(Note: this post will be continuously updated with breaking news and commentary)
- Olmert announced that he will surrneder more land despite the war!
- 2 KIA's in battle for Bint Jabel, 18 wounded, many more Hizbollah casualties
- 5 IDF soldiers wounded by friendly Gunship, Golani Brigade enters Bint Jabel
- Residents of the border town Metula ordered to evacuated
- Helicopter crashed inside Israel, both crew members were killed and several others on the ground
- Rice continues to fully support Israel after the Lebanese weren't receptive to her message
- Over a quarter million people fled the north, 30% of Haifa deserted
- Over 90 rockets were fired in the north, several more in the south, numerous people lightly injured, several seriously, extensive damage incurred, fires raging throughout the north
9:15 PM EST: 4 UN peacekeepers were hurt in the heavy fighting today. I'm not sure how they got there. You have to wonder if they were out in the field helping Hizbollah.
7:10 PM EST: Major News: PM Olmert announced today that the Islamonazi attacks have not detered him from his plans to surrender the heart of the country to the terrorists and deport 100,000 Jews, eventhough it is clear that the Gaza and Lebanon retreat were the cause of this!!! Worst of all, he said this in front of a crowd of refugees that he threw out of Gaza. Handing over Judea and Samaria will exacerbate their strategic peril 100 fold. The only explanation is that liberalism is a sick mental disoreder. Olmert must be thrown out immediately! How can one who plans to deport more Jews and create a violent terror state be trusted with the responsibility of fighting the very enemy that he seeks to appease??!
6:50 PM EST: Here is an interesting article from CNS about the Indonesian Islamofacists expressing their desire to fight for Hizbollah. At least we won't have to go all the way to Indonesia to send them to Allah.
5:30 PM EST: More details about the battle around Bint Jabel have emerged. There was a total of 2 KIA's and 18 wounded; 3 seriously, 5 moderately, and the rest were lightly injured. Most of the casualties occurred when several Egoz and and Orev company fighters were wounded and the IDF attempted to evacuate the casualties. At this point, two tanks were destroyed, one by a land mine and another by an anti-tank missile. This resulted in the fatalities of a Sergeant and an LT. There was an estimated 10 fatalities on the terrorist side. One of the wounded was a Regiment commander with the rank of LT. Colonel. Debka is reporting that he lost a hand. This underscores the serious threat of anti-tank missiles and land mines throughout southern Lebanon. There are reports of about 4,500 Israeli soldiers in Lebanon, although I'm not sure that the IDF is divulging the full strength of their soldiers for obvious reasons.
I am not worried so much about the amount military casualties in it self. While every loss of life is tragic, the numbers are not that high yet. It is more the political policies behind this war that bothers me. It is clear that Israel's leftist gov't is trying to fight a PC limited campaign that is resulting in unnecessary casualties. They need to go in full force and annihilate every last member of Hizbollah and everyone who is associated with them. Keep in mind that the current DM Amir Peretz is the equivalent of our Michael Moore. He used to be a major "peace now" activist. I refer you to the Ralph Peters column that I linked to below for more insights on Israel's lack of will to see this through.
In regard to Rice's visit, she met with Israel's FM Tzipi Livni today. I'm pretty optimistic because there haven't been any Clintonian remarks on her part. She is continuing to fully back Israel with just a few comments about the so called humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. It seems that the Lebanese were very uncooperative and were not very receptive to her message. The only thing for israel to do now is to utilize this mandate to it's fullest. The ironic thing is that there are some Arab and leftist members of Knesset that are criticizing Rice for supporting the war! Israel needs to deal with their enemy within before they are able to succeed.
3:50 PM: Israeli officials are saying that 30% of Haifa residents have fled the city. More than 250,000 residents have fled the north. Keep in mind that Haifa is the third largest city. This cannot go on for much longer before it destroys Israel's economy. There has also been a tremendous amount of damage throughout the Galilee.
3:15 PM EST: An IDF General has announced that 5 soldiers were injured in a friendly fire incident. It occurred when a Helicopter gunship aiming at Hizbollah terrorists mistakenly shot at some Israeli soldiers. It also appears that members of the Golani Brigade have entered Bint Jabel. Update: They are now reporting that there have been 2 KIA's in the battle for Bint Jabel, one of them an officer, and 18 wounded. It seems that they were killed by anti tank missiles which destroyed two tanks. Keep in mind that there were many more terrorist casualties that will go unreported.
2:15 PM EST: Here is a must read Ralph Peters piece from the NY Post where he shows how the weakness of Israel and lack of determination to deal with the root of the problem will cause them to slide downhill. Meanwhile, an IDF official has announced that they are holding at least ten dead Hizbollah terrorists. Matbe there is some hope afterall.
1:15 PM EST: Condi Rice has left Lebanon and is expected to arrive in Jerusalem soon.
I was listening to Rush today and he is right on the ball with perfect moral clarity that unfortunately the Israelis themselves are lacking. He declared that this is not day 13 of some skirmish. This is an ongoing war that commenced in 1948 with the establishment of the State. He also said, "Why doesn't Hizbollah shoot their rockets at IDF tanks? Because they don't get 72 virgins for killing tanks they get them for killing Jewish civilians. They want to kill Jews, its that simple". He responded to Kerry's tirade about Democrats also being pro Israel by showing how a fellow Democrat has undermined Israel just two days after Kerry made his comments. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Ct) said on Face the Nation yesterday that Israel went "too far in responding to Hizbollah". I guess that confirms where the liberal stand.
12:45 PM EST: It is now released for publication that the two pilots of the helicopter that crashed this morning have died.
11:50 AM: News Roundup: The IDF is investigating reports that a UAV fired on their troops in Lebanon. Keep in mind that Hizbollah has flown them over Israel several times and used one to strike a naval ship last week. In the south, the IAF struck an Islamic Jihad weapons cache. This is another violent terrorist group that is based in Damascus. In other news, Britain's opposition leader, the head of the Liberal Democrats has called for a suspension of arms sales to Israel.
11:15 AM EST: 90 rockets were fired so far today causing widespread fires and damage along with several serious injuries and scores of civilians treated for shock.
10:40 AM EST: Condi just met with the terrorist PM of Lebanon. She told him, "Thank you for your Courage and steadfastness." That is an interesting thing to tell someone who is supported by the Syrian government which serves as the base for every terrorist group except for Al Quieda. I'm sure she didn't demand from him to release the soldiers immediately, eventhough his cabinet members admitted that they know where they are located. I doubt that she asked him to step aside and let Israel annihilate Hizbollah and help the future of both governments, much less take him to task for actively helping Hizbollah with their radar systems. Then again, I didn't understand how the Saudi officials were given royal treatment and prominence to discuss what to do with a country that they seek to destroy. I guess I will never understand "diplomacy".
In Lebanon, the IAF struck a car that was carrying terrorists fleeing from a rocket launching site.
10:15 AM EST: Several rockets landed in Tiberias, a few people were treated for shrapnel wounds. Two people were more seriously injured in Ma'alot. Also, there is a major fire raging in Kiryat Shemona.
9:30 AM: There is currently a barrage of rocket attacks across the Galilee. The Nahariya hospitol has treated 15 people for shrapnel injuries and shock. No serious injuries reported. Update: A house in Kiryat Shemona suffered a direct hit. There is no information about casualties.
9:20 AM EST: In Lebanon, there is more fighting around Brit Jabel. The IDF has captured several strategic posts and continue to surround the city. IAF warplanes are striking at armed terrorists in close air support operations.
Israel's economists are predicting a loss of 44 million dollars per day in business as a result of the war in the north. They are also expecting a loss of 200,000 tourists.
8:30 AM EST: It appears that the rocket barrages are beginning today, landing in Nahariya, Akko, and Safed. No casualties reported yet, but there is some damage. Two buildings were hit in Nahariya with no casualties. One person was lightly wounded in the small town of Shlomi.
8:00 AM EST: Breaking: An Apache Helicopter crashed inside Israel, near Safed. Both crew members were injured. There are also reports that 4 soldiers on the ground were injured as a result of the crash. The crash was a result of a malfunction and not enemy fire. There were some power lines that were damaged as a result and several local communities are without power. Here is a video of the scene. Also, after a quiet morning, rockets are beginning to fall in Safed and other places. No casualties were reported. In the south the rockets continue, one has hit near the Ashkelon industrial area. Also, three terrorists were killed in Gaza when IDF artillery struck the house that they were hiding in.
6:30 AM EST: Condi Rice has just landed in Beirut. She originally planned to visit Israel first, but it appears that there was a change in plans.
6:25 AM EST: Here is an Exclusive Debkafile report on why the rockets will still continue unless Olmert makes more of a commitment on the ground. They also give insight into Hizbollah's guerilla tactics in Lebanon and their use of camouflage to hide their rocket launchers.
6:00 AM EST: 10 soldiers were wounded during heavy fighting near Bint Jabel, about 6 km into Lebanon. One of the wounded was a Lt. Col. They were injured either by a bomb or grenade explosion. Non of the wounds appear to be life threatening. It is unclear if the battle is still ongoing or how many of the enemy were killed. Here is a map of the area. Also, Defense Ministry officials are asking the residents of the border town Metula to evacuate for fear of Hizbollah attacks. Metula was the site of a Hizbollah infiltration last week. The big news is that no rockets were fired in the north so far. Usually by this time of day there have already been at least 30-50 rockest fired. Although, in the south there have been Kassams launched throughout the morning at Sderot and Ashkelon. Non of them hit anything.
12:30 AM EST: After a day of low scale fighting, there are some heavy skirmishes taking place around the Maroun al Ras tunnels. I fear that that there are still many terrorists left in those bunkers, along with numerous others that weren't yet discovered. If Hamas, which is much weaker than Hizbollah was able to build elaborate tunnels with Israel's presence there for most of the past six years, certainly Hizbollah, with all their resources was able to build massive bunkers during the six years of free play. Who knows how far deep into Israeli cities these tunnels extend?! Update: There are some heavy exchanges going on there right now. The IDF has called in airstrikes and several gunmen were killed. No Israeli casualties reported.
12:00 AM EST: Well, Condi Rice is set to arrive in Israel in several hours. I'm reading more and more from respectable news agencies that indeed there is some sort of deadline from Rice to end the war in a week or so. This is why the US is shipping Israel more laser guided bombs in the hope that this will put an end to the war. I don't like the sound of this Clintonian foreign policy, but lets wait and see what transpires.
Inside Lebanon, the IAF took out 9 more rocket launchers, including the one in Tyre that fired on Haifa today. Nasarallah issued another statement saying that Israel's ground invasion will not help stop the rockets. Unfortunately, he has been correct so far as about 260 rockets fell on Israel over the past 48 hours. He also ridiculed Israel's backtracking on the issue of allowing an international force along the border. This unfortunately is another weakness in the leftist government that Nasarallah knows that he can exploit. He has been reported as comparing Israel's government to Nebile Chamberlain!
On the ground, there are still no reports about the new troop movements of the IDF. They are still reporting that they are poised to target Brit Jabel, the Hizbollah capitol, but there are no indications that they have moved in yet. Then again, they are not going to tell us their exact locations and operations for obvious reasons.
In other news, there were numerous rallies around the world in support of Israel. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the one in San Francisco and addressed the crowd. There were also some pro terrorist rallies in the US and across the globe. Here is a great political cartoon in regard to the pro Hizbollah rallies in our country.