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Sunday, July 30, 2006

IDF opening new ground offensive

The IDF withdrew most of its troops from Bint Jbeil yesterday. OC Northern Command Udi Adam declared that the town is 'almost in ruins.' A small force was left behind to control the town, which once had a population of 20,000 Shiite Muslim supporters of Hezbullah.

At least 50 Hizbullah gunmen were killed and hundreds were wounded during gunbattles in Bint Jbail over the weekend. Most of the wounded were from Hizbullah's special forces and had come to reinforce the regular Hizbullah guerrillas in the village. Soldiers confiscated dozens of handguns and rifles, as well as ammunition, grenades, mines, and five anti-tank missiles.

As Battalion 890 of the Paratroopers Brigade began to pull out of Bint Jbail, Military Intelligence personnel using a drone spotted a group of Hizbullah terrorists on motorcycles on their way to set up an ambush for the withdrawing troops.

IDF troops deployed accordingly and engaged the enemy force, killing 26 Hezbullah fighters. Seven soldiers were wounded, including one seriously.

On Saturday night, the IDF bombed the border area between Lebanon and Syria to prevent the Syrians from resupplying Hezbullah with arms. For the first time, the Syrians had to close the border area. Last week, I mentioned that Israel would likely have to attack the Bekaa Valley - the area in Eastern Lebanon that borders on Syria - in order to make sure that Hezbullah's weapons are not simply replaced. There seem to be some indications this morning that may happen.

If it's going to happen, I think it had better happen soon. There's a draft resolution at the UN Security Council (presented by Fwance) calling for a cease fire, US Secretary of State Rice has suddenly gotten into her head that Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's government ought to be propped up by gifting the Shaba Farms to Lebanon, and so far there's only one volunteer to staff the 'peacekeeping force' and it's Fwance. Of course, the Fwench know more ways to retreat than any other country in the world, and have a history in Lebanon already (Lebanon and Syria were once Fwench colonies), and the Fwench say they won't come unless there's a cease fire in place first. The IDF says it needs 7-10 days to finish the job (which it has been saying for the past three weeks). I'm not sure they're going to get that long to finish. Release of the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbullah is supposed to be part of the deal.

In the meantime, fourteen rockets in four barrages landed in and around Kiryat Shmona at 7:00 AM today, one of which scored a direct hit on a public building. Two barrages of rockets were also fired at the Western Galilee. One landed near Shlomi and the other near Nahariya. No reports of injuries or damage. The sirens went off in other northern cities but there were no rockets.

Yesterday, more than 90 rockets were fired at northern Israel again. Fifteen landed in and around Nahariya with three people injured and evacuated to hospitals. Rockets also landed near Tverya (Tiberias).


At 9:02 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...


The real deal is the stall.

The breaking point of the deal is the multi-natiional force.

No such animal exists.

France alone with Lebanon? Sounds like a revival of Imperialism to me. And the French will take bullets for the Israelis? I don't think so.

The other deal breaker? The fighting must stop first. Israel can. Hizbollah can't. Its street cred is on the line. How can it be a "resistance" if it stops resisting?

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Shanah said...

"There's a draft resolution at the UN Security Council (presented by Fwance) calling for a cease fire..."

Is that because they're excited to start recruiting their angry Muslim youths into the French Army and send them to the border to finish Hizbollah's job? Because, really, what will native French fighters do to combat Hizbollah-- introduce them to the beauty and art of Godard, Dior, and sex in public? I can hear the battle strategy meetings now: "Oui will win by making them as chichi as oui!"


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