Archive for the ‘IDF’ Category

Gaza: More Rockets Hit Israel; Gazans Warned of Attack in Response

February 3, 2009

After a rocket attack from Gaza into the Israeli city of Ashkelon on Tuesday morning, Israel warned Gazans that an air stike would come soon.

Knowing that Israel has promised a disproportionate response to Hamas rockets, the rockets continue to come from Gaza.

And Hamas is shooting them.

Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said “that if there is rocket fire at southerners, there will be a response that will essentially be disproportionate.”

After Tuesday’s rocket attack, recorded messages, in Arabic, said people who work in tunnels, live near them or are “giving logistical help to terrorists” should evacuate the area immediately, residents said.

On Sunday, the IAF launched strikes against Hamas installations and smuggling tunnels throughout Gaza in response to the more than 15 rockets and mortar shells fired at southern Israel by Gaza terrorists throughout the day.

This aerial view shows the power station and industrial zone of Ashkelon, Israel, in March of 2008.

This aerial view shows the power station and industrial zone of Ashkelon, Israel, in March of 2008.


Gaza: Hamas Bombing, Israeli Air Strikes as Obama Envoy Arrives

January 28, 2009

A bomb attack against an Israeli military patrol along the border with the Gaza Strip  killed an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officer and wounded three others on Tuesday including one who was severely hurt.

The violence started an Israel air attack Tuesday which was followed by more attacks Wednesday.

The Israeli military vowed to respond harshly to any further attacks.

Gaza’s Ramattan news agency reported three airstrikes at the Gaza-Israel border. Israel’s military said it struck tunnels used to smuggle weapons into Gaza at the territory’s southern border.

The actions from both sides — the bombing from Hamas and the air strikes from the IDF — mars the ten day old cease fire and complicates the mission of George Mitchell, President barack Obama’s designated Middle East envoy.

Mitchell is on a trip to the Middle East  now.
Mitchell arrived Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt, where he thanked Egyptian leaders for helping to negotiate the truce.

“It is of critical importance that the cease-fire be extended and consolidated, and we support Egypt’s continuing efforts in that regard,” Mitchell said. “The United States is committed to vigorously pursuing lasting peace and stability in the region. The decision by President Obama to dispatch me to come to this region less that one week after his inauguration is a clear and tangible evidence of this commitment.”

George Mitchell, right, meets with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama on Monday.

George Mitchell, right, meets with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama on Monday.

Israel said Hamas was “prominent in the organization accountable for the attack.”

During his eight-day visit, Mitchell plans to meet with leaders in Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States next Tuesday, according to the State Department.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom


The Associated Press reported:

Israel responded swiftly, sending tanks and bulldozers into northern Gaza to plow up the attack site and launching an airstrike that wounded a Hamas militant “who was prominent in the organization accountable for the attack,” according to a military statement. Hamas said the Israeli strike injured one of its men as he rode a motorcycle in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

The border violence was the worst since the sides separately declared cease-fires on Jan. 18 to end a three-week Israeli offensive.

Since withdrawing its troops, Israel has threatened to retaliate hard for any violations of the informal truce.

One of its main targets is the network of tunnels used to smuggle arms, money and people into Gaza from Egypt but despite hundreds of strikes during the war smugglers resumed work after the cease-fire.

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Jerusalem Post:


BBC In Hot Water; Accused Of Not Helping Victims

January 25, 2009

In Gaza, the BBC claims it is trying not to become a part of the story.  But the media is so a part of many stories these days that the BBC is finding it hard to stay a news vehicle with impartiality as a sacred goal.

Charities have developed a video seeking donations that will benefit, almost entirely, Gazans suffering after the Israeli Defense Force action that started in December.

The corporation has resisted pressure to follow rival channels ITV, Channel 4 and Five who are to show the DEC film in Britain and around the world..

DEC stands for Disasters Emergency Committee, which includes the British Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the Children and 10 other charities.

Several British ministers and the Archbishop of York have urged the BBC to air the appeal. But Britain’s Culture Secretary Andy Burnham says the BBC has a tough call to make and has to live with its own decisions.

Protestors supporting DEC mobbed the BBC in London on Sunday.

Protesters demonstrate in London against the BBC. The BBC is ... 
Protesters demonstrate in London against the BBC. The BBC is facing more pressure to broadcast a charity appeal for funds for people in Gaza, as the Archbishop of Canterbury joins the row and more than 50 MPs sign a motion condemning the move.(AFP/Frantzesco Kangaris)

The BBC says it will not air the video to preserve its impartiality.  But Gazan and others that favor Hamas are now attacking the BBC as a pro-Israel network.

The BBC was already in trouble in Iran for “illegal activities.”  There, the Iranian government closed the BBC Persian network for reasons that remain unclear.   But news analysts say the BBC has not done enough to highlight the plight of the Gazans killed and injured by the Israeli attack, in Iran’s view….


Iran Shuts BBC Persian After Network Critical of Cowardice Among Hamas

BBC Report:

Gaza: Day 1 Cease Fire Closing, Hope, Expectations High, Tense, Fragile

January 18, 2009

Israel’s Prime Minister called the cease fire fragile.

Hamas declared its own cease fire this morning: but it was packaged within a threat to again rocket Israel if Israeli troops fail to leave in one week.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began a partial withdrawal of ground troops from the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, hours after ending a three-week offensive on the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

“We are monitoring all of the developments, minute after minute, hour after hour,” the Israeli prime minister said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

The military forces in the Strip have their eyes wide open, are attentive to any rustle and ready for any order from their commanders,” Olmert continued. “The decision on the cease-fire leaves Israel the right to react and renew its military actions if the terror groups continue firing,” he said.

Olmert also called Hamas “the Gaza branch of Iran.”

Prime Minister Olmert continued a series of “thank yous” started last night.

 “Egypt’s backing of the understanding that we hold fire while the IDF remains in Gaza is not to be taken for granted, this is no trivial matter,” he said, adding that it showed Egypt’s determination to prevent arms smuggling through its border.

Olmert also had warm words for Likud chairman and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu. “I would like to praise the opposition leader for supporting the government during the operation and explaining Israel’s position to the world,” he said.

Netanyahu largely supported the Olmert government during the Gaza operation.

The Washington Post reported that Hamas leaders had initially vowed to keep fighting until Israel pulled out, but changed their mind Sunday and said they would go along with the cease-fire.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, an exiled Hamas leader based in Damascus, said the Islamist movement and other Palestinian fighters would press ahead with negotiations, mediated by Egypt, to end Israel’s 18-month economic blockade of Gaza. “We are ready,” Marzouk said, reading a statement on Syrian television, “to reach a definite agreement that meets our known demands to lift the blockade permanently and open all border crossings.”

Washington Post

Jerusalem Post:



Israeli Ground Forces Push Into Gaza

January 3, 2009

Israel moved its troops into Gaza starting a ground offensive eight days after launching an airstrike campaign in efforts to end rocket attacks from Hamas militants.

The New York Times

A statement from the Israel Defense Forces said that this second stage of the operation was intended to “bring about an improved and more stable security situation for residents of Southern Israel over the long term.”

The statement added that “large numbers of forces are taking part in this stage of the operation including infantry, tanks, engineering forces, artillery and intelligence with the support of the Israel Air Force, Israel navy, Israel Security Agency and other security agencies.”

Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, said in a statement broadcast on television: “This will not be short. This will not be easy. I do not wish to delude anyone,” adding that the coming days will be difficult for the residents of the south of Israel.

“Our aim is to force Hamas to stop its hostile activity and to bring about a significant change,” Mr. Barak said. “We have carefully weighed our options,” he said, adding that “we have restrained ourselves for a long time but now we have to do what must be done” for peace and tranquillity.

A spokeswoman for Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Avital Leibovich, said in an interview broadcast on CNN that troops were targeting areas responsible for the launching of rockets into Israel, as well as tunnels, bunkers, and training facilities — “everything that is affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target,” Major Leibovich said.

“We have many, many targets, and therefore to my estimate it’s going to be a lengthy operation,” she added, with specifying how long the ground war could last.

Ms. Leibovich said the Israel Defense Forces were avoiding targeting civilians and were trying to give people leaflets and messages warning of the strikes. “Hamas is not putting any efforts to avoid targeting civilian deaths,” she said, referring to rockets launched by Hamas into Israel.

“For us, people that don’t recognize the right for Israel to exist, terrorists which train day after day and try to target as many Israeli civilians as possible, are for us a legitimate target for self defense.”

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

January 3, 2009

Sources in Israel and Gaza tell us that Israeli troops and tanks are moving forward into Gaza.

Israeli ground troops move into Gaza

Hamas is returning fire “heavily” acording to sources on the ground.

The Israeli government has confirmed that the attack on the ground has commenced.

As many as 10,000 Israeli soldiers were believed to be around Gaza prior to the start of this operation.

An Israeli military spokesman said the ground action will take “days.”
“We have many many targets,” Maj. Avital Leibovich told CNN. “To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation.” She said the goal of the operation was to take over the areas used by militants to launch rockets against Israel.

“The civilians are not our target, only militants, Hamas militants,” she said.

“The objective is to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure in the area of operations,” said Israel Defense Forces Major  Leibovitch, confirming that incursions were under way. “We are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas.”
Reacting to the incursion, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority Saeb Erakat said: “What this will do is undermine the peace process.” The Palestinian Authority is the government of President Mahmoud Abbas.
We are adding to this report as we lean more….



The New York Times:
Israeli Ground Forces Push Into Gaza

Israeli tanks fire shells toward Gaza as evening falls Saturday.

Above: Israeli tanks fire shells toward Gaza as evening falls Saturday.

From: BBC
A small column of Israeli military vehicles, backed by attack helicopters, were seen crossing the border into the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.

From AP:

See the Fox News Report:,293

From Reuters

A column of Israeli tanks, some firing their weapons, rolled into the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, a Palestinian witness said, in what appeared to be the beginning of a ground offensive against Islamist Hamas.

The witness, a resident of the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, said the column crossed the boundary fence under darkness and was accompanied by Israeli combat helicopters.

The witness could not immediately say how deep the Israelis had penetrated into Palestinian territory.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Israeli media quoted unconfirmed witness reports suggesting there were incursions under way elsewhere in Gaza.


From The Jerusalem Post

For the first time since the start of Operation Cast Lead, the IDF sent a large number of ground troops into the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.
Several hours earlier, the army began to fire artillery shells into the northern part of the Strip.

According to reports, the artillery units were attacking targets in northern Gaza from where Palestinian terrorists had been firing rockets at southern Israel.

Warplanes, gunboats and artillery units blasted more than 40 Hamas targets throughout Saturday, including Hamas’s central intelligence headquarters in Sha’ati, weapons storage facilities, training centers and Hamas leaders’ homes.

Air strikes that had waned during the day gathered pace after dark. One raid hit a mosque in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, killing 14 people and wounding 33, seven critically, according to a Palestinian health official.

Other Palestinian reports claimed that the mosque was hit by an artillery shell.



Israeli troops began moving into Gaza tonight, on the eighth day of their assault on the Hamas-ruled territory, Israel Defense Forces said. Earlier Saturday, the Israelis had begun using ground artillery in addition to the ongoing airstrikes in their assault against Gaza.

From Haaretz:

From the Associated Press:

Israel’s military says ground forces are crossing the Gaza border in an escalation of Israel‘s week-old offensive against the territory’s militant Hamas rulers.

Israeli TV channels are broadcasting images of troops marching into Gaza after nightfall. The military confirmed a ground operation was under way.

Defense officials say around 10,000 soldiers have massed along the border in recent days.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information.

A text message sent by Hamas’ military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, said “the Zionists started approaching the trap which our fighters prepared for them.”

Israel Preparing Strike Against Iran Without U.S

December 4, 2008

The IDF is drawing up options for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities that do not include coordination with the United States, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Idf logo4.jpg
The IDF logo

hile its preference is to coordinate with the US, defense officials have said Israel is preparing a wide range of options for such an operation.

“It is always better to coordinate,” one top Defense Ministry official explained last week. “But we are also preparing options that do not include coordination.”

Israeli officials have said it would be difficult, but not impossible, to launch a strike against Iran without receiving codes from the US Air Force, which controls Iraqi airspace. Israel also asked for the codes in 1991 during the First Gulf War, but the US refused.

Aircraft photos for illustration only

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ISRAEL is reportedly drawing up plans to attack Iranian nuclear facilities and is prepared to launch a strike without backing from the US.

“It is always better to coordinate,” a top Defence Ministry official told The Jerusalem Post.

“But we are also preparing options that do not include coordination.” (Australia)

Israel would prefer to work in consultation with the US because the US Air Force controls the Iraqi airspace its jets would need to cross on a bombing mission.

“There are a wide range of risks one takes when embarking on such an operation,” a top Israeli official said.

Iran, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer, says its uranium enrichment activities are aimed at making fuel for a network of planned electricity-generating nuclear power plants and not for developing weapons.

An F-16 airplane of the Taiwanese Air Force releases flares ...

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