- IDF commandos raided a terrorist hospital deep in the Bekaa valley and captured 5 Hizbollah members alive but failed to capture regional leader Yazbek, no casualties incurred
- 10,000 ground troops in Lebanon
- Over 210 rockets fired in the north causing widespread damage and injuries,126 people treated, one killed near Nahariya
- Two long range Khabir-1 missiles were fired at Jenin, 70 km south of border, 8 more in Afula
- More heavy fighting in Aita and across the border, 1 Israeli KIA, 9 soldiers wounded, one very seriously, 15 terrorists killed
- Ground troops enter southern Gaza for counter terror operations
- Olmert announces that the Expulsion/retreat from Judea and Samaria is on!
7:00 PM EST: It has now been cleared for publication that during the second round of fighting in Aita a soldier was killed along with the three wounded that was reported earlier. Evidently in a similar incident to the one yesterday, an anti tank missile was fired at a house where the troops were holed up in. The IDF is claiming that they will establish a security zone in the cental sector of the border tomorrow. However, fighting is still continuing in Aita and other parts of the eastern sector.
On the southern front: there is an extensive operation underway in southern Gaza that involves the Givati armor brigade and the IAF. 5 terrorists were struck by the IAF today along with some weapons caches.
4:00 PM EST: How do you know that the UN has copletely gone over to the side of the terrorists? When even the State Department sharply condemns them. Following the harsh criticism of US policy by the UN number two man Mark Brown, State Dep't spokesman Sean McCormack said, "We are seeing a troubling pattern of a high official of the U.N. who seems to be making it his business to criticize member states and, frankly, with misplaced and misguided criticisms."
1:30 PM EST: 3 more people were injured in Nahariya when a rocket landed near a house. There have been well over 200 rockets fired today which is a single day record. This shows that the lull in attacks over the past two days was not a result of diminished Hizbollah capabilities, but rather due to strategic shifting of their launchers.
In Lebanon, 9 soldiers were wounded, one seriously in today's ground battles, mainly around the village of Aita, near the border. 6 were hurt in a morning battle and 3 were wounded in an evening battle that is still raging near the location where the IDF took 3 KIA's yesterday.
In other news, WND is reporting that Palestinian groups such as Fatah (Abbas) and Popular Resistance Front (PELP) are providing Hizbollah with rifles, ammunition, several kinds of long range rockets, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Keep in mind that both groups have bases and commanders in Lebanon and Syria and are backed by Iran. It is criminal negligence on the part of Olmert that not only does he decline from eradicating Fatah, but he actively works with their leader Abbas and desires to give them a state!!
11:40 AM EST: This past hour, the IDF gave a press briefing offering some more information on the Baalbek operation. They said that 200 elite soldiers were involved in the operation in which 10 Hizbollah fighters were killed. They believe that the kidnapped soldiers were being held their soon after their capture. It was also noted that there have been 15 similar operations conducted deep into Lebanon. In regard to the rest of the ground effort the IDF spokesman said that they plan to clear out all resistance in the central sector by tomorrow. The Chief of general staff said that 300 Hizbollah terrorists were killed since the beginning of the war. We will see if this will happen, as there are still heavy ground battles in that region. Although, it appears that the bulk of the resistance is now in the eastern sector of the border. Meanwhile, the rockets continue to pummel northern Israel. No more casualties were reported this past hour.
10:50 AM EST: Rockets continue to wreak havoc throughout the north. More katyushas continue to hit Haifa. There are now reports of close to 200 rockets fired today. Column Update: Here is Michelle Malkin's latest column ridiculing the myth of the Qana incident. Also, Frank Gaffney echoes Caroline Glick's warnings against ridiculous concessions and negotiations with Lebanon and the so called Palestinians.
9:40 AM EST: Hizbollah is now launching more long range missiles. A record of 8 have just landed in Afula. Luckily, they all impacted in an open field because these things could be very deadly in an urban area. There are also more sirens sounding in places far south of the border, indicating more incoming long range rockets.
8:00 AM EST: About 150 rockets have landed in Israel s far today in the most intense barrage since the beginning of the war. One man was killed while riding his bike in a small town north of Nahariya, while a women is in critical condition after being injured by a rocket in Safed. Medical teams are reporting that they have treated over 125 people for light injuries or shock. There are 56 people being treated in the Nahariya hospital alone. Two soldiers were moderately wounded from rocket shrapnel several minutes ago near the border. There is a tremendous amount of damage and many fires are raging throughout the north.
On the ground, I am really beginning to worry that the IDF will sustain many casualties due to Olmert's lack of resolve and objective. In 1982, Sharon as DM led the campaign all the way to Beirut in just two days. Now, three weeks after the beginning of the war, Olmert is still stalling the main thrust of the invasion right along the border!! There are only a few thousand soldiers that are really engaged in combat and they are still fighting Hizbollah terrorists just 1 km north of the border!! He said himself that he will not destroy Hizbollah (certainly not Syria/Iran) , rather he will have the soldiers engage in inconsequential battles along the border until an international force can take over. That is the objective!? All this, so he can get back to more important things like expelling jews from Israel and committing another strategic suicide. Many people quote Golda Meir's famous statement that there will be no peace in the Middle East until the Arabs love their children more than they hate Jews. Well, I would say that the ball is in Israel's court. There will not be peace in Israel until the leftist political establishment hates the Arab terrorists more than they hate the religious Jews of Judea and Samaria.
6:45 AM: Rockets continue to fall, sparking fires in the Golan Heights and Galilee. Breaking: one man has been killed in a small town near Nahariya.
The big news is Olmert's interview that he gave with news agencies several hour ago. He started off by saying that Israel wiil continue its operation [not until Hizbollah is destroyed, but] until an international force is in place! But it gets worse. On the anniversary of the deportation/retreat from Gaza which has caused this current perilous situation, Olmert said that a victory in Lebanon will give more momentum to his planned expulsion from Judea and Samaria!! Imagine what a message this sends to all of the terrorists operating there and around the region! Keep in mind that a disproportionate amount of the casualties of war so far have been from dedicated soldiers of Judea and Samaria!
This is why I strongly believe that Olmert must be thrown out even in a time of war. There were sharp reactions from right wing Knesset members. Benny Elon said that his comments were immoral in light of the sacrifices that its residents are currently making on the front. MK Tzvi Hendel said that Olmert was manipulating the support that he is receiving because of the war. Lets hope that this is not just talk and that they will do every thing in their power to stop this immoral act and strategic suicide.
In regard to the long range missiles fired at jenin, a security forces examination revealed that the rockets were fired from over a hundred kilometer range, apparently from the Lebanese town of Tyre. Police sappers are currently inspecting the rockets' parts, and have been able to determine that they are probably old Syrian 302 rockets.
6:10 AM EST: Over 120 rockets were fired during the past four hours throughout the Galilee and Goaln Heights, causing widespread damage in Akko, Tiberias, Kiryat Shemona, Safed, Nahariya, and Ma'alot. There is currently an intense barrage underway. About 40 civilians were injured and one women was seriously hurt in Safed. There were also two long range missiles fired; one at Afula and the other at the Arab city of Jenin some 70 km south of the border, the farthest south ever. One would think that Hizbollah would watch out not to hit their fellow Jihadis. This comes after a two day period of only a few rocket attacks on northern Israel. The kassams are also continuing to fall in the south. One man was injured by shrapnel from an explosion in Ashkelon.
On the ground in Lebanon: There are heavy battles going on throughout all areas of the border. Two soldiers were lightly wounded and 7 Hizbollah were killed during the clashes in Aita this morning. Also, the IAF struck another Lebanese army base near Beirut, killing three soldiers. As for the commando raid in Baalbek las night, we previously reported that there were 3 captured Hizbollah members, but it seems that the number is 5 or 6. 10 others were killed during the operation. The Army Chief of Staff Halutz says that they captured vital intelligence data.
12:15 AM EST: The big news of the hour is that IDF special forces have successfuly pulled off a commando operation deep into the Bekaa valley. They landed helicopters near a hospital in Baalbek and proceeded to kill some terrorists and capture three Hizbollah members. None of them were senior members of Hizbolla; their names are Hussein Nasrallah, Hussein al-Bourji, and Ahmed al-Gutah. Some are reporting that as many as five were captured. They failed to capture Muhammad Yazbek, a member of the top twelve Hizbollah leadership, who was the initial target of this mission. All of the commandos returned to Israel without any casualties. For more information about the battle please view the previous post.
INN is reporting that there are currently about 10,000 troops on the ground in Lebanon. There are currently gun battles under way in two border villages; Habib and Aita. 7 terrorists were killed in the early morning battle.
On the southern front: INN reports that the IDF continues to attack Hamas strongholds in Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled Gaza, seeking to bring an end to Kassam rocket attacks into southern Green Line Israel. During the night, the air force targeted a number of Hamas weapons storage facilities and navy gunships also fired at Hamas targets in Gaza. Despite tenacious IDF efforts to date, the Kassam rockets continue to slam into civilian population centers in Sderot, the western Negev, and even deeper into southern Israel.
In northern Israel, two rockets were fired into the Galilee panhandle. No damage or casualties were reported.