Friday, July 21, 2006

Israel At War: Day 10 of Exclusive Coverage

(Note: this post will be continuously updated with breaking news and commentary)
- Potential suicide bomber was caught in Tel Aviv
- 3 or 4 IDF divisions are deploying along the Lebanese border in possible preparation for incursion, 100 terrorists killed this week
- Farsi was heard being shouted during the special ops border battle
- One soldier killed, 3 injured in Apache Helicopter collision near the Lebanese border

- KIA's in the border battle has now climbed to 4, heavy fighting continues today
- Hizbollah rockets strike UNIFIL post, UN accuses Israel
- New barrage of rockets strike all over the north, 30 injuries in Haifa

5:50: PM EST: Here is a video of Israeli tanks lining the streets. Also, read the full story about the briefing with Army Chief Dan Halutz. Also, here is some great news: Organizers of J`lem gay pride parade postpone event due to Lebanon war (Haaretz). Hopefully, this will be a permanent thing.

1:50 PM EST: Police are setting up roadblocks across Tel Aviv and the area due to a specific terror warning Friday night. They suspect that a female suicide bomber (Palestinian feminism) has infiltrated the city. Keep in mind that Hamas and Al Aksa are working hand in claw with Hizbollah and would love to open up yet another battle front on Israel. Update: Haaretz is reporting that police have caught the bomber near a beachfront Hotel. She (it) was headed to a night club to detonte the bomb. This is another example of the hand of the Lord in the works here.

In diplomatic news, the President and Condi Rice plan to meet with Saudi officials to discuss the war in Israel. Yep, lets ask the biggest Sunni sponsor of terror their opinions about Israel. Also noteworthy, Army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told reporters that 100 Hizbollah terrorists were killed since the beginning of the conflict. This is something that the drive by media never reports about. He also said that the ground invasion will consist of "limited ground operations against terror infrastructure". Again, I will caution that they will never tell us upfront what they are really doing for obvious reasons.

12:35 PM EST: The big headline this hour is that Israeli tank and troop buildups are under way on the Lebanon border as another three reserve battalions, mostly infantry, artillery and tanks are called up. New leaflets urge South Lebanese south of the Litani border to move out of a 32-km broad border region, touching off speculation of a major ground operation into Lebanon. I would caution readers that headlines are very misleading, particularly during a war. There is a lot of facts that we still don't know about because there clearly needs to be at least some element of surprise in regard to this pending ground operation. If in fact they do plan to go ahead with the invasion and not just posturing or diverting attention.

Inside Israel, the rockets continue to fall throughout the Galilee and Golan, but miraculously there have been no casualties since the morning attack on Haifa. There have been at least 87 rockets fired today that have caused extensive damage. The northern residents are being forced to spend the Jewish Sabbath under siege or in bomb shelters.

11:20 Am EST: YNet is reporting that two more reserve divisions are heading north. "In addition to the Galilee division which has deployed in the area, another two divisions will deploy along the border and will be given missions. Thousands of soldiers, most of them reservists, are also expected to arrive in the area, thus bringing the Israel Defense Forces' deployment in the north to a record of between three to four divisions."

10:50 AM EST: There really are a lot of miracles taking place in Israel. The last rocket attack scored direct hits on two houses in Nahariya, but they were already evacuated. Also, several landed in an open area of Tiberias. There are surprisingly low casualties occurring in light of the volume of incoming rockets that are landing in urban areas.

10:15 AM EST: The North is under another intense rocket barrage. Tiberias is getting hit. Developing....

Meanwhile, Debka is reporting that special ground units are going in close to destroy the Katyusha rocket crews firing out of fruit orchards around the port-town of Tyre and the Burj al Shamali Palestinian refugee camp. They are also calling in air strikes on various locations. Update: IDF officials just announced that the launchers in Tyre that were destroyed were the ones that were used to strike Haifa several hours ago.

9:55 AM EST: Column update: Here is a great Oliver North article ridiculing the so called "pro Israel" remarks by those that talk about Israel's right to self defense, but by their other statements they indicate that they miss the point. Also, here is Caroline Glick's must read weekly column on what Israel must do to win back deterrence. There is also an exclusive American Thinker column on the NYT and anti-semiticm that can be viewed here.

9:10 AM EST: At least one rocket landed in the Golan Heights. Here is an exclusive video of the rocket launch that struck Haifa an hour ago. Courtesy of

8:40 AM EST: Debka File has some telling insights into the special forces battles of the past two days:

"DEBKAfile’s military sources: This major engagement has brought out the
exceptional qualities of Israeli troops, but it must also be said the
shortcomings developed in six years of warfare against an opposition of inferior
fighting caliber, Palestinian terrorists. In their first ordeal by fire, Israeli
special forces are displaying bravery, determination and self-sacrifice. This is
especially marked in the performance of the Maglen Special Unit 551 and the Egoz
paratroopers. The Israeli custom of officers and NCOs leading their men into
battle has led to the high proportion of fallen sergeants.
In South Lebanon,
soldiers in their twenties are fighting tough, highly-trained guerrilla fighters
for the first time on unfamiliar terrain without air or tank cover. Choppers are
not used for fear of anti-air missile ambushes and the tanks in rugged mountain
terrain are at the mercy of densely-placed roadside bombs and heavy Hizballah
Katyusha rocket and mortar fire. Two tanks have been blown up."

They also report that if not for Israel's brave evacuation of the casualties under heavy fire, there would ahve been more deaths. Many IDF officials feel that they need to upgrade their capabilities after fighting rag tag unconventional and ill trained Palestinians for 6 years. They are now facing a well trained and armed foe. Debka also confirms what we have been reporting on, that Iranian special forces are involved in the fighting. Soldiers report that they heard Farsi being shouted during the battle.

8:00 AM EST: There is an intense rocket attack under way in Haifa and across the north. 19 people were injured in Haifa when a rocket scored a direct hit on a building and a post office. A gas line was also ruptured in the city. 5 more rockets landed in Ma'alot. Click here for picture and video of the latest barrage. Update: The number of wounded in Haifa rises to 30.

Update on the UNIFIL attack: A UN officer on the scene is now blaming Israel and claiming that it was their artillery fire that hit the UN post. They just can't believe that their Hizbollah friends would harm them.

In Lebanon, the IAF blew up a bridge on the main road linking Syria to Lebanon. Three buses were set on fire in the Bekka valley about 15 km from the border as a result of the air strike.

6:40 AM EST: It looks like I spoke too soon. A new barrage of rockets has struck Kiryat Shemona and Haifa. 5 landed in Haifa, resulting in 2 seriously injured and 2 moderately wounded. There was also significant damage reported. Also, one ijury was reported in Rosh Pina and 9 rockets landed in Safed, no injurues there.

6:10 AM EST: It looks like Hizbollah rocket launching capabilities have seriously diminished. Only one round was fired and they fell short, landing inside Lebanon hiting a UNIFIL base. These are the UN multinational forces that do nothing there. Its ironic that Hizbollah wound up hitting their friends.

Also, news agencies inside Israel are reporting that the IDF is calling up an additional 5 thousand reservists.

12:30 AM EST: Elite paratrooper units are continuing to battle the Hizbollah bunker terrorists on the border near Avivim. YNet is now reporting that 4 not 2 special ops were killed yesterday. Al Jazeera was already reporting this yesterday, but the IDF didn't want to release it until now. This brings the total to 6 in the past two days.

12:00 AM EST: Yesterday, day 9, was a mixed bag of events. On the civilian side things have improved. Rocket attacks decreased Thursday from 200 a day to 40 with no casualties. However, on the military side, things were a little rough. There were intense battles for the second day along the Israeli border between Israeli special forces and highly trained Hizbollah terrorists, many of them Iranian nationals. Two special ops were killed along with 11 more wounded, some seriously. Although, the media hasn't reported that an estimated 30-40 terrorists were killed too.
Despite media reports about an Israeli invasion in southern Lebanon, the reality is that they are fighting more of a defensive battle. There are very disturbing reports of scores of terrorists holed up in an elaborate network of tunnels right along the Israeli border. This is not southern Lebanon, this is right on the border, some of them extending an unknown distance into Israel under civilian houses. They are highly trained and motivated with an enormous amount of weapons. Some of them are even staging raids of their own on border towns and taking on the IDF. With this background knowledge we can now understand that Israeli special forces are actually seeking to destroy these bunkers and outposts right along the border. This has been a difficult task, but I would caution that we don't know the successes that they are accomplishing and they certainly are not going to divulge it. One thing is certain; they must be eliminated or Israel's border is doomed.

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