Archive for the ‘Cast Lead’ Category

Attack On Israel From Lebanon Confirms Threats From Iran, May Open Second Front

January 8, 2009

Several days before Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki called several of his European counterparts and warned that Israel would face additional fronts if it attacked.

The rocket fire on Thursday morning from Lebanon into northern Israel can be seen as the realization of the Iranian threat.

By Yoav Stern
Haaretz

It is safe to assume that Palestinian operatives, working in coordination with Hezbollah and sponsored by Iran, are responsible for the rocket attacks in Nahariya and elsewhere in the north.
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The rocket fire also places Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah among the list of top Arab militant leaders. He doesn’t just talk, he acts.

For now, Hezbollah is too sophisticated to claim responsibility for Thursday’s rocket fire. Elections in Lebanon are scheduled to take place in about six months, and Hezbollah does not want to be perceived as the party that once again disrupted the relative calm the country has experienced. The group does not want to risk its standing at the polls.

However, Nasrallah’s rhetoric from recent days says it all: “We are prepared for all Israeli aggression,” he said. In other words, Hezbollah won’t take responsibility for the rockets into Israel, but will claim credit for standing up against any Israeli retaliatory attacks, should there be any.

Nasrallah has already hinted that sources linked to Israel were responsible for the placement of rocket launchers discovered in Lebanon two weeks ago, not far from where rockets were fired from Thursday.

He also said that his operatives in south Lebanon are prepared to confront Israel and that any future war will make the Second Lebanon War look like a ‘walk in the park.’

Israel must now decide what the price tag will be for Thursday’s attacks on the north, knowing that a harsh response is likely to bring with it an escalation on the northern front and increasing international criticism.

Read the rest:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1053821.html

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From The New York Times:
The rockets, presumably launched in support of Hamas, could presage the opening of a second front. The Israeli Army, in a brief statement, said it “responded with fire against the source of the rockets,” which landed near the town of Nahariya. Two Israelis were slightly wounded, the police said.

So far there has been no claim of responsibility. A spokeswoman for the militant group Hezbollah, which triggered a war with Israel in 2006 by firing rockets into northern Israel from Lebanon, was investigating. “We are still looking for information about it,” she said.

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora immediately condemned the attack.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/world/
middleeast/09mideast.html?_r=1&hp

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Israel’s Defense Minister: “We Are Aware of Dangers, Difficulties and Victims”

January 3, 2009
The decision to undertake a ground operation was made with the knowledge that soldiers would be at risk, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said several hours after ground troops began an incursion into the Gaza Strip.

From the Jerusalem Post

 

“We know there will be dangers, difficulties and victims… It must be said that the ground operation entails dangers to the lives of soldiers,” Barak said in a press conference early Saturday night.

Barak opened by explaining to the public the need for Israel to proceed with the second stage of Operation Cast Lead, saying that he had made it clear from the very beginning of the maneuver that he intended to expand operations.

The decision to widen the operation, he said, was made following “intensive consideration” and after “every possible scenario was examined… We must end the hostile actions against Israel,” Barak insisted. “We will not abandon our citizens,” he said.

“I know very well what dangers are involved in every offensive as well as what the potential heavy price we can pay is. I take full responsibility. This will not be easy. This will not be short,” Barak said.

The minister expressed his gratitude to the residents of the south, the cities’ mayors, police forces, firefighters and the Shin Bet. He acknowledged his faith in the senior IDF command, specifically IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, saying that there was indeed “who to trust.”

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Israel infantry soldiers gather on the border just before leaving ... 
Israel infantry soldiers gather on the border just before leaving Israel for the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009. Israeli tanks and infantry entered Gaza after nightfall Saturday, launching a much anticipated ground offensive in a widening war on Gaza’s Hamas rulers. Israeli security officials said the operation is likely to go on for several days, but that the objective is not to reoccupy Gaza.(AP Photo/Yossi Aloni)

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.

Related:
 Israel Proving in Gaza It Can’t Handle Iran

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