The IDF released for the first time footage of the tracking system deployed along the Gaza border in order to thwart terror attacks.

The system, dubbed “spot and strike,” is operated by the IDF’s Field Intelligence Corps. The footage shows how the system targets a Palestinian terrorist who was involved in an attempted attack that took place in late December 2009.

The system was controlled by a female officer from the Nesher Observation Unit. The officer directed a military helicopter and a Golani force to the location of the terrorist, while also following three other cell members, thus foiling the attack.

The officer stands to receive a special presidential commendation for her actions, as part of the coming Independence Day celebrations.

The new system, which has been operational for about a year, affords the IDF a new and effective way of dealing with terror threats, army officials say.

“The system proves most effective when we’re dealing with real-time events that require immediate response,” Chief Field Intelligence Officer Eli Pollack told Ynet.

Lt.-Col. Eran Gabai, head of the Nesher Unit, added that the observers’ work is very complex: “They canvass the area constantly to spot potential threats among otherwise mundane parameters.”

The IDF found a ladder, ropes and explosives in the documented incident, indicating that the terrorists were planning to climb over the security fence in order to carry out their attack.

Field Intelligence officers employ state-of-the-art technology in their reconnaissance efforts. “It’s a 24/7 operation which involves both mobile and stationary teams,” said Pollack.

“Our officers and observers are part of almost every military operation today. Our challenge is to keep misleading the enemy,” he concluded.

Of course, all of this would be unnecessary if the palestinians were not trying to commit terrorist attacks, a fact worth noting next time a pro-palestinian claims the security fence is a “land grab.”

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

10:15PM: Oops!

Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants fall off of a truck after one of them was injured, center, during a training session on the outskirts of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, March 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

(hat tip: Brian)

If only a similar mishap had occurred at Hamas training…

Palestinian security forces from Hamas demonstrate their skills during a graduation ceremony at a training area in Gaza City, Monday, March 1, 2010.

6:24PM: Photo of the day. Presumably taken on Purim, but given Jerusalem Syndrome, who knows (hat tip: Eli)


6:06PM: According to Facebook’s head of strategy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Israelis spend over one billion minutes on Facebook every month, making it by far Israel’s most popular site and more than the time they spend on Google, Walla, and YouTube combined.

Here’s a case in point.

The Israel Defense Forces called off a raid in Palestinian territory after a soldier posted details, including the time and place, on the social networking website Facebook, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.

The soldier – since relieved of combat duty – described in a status update how his unit planned a “clean-up” arrest raid in a West Bank area, Army Radio said.

“On Wednesday we clean up Qatanah, and on Thursday, god willing, we come home,” the soldier wrote on his Facebook page, refering to a West Bank village near Ramallah.

The soldier also disclosed the name of the combat unit, the place of the operation and the time it will take place. Facebook friends then reported him to military authorities.

The Israeli military spokesman’s office had no immediate comment.

Israel says raids in the West Bank are aimed at detaining militants suspected of planning attacks on Israelis. Palestinian officials say the incursions undermine efforts by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority to enforce law and order in the territory.

Next status update from the IDF soldier in question: Guess who just did a really stupid thing?

11:35AM: Despite yesterday’s report that Hamas believes Egypt or Jordan were behind the Mahmoud al-Mabhouh hit, the Dubai police chief plans to pursue the arrest of the Israeli Prime Minister and Mossad chief.

Dubai’s police chief plans to seek the arrest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of the Mossad over the killing of a Hamas leader in the emirate, Al Jazeera television reported on Wednesday.

Dahi Khalfan Tamim “said he would ask the Dubai prosecutor to issue arrest warrants for … Netanyahu and the head of Mossad,” the television said. It did not give details.

Tamim has said he is “almost certain” Israeli agents were involved in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a Dubai hotel in January, calling for Mossad’s boss, Meir Dagan, to be arrested if it is proved responsible.

6:15AM: Relations between Israel and New Zealand seem to be thawing after the horrible Helen Clark years (hat tip: Zak)

A reciprocal deal has been struck between New Zealand and Israel on working holiday visas.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully signed the arrangement in Jerusalem overnight. It allows up to 200 people aged from 18 to 30 to stay and work in Israel for a year. The same applies to young Israelis travelling to New Zealand.

Mr McCully says the move will help to deepen tourism and education links in time, lead to better trade and investment between the countries.

“Israel is already our largest tourist market in the Middle East, and it is an affluent economy that will present opportunities for New Zealand,” Mr McCully said.

6:08AM: Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank, who worked for Israel’s Shin Bet, talking with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

30 thoughts on “The Day In Israel: Wednesday Mar 3rd, 2010”

  1. Do you have that video with the "dark-skinned" American pastor saying Israel is not apartheid? I cant find it.

    I really need to compile all these videos in one place for future reference.

      1. I'm not sure if that's him, but I know Dave had a video of some pastor or reverend or whatever (why cant they just have two names like us: rabbi/cantor) who was saying "I've been to Israel and lived in apartheid and this is not apartheid" or something

        1. Michael Zvi Krumbein

          You know, I don't know if you have the time, but you might consider getting involved with Wikipedia regarding Israel. You do have to learn the rules; unfortunately, the sourcing rules tend to canonize media bias. For example, there was a ruling that you have to say "West Bank". There is an Israel Project, a "Palestine" project, and even a co-operative project.

          I did try to help once regarding "Israeli-occupied territories", but did more harm than good, so now I stick to the Judaism articles, where I have more background and sources. You could probably do better (on Israel, I mean, although we could use some decent non-Orthodox sources, as opposed to speculation, prejorative statements, and deciding who has the most marbles).

          1. Jim from Iowa

            I hope you've had better luck than a group supporting a pro-Israel podcast has had in getting Wiki coverage. The Wiki people were pretty arrogant and arbitrary in their treatment of our efforts to post an "Israelisms" page on Wikipedia. No amount of media coverage of this podcast was sufficient evidence for the Wiki drones to determine that the Israelisms podcast was important enough to have a Wiki page. It was a frustrating and unpleasant experience for our little pro-Israel group. Wouldn't want to go down that road again.

            1. Yes, the non-inclusivists or exclusivists are a hard bunch. I'm usually an inclusivist (meaning we should include everything or at least wait for notability). There's one thing I am now trying to get deleted about a list of villages depopulated in the 1948 war. There's a general article and a list of Arab villages. I'm not sure if there's a list of Jewish villages depopulated. Regardless, the premise of this(these) lists appears to be slandering Israel and then covering it up by including Jewish villages. They make little mention of how the villages (if they existed) lost their population and the articles imply Israel did it.

              So that's where I'm not an inclusivist (as well as other idiotic things that serve no purpose in Wikipedia).

            2. Michael Zvi Krumbein

              I'm really more interested in correcting stuff there than trying to get ccoverage for something. The problem in the pro-Israel end is that, thanks to the media, the anti-Israel side claims that there IS only one legitimate viewpoint regarding the territories. Unfortunately, they have the rules on their side to a large extent.

              This is, in fact, also a problem regarding Jewish law and particularly the Bible. Since "scholarship" is, just about by definition, anti-traditional, one starts at a disadvantage. Personally, I always prefer to see what the sources actually say, rather than how scholars interpret them, but Wikipedia rules discourage this, for obvious reasons.

              1. I have added my word to the West Bank article. Someone else, possibly a Muslim and Arab, has noticed that the opening to the article is biased. The rest is almost neutral.

                I also noted that some of the "settlements" were reconstructed Jewish lands that existed prior to 1948 and cannot be illegal.

                1. Michael Zvi Krumbein

                  Which article? I was referring to "Israel Occupied Teritories"; specifically the large bit at the bottom about the ICC. I added material to make it neutral (NPOV in the jargon), and the other guy added a whole bunch of stuff that I couldn't do anything else about, except slap a "citation needed" on a bunch of sentences, which I should probably remove now. Same for the talk page. I just don't have enough material; I thought you might.

                  I really thought I might have caused harm. I asked at the Israel Project for someone to do something, but no-one did.

                  This stuff is no joke. Even journalists, who should know better (hah!) use it.

                  1. Anything you add that has a source with at least a minimum of credibility is helpful.

                    I just added on the talk page about Jewish lands prior to 1948 that are considered occupied and not even mentioned in the article. I also noted the fact that these lands were Jewish prior to 1948, but are still considered occupied by Israel and that this shows the term 'occupied territories' is biased.

          2. Yeah I am a casual editor, not as hard core as some of the people there, but I have an account that is approaching five years old (if that menas anything to them) and I do involve myself in debates over what to do every now and then.

            I noticed the article on "west bank" has a clear bias and planned to introduce a debate about that although I havent had the time so far due to school work.

            It's hard though to work against them because the internets often have a liberal bias, as well as arrogance (a trait I severely despise and try my utmost to avoid giving off). I will try what I can to add another voice to the debate and include new sources. Like even these "massacres" are now coming out to have never happened. (every loss to an Arab is a massacre)

            I actually said wb myself for awhile until recently in my zionist renaissance over the past year and more recently finding out that wb refers to Jordan and was created in 1948.

            I dont really know of any non-religious sources. Although, I do have a textbook from last semester which is academic, which is how I view Judaism—from an academic perspective.

            Now what I'd really like to do is make a reality-based version of those four infamous maps that "show" Jews/Israel taking over "palestine". The current image shows the entire area as being a state, when there were just a sprinkling of Arab and Jewish villages across the land, as we already know.


            1. Michael Zvi Krumbein

              I was referring to decent sources for things like Reform weddings, sesular Orthodox Israeli weddings (the most common kind here), left-wing Orthodox weddings (double-ring ceremonies where only one ring counts), etc. I took the one part on this out because there was no source and it was prejorative toward Orthodox weddings. The person who put it where is not Jewish, BTW, and often appear to have trouble understanding what he is reading. The is a good chance he will get banned, but I feel a little bad for him, because he is not nasty, unlike one fanatical atheist (not meaning to generalize) who posts in there areas.

      2. No that's that crazy pastor guy that is like the opposite of Jeremiah Wright. The guy I am thinking of didnt scream or anything crazy. He was just like "I support Israel".

  2. This Pastor Manning is such a ridiculous character, Howard Stern uses clips from his speeches for comical effect. Manning has said such things as "Obama is a long-legged mack daddy." "Obama surrounds himself with big-titted white women." "Barack Hussein Obama is a muslim." Pastor Manning has set himself up as such an object of ridicule that even Fox News won't have him on, not even on the Glen Beck program (at least to my knowledge–I'd love to be proven wrong).

  3. Michael Zvi Krumbein

    “Facebook friends then reported him to military authorities.”

    Is this a great country, or what?

  4. Michael Zvi Krumbein

    Interesting link on Jerusalem syndrome. There used to be a particular psychiatrist, a religious guy, I think in Bait VeGan, who they used to send the cases too. I always thought that the messiah's first task would be to convince him.

    Also was the link to Paris syndrome. in which Japanese tourists, among other things, get "feelings of persecution (delusions of being a victim of prejudice, aggression, hostility to others)". This is not a mental problem – they are just experiencing the French!

  5. Jim from Iowa

    My spidey sense tells me it was Purim at the Western Wall. But isn't appropriate attire customary, Purim or no Purim? I didn't dress up as Queen Esther for my confirmation.

  6. Michael Zvi Krumbein

    I just cannot get over that scum at ABC stalking our citizens. I even did something I almost never do – went to their site and wrote them a semi-polite letter. I pointed out that I was concerned at first myself, but that they had no right to stalk private citizens. (I even spelled everything right, except maybe the name of the coutry. I forgot the bit about learning how to pronounce things.)

    I will not subject you all to it, but I hope you will forgive me if I give the last two sentences:

    “Austrailians are liked and admired throughout the world. They do not deserve to be represented by the likes of ABC news.”

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