Archive for the ‘air’ Category

Saturday Night in Gaza: Israel Unleashes Artillery, Warns Gazans to Flee, Ground Assault Ready

January 3, 2009

More signs of an impending ground assault from Israel against Hamas in Gaza this Saturday night in the Middle East.

For the first time, Israeli artillery unleashed a barrage on targets within Gaza, after a week-long air assault subsided.

Israel Launched Ground Offensive
Into Gaza; Saturday Night Jan 3-4

Leaflets, phone messages and other media were used to warn Gazans to leave or risk personal danger.

The leaflets were signed by the commander of the Israeli military and were dropped over northern Gaza on Saturday morning, warning residents to “leave the area immediately” to ensure their safety.

But Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai played down speculation the artillery fire and leaflets promised a ground offensive.

“I don’t think this is the next stage. This is part of a military campaign being waged and now artillery cannons have joined in,” he told Israel Radio.

Fox News reporters said they had seen tanks reporitioning and moving closer to Gaza.

Troops and tanks looked poised to attack following the week-long air assault, according to several observers.

An Israeli soldier walks in front of tanks and armored vehicles ... 
An Israeli soldier walks in front of tanks and armored vehicles in a staging area near Israel’s border with Gaza, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. Israel demanded international monitors as a key term of any future truce with Gaza Strip militants, as its warplanes bombed the parliament building in Gaza City on Thursday and its ships attacked coastline positions of the territory’s Islamic Hamas rulers.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

From Reuters:

Jerusalem Post:


Israel bombs Hamas sites, split on ground invasion

January 3, 2009

Israeli warplanes and gunboats blasted more than two dozen Hamas targets Saturday, including weapons storage facilities, training centers and leaders’ homes as Israel’s offensive against Gaza’s Islamic militant rulers entered a second week.

There were tentative signs that the current phase of fighting may be nearing an end. Most of the airstrikes targeted empty buildings and abandoned sites, suggesting Israel may be running out of targets.

Israeli defense officials said some 10,000 troops, including tank, artillery and special operations units, were massed on the Gaza border and prepared to invade. They said top commanders are split over whether to send in ground forces, in part because such an operation could lead to heavy casualties but also because they believe Hamas already has been dealt a heavy blow. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were classified discussions.


At the same time, international cease-fire efforts were also gaining momentum. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is visiting the region next week to try to end the violence, and President George W. Bush and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon both spoke in favor of an internationally monitored truce.

But Hamas, in its first reaction to the proposal on Saturday, reacted coolly to the idea of international monitors.

Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27 in response to intensifying rocket fire by Hamas militants in Gaza. The operation has killed more than 430 Palestinians, including….

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In Gaza, Israel Works To Create Perceptions on the Ground

January 3, 2009

One of the courses taught to future IDF battalion commanders at the Staff and Command College in Glilot is on the way modern warfare is conducted.

By Yaakov Katz
The Jerusalem Post

The emphasis, these lieutenant colonels are told, is not about which side conquers more territory or loses more fighters – as was the case in conventional battles, such as the 1967 Six Day War – but rather on perception. In other words, the victor is the side that is perceived to have won.

To demonstrate this idea, one of the instructors at the school decided several years ago to show his students the 2002 Hollywood movie, We Were Soldiers, which tells the story of US Lt.-Col. Hal Moore – played by Mel Gibson – who led a battalion of American soldiers in the Battle of la Drang during the Vietnam War.

Moore leads his 400 soldiers into the “Valley of Death” against an entire division of 4,000 Vietnamese soldiers and, at the last second – after hundreds of bodies have piled up on both sides of the valley, with Moore ready to surrender – the Vietnamese commander decides to withdraw first, fearing that the US army is stronger than it really is.

While the Battle of la Drang took place in 1965, officers at the IDF’s Kirya Military Headquarters were discussing it this week in reference to Operation Cast Lead, the current battle against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The common denominator between the two, the officers explained, is that neither was or is about conquering territory, and each was and is about changing the enemy’s perception.

Ultimately, this is what Operation Cast Lead is all about. As a result, the IDF gave it a relatively modest goal – improving the security situation in the South – and not the more grandiose objective of toppling or destroying Hamas. For this reason, the IDF decided on a “shock and awe” policy for the operation.

 Israel Proving in Gaza It Can’t Handle Iran

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