News and Analysis From Israel: If We're at War, the IDF Didn't Plan For It
[Editor's Note: The author lives in Jerusalem and files this report as events transpire.]
Missiles strike the north
It appears from this morning's news on my e-mail, that we are at war. This morning there were coordinated Katyusha attacks from northern Lebanon. In this morning's wave of attacks, only one woman was killed, a lady eating breakfast on her porch in Nahariya. But the attacks were widespread. According to reports from Arutz Sheva "Dozens of Hizb-Allah-fired Katyusha rockets struck all over the north."
The rocket attacks began at 7 AM starting with an IDF installation at Mount Meron, near Tzfat. No one was hurt, but soon afterwards, four more rockets hit the other side of the Galilee - the coastal city of Nahariya. It was there that the lady was killed. Eleven others were wounded and are being treated in hospital in Nahariya.
But this was just the beginning. Nahariya was hit again, along with Rosh Pina, Tzfat, Margaliot, Mahanayim, Mahanayim Airport, Beit Hillel, K'far HaNasi, and Mishmar HaYarden. The IDF Northern Command Headquarters was also hit. Ten Katyushas hit Tel Hai between 8 and 9 AM.
Until now Nahariya and Kiryat Shmoneh were always in range of HizbAllah's Katyusha rockets. But it appears that towns further to the south are now in range as well - the IDF estimates that HizbAllah has not yet fired its longest-range Katyushas.
The IDF has requested the hundreds of thousands of residents in the northern part of the country, including the Galilee and the Valley of Jezreel, to enter shelters and re-inforced rooms, but Israelis have largely ignored this request.
This morning, the Israel Air Force hit the Beirut International Airport and Al-Manar terrorist television studios. Apparently, Al-Manar anticipated the attack, and moved its broadcasts to an unknown location ahead of time. The air force has also hit dozens of concentrations of HizbAllah rockets in southern Lebanon.
Israel Police is on a level-3 alert, just one level below a state of emergency, anticipating a possible attempt by Arab terrorists to attack within the country. A friend of ours whose son is in the air force has reported that her son is being kept over Shabbat for guard duty. Another person, who packs medical kits for soldiers, has been working overtime over the last two weeks.
Over the night the targets attacked in Lebanon were a dozen bridges and much of southern Lebanon's highway infrastructure. One strike hit a vehicle in which two HizbAllah terrorists were traveling.
The government has announced that it views Lebanon as responsible for the attacks from within its borders, including the rockets and abduction of the two IDF soldiers.
The mainstream media, in this case the Jerusalem Post is acknowleging that for the first time Katyushas have reached a 25 kilometer range, striking K'far haNasi and Mahanayim. The Post article was received courtesy of IMRA
First, a brief note on HizbAllah's rockets in southern Lebanon. Our intelligence estimates that there at at least 8,000 of them, more likely 10,000. So spending a few dozen on attacks on the north of Israel will not deplete the stocks seriously. The IDF has to reduce the HizbAllah "inventory" - before they do.
Now to briefly analyze this sudden outbreak of hostilities.
In the movie, The Wizard of Oz the wizard, knowing that discovery is imminent, shouts "don't pay attention to that man behind the curtain!"
So who is "the man behind the curtain"?
Once again, I draw the reader's attention to an article in WorldNet Daily called "West Bank Rocket War?"
Aaron Klein's article details an interview with Abu Oudai, a chief rocket coordinator for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Judea and Samaria. In it, Oudai explains the plans for his terrorist group to bring in missiles and develop the capability to hit the cities where the majority of Israel's residents live - Tel Aviv and its suburbs to the north, as well as cities like Netanya and K'var Sava, where lots of well off folks live. This is the soft underbelly of the rich elite of the country.
Abu Oudai claimed major Israeli cities and the country's international airport would eventually become Palestinian rocket targets, particularly following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's planned withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, which borders Israel's main population centers.
Later the article continues,
Abu Oudai said he does not fear Israeli retaliation for his group's planned rocket launchings from Judea and Samaria.
"I heard many time the expression of unprecedented response. The only
unprecedented thing is the frequency of the Israeli 'empty threats.' We are
not afraid and we have nothing to fear," said Abu Oudai.
To the best of my knowledge, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is aligned not with Hamas, nor with HizbAllah, the "targets" of these attacks by the IDF, but with good old friendly Uncle Mahmoud Abbas, Olmert's putative "peace partner" and a man who is reportedly under the personal protection of Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice.
So we meet the man - or is it woman? - behind the curtain.
The drums of war beat and the soldiers march forth, but the real snakes in the grass lie in northern Samaria, the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, and in the state department of the American government.