Liveblogging the War: Friday July 14th

After I went to bed last night, the IAF struck a Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Lebanon, known to be a Hizbullah stronghold – a “place where the Hezbollah leaders, including Hassan Nasrallah, are located on a regular basis,” according to IDF spokeswoman Miri Regev. 3 people were killed, and 55 wounded. This is the neighborhood over which Israel had earlier dropped fliers, asking residents to stay away from the Hizbullah offices. Israel also targeted other locations, including a large fuel storage tank at a power station, a bridge in the southern suburb of Beirut, a PFLP base in east Lebanon.

For their part, Hizbullah have fired more Katushas this morning, which have landed near a Kibbutz in the central Upper Galilee.

Iran, the regime ultimately behind Hizbullah, have threatened Israel. Mahmoud “Gorilla Boy” Ahmadinejad said:

“If the Zionist regime commits another stupid move

and attacks Syria, this will be considered like attacking the whole

Islamic world and this regime will receive a very fierce response.”

In my opinion, Iran have started up with Israel – through Hizbullah – wanting precisely this to occur. They are aiming for a full scale, Arab-Israeli war, so he can make good on his promises to wipe Israel off the map. I really think we need to go after Iran. I’m just not sure how, and do not think it will be easy.

Meanwhile, Operation Summer Rains continues in Gaza, despite the relative lack of news about it now that focus has shifted to our northern border.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

Saturday 15th updates here.

6:35PM: Lebanese blogger Doha:

By the way, the Israeli ambassador said that Hizbullah is launching its

rockets from civilian houses with children and women acting as hosts of

such rockets.

This is truely a brutal way of operating by

Hizbullah. I hate violence and death. Enough is enough; the Lebanese

government needs to take a stand. My country is wounded.

My thoughts are with the innocent Lebanese civilians caught up in this, thanks to Hizbullah, Syria, and Iran. It’s a shame that Israel now has to do what the Lebanese government has failed to do.

But from an Israeli blogger to a Lebanese blogger: stay safe and know that we here in Israel wish you absolutely no harm. We wish you what we wish for ourselves: the ability to live in peace and harmony.

6:20PM: It’s surreal to think that while my family goes to sleep as usual tonight, there are those families to the north of us who will be sleeping in their bomb shelters.



6:15PM:
Pajamas Media have drawn my attention to this news item:

Vatican deplores Israeli attack on Lebanon

I better keep my thoughts about the Vatican to myself..

5:50PM: Jacques Chirac is being, err, French.

President Jacques Chirac said Friday that Israel’s military offensive against Lebanon is “totally disproportionate” and asked whether destroying Lebanon was not the ultimate goal.

5:00PM: Big Pharaoh’s dad seems like a smart man.

My dad was a general in the Egyptian army. His comments are always so informative especially if they were related to a war that broke out. He had this to say about Lebanon:
This idiot Nasrallah. He is so funny. He keeps on issuing threats, he has no idea what he is talking about. What Israel is doing to him now is just gentle padding on the shoulders. Abou Shakha dah didn’t see what we saw. Israel fought on 3 fronts in 1967 and it was hell. I was there, I saw it all. He has no tanks, no boats, he has nothing except a few toys he got from Iran and it seems abu shakha dah don’t know that Israel confronted 3 of the most powerful armies in the region at the same time. If Israel wanted to brutally crush him it can do so in 1 hour.

*Abu Shakha dah literally means “this guy with the piss”. We use this slang term to refer to a grown up whose capabilities is of a baby who wets himself.

4:37PM: IDF spokeswoman Miri Regev has said that we have hit “dozens of rocket storehouses and stockpiles” belonging to

Hezbollah. Let’s hope this has severely depleted their estimated stockpile of around 10,000 Katushas.

4:30PM:
A Kassam fired from Gaza has landed in the western Negev, about 30 minutes drive from where I am staying. And let’s not forget the Katushas (we couldn’t, even if we tried), 3 of which have landed in Kiryat Shmona.

4:20PM: Hundred of families in central Israel have volunteered to host families from the northern border region who have fled

their homes.

4:15PM:
More grunts from Gorilla boy:

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that Israel, which has struck at Lebanon in its search for two captured soldiers, would not dare to move against the Islamic republic, state television reported.

I am hoping we will dare.

By the way, doesn’t he sound exactly like one of those one dimensional evil dudes from a B grade movie, just before they get their comeuppance?

4:10PM: Ok, now they’ve done it: even Peace Now is showing solidarity with Israel’s citizens in the North. And I don’t hear them condemning our military response.

4:00PM:
Lebanon’s Druze leader (and Mr Burns lookalike) Walid Jumblatt has said that we should not punish the Lebanese government and the country’s civilian infrastructure for the actions of Hizbullah, which is following Syria’s and Iran’s directions.

I don’t think Israel is punishing the Lebanese government, but is rather doing what is needed to punish Hizbullah.

3:45PM:
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shown he firmly supports Israel (hat tip: Kateland)

Responsibility for the escalating violence in the Middle East rests entirely with those who have kidnapped Israeli soldiers, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday.

Mr. Harper, on his first major international foray, hadn’t even touched down in Europe before aligning himself firmly with the United States and Israel in the latest conflagration.

‚ÄúIsrael has the right to defend itself,‚Äù the prime minister told reporters aboard a Canadian Forces Airbus en route to London, where he’s starting a week-long diplomatic mission.

‚ÄúI think Israel’s response under the circumstances has been measured.‚Äù

Israeli military incursions into Lebanon following the kidnapping of two of its soldiers threatened to toss the volatile region into full-scale war. While many countries are urging restraint, Mr. Harper said “the onus to end this escalation is on the other side, and I would urge them to return the prisoners.”

In a prepared statement delivered midway over the Atlantic Ocean, Mr. Harper said: ‚ÄúIt’s essential that Hezbollah and Hamas release their Israeli prisoners and any countries in that area that have influence on these organizations should encourage an end to violence and recognize ‚Äî and encourage the recognition of ‚Äî Israel’s right to exist.‚Äù

He said he found it “tremendously disappointing” that Palestinian organizations are launching attacks on Israel from a territory that Israel “voluntarily evacuated.” Israeli army withdrew from Lebanon in 2000.

—-

Mr. Harper’s unabashed pro-Israel stance, is sure to prove divisive at the G8 summit this weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia, which anchors Mr. Harper’s first major overseas foray as prime minister.

—-

Mr. Harper refused to be drawn into assessing whether Israel’s military incursion into Lebanon ‚Äî including the bombing of Beirut airport ‚Äî is too much, responding only that ‚ÄúIsrael has the right to defend itself.‚Äù

Thank you, Mr Harper.

3:38PM: The Syrian ambassador has told Hizbullah to halt the attacks..in a television interview. Who knows what the Syrians are telling them when not on camera.

1:52PM: I’m about to travel down South, so I’ll be back later in the day.

1:50PM: We’re about to get medieval on Hizbullah.

The Israel Defense Forces is planning to bomb Hezbollah headquarters in a densely populated area of south Beirut on Friday, a senior General Staff official told Haaretz.

The IDF said it has dropped leaflets warning civilians of the impending attack and that many of them have left the Shi’ite Dahiya quarter of south Beirut, where thousands of people live in multi-story residential buildings.

“We will atack more significant targets than we have attacked until now,” the officer said. “If we had chosen to bomb earlier, it would have ended with hundreds of civilians killed, and we took ethical considerations into account. On the other hand, we will not adopt a naive approach, and the model of terrorists hiding behind civilians will not be accepted.”

He said any civilian who chooses to remain in the area is putting his life in danger.

Hezbollah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has his office and residence in south Beirut. Hezbollah’s Shura Council, its decision-making body, and the TV station are also located in that area, a section heavily guarded by Hezbollah.

1:47PM: And the Katushas keep coming.

1:45PM: The Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF has foiled an infiltration attempt by Hizbullah terrorist near an IDF post on the northern border.

12:57PM: This is worrying news:

Israel believes Hezbollah has missiles that can hit most of Israel, and which could even strike Be’er Sheva under optimum conditions.

Iran supplied Hezbollah with solid-fuel, Zelzal-2 missiles with a 200-km range, but these are not very accurate, since they do not have a self-guidance system.

The Zelzal-2 missiles, intended to strike broad targets such as communities and cities, are equipped with explosive warheads weighing up to 600 kilograms. The missiles are a later version of the Zelzal-1 missiles, which Iran first displayed in September 2005 at a military parade in Tehran, together with six Shihab-3 missiles.

That would put practically every main Israeli city within reach, and, in effect, the vast majority of the Israeli population.

12:32PM: The 2nd victim of one of the Safed Katusha attacks has now been identified as Nitzan Roseban, 33. He was seriously wounded when a Katusha landed near his motorcycle.

12:30PM: I am hearing some planes fly over my house.

12:10PM: Another Katusha has hit between Safed and Rosh Pina, with no casualties being reported.

12:00PM: The latest Israellycool Podcast is up at the podcast site. You can also listen by clicking here: 

On this week’s show, Erika and I talk about the current war going on, and try to give you a perspective on what the feeling is like here in Israel, as well as our views on what needs to be done.

Please feel free to leave a comment at the podcast site or voice message on the ‘Kool hotline (+206 888 5665).

11:15AM:
While I was podcasting, the Katushas were raining down on the Galilee, near Safed and at Rosh Pina. There have been no reports of injuries. Meanwhile, Hizbullah promise “further surprises.”

11:12AM: Have just recorded a podcast with my lovely wife Erika. I hope to have it up within the next 30 minutes.

9:57AM: Here’s an open request to Israeli PM Ehud Olmert from the Lebanese Foundation for Peace (hat tip: LGF).

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

It was about time,

We Lebanese congratulate you on your recent actions against the Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon. We urge you to hit them hard and destroy their terror infrastructure. It is not Israel who is fed up with this situation, but the majority of the silent Lebanese in Lebanon who are fed up with Hezbollah and are powerless to do anything out of fear of terror retaliation.

Since Israel’s forced withdrawal in 2000, pulling out due to pressure from the Clinton Administration, Hezbollah has not for one day ceased its terror incentives, acts of war and provocations at the border. Hezbollah, with the help of Syria and Iran, turned Southern Lebanon into a terror base supported by 12,000 Iranian missiles threatening every initiative for Peace in general and the security of Israel in particular.

Unfortunately, the West should have understood from the beginning that diplomacy does not work with terrorism, neither the Saudi backed initiatives in Lebanon, it enforces terrorism and acts like a booster for Hezbollah justifications on the ground.

The Lebanese are trapped within their own nation.

We urge you not to hit Lebanese infrastructure, Lebanon is a friendly country, rather hit and destroy Hezbollah’s infrastructure in the country.

The IAF raids on suspected Hezbollah strongholds will have a limited effect on this terror organization; an infantry offensive is needed to clean up Southern Lebanon from the threatening missiles and launching bases , destroy Hezbollah infrastructure and consolidate security.

On behalf of thousands of Lebanese, we ask you to open the doors of Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport to thousands of volunteers in the Diaspora willing to bear arms and liberate their homeland from fundamentalism. We ask you for support, facilitations and logistics in order to win this struggle and achieve together the same objectives: Peace and Security for Lebanon and Israel and our future generations to come.

As of the fighting continue in the north of Israel in order to create security, at the Lebanon Israel border, we ask the world’s nations to endorse your political action and wish you full success in your deterrence against terrorism’s autonomy in Southern Lebanon and Gaza.

Mr. Prime Minister,

Help Lebanon in order to help yourself.

9:48AM: Australian Prime Minister John Howard:

“This latest incident started because of the Hezbollah incursion into Israel against all of the resolutions of the United Nations, against all of the understandings now of international law..Do I think it’s appalling? Yes. Am I other than totally appalled at the loss of life on both sides? It is terrible...Like every other world leader, I would like it to stop…But you will never have any kind of lasting settlement in this part of the world until two things are accepted – there is an absolute acceptance of Israel’s right to exist in peace and be free of terrorist attacks, and there’s an absolute commitment to the emergence of a Palestinian state.” 

9:28AM: How’s this for plagiarism?

Ha’aretz:

Israel Air Force planes struck a Hezbollah stronghold, a bridge in the southern suburb of Beirut, and the fuel stores of the Jiyyeh power plant south of the city early Friday, witnesses and security sources said.

Ynetnews:

Israeli planes struck a bridge in the southern suburb of Beirut, a Hizbullah stronghold, and the fuel stores of the Jiyyeh power plant south of the city early Friday, witnesses and security sources said.

From experience, I would guess that Ynet have plagiarized from Ha’aretz.

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About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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