of the city, but specifically focused on key target areas. But in truth I don’t no squat about how to judge these things. I’d be curious what JPD and ScottM and Ian have to say about this. Oh, and MadDog too.

  • Ze’ev Schiff, Amos Harel and Aluf Benn | August 4

    – 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.

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, however, is said to be reluctant about expanding Israel’s ground operation. While Peretz believes that the short-range rocket threat posed by Hezbollah can be neutralized by taking the area up to the Litani, Olmert feels that such a move would not be able to counter the longer-range missile threat posed by the Shi’ite organization.

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

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Bomber Harris did also not engage in random carpet bombing of the cities, but specifically focused on key target areas. He just did not have the technical means to laser guide bombs into the living quarters of the workforce.

    The target of these operations is to spread terror in the population, the goal being the hope to drive a chasm between the bombed out, homeless and possessionless populous and their respective political leadership.

    What’s there not to understand? It is terrorism and a warcrime. And worse even, it is a mistake.

  • ok this one definitely woke me up as I live in Jounieh! 2 missiles. From my balcony I can clearly see that it hit the bridge near the casino. But the news didn’t mention anything about it yet and the other one (it did less smoke than the first), somewhere near crepaway maameltein.

    can see it clearly from here! (it’s too close to AUT university if someone knows its location)

    FIDAR’s bridge – bye bye, Totally down…

    big fire in adma near bridge
    Both missiles hit 2 civilian cars (car and van). result: 2 injuries


    The bridge still good but there is some injuries , its live on LBCI now

    Electrical Power Plant in Qaraoun – Bekaa has been hit


    tHE BRIDGE IS RELATIVELY AFFECTED…. theres a big hole in it… A man lying several meters down the road he looks very seriously injured… people around him not moving him waiting for help

    LBc footage

    two holes in the bridge…. denise rahmeh is saying no killed so far

    the man that is showed injured is a syrian worker who was sleeping under the bridge… he has several broken bones

    the van had 14 passengers

    there are injuries

    it looks like the raid targeted the road and not the vehicles themselves

    denise rahmeh is saying the road is cut


    The bombed facility is in Sohmor – Ibrahim Abd el Al electrical station

    Beirut airport runway bombed


    08:44 200 Islamic militants said sent on missions to bomb `Israel`s vital interests` (Reuters)

    08:20 Three of four soldiers killed in Lebanon on Thurs. to be buried Friday (Israel Radio)

    07:32 One soldier moderately hurt, one lightly hurt in clashes with Hezbollah (Ch. 10)

    07:31 Two Katyushas hit open area near Kiryat Shmona; no injuries (Ch. 10)

    07:04 IDF, Hezbollah fighters engage in heavy combat in southern Lebanon (Channel 10)

    06:59 Witnesses: IDF gunfire kills two Palestinians in southern Gaza (Reuters)

    05:58 U.S. envoy Bolton: U.S., France have come a long way in Mideast cease-fire talks (AP)

    05:34 Australia investigating reported terrorist threats against Jewish targets (Reuters)

    04:17 Four Palestinians injured in IDF raids in Gaza (Reuters)

    04:09 More loud explosions heard in Beirut (AP)

    04:08 Lebanese media: IAF executed 15 bombing runs against Beirut in 30 minutes (AP)

    03:16 Rice signals willingness to compromise on immediate ceasefire in Lebanon (AP)

    02:07 Chavez: Recall of envoy from Tel Aviv is protest of Israeli `genocide` in Lebanon (AP)

    01:55 Siniora: Lebanon`s fuel supplies dwindling, country has enough for one week (Reuters)

    Lebanese soldier killed in air strike on southern Beirut
    (08:19 , 08.04.06)


    August 4

    Israeli warplanes pounded Beirut’s southern suburbs and other parts of Lebanon early today, local media reported.

    Airstrikes on the capital’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, began just before 1am local time (10pm Irish time Thursday), causing two huge explosions. Yesterday, Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets on the area warning people to leave.

    Fighter planes appeared to focus on the southern suburb of Ouzai, making 24 pre-dawn over-flights in less than an hour, local media outlets said.

    The attacks on Ouzai, a predominantly Shiite Muslim area, were the first since fighting between Hezbollah and Israel began 24 days ago. At daybreak, New TV reported two additional strikes on the area, airing footage of smoke billowing from buildings.

    Israeli jets launched three attacks near Baalbek in eastern Lebanon, Hezbollah’s TV, Al-Manar, and witnesses reached by telephone said.

    Another airstrike was launched near the Lebanese-Syrian border crossing at Masnaa, east of Beirut, the Voice of Lebanon radio said.

    Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech televised yesterday, offered to halt rocket attacks on Israel in return for an end to the air attacks. He also threatened to launch missiles at Tel Aviv if Israel attacks Beirut proper.

    Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, told CNN that Nasrallah’s suggestion for a halt to the rocket attacks was “a sign of weakness,” suggesting that Hezbollah’s leader, “may realize that his forces are being degraded and looking for a way out.”

    On Nasrallah’s threats against Tel Aviv, Gillerman said, ”I am sure that he, as well as his sponsors, realize the consequences of doing something as unimaginable and crazy as that.”

  • مقتل 3 جنود اسرائليين في قصف صاروخي جنوب لبنان

    3 israeli soldiers killed in a missile attack south lebanon

    update: 5 IDF soldiers dead so far in “Markaba”

    Source: Al Arabiyya

    القوات الإسرائلية تعمل في 20 قرية جنوب لبنان العربية
    Israeli forces operating in 20 villages of southern Lebanon

    منشورات اسرائلية تدعو أهالي النبطية للرحيل
    israeli flyers asking the people in nabatieh to evacuate it!

    according to lbc, all the roads linking Beirut to the north are cut!
    Here is one of the many comments left at haaretz by Christian Lebanese denouncing the bombings of west Beirut/Jounieh.

    Title: Innocent Christian regions bombarded

    Name: Open-minded Lebanese

    City: Beautiful Beirut

    What IDF did this morning by its attack on pure christian regions in Jounieh,in the North of Beirut,is totally TERRORISM. What is IDF planning next?

    These regions were against Hezbollah`s attacks on Israel,and they were seeking to make peace and to find a permanent solution to the problems in the south of Lebanon. These people are neutral and peace loving people,and by hitting them like IDF did today,Israel is pushing them to take sides and start to look at Israel as an ennemy and not as a future neighbour.

    Stop this bloodshed,I ask all the honest Israelis to stop this non-sense war. Nasrallah clearly said yesterday that he will stop firing rockets at Israel if IDF stops. This is a clear sign of readiness for a peace agreement. IT IS WHAT BOTH OUR PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR,I HOPE SO.

    If this war lasts longer,it will become out of control, and we hear about several terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and others coming to Lebanon to fight. Dont let that start,we wont be able to stop it.

  • Last update – 09:04 04/08/2006

    Islamic group: 200 militants sent to bomb ‘Israel’s vital interests’

    By Reuters

    JAKARTA – More than 200 Islamic militants from Southeast Asia have
    been sent on missions to bomb Israel’s “vital interests” and countries that support the Jewish state, their leader said on Friday.

    The militants have been trained to carry out suicide bombings to avenge Israel’s military strikes on the Palestinian territories and Lebanon, said Suaib Didu, chairman of the Jakarta-based ASEAN Muslim Youth Movement.


    “We will limit our targets to Israel’s vital interests and those that support Israel’s aggression in Palestine and Lebanon,” Didu said. “We will not carry out attacks indiscriminately.”

    Hardline militant groups in Indonesia have made claims in the past of sending volunteers to participate in conflicts overseas that have sometimes proved exaggerated.

    Western countries such as the United States and Britain, as well as businesses, could be targeted unless they cease supporting Israel, he said.

    Didu said the group was watching Australia’s position on the Middle East conflict.

    “If John Howard makes a statement in support of Israel, he will be a target,” Didu said.

    More than 3,000 people have signed up for the mission, and 217 people from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore have been dispatched abroad so far, he said.

    A “show of force” of the more than 3,000 volunteers will be held on Saturday in Pontianak in West Kalimantan province on Borneo island, Didu said, adding that many of the 200-plus militants had fought with Afghanistan against the Soviets.

    Din Syamsuddin, chairman of the moderate Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second largest Muslim organization, said Thursday that threats by radical Muslim groups to send volunteers to fight Israel were just “symbolic gestures” to show solidarity with the Palestinians and Lebanese.

    “There are too many obstacles for these people to travel there. It is too costly and the Israeli army is no match for them,” he told reporters.

    But in Canberra, Human Services Minister Joe Hockey said Friday the government was not shrugging off reports of the plans to carry out suicide bombings.

    “The minister for foreign affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs are investigating what is reported in the papers today and we are treating it very, very seriously,” Hockey told Australian television.

    Australia is a staunch ally of the United States, with troops in Iraq and
    Afghanistan. While it has been targeted in attacks in Indonesia, Australia has never suffered a major peacetime attack on home soil.

    Australia and Indonesia strengthened cooperation on counter-terrorism following the 2002 nightclub bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australian tourists.

    In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. ~ Carl Sandburg

  • August 4

    Ha’aretz – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would welcome the participation of German soldiers in a stabilization force in South Lebanon, he said in an interview with a German newspaper published on Friday.

    “I have informed (German) Chancellor Angela Merkel that we have absolutely no problem having German troops in South Lebanon,” Olmert told the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

    “There is no other nation that Israel considers more of a friend that Germany … I would be very happy if Germany participated,” he said.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Yaakov Katz | August 4

    The Jerusalem Post
    – 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.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • How many times do i have to post this? This has been the plan all along.

    Securing the Northern Border

    Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by:

    * striking Syria’s drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure in Lebanon, all of which focuses on Razi Qanan.

    * paralleling Syria’s behavior by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.

    * striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper.

    If this were 1700, they’d be saying: “Since civilization began, slavery has existed. It’s human nature.” I would have believed it. If 1800: “Women will never vote. They are not born rational”. I would have believed it.
    2006: Make war irrelevant

  • Yaakov Katz | August 4

    The Jerusalem Post – 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.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • David Horovitz | August 4

    The Jerusalem Post – Hizbullah is hurting under the impact of Israel’s military action, but it is not yet showing signs of desperation, according to Uri Lubrani, an adviser to the defense minister and formerly Israel’s longtime coordinator of activities in Lebanon.

    Watching Hizbullah’s broadcasts, “my sense is that they are feeling the pressure,” Lubrani told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s also plain that the IDF operation in Baalbek [overnight Tuesday-Wednesday] had a real impact. They’ll have to explain that to their supporters.”

    The hope in Hizbullah that the Kafr Kana tragedy would lead to a far wider escalation of anger in the Arab world, and one that would dramatically constrain Israel, had not been fully realized, he added.

    But a good barometer of the Hizbullah mindset, Lubrani suggested, would be the degree to which its backers press at the United Nations for an urgent cease-fire. “I would consider a real sign of desperation if their supporters starting putting on frantic pressure at the UN for a cease-fire,” he said. And that might happen, he posited without elaboration, “if they fear that we are about to go further.”

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

    Published: Thursday August 3, 2006

    A report by columnist Sidney Blumenthal in Salon claims that Israel is receiving intelligence from the US’s National Security Agency.

    Blumenthal claims to be in touch with “a national security official with direct knowledge of the operation” to supply Israel with signals intelligence from American assets to help it monitor armament transfers from Syria and Iran to Hezbollah. He states that President Bush has approved the intelligence sharing.

    Bush is being influenced by neoconservatives in his administration led by Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff and Elliot Abrams, senior director for the Near East on the National Security Council. The group, according to Blumenthal, seeks to start a ‘four front war’ by giving Israel the pretext to strike Iran and Syria. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been briefed, but is not a central actor in the plan.

    An excerpt of the restricted-access article is provided below.


    The National Security Agency is providing signal intelligence to Israel to monitor whether Syria and Iran are supplying new armaments to Hezbollah as it fires hundreds of missiles into northern Israel, according to a national security official with direct knowledge of the operation. President Bush has approved the secret program.

    Inside the administration, neoconservatives on Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security staff and Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative senior director for the Near East on the National Security Council, are prime movers behind sharing NSA intelligence with Israel… The neoconservatives are described as enthusiastic about the possibility of using NSA intelligence as a lever to widen the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel and Hamas into a four-front war.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is said to have been “briefed” … (h)er “briefing” appears to be an aspect of an internal struggle to intimidate and marginalize her. Recently she has come under fire from prominent neoconservatives…


  • Geneva | August 4

    AFP – Overnight bombings in Lebanon cut off an “umbilical cord” for relief supplies and halted evacuations from the country to Syria, international and UN agencies said Friday.

    Israeli warplanes wrecked four bridges along the coastal highway in the Christian heartland north of Beirut, cutting off practically the last landlink with neighbouring Syria.

    “This was the main supply route for UNHCR, all our supplies come from Syria,” said Jennifer Pagonis, a spokeswoman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The UNHCR, backed by other UN relief agencies and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said the humanitarian crisis had deepened after the bombings.

    “The road was badly damaged.. with the result that we cannot bring assistance from Arida, from Syria to Beirut,” said Christiane Berthiaume, a spokeswoman for the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Leila Hatoum | Beirut | August 4

    The Daily Star (Beirut) – Hizbullah’s leader offered Thursday to stop pounding Israel’s “northern settlements” if the Jewish state refrained from bombarding Lebanon’s “cities and civilians.” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also issued a warning, however, in a televised speech: “Let my words be clear, any attack on Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, will result in Hizbullah bombarding the Zionist entity’s capital, Tel Aviv.”

    In an almost immediate response aired on Israeli public television, a senior military official said Israel would destroy all of Lebanon’s infrastructure if Tel Aviv were hit.

    “We are ready to keep the whole thing restricted to a military fight with the Israeli Army,” Nasrallah said, “on the ground, fighters to fighters.”

    But Israel dropped leaflets over the southern suburb of Beirut, warning residents of Bir al-Abed, Hay Madi and Al-Ruweiss to evacuate their homes.

    Nasrallah also refuted the Israeli claim that it had carved out a “security zone” by taking up positions “in or near 11 towns and villages in South Lebanon.”

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Raed El Rafei | Beirut | August 4

    The Daily Star (Lebanon) – The war in Lebanon has brought out the best in many and has put on the forefront of events many reporters who often risk their own lives to transmit what is really happening on the ground. Many local and Arab channels have tasked female reporters to cover the most dangerous zones near the borders in the South or in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

    Rima Maktabi, who covered the bombardment of the Dahiyeh for Al-Arabiyya news channel, described being a war reporter as “a strange but highly enriching experience.”

    “When working under tremendous pressure you grasp in few days much more than you learn in months of work at normal times,” Maktabi said.

    Maktabi believes in the strength of covering war zones on the ground.

    “The reporting on the Qana massacre changed the political course of events. The real challenge during these times is to show and report on the facts on the ground,” she said.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • If this were 1700, they’d be saying: “Since civilization began, slavery has existed. It’s human nature.” I would have believed it. If 1800: “Women will never vote. They are not born rational”. I would have believed it.
    2006: Make war irrelevant

  • Israel bombs Lebanese highway

    David Fickling and agencies
    Friday August 4, 2006
    Guardian Unlimited

    Israeli aircraft bombed southern Beirut last night and today launched raids on the highway north of the city, threatening to cut Lebanon’s only remaining link with the outside world.

    In the south of the country, Israeli ground forces continued their attempts to establish a five-mile “security zone” north of the Lebanese border, with Israel’s Channel 10 television reporting heavy fighting in the central section of the zone this morning.

    The strikes on Lebanon’s coastal highway north of Beirut were the first significant attacks on civilian targets in the north of the country during the 24-day offensive. Four civilians were killed and 10 were wounded as Israeli bombers blew up bridges during the early morning rush hour.

    Witnesses reported brush fires being ignited by the attacks and cars plunging off the destroyed bridges into ravines.

    Local television showed video of rescuers sifting through twisted metal and blocks of concrete to rescue people whose cars fell from the Madfoun bridge in the north of the country. A van was stuck in a hole made by a missile, its driver resting on his back on the ground outside. His face was blackened and covered with dust but he appeared still alive. Attacks also punched holes in highway bridges at Maameltein, Halat and Jounieh, according to reports.


  • Christopher Allbritton, reporting from Lebanon, says “To the south, along the curve of the coast, Hizbullah is launching Katyushas, but I’m loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalist’s passport, and they’ve already hassled a number of us and threatened one.”

    Update – New post by Albritton contextualizes his comments.

  • Is he really joking? Germany outfitted the Israelis with nuclear subs. That provides them with second strike capability. A big factor in detterence to a country like Iran.

    Why would Merkel like to see things get worse?

  • …on proportionality, here.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Israel expands bombing(Beirut, Lebanon-AP, August 4, 2006) – Lebanon’s president says Israel is waging a “war of starvation” on his country’s civilians to force the government to agree to Jerusalem’s demands.

    A statement from President Emile Lahoud says Israel’s expanded air raids today have cut off the only coastal highway left for getting aid to displaced people and refugees. He says Israel is trying to compensate for what he says have been losses by its army in southern Lebanon.
    Israel warplanes today targeted bridges in the Christian heartland north of Beirut for the first time, killing five civilians and wounding 19 during the morning rush hour. The militant Hezbollah has little support or presence in the area.

    A Lebanese soldier and four civilians were killed in attacks near Beirut’s airport and southern suburbs.

    Hezbollah, meantime, claims it’s killed six Israeli soldiers along the border. And it’s also unleashed another barrage of rockets into Israel. Police say more than three dozen rockets slammed into border villages in a-half hour, killing at least one Israeli


    In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. ~ Carl Sandburg

  • Indonesian police to study claim of suicide bomber deployment
    By :
    Date : 04 August 2006 1403 hrs (SST)
    URL :

    JAKARTA : Indonesian police said Friday they would look into a claim by a Jakarta-based radical group that hundreds of Southeast Asian suicide bombers had been dispatched to attack Jewish interests in countries that support Israel.

    The claim was made by Suaib Didu, the head of the hardline Asian Muslim Youth Movement (AMYM), the Australian newspaper reported.

    The group had already dispatched 217 suicide bombers, including 72 Indonesians as well as citizens of six other Southeast Asian nations, Didu told the newspaper.

    A “passing out” ceremony for more than 3,000 “jihadis” would be held Saturday in the Indonesian city of Pontianak on Kalimantan island, he said, with 200 being sent immediately to targets abroad.

    He could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Police in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, were sceptical of the claims but said they would look into them.

    “We first have to look into what their mission and purposes are for making the claim. We need to first study this,” national police deputy spokesman Anton Bahrul Alam said, adding, “Will anybody accept them?”

    He said police may have enough reason to question and detain Didu if he and the alleged would-be suicide bombers were found to have violated the law by being in possession of improper travel documents.

    The AMYM claimed several years ago to have sent suicide bombers to Afghanistan, but no evidence ever emerged to prove it did so.

    Didu said that thousands more militants were preparing to die as martyrs in revenge attacks over Israel’s military operations against Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, The Australian said.

    He warned that attacks would be launched against Jewish targets in countries such as Britain, the United States and possibly Australia.

    The bombers were partly funded by cash donations from two unnamed Australian-Indonesian businessmen, he reportedly said.

    In Australia, Human Services Minister Joe Hockey said that the foreign affairs ministry was “investigating what is reported in the papers today and we are treating it very, very seriously.”

    Indonesia has had its share of suicide bombing attacks. In 2002 attacks on the resort island of Bali killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

    – AFP /ct

    In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. ~ Carl Sandburg

  • Israel threatens mass push

    Ed O’Loughlin and Jonathan Pearlman, The Age
    August 5, 2006

    ISRAEL is threatening to seize most of south Lebanon after at least nine of its civilians and six soldiers were killed in less than 24 hours, the nation’s worst death toll in more than three weeks of war.

    Israeli jets destroyed four highway bridges north of Beirut yesterday, disrupting efforts to help civilians caught up in the conflict. An air strike on a parking lot used by trucks and buses near Lebanon’s border with Syria in the eastern Bekaa Valley killed or wounded 25 civilians, security sources said. Beirut was also bombed, despite threats from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that the Shiite militant group would hit Tel Aviv with rockets if Beirut was attacked again.

    With no action to end the 24-day-old war emerging from the UN, fierce fighting raged in south Lebanon as Israeli troops tried to expand seven small border enclaves they control.

    More than 150 Israeli air strikes hit southern Lebanon and artillery pounded border areas yesterday in support of ground forces.


  • ANALYSIS: Whatever happens, Iran wins

    By Bradley Burston

    In the West, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is called a lot of names, many of them unprintable.

    But the time may have come to call him the one name he has truly earned in dealing with the West – genius.

    In the little over a year in which he has served as president of Iran, he has engineered a position for the Islamic Republic that is unique in the Middle East, and, indeed, in the world:

    Whatever happens, Iran wins.

    Take Iraq. The worse things get for the United States in Iraq, the more broadly genuine Ahmadinejad’s smile gets.

    George Bush, having invaded, reshuffled, and in many ways neutered Iraq, Iran’s old hated rival in the region, has done for Tehran what Tehran couldn’t do for itself in the disastrous Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

    Even better for Ahmadinejad , the worse things get in Iraq and Lebanon, the higher that oil prices climb, and every few cents at the pump is ultimately going to spell billions more for the Iranian treasury.

    The crowning development for Ahmadinejad is the circumstance that Washington’s incalculable investment of troops, materiel, and policy in Iraq, and the myriad ways in which the war has gone catastrophically, may mean that the West cannot hope to orchestrate a future military offensive against Iran, even if the nuclear threat from Tehran clearly warrants it.

    Stated differently, the War on Terror has granted Iran immunity. Ahmadinejad has a Get Out of Jail Free card, and he got it from Saddam Hussein.

    Then there is this: Ahmadinejad understands as does no one else, the regional value of outrage.

    Every obscene statement on the Holocaust, every matter-of-fact suggestion that Israel will be eradicated, every assertion of the Natural Right to Nuclear Capability, every jab at the Great Satan in Washington, only cements his status as the megastar of restive, miserable, messianic Muslims the world over.

    In addition, Ahmadinejad and Iran’s more violent client allies all profit greatly from the Everything is Victory element of the jihadist revolution, which tends to assess military developments according to the following criteria:

    1. If I kill you, I win.
    2. If you kill me, I am a martyr. I win big.
    3. There are no innocents in the land of my enemy. If I kill infants, the elderly, pregnant women, even on purpose, I win.
    4. When my enemy kills innocent civilians in error, even his own allies condemn him for brutality. I win.

    The variations of the Iran Wins No Matter What principle are endless. But the best may have come this week, when French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy paid a visit to war-shattered Beirut.

    France, once the colonial patron of the Paris of the Mideast, retains a special feeling about Lebanon. What many hadn’t realized, however, was France’s special feeling about Iran.

    It is clear, Douste-Blazy told a news conference in Beirut, “that we could never accept a destabilization of Lebanon, which could lead to a destabilization of the region,”

    And therefore, the French foreign minister continued:

    “In the region there is of course a country such as Iran – a great
    country, a great people and a great civilization, which is respected and which plays a stabilizing role in the region.”

  • Air Raid on a House in Taybeh contains 17 people of the same family.

    All dead. Aljazeera.

    Urgent News.

    A new Massacer in Qa’a Rah (Qa3 Ra7 or Sahel el Qa3) North of Lebanon on the borders between lebanon and Syria. (Watch Live on Aljazeera exclusive pictures of the massacer)

    More than 60 People dead , mostly lebanese with thier families and some Syrian workers.

    Aljazeera Reporter : 90% of the dead in Qa3 north of lebanon were children and women.

  • The mystery deepens but in typical Arab fashion, after a devastating loss on the terrain, Fatfat thinks he can go back to the status quo ante. (You know like: hey dude let’s go back to 1948 borders or 67 borders, it’d be cool)

    (Tell me, Sully – what’s Israel doing that you’d care to characterize as typical Jew fashion?)

    Sure. I’d trust his penetrating insight into the minds of Arabs he appears to globally hold in contempt.

    Ironic you mention “Fisking” (a term in virtually exclusive currency amongst right-wing blogs). That itself is amusingly ironic – given that one of the blogger’s pieces he links to on his main page reveals his uncritical acceptance of this source:

    Behind The Arabs’ Failure
    An interesting short piece and roundup by Amir Taheri in the NY Post…


    I assume you know who Amir Taheri is, Sully?

    Wiki entry for Amir Taheri

    Amir Taheri, the discredited Benador Associates (neocon) disinfo nozzle who was behind the falsified “separate dress codes for Jews in Iran” campaign.

    Taheri’s 1988 Nest of Spies book

    Shaul Bakhash of George Mason University has accused Amir Taheri of concocting nonexistent substances in his writings, and states that he “repeatedly refers us to books where the information he cites simply does not exist. Often the documents cannot be found in the volumes to which he attributes them…. [He] repeatedly reads things into the documents that are simply not there.”[5] Bakhash has stated that Amiri’s Nest of Spies is “the sort of book that gives contemporary history a bad name.” [6]

    2005 Javad Zarif accusations

    Dwight Simpson of San Francisco State University and Kaveh Afrasiabi accuse Taheri and his publisher Eleana Benador of fabricating false stories in the New York Post in 2005 where Taheri identified Iran’s UN ambassador Javad Zarif, as one of the students involved in the 1979 seizure of hostages at the US Embassy in Tehran. Zarif was Simpson’s teaching assistant and a graduate student in the Department of International Relations of San Francisco State University at the time. [7]

    2006 Iranian sumptuary law

    Main article: 2006 Iranian sumptuary law
    On May 19, 2006, the National Post of Canada published two pieces, one by Taheri, claiming that the Iranian parliament passed a law that “envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, who will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public.” [1]
    The National Post retracted the story several hours after it was posted online. The newspaper blamed Taheri for the falsehood in the article, [2] [3] and published a full apology on May 24. [4]

    Taheri apparently stands by his reportage.[5]

  • Each gambler has their own pocket in the ecology of Middle East politics.

    USA wants to have a nuisance satellite state. UK wants to back USA politics. France has Arab ambitions. What else is left to Germany when Bush knocked Merkel out?

    Those nuclear subs probably work as long as they press off-button in Germany.

    — Happy fishing in ocean of noise!

  • The neoconservatives are described as enthusiastic about the possibility of using NSA intelligence as a lever to widen the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel and Hamas into a four-front war.

    Gradually escalating fronts would fit WWIII scenario. (In this scenario WWIII started in Afghanistan and Chechenya in which the war continues for decades.)

    The probability of WWIII is higher when there are people on both sides of the front who want to expand the war, who believe that the risk of losing is nonexistent and that the wars are quick business.

    — Happy fishing in ocean of noise!

  • shhhhhh.

    Oh yes, that’s one problematic thing about reliance on complex high-tech bought from abroad – the prospect of “back doors” buried indecipherably deep in systems.

    It ain’t just Israeli communications companies that can play that game; it goes back to American telecom companies in the mid 20th ct.

  • I pondered this a couple of minutes.

    Israel can use 2nd strike capability only after the its civilian population has been killed.

    Thus in an attack to Israel IAF and some other military targets would be wiped out (during the first 5 minutes with missiles) and then the civilian population would be left as a hostage to prevent 2nd strike.

    — Happy fishing in ocean of noise!

  • This may actually have a higher final death toll than Qana, and is far enough away from the Israeli border that it cannot plausibly be claimed that rockets were being fired from it. has this

    3 Golani troops killed

    Cleared for publication: During operation in southern Lebanese village of Markhava Hizbullah fires anti-tank missile killing officer, two soldiers; in separate incident 2 soldiers injured in Al-Taybeh

    Efrat Weiss

    Two soldiers and an officer of the Golani Brigade were killed overnight Friday by an anti-tank rocket fired by Hizbullah, the army said.

    The soldiers were identified as First Sergeant Daniel Shiran, 20, of Haifa, and First Sergeant Omri Elmakis, 20, of Ramle.

    An IDF officer was seriously wounded and another soldier was lightly injured in the incident.

    Golani troops were attacked during an operation in the southern Lebanese village of Markhaba. The army said that at least seven terrorists were killed in the village and weapon caches were found. A car driven by backup Hizbullah gunmen was destroyed.

    An Israeli air strike on a parking lot used by trucks and buses near Lebanon’s border with Syria in the eastern Bekaa Valley on Friday killed or wounded 25 civilians, security sources said. They said warplanes bombarded the parking near the village of Qaa in the northern tip of the Bekaa close to a Lebanese customs point on the border.

    Earlier, the army said that two Israeli soldiers were wounded – one moderately and another lightly – in fresh clashes with Hizbullah in the southern Lebanese village of al-Taybeh. One of the soldiers was an officer.

    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.

    Al-Jazeera was at one point reporting more than 60 dead at the parking lot in Qaa, 90% of them women and children. Latest figure apparently is 33 dead, more wounded.

    From a Lebanese viewer:

    Another crime, another massacre today!
    Israel killed 33 citizens in Al kaa region in al-Bekaa.
    Al jazeera tv was broadcasting the pictures of the bodies, or the pieces of bodies and autopsies, very similar to the Qana’s Massacre.
    this thread is dedicated to the persons who died in this massacre.

    AP has this:

    An Israeli airstrike hit dozens of farm workers loading vegetables near the Lebanon-Syria border, killing 28, the workers’ foreman and a Lebanese official said.

    link has this:

    26 people, mostly Syrians, killed in an Israeli raid on workers filling a refrigerated room with boxes of fruit and vegetables in Qaa village in the Bekaa valley near the Syrian border

  • …Everything I’ve reported I’ve either seen with my own eyes, or it has come from trusted non-Hizbullah sources. Like the ambulance story. I spoke with the drivers and I saw the very ambulances. It was not faked, and it was definitely an Israeli missile of some kind that destroyed the ambulances.

    As far as Qana, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what the scene was like, other than what my colleagues — who I trust — told me and what I saw on television. As for the death toll going down from 54 to 28, well, that happens. It was apparently a confusing time and the mortician at the al-Bass Government Hospital gave out some numbers that included people also killed that day but in other places. As for why it took so long to get there, well, the strike happened at night and no one travels much after dark here, certainly not in the middle of an Israeli bombardment. I don’t believe Qana was faked, as some bloggers are charging. People like Michelle Malkin are full of it and refuse to see anything with even a scintilla of objectivity or fairness. They are not journalists; they are jokes.

  • entirely conventional submarines that may (or may not) have a nuclear strike role. That in turn somewhat depends upon whether you believe in Popeye Turbo or not. For my part, I always wonder (a) where these subs would be based, as their role would almost certainly be in the Persian Gulf/Indian Ocean and (b) how their command control is supposed to work.

  • Officials: Israeli strikes in Lebanon flatten houses, 57 buried in rubble

    Israeli air strikes on two villages in south Lebanon on Friday flattened two houses, and 57 people were reported buried in the rubble, security officials and the state news agency reported.
    The number of dead was not immediately known. The warplanes hit Taibeh, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the Israeli border, destroying a house where 17 people had taken refuge. (AP)

    (08.04.06, 20:03),7340,L-3286381,00.html

  • Iraqi Shiites chant ‘Death to Israel’

    By MURTADA FARAJ, Associated Press Writer
    Fri Aug 4, 10:35 AM ET

    Hundreds of thousands of Shiites chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” marched through the streets of Baghdad’s biggest Shiite district Friday in a show of support for Hezbollah militants battling Israeli troops in Lebanon….

    The demonstration was the biggest in the Middle East in support of Hezbollah since the Israeli army launched an offensive July 12 after a guerrilla raid on northern Israel. The protest was organized by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose political movement built around the Mahdi Army militia has been modeled after Hezbollah.

    Al-Sadr summoned followers from throughout the Shiite heartland of southern Iraq to converge on Baghdad for the rally but he did not attend.

    Demonstrators, wearing white burial shrouds symbolizing their willingness to die for Hezbollah, waved the group’s yellow banner and chanted slogans in support of its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, who has attained a cult status in the Arab world for his defiance of Israel.

    “Allah, Allah, give victory to Hassan Nasrallah,” the crowd chanted.

    “Mahdi Army and Hezbollah are one. Let them confront us if they dare,” the predominantly male crowd shouted, waving the flags of Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq…

    Factoid: the combined Shia population of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran exceeds 83 million.


    The neocons are doing a ‘heckuva job’ in the region. Heckuva job.

  • …and see if there are any ELF antennae out there, though IIRC there is supposedly a follow on replacement technology that I can’t quite place.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • I was reading somewhere this morning that a female journalist was questioned for gathering info from refugees for Israel. Right now I can’t remember where I read it, did anyone else see it? My luck I posted it!

    In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. ~ Carl Sandburg

  • have to take that raging hard on you have for me Escher and speak to the Lebanese Arab who has written so much that pisses you off.

    I’m guessing this is how jews must react when they read anti-Israeli jewish writers.

    Hey, maybe you can call the lebaneseblogger an anti-semite. 🙂

    Yeah Taheri is a dispreputable source. Shame that guy has him listed on his website like that. Lamont is having the same problem Hamsher apparently.

  • Iranian official admits Tehran supplied missiles to Hezbollah

    By Amos Harel and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents

    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.

    20:43 MK Barakeh: Everyone with a conscience must scream for insanity to stop (Haaretz)

    20:42 Hadash MK Dov Hanin calls for widening protest campaign against the gov`t (Haaretz)

    20.53: ارتفاع عدد شهداء مجزرة القاع الى34
    20.50: قصف عنيف على عدد من قرى بنت جبيل

    20.53 People who died in the Al Qaa massacar went up to 34
    20.50 Heavy bombing on many villages around Bint Jbeil

    20:46 Balad MK Bishara: Jewish, Arab civilian deaths are victims of the same policy (Haaretz)
    20:43 MK Barakeh: Everyone with a conscience must scream for insanity to stop (Haaretz)
    20:42 Hadash MK Dov Hanin calls for widening protest campaign against the gov`t (Haaretz)

    21.16: صفارات الإنذار تدوي في حيفا
    21.10: الأمم المتحدة: منسق أنشطة الإنسانية في لبنان ندد باستمرار القصف الإسرائيلي للبنى التحتية المدنية
    21.05: السفارة الروسية في بيروت أعدت سبلا جديدة لاجلاء رعاياها

    21.16 Sirens go off in Haifa
    21.10 UN: condems the hitting of lebanese infrastructure
    21.05 the russian embassy prepared a plan to evacuate its citizens

    21.20: حزب الله يعلن أنه قصف القاعدة المركزية لسلاح الجو في شمال إسرائيل

    21.20 HA declares that they bombed the IAF Headquarter in northern Isreal
    21.26: صواريخ حزب الله تطال منطقة جزرائيل شمال اسرائيل

    21.26 HA sent rockets to Jisra^el

    21:27 Rockets reported to have landed in Hadera (Channel 10)

    21:27 Venezuela`s Chavez compares Israel`s operations in Lebanon to Hitler`s (Reuters)

    For first time: siren heard in Hadera area
    (21:22 , 08.04.06)
    Sirens heard in Haifa, Krayot and Zichron Yaakov
    (21:20 , 08.04.06)
    Sirens heard in Akko
    (21:18 , 08.04.06)

    Aug. 4, 2006 19:40
    Long-range missiles land near Migdal Ha’emek

    Several long-range rockets landed near Migdal Ha’emek on Friday evening causing no injuries or damage
    IDF: Rockets did not land near Zichron Ya’akov

    Contrary to a report issued by the IDF’s Home Front Command, the IDF spokesman unit stressed that rockets did not land near Zichron Ya’akov on Friday evening.

    The sirens that were heard in the region, some 75 km south of the border with Lebanon, were a false alarm
    Aug. 4, 2006 21:30
    Rockets strike Hadera region for the first time

    Three rockets landed in the region of Hadera on Friday night marking the southernmost point Hizbullah has fired so far in the conflict, some 90 km south of the Lebanese border.

    No injuries or damage were reported.

  • But inaccurate – I don’t bear you any personal animosity whatsoever.

    Conflating Hamsher and Fisk with a paid propagandist like Taheri, busted in myriad acts of information falsification – all independently verifiable – is untenable.

    It’s 2006. The growth of pan-Islamic sentiment – and for that matter the inherent nature of the relationship of Jews around the globe to Israel – is proving once again that peoples’ ethnicities and birthrights are vastly less relevant than their self-identification.

  • They are not journalists; they are

    spies and propagandists.

    Some Finnish journalists seem to work as freelancer spies abroad. I assume the same applies fairly to other nationalities.

    — Happy fishing in ocean of noise!

  • I vaguely remember that this Zelzal has a range of 210 kilometers, reaching well Tel Aviv. I wonder what are the timing criterias of Hizbollah for a rocket strike.

    Speaking about Iran’s atomic bomb carried by Hizbollah’s missile after a year is of course bullshit. Chemical weapons are the atomic bomb of a poor man.

    In the future conflicts the missiles could be carrying chemical weapons. Thus Israeli politicians want to freeze the current status quo and speak about the wide peace plan in Middle East in overtly positive tone. Miserable bullshit.

    The only option they have to save their Jewish asses asymptotically in Israel is to adopt Arab-hugger attitude and populate their piece of rocks with human shield Arabs side by side Jews. And they should keep those Arabs happy because Arabs seem to have exploding qualities when they are unhappy.

    — Happy fishing in ocean of noise!

  • is probably more likely than land-based ELF. It’s VLF, not ELF, but given the shorter radius of action of these diesel-electric subs and probably a more shallow operating depth, VLF would likely work. Much less conspicuous than an ELF antenna: the question would be whether one of the IAF’s 707s or C-130s was pulled out of service to be fitted with the equipment. But the IAF is even more secretive about the707s than about their fighters.

  • because they find the truth on the ground. Israel hates journalists more than Americans do, perhaps the most of all.

    Lessee, how many journalists have been killed in Iraq? the most EVER. and the most lost by Al-Aribiya.

    One person’s spy is another person’s eyes and ears on the ground for atrocities.
    If this were 1700, they’d be saying: “Since civilization began, slavery has existed. It’s human nature.” I would have believed it. If 1800: “Women will never vote. They are not born rational”. I would have believed it.
    2006: Make war irrelevant

  • all journalists are spies for the other side.

    The other side, of course – the main enemy, the people who need to be defeated first to keep Vietnam-style defeat at bay – is the public.

    Journalists are, in fact, spies. They are our spies.

    John Carter’s signature is something like “the real enemy is the military. It doesn’t matter what side they profess to be on”. I would say that I personally don’t wish to frame it as that, but it is as certain that the military is very clear that the reverse is true.

    I don’t seek enemies and I never have, but to the extent that someone declares I am theirs…

  • Hezbollah have not committed their real troops yet, just their “village

    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
    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
    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
    Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah support
    Hezbollah support appears to have remained strong despite the Israeli

    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
    “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
    Hezbollah has a full infrastructure that gives these people every possible
    means to keep standing

    Hussein, member of Hezbollah
    At one Beirut school, 1,500 people are living in a refugee centre run by
    “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 arsenal of weapons, many Lebanese see the group as
    a state within a state.


  • Three Israeli soldiers were kidnapped. (The location of the capture of two of them is subject to dispute.)

    As a result of the ongoing Israeli response, well over 1000 ethnically Arab people in Lebanon and Gaza have been killed, and counting. gives a figure of 907 dead in Lebanon and since 06/25/06, 177 Palestinians have been killed in ongoing violence.

    The dead include Canadians and Syrian citizens, as well as Lebanese and Palestinians.

    Naharnet counts 3293 injured, and 913,760 displaced. Many thousands are now homeless.

    Enormous damage has been done to Lebanon’s infrastructure and environment, to the tune of billions of dollars.

    Regional and world political tensions have been severely inflamed, and in much of the Islamic world hatred of Israel and the USA is at boiling point, with furious resentment against both bound to last for years among greater numbers of people than before.

    Scores of Israeli civilians and military have been killed and maimed in a war that has been estimated to be costing Israel $1 billion per day.

    Surveying this doleful scene, two thoughts occur to me:

    1. An integral part of wisdom, both intellectual and moral, is a sense of proportion.

    2. The Israeli leadership, by a wholly disproportionate response, demonstrated that it is severely deficient in wisdom.

    Actually a third as well:

    3. The neoconservatives who have dominated US policy during the Bush Administration’s tenure should take their wicked and incredibly disastrous mentality to the grave as soon as possible, because I don’t believe the world can take much more of it.

  • Israeli border strike ‘kills 26’

    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….

    ……Lebanon says more than 900 people have died since then, most of them civilians. Israel has lost 29 civilians and about 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.

    One worker, Mohammad Rashed, told Syrian television: “I was picking peaches when three bombs hit. Others were having lunch and they were torn to pieces.”

    An Israeli army spokesman said the air force had spotted “a truck that was suspected to have been loaded with weapons from Syria”. It entered a building which planes then targeted after it left.

    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.

  • close to a personal insult and we have a very strict policy that there are no personal insults allowed here at The Agonist allowed at all. They are deleted immediately and without warning.

    Everyone in this community abides by this rule and I hope you will too. While I disgree with you frequently you do bring a refreshing bit of contrarianism that is useful.

    So please, avoid the personal insults and stick with the issues.

  • Thousands to march in support of immediate ceasefire

    By Terri Judd and Colin Brown
    Published: 05 August 2006

    The largest peace march since before the Iraq invasion is expected to descend upon Downing Street today demanding that Tony Blair calls for an unconditional ceasefire in the Middle East.

    In a powerful demonstration of the groundswell of opinion across Britain, as many as 100,000 people are predicted to take to the streets around Parliament Square.

    As Mr Blair was this week forced to concede that even members of his cabinet had “doubts” over his handling of the situation, protesters will deliver children’s shoes to his London home to represent those whose lives have been lost in the 24-day conflict.

    A letter bearing 40,000 signatures will also be handed in, calling on Mr Blair to work towards ending the “bloodshed and destruction unfolding daily”.


    Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

    HASSAN Nasrallah is in a quagmire. If, according to his own statements, Nasrallah knew Israel would attack Lebanon between September and November, if he was aware the Zionist enemy was ready for war and if he had received this information, which even the Pentagon and CIA could not receive, why did he give Israel an opportunity to launch the war before time by kidnapping two of its soldiers? Nasrallah has called for the beginning of a second phase of this war.

    In what he calls “Beyond Haifa,” Nasrallah says his fighters will begin rocket attacks deeper into Israel, south of Haifa. We wonder if Nasrallah took any time to review his achievements in the first phase of the war against the enemy before thinking about the next. So far his only achievements have been causing the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure and killing of innocent Lebanese. If he begins the second phase the only result will be wiping out of whatever remains of Lebanon’s infrastructure and killing of the rest of the Lebanese.

    Dictatorial decisions taken by a single man like Nasrallah, who gets instructions from foreign countries, will always lead to sorrow. The ongoing war in Lebanon is a clash between Israel and the United States on the one side, and Iran and Syria on the other. Although each party in the war wants to demonstrate its power in Lebanon, none of them wants its role to be recognized.

    In a message to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Rafsanjani has expressed his country’s support to Saudi Arabia’s proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. This indicates Tehran has started worrying it may lose the war and wants to retreat. However, Nasrallah seems not to have received this information. So if he goes ahead with his so-called “Beyond Haifa” mission, he will be left alone.

    The ceasefire proposed by Saudi Arabia is its own idea and not dictated by anybody else. After realizing its inevitable defeat, the Iran-Syria combine has changed its mind on the war and decided to support the Saudi proposal. Nasrallah won’t be able to cover his mistakes by appearing on TV channels and claiming to possess unreasonable information, which cannot be proved by anybody. Nasrallah’s claims give the impression that he has some spy satellites flying over the United States and Israel.

    Nasrallah’s dictatorship will sink like those of Saddam Hussein and other regimes, which did not know their true ability. Egyptians suffered under the dictatorship of the late Gamal Abdul Nasser who led them to war in 1967. The late Egyptian President believed Arab power can defeat Israel. However, the result was different as Arabs were handed out a humiliating defeat. Nasrallah, who is being remote-controlled by Iran and Syria, believes he is in the mold of many Arab leaders. But the fact is he is playing with fire.


  • As war rages on in Lebanon, Israel has been targeting not only Hizbullah’s fighters, but also, the social network that prior to the current clashes had served Lebanon’s Shiite community with its basic needs. Massive damage to Hizbullah’s social facilities along with the huge outflow of refugees from southern Lebanon has weighed heavily on the Shiite group’s welfare capabilities. As a result, promises of Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to help the nation’s poor Shiite population are being put to the test.

    Shiites remain the poorest community among Lebanon’s religious groups, while many manage to escape dire poverty only through emigration. Those who do decide to remain in Lebanon have been supported until now by a host of services provided by the Iranian-backed movement, including free education and health care.

    According to the AP, the most significant damages, however, were inflicted on the offices of Beit Al Mal—Hizbullah’s unofficial treasury. The Israeli attacks on Beit Al Mal have disrupted Hizbullah’s ability to continue channeling funds to support various party activities, as well as payments for its activists.

    In addition to physical damage to Hizbullah facilities, many Hizbullah operatives, including those in charge of social affairs, have been forced to flee. Consequently, almost all of Hizbullah’s welfare activities have come to halt.

    Hundreds of thousands of refugees – most of whom Shiites – are currently in need of huge amounts of humanitarian aid. These refugees, flooding Beirut and other major cities in Lebanon, struggle to find food, water and medicine; many have even been forced to sleep in city parks, abandoned cellars or in schools throughout the capital. The amount of aid required to help such refugees is estimated at billions of dollars, a sum far beyond Hizbullah’s budget, which ranges between US$150 – US$ 200 million per year. Thus, in a bid to raise funds, Hizbullah’s Al Manar television station recently began calling for donations from its viewers.

    Additionally, Hizbullah will need billions of dollars to rebuild the infrastructure of its Dahiya stronghold in southern Beirut, as what has been termed the “Hizbullah capital,” has been reduced to ruins by intensive Israeli air raids.

    According to Lebanese sources monitoring the current situation, the small amount of aid distributed by the Imam Khomeini Relief Committees and the emergency welfare committees of Hizbullah is but “a drop in the sea”. Thus, according to such sources, Hizbullah best bet for easing the crisis is international humanitarian assistance. Only through such assistance will Hizbullah be able to avoid potential criticism within the Shiite sect.

    Even now, despite the united front exhibited by Lebanon’s political parties following the Qana carnage, concerns are being voiced by Lebanese Shiites over Hizbullah’s foresight regarding ensuing economic and social consequences when it decided to capture two Israeli soldiers. These voices have also expressed concern over how Nasrallah is to fulfill his vow to refugees for a quick return to their homes.

    In sum, after the current Lebanon war has ended, a long period of rehabilitation will be required to get Lebanon back on its feet. The effort will require significant international action, whereas Hizbullah may be left with a relatively negligible role in the process.

  • Jonathan Lis, Amiram Barkat, Aluf Benn, Yoav Stern and Amos Harel| August 5

    Ha’aretz – An Israel Defense Forces soldier who was seriously wounded after a mortar round struck an engineering corps vehicle in which he was being transported died of his wounds Saturday.

    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. Another soldier suffered light injuries and was treated at the scene.

    The dead soldier has been identified as Staff Sergeant Or Shachar, 20, from Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.

    Also Saturday, troops from an elite naval commando unit of the Israel Defense Forces killed at least seven Hezbollah gunmen in a raid against targets in the Tyre region before dawn Saturday.

    Eight soldiers were wounded in the operation, two seriously and the rest lightly.

    The commandos were transported by helicopter to citrus groves near the northern entrance to Tyre, where they were met by resistance from armed Hezbollah operatives.

    An IDF spokesman said the operation was launched against Hezbollah guerrillas believed responsible for firing missiles at Hadera on Friday.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Ze’ev Schiff | August 5

    Ha’aretz – After a brief hiatus, Hezbollah has resumed firing rockets at northern Israel. It is trying to fire as many rockets as possible, and this week, it set a one-day record of 200 rockets. Hezbollah is primarily using short-range rockets – 122-millimeter Katyushas. Its inventory of medium- and long-range rockets has been drastically reduced, because Israel Air Force operations have knocked out many of them.

    The present situation emphasizes the IAF’s limited capacity for dealing with small rockets, which are tiny targets. It is just as difficult to rid southern Lebanon of small rockets as it is to stop the firing of Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip. Judging from the data on the extent of Hezbollah’s arsenal of short-range rockets, it can continue its war of attrition for another three months.

    The above facts underline the gravity of the error Israel made in not immediately launching, alongside the aerial attacks, an extensive, multipronged ground campaign – obviously, including air support – in southern Lebanon, where the short-range rockets are positioned. From the start, Israel’s deployment of its armed forces has been problematic. Apparently, the Israel Defense Forces’ immense firepower is not being fully activated.

    Now, everyone is seeking explanations – or excuses – for this state of affairs. The Prime Minister’s Office says that the IDF never suggested extensive ground operations alongside the aerial attacks. One of the IDF’s original objectives was to clear a one- to two-kilometer strip of territory north of Israel’s border and prevent Hezbollah’s return to that area. The idea was that, since its forces would not remain in Lebanon, Israel would thwart Hezbollah’s attempts to return to the border by firing from within Israeli territory.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Yoav Stern, Amiram Barkat, Amos Harel, Jack Khoury, Eli Ashkenazi, and Ran Reznick | August 5

    Ha’aretz – One woman died of a heart attack and six others were lightly injured after a barrage of 11 Katyusha rockets were fired by Hezbollah at the Krayot region in the suburbs of Haifa on Saturday, according to Israel Radio. Ten people were treated for shock.

    Frida Kellner, an 87-year-old resident of Kiryat Ata who took cover in a bomb shelter during the rocket strikes, sustained a heart attack after requesting to return to her home. She was evacuated to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where she was later pronounced dead.

    Local police say a home in the area was burning after it took a direct hit. Several cars were damaged also damaged, police said.


    A torrent of rockets were fired in the direction of the Golan Heights on Friday, some of which landed in Quneitra, a town on the Syrian side of the border.

    [Comment: Oops. When you can’t hit the right country, that’s not the most accurate weapon. ~ JPD]

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • 05/08/2006

    UNITED NATIONS,AP – The United States said it is close to a deal with France on a resolution demanding an end to more than three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants but that some issues still need to be resolved.

    U.S. Ambassador John Bolton met with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, on Friday to try to bridge the remaining differences. French and U.S. officials were expected to meet again Saturday.

    With international pressure for an end to hostilities intensifying, the United States said it expects the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution early next week.

    “We are very close to a final draft with the French on a text,” U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.

    Bolton and de La Sabliere have refused to say what the remaining differences are, but Security Council diplomats said one crucial problem was the timing of a halt to the fighting and the deployment of an international force.

    France, reflecting wide international opinion, including that of its former colony Lebanon, wants an immediate end to the violence. The United States, Israel’s closest ally, does not want a halt without the immediate implementation of other steps, including the deployment of peacekeepers.

    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said late Friday that negotiations had gone so well the draft might be ready to circulate to the rest of the Security Council over the weekend.

    Under the most optimistic scenario, a vote could come as early as Tuesday.

    If agreement on a resolution appears likely, there is a possibility that foreign ministers of the 15 council nations may fly to New York for a meeting.

    more at Al-Sharq al-Awsat


    Comment: I read an article from Stratfor that analyzed Hassan Nezrallah’s speech as meaning Hizbullah would retaliate on Tel Aviv if Israel sent ground forces into Beirut and I doubt Israel is willing to send their troops into Lebanon’s capital city, because that would result in a war of attrition.

    Stratfor also believed Hizbullah is firing so many rockets in Israel because their positions to fire them are being compromised by Israel attacks in Southern Lebanon. Hizbullah’s strength is getting a ceasefire as quickly as possible; delaying it is Israel’s object so they can continue their assault on Hizbullah’s fortifications. If Hizbullah is forced to move north, they would have to fire rockets with longer range. Whether they have that ordnance won’t be known unless and until Israel is successful in overcoming their resistance in the South.

    So far what they have hit from the air has been mostly civilians—their intelligence is poor. Ground forces may correct that, but the progress of ground forces is slow, incurs more casualties on both sides. Israel will meet Hizbullah combatants as they attempt to move forward.

    Hizbullah is prepared to commit their ground forces against Israel’s ground forces and have stated that many times. Israel on the other hand, isn’t prepared to suffer those casualties. Colonel Lang published an article at CS Monitor on how successful they’ve been at fighting guerilla forces.

  • August 5

    The Jerusalem Post – An IDF soldier, 20-year-old Sgt. Or Shahar from Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, was killed and nine were wounded during operations in Lebanon early Saturday morning.

    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.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • August 5

    The Jerusalem Post – The IDF on Saturday broadcast warnings to the residents of the Lebanese coastal city of Sidon, recommending they leave their homes and move northward, in order to evade an impending attack.

    IAF warplanes attacked over 70 targets in Lebanon overnight Friday, including southern neighborhood of Beirut.

    Among the targets in the neighborhood of Dahiya were underground Hizbullah operations rooms, weapons stores and two rocket launchers. The army also hit the offices of a newspaper that, according to the IDF, was used to spread incitement and Hizbullah propaganda, Army Radio reported.

    A road connecting eastern Lebanon and the city of Homs in Syria was also struck.

    The residents of the areas that came under fire were forewarned of the attack and advised to leave the area.

    Lebanese sources also reported of helicopters striking targets in Tyre.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Efrat Weiss | August 5

    Yediot Aharonot
    – A senior official in the Israeli Navy praised the army’s overnight raid on Tyre Saturday, which targeted the Hizbullah terror cell responsible for the Friday night rocket attack on the Israeli city of Hadera.

    “This was a heroic operation which exhibited courage, daring, planning and performance,” the official said. “The operation came full circle in a very short time, as intelligence abilities led forces to the terrorists, who then navigated and overcome the targets within an urban area.”

    The IDF wished to issue a message of deterrence with the raid, indicating that long-range fire deep into Israeli territory would incur immediate consequences. The city of Tyre and its surroundings have lately become a chief source of the long-range rocket fire into Israel, which has hit Afula, Beit Shean and other Israeli cities in addition to Hadera. During the raid, IDF commandos succeeded in killing senior commanders in Hizbullah’s strategic rocket-launch network.

    The senior officer related the details of Saturday’s events. “The 13th Flotilla (Naval Commando Unit) set out during the night in an operation against those responsible for the firing of strategic weapons from a vehicle inside a built-up neighborhood. This was a daring and intricate operation carried out inside a developed area with courage and determination. Forces reached the building inside the city. They approached the five-storey, 16-flat building and went up to the second floor,” he said.

    [Comment: As always a lot of hagiography of Special Operations in the Israeli press. Interesting to note the online commentary on the Ynet site, though – I don’t pay much attention to comments on the Israeli sites, but it caught my eye that there sure seems to be a lot of denial that they could hit this target. Guess it’s hitting folks where they live; getting beat by superior weapons systems is one thing, but the notion that the IDF can field people that can win a stand up fight seems to be threatening worldviews. ~ JPD]

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Efrat Weiss | August 5

    Yediot Aharonot – Six rocket barrages were fired at northern Israel from the areas of Wadi Saluki and Kabriah Majdel-Silim in south Lebanon towards the Northern Gallilee but landed in Syrian territory Saturday.

    The IDF noted that this was the second Hizbullah rocket fire attempt which landed across the border, indicating the terror group’s intentions to drag Syria into the Israeli-Lebanese conflict.

    Meanwhile, on the battlefield, after massive IDF operations in Tyre and the surrounding area, the army planned to target the town of Sidon directly north of Tyre. On Saturday afternoon the IDF called on residents of the area to evacuate their homes immediately and move north.

    The IDF said they warned residents in attempt to avoid civilian casualties.

    “For your own personal safety, read the message and act accordingly,” read flyers scattered in the area. “In your area criminal terrorist activity is being carried out in the firing of missiles towards Israel. The IDF will use full force against the terror gangs starting very soon. For your own safety, you must immediately leave the area and move north. Whoever stays endangers their lives. (Signed) The State of Israel.”

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Tyre | August 5

    AFP – Israeli helicopters struck the southern Lebanese city of Tyre Saturday in a dawn raid that Hezbollah said was a failed attempt to land commandos which left one Israeli dead.

    Police said the Israeli helicopters fired four missiles on Tyre’s northern outskirts, provoking a barrage of anti-aircraft fire.

    A large group of helicopters had roared over Tyre before dawn, spraying all the routes leading into the city with machine gunfire, police added.

    A Hezbollah official, who declined to be named, told AFP that an Israeli helicopter landed at Jall al-Bahr, an area of orchards at Tyre’s northern entrance and then fell victim to a Hezbollah “ambush”.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • Leave or be bombed, Israel tells Lebanese city
    05 Aug 2006 12:53:56 GMT
    Source: Reuters

    More (Recasts with Israeli warning to Sidon, adds Welch quotes)

    By Laila Bassam

    BEIRUT, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Israel said on Saturday it planned to bomb “Hizbollah rocket launching sites” in Sidon and warned the inhabitants of south Lebanon’s biggest city to leave.

    The Israeli army announced its intentions as a senior U.S. official was meeting Lebanese leaders on a possible deal to end Israel’s 25-day-old war with Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch said after meeting Prime Minister Fouad Siniora that the solution lay in a “lasting political framework backed by an international force”.

    An Israeli army spokesman said leaflets dropped on Sidon, whose normal population of 100,000 has been swollen by refugees from war zones further south, had warned all residents to leave.

    “We dropped leaflets warning residents to leave because the army will attack Hizbollah rocket launching sites in Sidon,” he said. Other army officials confirmed the warning had been given.

    A local official in Sidon, who asked not to be named, said Hizbollah’s Shi’ite guerrillas were not present in the mainly Sunni Muslim city. One resident said he had seen a leaflet that warned people to leave, but that did not mention Sidon by name.


    How the hell are they suppose to leave and too where – the bombs just keep following them? I sure hope george is enjoying his vacation…. ~ candy< ?i>

    In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. ~ Carl Sandburg

  • Flood of refugees overwhelms Lebanese shelters
    05 Aug 2006 14:16:29 GMT
    Source: Reuters

    By Michael Winfrey

    BEIRUT, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Humanitarian groups sought new routes to bring aid into Lebanon on Saturday after Israeli bombs severed their main route, and said a flood of refugees was overwhelming shelters in safe areas.

    Following a partial pause in bombing this week, Israel has resumed heavy strikes against targets in Lebanon, forcing tens of thousands more people to join the estimated 900,000 Lebanese displaced by the three-week-old war. Cassandra Nelson, senior communications officer for Mercy Corps, said schools, municipal buildings and parks in Beirut and the nearby Chouf mountains were full and refugees were running out of places to seek shelter.

    “These options have really been maxed out. The schools are full, hospital basements are full. With these additional people coming in, there’s no place to put them,” she said.

    “If even one case of a disease like mumps or measles happens it will spread like wildfire, and it will first hit the children, who make up 45 percent of the displaced.”

    The United Nations’ refugee agency UNHCR said strikes this week against the Lebanese city of Baalbek and other areas had increased the flow of people fleeing the country.

    Its monitoring teams reported 5,000 people a day had crossed the border and 140,000 were now in Syria.


    The U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) found a new route to bring in aid a day after Israeli warplanes struck four bridges to cut what the agency called its “umbilical cord” for supplies.

    It distributed food to 8,000 displaced in Beirut and will resume large convoys on Sunday to bring supplies from Syria and northern Lebanon to the bomb-ravaged south.

    “We’ve found there is a route accessible for our trucks on small secondary roads, but it’s going to be slow and difficult because of the heavy traffic,” said WFP spokesman Robin Lodge.

    The WFP said it had distributed food for 80,000 people for a week but tens of thousands more were trapped without aid.

    Medical group Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) said fighting in the south had prevented it from sending convoys there.

    MSF spokesman Bart Rijs said the war had especially hit displaced people with chronic illnesses who could not get treatment. He added water was running out in many places.

    “Sanitary conditions are worsening due to problems with water for drinking, showers and cleaning,” he said. “Over time the living conditions of the (displaced) are deteriorating.”

    The threat of fuel shortages for power plants, hospitals and water pumping stations loomed, as two ships loaded with 87,000 tonnes of fuel intended for Lebanon refused to approach Beirut for lack of written safety guarantees from Israel.

    The U.N. and Lebanon’s government say the country will come to a halt within days when fuel runs out.

    In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. ~ Carl Sandburg


    August 5

    The US and France reached agreement today on a UN Security Council resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, US Ambassador John Bolton said.

    An official said the draft calls for a “full cessation of violence” between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel the right to launch strikes if Hezbollah attacks it.

    “It does not say immediate cessation of violence,” said the official, who spoke anonymously because the draft had not yet been made public.

    If reports are correct, it would be a major victory for the US and Israel. France and many other nations had demanded an immediate halt to violence without conditions as a way to push the region back towards stability.

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