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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Naval commandos' lives risked to spare Hezbullah supporters

The IDF sent a group of naval commandos on a dangerous mission in the city of Tyre this morning out of reluctance to carry our an aerial bombing of a building housing three senior Hezbullah members. Two commandos, including a senior officer, were seriously wounded, and six others were lightly wounded.

The operation targeted terrorists who were responsible for firing long range rockets on Israel, including two or three Khaibar-1 rockets that reached Hadera on Friday night. Hadera is some 90 kilometers from the Lebanese border and the launcher that was used to fire the rockets was taken out almost immediately.

The Jerusalem Post describes the commando raid in Tyre:
The commandos entered an apartment building in a crowded residential area in northern Tyre, where they engaged with Hizbullah operatives, including three senior members. [Under those circumstances, the 'residents' have no protection under the Geneva Convention! CiJ]

When the elite unit left the apartment, they were fired upon from several directions. IAF aircrafts and drones covered the force and cleared an exit for it. Seven Lebanese were killed in the operation.

Head of Naval intelligence told Army Radio that an aerial assault on the building was avoided since it was not known whether there were civilians in the building. He also mentioned that the ground operation sent a strong message to the fighters, indicating that the IDF can reach deep into Lebanon. [Why risk soldiers lives to send messages when it can be done just as effectively from the air at less risk? CiJ]


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