- Anan accuses Israel of deliberately targeting the UNIFIL post, Israel vociferously denies it
- Heavy fighting continues in Bint Jabel, 30 IDF wounded in ambush, 9 KIA, an additional 6 were wounded in Maroun al Ras
- IDF captures major water source in the east
- Rocket attacks on the north continue, over 120 fired, several injuries reported, widespread damage incurred
- IDF reenters northern Gaza
- The Lebanese PM declares his support for Hizbollah
10:10 PM: The only big news over night in Israel was that the IAF bombed another Lebanese army barracks and struck some radio and TV stations. I'm glad that they are taking the Lebanese army to task. They are collaborating with Hizbollah, and frankly, many of them are active members.
7:00 PM EST: The would be suicide bomber has been arrested in Samaria, after a counter terror operation by IDF special forces.
6:40 PM EST: Debkafile provides some insight into what went wrong today at Bint Jabel: "The initial investigation of what went wrong in the Bin Jubeil battle that ended Wednesday night showed that the Israeli force did not take control of the small town of 20,000, as reported, but left the northern approaches open and unguarded. A Hizballah reconnaissance team discovered the gap and deduced that the Israeli force had decided not to advance further north to the Litani River. The Hizballah force waiting at Banduriya to block that advance was turned around and re-entered Bint Jubeil to mount a counter-attack on the scattered IDF positions. Reinforcements from the surrounding villages boosted the Shiite force to 500 men armed with Sagger anti-tank missiles and mortars."
They also report that there are some army chiefs that are complaining about a lack of a clear objective on the part of the gov't and therefore a lack of a green light to bring in more soldiers and firepower. I don't know if you can take everything that Debka says at face value, but this definately appears to be what is happening. Only the coming days will show what that real story is.
5:20 PM EST: We have been reporting about two battle today that resulted an IDF casualties; one in Bint Jabel in the early morning which resulted in 8 KIA's and 30 wounded, and another later in the day at Maroun al Ras that resulted in several wounded. It has now been cleared for publication that there was an officer killed in Maroun al Ras along with 2 seriously wounded. This brings the total KIA for today to 9.
4:00 PM: And the terror elsewhere in Israel continues. One man was wounded in a shooting attack in Samaria and a Hebron resident was attacked by stone throwing arabs.
2:30 PM EST: With the record number of rockets in the north lets not forget about the south. An Israeli was lightly wounded by a Kassam fired out of Gaza in the Negev. There have been numerous Kassams that were launched today from Gaza, most of them falling in open fields. Also, China presses UN council to condemn IDF attack on peacekeepers (Reuters). Surprised?
2:15 PM: We reported earlier about a hightened terror alert for a suicide bomber. Well, IDF special forces are now surrounding the house in Samaria that they believe the bomber is holed up in. There really have been a lot of miracles today. Over 120 rockets were fired with no fatalities and now a potential suicide bomber is caught before he can kill. The hand of the Lord is definately at work.
1:35 PM EST: It has now been cleared for publication that 8 soldiers, 3 of them officers, were killed in the heavy fighting in Bint Jabil earlier this morning, along with 30 more wounded. Earlier we reported that Israel National Radio had broadcast that as many as 13 or 14 were killed, so it is still unclear if there were more casualties. Also, the IAF just destroyed the Hizbollah southern HQ in Tyre.
Inside Israel: The Mayor of the border Town of Kiryat Shemona is calling for a complete evacuation of the city. Kiryat Shemona has been hit by hundreds of rockets and sustained enormous damage. There have been over 120 rockets fired into Israel today causing a lot of damage and injuries. Miraculously, there have been no fatalities so far.
12:20 Pm: The Iraqi PM just delivered a speech before a joint session of Congress. The big news was that Senators Boxer and Schumer boycotted the speech because of his previous anti-Israel remarks. While I certainly have disdain for the Iraqi PM's remarks, I must say that this is the biggest chutzpah I have ever witnessed in my life. These very liberal vermin that created this whole perilous situation for Israel through the Oslo Holocaust are now concerned about Israel? These very scum that embraced Arafat and seek to appease all of Israel's enemies are now concerned about the remarks of a weak Arab leader that is just saying what he need to say to remain in power?? These same pieces of human debris that spoke before the most prominent anti Semitic, anti Israel, liberal blog convention (Daily Kos) are now concerned about Jews? The unbelievably profound irony is that they speak before anti war crowds that chant "no war for Israel".
Also, keep in mind that these are the same sewer rats that have a high regard for the UN which seeks the destruction of Israel! They even mounted an unprecedented filibuster of John Bolton because of his support for Israel, and they are now defenders of Israel??!! If this speech was good enough for Senators Santorum and Brownback who support Israel's existence in it's entirety, including Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, then its good enough for me. I guess the Democrats hate Bush so much that they will even give up their hate for Israel in order to make him look bad! Maybe they should walk out every time fellow Democrat Senator Chris Dodd speaks due to his anti Israel positions.
12:10 PM EST: There were 6 more soldiers wounded by an anti-tank missile near Maroun al Ras. Remember that this was the city that was thought to have been under control several days ago. It appears that they are trying to fight a hit and run war instead of a head on confrontation. It is clear that the only way to deal with this is to stop worrying about collateral damage and carpet bomb the border area with airstrikes and artillery. Anyone near the border at this point is obviously a terrorist.
11:15 AM EST: The Lebanese PM Emil Lahoud announced support for Hizbollah today in an interview with the German newspaper Der Speigel. He was reported as saying, "I support the Hizbullah because they liberated our land". I really hope that Condi Rice and Olmert are listening.
Column Update: Here is a must read John Hawkins piece in Human Events that details the over obsession with civilian casualties and explains that this problem has endangered Israel for years. I would say that this is what Israel is dealing with right now and causing them unnecessary casualties.
10:30 AM: Latest Military Report: While there has been a lot of focus on the battle in Bint Jabel and the heavy casualties incurred, there have been other major developments on the ground. It appears that the IDF has seized a major water source that they had once controlled. Keep in mind that Israel is always in deperate need of water, so this is very significant. Debkafile reports, "Perhaps the most important gain from the crisis is Israel's recovery of control over its main sources of water, the Wazani springs in the divided Ghajar village. This was achieved in the early hours of the IDF push in the east. Israel will not cede this asset in a hurry."
They also report that although most of the fighting is taking place in south central Lebanon, there is some fighting in the eastern sector as well: "The main battle in this sector is now centering on the Majidya base in Khiam, source of Hizballah rocket attacks on Kiryat Shemona and the Galilee panhandle communities Majidya was once a Lebanese army training facility for new recruits under Israeli military instructors. It was demolished when Israel pulled out of south Lebanon in May 2000. Aside from the Hizballah concentration in Majidya, its men are fairly thin on the ground in the Eastern Sector."
In regard to the local civilian response to the IDF they say," the mixed village population on the Israeli units path of advance, Druzes, Shiites, Sunnis and Christians, provides a useful shield for Hizballah fighters. They take full advantage of the directives to Israeli ground forces not to touch Druze and Christian villages. By long Lebanese tradition, the Druzes shut their village doors to Shiites, while the Christians accommodate them because they don't know how long Israeli forces will be around to protect them against the Hizballah." Remember that in 2000, Israel suddenly retreated from Lebanon and left the Christian army undefended. Many of them were slaughtered in the aftermath, so you can't blame them for fearing another retreat by the IDF.
10:15 AM EST: More rockets struck Carmiel causing major damage to electric power lines. Also, there is a terror alert in Samaria right now after there were reports of a possible suicide bomber on the lose. Police are setting up roadblocks and traffic is getting tied up.
9:10 AM EST: There are more Kassams being launched by Hamas in Gaza. Meanwhile, there is a major operation under way in northern Gaza, 15 Hamas terrorists were killed 40 wounded. Now is the time to annihilate Hamas while the pro terrorist media is up north helping out Hizbollah. Unfortunately, Olmert has indicated that he doesn't wish to obliterate these Islamonazis.
8:20 AM EST: The entire Galilee is under an intense barrage of rockets right now. There is widespread damage, but no serious injuries reported since earlier this morning. Hizbollah terrorists are now saying that the coastal city of Netanya, 100 km south of the border, will be their next target.
In Bint Jabel, the number of casualties has climbed to over 25. Israel National Radio is reporting that 14 of them might have been killed, but this is still unconfirmed. No fatalities reported yet, but there are 3 that are seriously wounded. There appeared to have been a cowardly ambush on the part of the terrorists after blending in with the civilian population in Bint Jabel. An intense face to face battle ensued and continued throughout the morning with missiles and explosives hurled at the soldiers. I will report more on the battle as the details become available. It appears that the battle is over and all the terrorists have been killed. There were dozens of Hizbollah bodies spread out on the battlefield. I really believe that they need more troops on the ground and must end this practice of fighting a PC war. Anyone left in these southern towns are terrorists that are fighting as guerrillas. Israel is taking many civilian and military casualties because they are scared of killing the enemy civilians. You cannot win a war that way.
6:30 AM: Over 40 rockets were fire so far. In Lebanon, it appears that the IDF has been successful in evacuating the casualties.
6:15 AM EST: Update on the fighting in Bint Jabel. It is being reported that a group of Hibollah terrorists have ambushed some IDF soldiers with RPG's and other explosives resulting in 13 wounded. They are having trouble evacuating the casualties due to the intensity of the fire fight. They are trying to use guerilla tactics of blending in with the civilian population even after the IDF already captures a city.
Meanwhile, rockets have been falling in Haifa, Safed, and all of northern Israel throughout the morning there. There were 5 moderately and lightly injured in Haifa, one injured in Safed when a rocket destroyed his house. There was damage reported elsewhere, the only major casualty was in Krayot where someone is reported to be in serious condition after his car was struck. There have also been several rockets fired in the south from Gaza this morning. The IDF has responded by reentering northern Gaza on the ground, and taking over some local rooftops to try and stop the rocket fire. About 10 terrorists were killed overnight in Gaza. The new operation there is being called "Samson's Pilliars".
12:45 AM: It is now early morning Israel time and there is heavy fighting again in Bint Jabel. There are reports of casualties, their condition is unknown. Yesterday, we reported that the IDF captured the city but there remained pockets of resistance that were blending into the population and fighting more of a guerilla conflict than a head on confrontation.
12:30 AM EST: Every reader knows by now that I don't hide my disdain for the current Secretary of State Condi Rice. Her vociferous advocating of a Palestinian Hamas terror state in the midst of the war on terror, along with other appeasement policies in regard to Iran, have really rattled my nerves as a "red meat conservative". Well, it looks like other major conservatives are now calling for her removal. Here is an article from Insight Magazine that reports about major conservatives such as Richard Perle, Newt Gingrich, and top aids to Cheney and Rumsfeld calling for Bush to remove Miss Rice from the State Dep't. Newt explained his position, "We are sending signals today that no matter how much you provoke us, no matter how viciously you describe things in public, no matter how many things you're doing with missiles and nuclear weapons, the most you'll get out of us is talk. Also, "Condi was sent to rein in the State Department, a senior congressional staffer said, "instead she was reined in".
The article goes on to say, "the critics said Miss Rice has adopted the approach of Mr. Burns and the State Department bureaucracy that most if not all problems in the Middle East can be eased by applying pressure on Israel. They said even as Hezbollah was raining rockets on Israeli cities and communities, Miss Rice was on the phone nearly every day demanding that the Israeli government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert exercise restraint." This article has confirmed my fears about the Clintonian foreign policy of Miss Rice.
12:10 AM EST: On the Diplomatic front, the big news yesterday was that 4 UNIFIL "observers" were killed by an IAF bomb. Not surprisingly, Kofi Anan came out swinging and accused Israel of deliberately destroying the UN post. The Israeli Ambassador vociferously denied it and said that Anan's accusations were shocking. As we have been reporting, UNIFIL has been helping Hizbollah against Israel for years, and I have no doubt that they are still helping them even during the war. Here is a press release from the UN website that indicates that they have been rebuilding roads in Hizbollah controlled areas.
Also, North Korea has assailed Bush's strong support for Israel. This confirms what many of us believe that NK is aligned with Iran and is involved with arms sales to rough nations.
Inside Israel, the rockets have started earlier than the last few days. 5 rockets landed in Tiberias ans Safed, but no injuries were reported.