Israel at War 21 July

Thousands of IDF troops operating in S. Lebanon

Major-General Benny Gantz, who serves as the head of the Ground Forces Command, said on Thursday that ground fighting in limited areas in Lebanon would continue despite the IDF’s causalties.

Hezbollah bunkers are well-hidden and discernible only from a close distance, said Gantz. “The operation is challenging, difficult and complex. Unfortunately, there is the price of casualties, but the other side, unlike us, doesn’t report their casualties,” he added.

Thousands of Israeli troops are operating in south Lebanon where they are targetting Hezbollah positions. Among their activities, they are searching for tunnels dug by Hezbollah militants. According to the army, Hezbollah fighters have taken refuge inside these tunnels – often dug under homes in villages – along with their rockets, and that they occasionally emerge to fire one into Israel.

Rice and Annan to confer on French cease-fire initiative

WASHINGTON and NEW YORK – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to meet in New York on Thursday evening with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan (after press time), in an effort to repulse the French initiative in the Security Council for an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon.

The meeting comes on the heels of growing criticism among several Security Council members and European countries regarding the United States’ abstention from efforts to secure a cease-fire. France on Wednesday launched an initiative to get the Security Council, which is holding an open debate today, to call for an immediate cease-fire.
Rice will meet today with the UN task force on Lebanon for a briefing on the humanitarian situation there in the wake of Israeli bombing.

Israel to allow direct flow of humanitarian aid into Lebanon

Israel agreed on Thursday to allow humanitarian aid to flow directly into Lebanon as the the Israel Defense Forces continues to press a major offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas, officials said.

The aid will be brought by a French ship to the Lebanese port of Sidon, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said. Israel’s decision follows a United States request to open a “humanitarian corridor” that would allow ships to anchor on Lebanese shores to unload their supplies.

Israel has imposed a blockade on Lebanon but has not stopped foreign countries from evacuating their nationals.

Lebanese PM denies report he called for Hezbollah disarmament

The office of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora on Thursday denied a report in the Milan-based daily “Corriere della Sera” that quoted him calling for the disarmament of Hezbollah.

Siniora`s office said in a statement that his words were distorted in translation from Italian to English.

“What the prime minister said is that the international community has not given the Lebanese government an opportunity to deal with the problem of Hezbollah`s arms, since the continuing presence of the Israeli occupation of Shebaa Farms is the reason for the weapons’ location.”

Army set to call up thousands of reservists; IAF planes pound Lebanon’s main road link to Syria

The Israel Defense Forces will be calling up additional reserve battalions, sending thousands more soldiers to fight Hezbollah on the northern border and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the army said Friday.

The IDF said the call-up would likely come later in the day.

The decision comes on the heels of a significant expansion of the ground operations in the north, as the IDF sent thousands of troops into southern Lebanon on Thursday. Three reserve battalions have already been called up.

Lebanese defense minister: Army will fight ground invasion 

Lebanon’s army, which so far has sat on the sidelines of the violence raging in the country, will fight an Israeli ground invasion, Defense Minister Elias Murr said on Al-Jazeera television Thursday.

“The Lebanese army – and I stress – the Lebanese army will resist and defend and will prove that it is an army that deserves respect,” he said.

In most of the previous Israeli attacks, including in 1978 and the 1982 invasion in which Beirut was occupied, the Lebanese army largely stayed out of the fighting.

U.N. Post Hit in Israel-Hezbollah Fighting

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — A U.N.-run observation post near the border took a direct hit Friday during fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants. Israel resumed airstrikes on Lebanon and prepared for a possible ground invasion, warning people in the south to flee.

Also Friday, more rockets were fired at the port city of Haifa, the first time in nearly 24 hours that Israel’s third-largest city has been struck. Rescue officials initially said that 10 people were injured seriously but later lowered that figure to just three. Another 16 suffered from shock.

My Comments:

The Lebanese government needs to make a choice, and the sooner the better. If Hizbollah is going to set official government policy for the nation of Lebanon then Lebanon as a nation is at war with Israel. If the Government of Lebanon wants to recognize Hizbollah for what it is a Terrorist organization that was operating beyond the control of the Lebanese government then they can ask for international assistance in disarming and disbanding Hizbollah. Many supporters of Israel insist that the Lebanese government must remain intact and not be threatened.. That is all fine and good.. provided that the Lebanese government wishes to take responsability for its southern border with Israel. If they wish to sanction Hizbollah, then one independent Nation (Lebanon) launched unprovoked attackes on another independent Nation. Israel… Folks that is war… nothing more, nothing less.

Others Blogging;

Pardon My English, Blogs of War, Captains Quarters, The Daily Brief



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