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Liveblogging the War: Tuesday July 18th

Barrages of Katusha rockets rained down on at least 16 towns in northern Israel last night and this morning. Approximately 50 rockets landed in total, wounding over 30 people.


The IAF has continued to strike targets in Lebanon, including a military base, bunkers in southern Beirut, a weapons cache, trucks used to carry arms in eastern Lebanon, and launching pads. In all, 50 targets were hit.


On the southern front, IDF troops have pulled out of Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, after a 2-day operation there. The IDF reported that soldiers had hurt approximately 20 terrorists during the operation. Meanwhile, terrorists in northern Gaza continue to fire Kassams into Israel.


In other news, 3 reserves brigades are being called up, and the Israel Navy has started to evaluate the idea of deploying guided missile vessels in Haifa Bay to provide a defense against Hizbullah rockets.


Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)


Wednesday updates here.

12:05PM: Ha’aretz reports that the IAF destroyed two Hizbullah-bound trucks carrying weapons and ammunition from Syria.

11:30PM: Palestinians: The IDF fired near the convoy of UN Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen.
Israel: Baloney.

11:15PM: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak:

No one is doubting the rights of the people to resist the powers of occupation but the resistances must make considerations of losses and gains‚Ķ the inflaming of the situation to make limited gains ignores the basic goal of the Palestinians which the establishment of an independent state..Palestinian and Lebanese resistance fighters obtained only limited gains and that the people were paying the price…

In other words, the man who leads the country to whom we have entrusted control over the southern border sees the likes of Hamas and Hizbullah as resistance fighters, and not as terrorists. And his only criticism is that they are making only limited gains compared to the losses being sustained – not that they are murdering innocent people.

11:05PM: Here’s one of the main causes of instability in this part of the world:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday promised a “rejoicing” for Muslims in the Middle East “soon,” the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Speaking to university officials in the town of Mashhad, Ahmadinejad said the “volcano of rage” at the “arrogant powers” was “on the verge of eruption.

He needs to be dealt with. The question is when. And I would think better sooner rather than later.

10:50PM: Really cool: Israellycool mentioned on MSNBC (click on the Watch Video link).

The mainstream media are definitely realizing that blogs are players in the information war.

9:48PM: A distressing report.

The IDF has found that Hizbullah is preventing civilians from leaving villages in southern Lebanon. Roadblocks have been set up outside some of the villages to prevent residents from leaving, while in other villages Hizbullah is preventing UN representatives from entering, who are trying to help residents leave. In two villages, exchanges of fire between residents and Hizbullah have broken out.

I’m at a loss for words. Not that I’m surprised, but it is just a reminder that we are facing an enemy nothing short of evil.

9:33PM: A Kassam has landed in Ashkelon’s National Park, while another has hit a Kibbutz.

9:00PM: President Bush says that Syrian President Bashar “Dorktator” al-Assad is “not doing what he can to create stability.” I would go further and say that he is doing everything he can to create instability in the region.

8:50PM: I was supposed to be interviewed by Sky News tonight, but they just cancelled, stating that they have a lot of guests, and “there just isn’t room for everyone.”

8:45PM: The IDF claim that Hizbullah is smuggling weapons from Syria.

8:40PM: You can catch my interview with BBC Radio Five Live here (about 13 minutes in to the program).


7:00PM: CNN wage war on this blog: From a commenter:

You were mentioned on CNN this morning. they said to take the reports with a grain of salt. go figure.

I can see why. After all, I have the audacity to call a terrorist a terrorist.


6:55PM: Check out Zombie’s photos from the protest at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco on July 13.


6:50PM: My bandwidth troubles seem to have been resolved – for now. If you want to help out, feel free to hit the Paypal button in the right sidebar. But I would prefer it if you contributed to any of the following worthwhile causes: 



6:43PM: Channel 2 have been asked to act less like Al Jazeera.


6:40PM: With the diplomatic clock ticking, Ynetnews reports that the Chief of Staff has ordered the IAF to destroy all Hizbullah positions on the northern border by Saturday.


6:35PM: A family member has notified me that this blog was mentioned on television (MSNBC). Did anyone else see this?


6:26PM: Women’s liberation in Gaza: First democracy, and now feminism is taking hold.

About 100 veiled and heavily armed Palestinian women marched through the streets of Gaza City Tuesday.


The militant women belong to a unit recently founded by the Popular Resistance Committees. The ‘Army of Suicidal Bombers,’ as it is dubbed, consists entirely of women.


A message released by the PRC states that the objective of the new unit is to protect “Palestinian land.”


The procession was led by the mother of Abu Yusuf Al-Kuka – a PRC founder assassinated by Israel two months ago. She was carrying an RPG missile launcher on her shoulder.


A Spokeswoman for the unit said that the ASB was founded in order “to aid the men in their war against the enemy.”


The militant women burned Israeli, U.S., British, and EU flags.


In an unprecedented step they also defaced an Arab League flag, which they then proceeded to set ablaze.

6:22PM: The IDF has bombed 52 targets in Lebanon so far today.


6:18PM: The Post reports that 40-50% of Hizbullah’s military capability has been destroyed in the last six days.


6:12PM: Many other bloggers have already fisked this claptrap from the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen. And I simply don’t have the time to do it myself – although the urge is there (must resist). So here’s some links to some who have taken the time to respond:



If I’m missing any, please feel free to let me know in the comments.


6:00PM: More thoughts on our Foreign Minister’s hint that Israel would not object to an international force: after giving it more thought, I would be willing to go along with it, as long as the soldiers are returned and the attacks on Israel stop. But it can’t stop there. Hizbullah have to be completely dismantled and taken out of the picture. Ceasefires will not work. They only serve to enable the terrorists to regroup and replenish their weapons supplies.


The problem is, Livni does not see it this way:

Livni also indicated that Israel could agree to put off the disarmament of Hezbollah, provided that Lebanon immediately deploy its own troops along the border.

If Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida were firing the missiles, would anyone agree to allow them to remain, as long as Lebanese troops were deployed on the border? It does not make sense to me.


5:45PM: One person has been killed in a Katusha attack on Nahariya.


Please just take a step back for a moment and think about what is going on. On one side, terrorists are deliberately targeting population centers of innocent people and killing them. On the other side, a country is faced with the agonizing choice of fighting back (leading to an inadvertent – but probable – loss of innocent life), or absorbing the blows (which would undoubtedly lead to a greater loss of innocent life).


This is why I fully support Israel’s strategy at this point in time.


4:02PM: More promising news, further to my 3:50PM update: The rocket launched at Haifa was smaller in diameter than those preceding it. Which again might indicate that Hizbullah’s supplies have been depleted.


3:58PM: From the Ha’aretz news ticker:

Saddam warns Syria `not to go too far` with Iran alliance, blames Iran for crisis (DPA)

I guess Saddam hates Iran more than he hates Israel.


3:50PM: Israel radio reported that 6 rockets hit Haifa. The train depot was hit again during this latest attack.


In more positive news, the GOC Northern Command Major stated that the rocket attacks have begun to drop, which might indicate that our operations in Lebanon are having the desired effect. Let’s hope this is the case.


12:57PM: And rockets have struck Safed, with one hitting a gas tank.


12:55PM: Rockets are landing in Haifa


12:28PM: Our Foreign Minister has now hinted that Israel would not object to a temporary international force in south Lebanon.


Given the need to dismantle Hizbullah, and the history of the utility of international forces, I would object.


12:10PM: Gotto love those caption writers: This from the Sydney Morning Herald.


Israeli girls write messages in Hebrew on shells ready to be fired toward Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon. Photo: AFP

Nope. It’s English (albeit with bad spelling), and looks like Nazrala with love From Israel.


11:40AM: An Iranian parliament speaker has reportedly stated that no part of Israel is safe in this conflict.


10:52AM: Contrary to the previous update, another report indicates that the Iranian FM will be sent to Damascus (i.e. hasn’t been sent yet) for his own protection.


That is interesting, because it would then seem like Iran believes they are a more likely Israeli target than Syria.


10:35AM: According to Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic daily, the Iranian Foreign Minister was sent to Damascus to urge Hizbullah to curb rocket attacks against Israel, and to release our two IDF soldiers. If this is true, this move might be based on Lebanese criticism of Hizbullah.


10:20AM: According to a Yedioth Aharonoth survey based on a 513-respondent representative sample:


  • 58% believe that fighting should continue until Hizbullah is completely eradicated.
  • 23% think that the fighting should go on only until Hizbullah pulls back from the border.
  • 17% think we should stop fighting and start negotiating.

  • 34% think PM Olmert’s response to the fighting in the north has been very good
  • 44% think his response has been fairly good
  • 8% think his response has been very bad

    It looks as if Nasrallah is failing if he thinks he can break our spirit.

    About the author

    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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