The day started out normally with reports of raids on Gaza and the like. The Arabs continued to send Qassams to attack us. Shmulik Haddad tells us that Qassam fired at Ashqelon.
Evidence that changes in the pattern of news first came from WorldNet Daily and Ynetnews.com. These two stories dealt with efforts of Arabs to fire rockets at all parts of the country from Samaria. In other words, this was to be a war of liberation of the entire land – the entire Zionist entity was to be extirpated. Rockets were to fall on Tell Aviv, Netanya, Kfar Sava, and Jerusalem as well as the cities closest to Gaza, like Ashqelon. All Zionist settlers were to be under threat.
This story did not get big play in the mainstream Hebrew press at all. That is because just today Prime Minister Haniya of the PA had an opinion piece published in the Washington Post in which he talked of a two-state solution, perhaps the first time he had done so. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority favors a two-state solution, Prime Minister Olmert advocates a two state solution, and the president of the United States also advocates a two-state solution. It is an unfortunate reality of political life that the truth must not be allowed to stand in the way of whatever political program is being sold that day, and the truth of missiles attacking north Tel Aviv was not convenient in terms of selling the expulsion of 80,000 residents of Judea and Samaria.
Then news started coming in from the north. This e-mail was the first one I noticed.
The latest report as to what happened on the Northern border is that a tank ran over a HizbAllah land mine. It seems that three soldiers were killed on the spot and another eight injured. Two soldiers were captured by enemy forces and at least one was known to be alive at the time of his capture.
Please note that these soldiers were captured by enemy forces and not 'kidnapped' as is being bantered around the media. It is part of the psychosis that has grabbed Israel's ruling elite that they can not even recognize that we are at war. They have sunk so deep into the fantasy world they have created for themselves that they no longer recognize basic reality.
This was from Aryeh Zelasko at 13:00 our time. The second indication that a serious situation had developed was also an e-mail that came in seven minutes later from Harvey Tannenbaum. Reformatted for readability, it reads as follows:
1. Rumors flying that Ehud Olmert will be declaring war tonight (2 years too late)?
2. 3 dead IDF soldiers in the north, 2 IDF soldiers kidnapped, triple pronged attack, Katyusha, terrorists on the ground shooting freely at IDF outpost, and then capturing 2 IDF soldiers.
3. Heavy fighting going on now… IAF knocked out bridges throughout southern Lebanon, IDF navy shelling Beirut suburbs,
4. In Gaza, Mohammed Deif, leader of Hamas, lost other leg and arm, not dead yet from last night's IAF aerial bombing on a non empty building…..
5. Tzav 8 (call up of reserves) just issued by defense ministry,
6. Shlomi Moshav in the north all children and parents are in the bomb shelters,
7. IDF tanks and troops have crossed into Lebanon where they left 6years ago, IDF tanks and troops have cut Gaza strip into two sections as IAF continues bombing.
Censorship on other details now in effect by IDF.
Further news came in throughout the afternoon, though carefully censored by the IDF. Arutz Sheva reported that IDF sources had said a multi-pronged attack took place this morning along the Lebanese border. According to its report, Lebanon's Al-Manar television station (the TV station used by HizbAllah) claimed that the two soldiers were taken captive by the HizbAllah attackers. Al-Jazeera also reported that HizbAllah attackers struck Israeli military outposts, taking captive two IDF soldiers at around 8:30 Wednesday morning. This was later confirmed by the IDF.
Alerted to the situation of the captured soldiers, air force planes took to the air and struck bridges and escape routes in southern Lebanon in attempt to prevent the Hizb-Allah from taking their Israeli captives deeper into Lebanon or Syria.
According to the Arutz Sheva report, around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, explosives and mortar shell attacks by Hizb-Allah took place on IDF positions, patrols and civilian targets along the Lebanon-Israel border. An IDF spokesperson said that one of the injured was in serious condition as a result of attacks on two military vehicles. Those injured were ferried by helicopter to hospitals in Haifa and to the hospital in Nahariya. Residents of the northern town of Shlomi were ordered into bomb shelters shortly after the first explosions were reported.
According to Arutz Sheva, unconfirmed, but reliable, sources say that seven Israelis were killed in the HizbAllah attack.
Apparently an army tank hit a land mine or a roadside bomb, trapping soldiers inside, in addition to a HizbAllah mortar shell that struck two Hammer jeeps. Rescue efforts were delayed because of fears that the area was mined with more explosives planted by terrorists.
Arutz Sheva quoted IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz as saying that "the period of quiet" has ended for HizbAllah in Lebanon. Military sources said that the Israeli retaliation to the Hizb-Allah attack and apparent kidnapping of IDF soldiers will be extremely strong.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, "These are difficult days for Israel and its citizens," adding that there are forces trying to test Israel's resolve. "They will fail and will pay a heavy price for their deeds," said the prime minister. He spoke to reporters
Wednesday morning, as he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who is visiting the region. During the same press conference, The Jerusalem Post reported that Olmert said this was an act of war by Lebanon, not an act of terror. It should be borne in mind that Israel is “at war” with Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, countries that never signed peace treaties with Israel after invading in 1948 after the declaration of the state, so the significance of Olmert’s statement is not clear.
Reacting to this morning’s events along the northern border and to the continuing campaign in Gaza, Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad (National Union) called on the government Wednesday morning to carry out a "war in Lebanon and Gaza to destroy terrorist organizations." MK Eldad said that the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and the HizbAllah attacks this morning "again prove that it is impossible to run away from terror."
According to the Jerusalem Post, the army has destroyed 17 targets as well as HizbAllah outposts and three bridges since the beginning of the operation.
A senior HizbAllah official said that at least one of the allegedly kidnapped soldiers was still alive, the Post reported Al Manar as saying. A senior IDF officer landed Wednesday afternoon in the northern Druze village of Kfar Yanuh apparently to inform a family there that their son had been kidnapped.
According to Channel 10, HizbAllah has offered to exchange the two soldiers and Cpl. Gilad Shalit for thousands of security prisoners.
IDF sources estimated that the attack was a HizbAllah response to Israel's early Wednesday attempted strike on top Hamas terrorist Mohammad Deif in Gaza. The northern border has been on high alert since Operation Summer rains began.
Further developments in the story came as Ynetnews reported that right-wing parties were seeking an emergency government, a national unity government similar to what was put together in 1967. But this seems not to have gone anywhere. It is not yet clear that the prime minister will expand the government to include other parties or if he will continue with the government as he has it now.
In late updates at from Ynetnews, at 20:58, loud blasts were reported in the western area of the northern border, residents reported.
In the meantime, others in Israel looking at the security situation are seeing the terrible error committed by Ehud Barak in 2000 in pulling out of Southern Lebanon. This press release came into my inbox courtesy of IMRA from Dr. Dan Scheuftan of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa:
Renewal of Katyusha Rocket Tension from Israel's Northern Border as far South as Haifa a Distinct Possibility
"A clear-cut connection exists between the authorities in the Gaza Strip and the two additional kidnappings of Israeli soldiers in South Lebanon today," Dr. Dan Scheuftan of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa has stated.
Dr. Scheuftan explains that following the HizbAllah attack on Israel's northern border in parallel to ongoing combat in the Gaza Strip, "We aren't speaking about a one-time incident. This is an extensive military confrontation that in the final analysis will determine the rules of the game between Israel and elements at war with her, for example, in Lebanon and Syria."
Dr. Scheuftan also does not rule out the possibility of a renewal of Katyusha rocket tension on the northern border and even an expansion of rocket fire into Israel and as far south as Haifa. "I estimate that this is indeed a realistic scenario," he said.
This report began with reports of rockets being fired at the country from Samaria. A major strategic error of the government here, expelling Jewish residents from Gush Katif (Jewish Gaza) and northern Samaria is bearing its bitter fruit. The enemy is sitting in Samaria preparing to launch rockets against the nation’s center. While Olmert poses as the “war leader” he isn’t, and issues broadsides against Lebanon, the biggest threats to the country are being ground to silence under the drums of the “war machine” driving north to Lebanon and south to Gaza. So put simply, the mistakes of pulling out of our own land, the mistakes of what the New York Times used to call “taking risks for peace” are bearing their fruit.
While all this happens, the deJudaization of the country started by Shimon Peres and continued by most subsequent leaders continues. Arutz Sheva reports on the jailing without charge of Ariel Groner, one of the leaders of the Honenu legal aid society, an organization that has tried to help those expelled by the government, or those charged for breaking the law for opposing the government’s expulsion plans.
Last week, Arutz Sheva reported on those expelled from Gush Katif and how, while they had dropped from the headlines of the papers, a community of working and happy people was now suffering all the attendant woes of refugee status in their own country – drug abuse, divorce, violence and crime.Powered by Sidelines