Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September 2nd Peace Negotiations

Nadene Goldfoot

Right away I see difficulties in this process. I'm sure glad I'm not Netanyahu. Kol a Ka Vod to him if he can stick it out and listen to all this, plus withstand being pressured by all others attending to go along with Palestinian wishes. Here are a few of the main points I've found.

Israel's Expectations

1. First, we ask for recognition, which hasn't been given so far for the past 62 years. Hamas says no. The quartet will ask for it.

2. Security is a necessity. We ask that Palestine demilitarize. Also, we'd need to watch that the Judea Samaria are not getting weapons of destruction. We haven't been able to stop Gaza from getting weapons, though work on it.

3. Water issues to be worked on together

4. Returning Palestinians to settle in Palestine, not Israel.

5. Not dividing Jerusalem, our capitol

Palestinian Expectations

1. Pre-1967 borders for Israel -

2. Palestinians in other countries to return and settle in Israel.

3. Moratoriam on Israel building in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

4. Water Issues

5. Making Jerusalem their capitol. Keeping Israel from building there.

If the main points can be reached and peace is a given, then I don't see water issues as a big deal. By then there should be cooperation. I just don't see any cooperation or agreements with the other points. Hamas will not recognize Israel until the Messiah comes. I don't think he'll be attending this Sept. 2nd meeting. I don't see any Palestine being created until Hamas comes around and wants to live peacefully, even if the big Four attend this meeting.

Abbas, representing the Judea Samaria (West Bank) was most reluctant to attend this meeting. Netanyahu was ready. I think that's a bad start. I have a feeling this is a lesson in futility to satisfy the big four, but hope I'm wrong. Maybe over a cup of tea they can be civil with each other. They each have to answer to their own people, so it can't be a personal decision.

If by some strange quirk these two make peace and Fatah recognizes Israel and all is well in the world, what will they do when Hamas continues to attack Israel? What will they do when Iran and Syria bring on pressure to Israel? Will they be in a position to help their fellow Arabs?

There are many things to consider. By the way, the creation of Palestine will make it the 49th Muslim state in the world with 50% muslim population or more. Remember, 22 Arab states attacked Israel in 1948. They were the ones closest to Israel.

1:43pm: I just learned that 4 Israeli civilians, including a pregant woman, were killed in Kiryat Arba located in the West Bank (Abbas's Fatah area). Gunmen had shot at a car at short range. In defence of the act, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, congratulated the attackers saying it was a normal reaction to the crime of occupation. My husband did his student teaching in this city. At the time we were living in Haifa. Everything is so close by.

10:20pm: The names of the people slaughtered in their car were Talia and Yitzhak Irnes who had 6 children at home, and Kochava Even-Haim and Aveshai Shendler.

Reference: The Israel Project 8/31/2010, The Israel Project.


Israel Muse Portal

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sixty-Two Years of Waiting is Enough-Diy-ay-Nu

by Nadene Goldfoot

Palestinians are still harping on settlement stoppage of building in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) area by Israelis. Netanyahu had given into the Palestinians a 10 month freeze in the name of peace, but their recognition of Israel didn't happen. Israel has been hoping for recognition for the past 62 years. Peace talks will not be indulged in by the Palestinians because of this. They're demanding another freeze, for forever, no doubt.

The Palestinians have been trying very hard to get Israel to weaken their safeguards. Israel has to continue watching what is coming and going into Gaza and keep restrictions there because of continuing rocket firing and a lack of a peace treaty. It's actually enemy territory.

When Israel was created in 1948, all the surrounding Arab countries attacked it, meaning to drive it into the sea. In other words, they tried to kill the baby just created. They have continued with these attacks even after 1985, and continued attacks coming from the Palestinians themselves to this day. I remember that after leaving Israel in 1985, it was under attack and everyone was given gas masks with directions on how to tape up a small area in their homes as a safe room from chemical warfare. I received e-mails from my neighbor in Safed about what went on. Places I was familiar with were hit by rockets. It was unreal.

We have two peace treaties only: Egypt and Jordan. We see Iran feeding the Palestinian terrorists with weapons through Syria. Lebanon is a huge threat. Israel has to be constantly on guard. If it lets down in any way, as it did in leaving Gaza in the name of peace, it will be attacked.

I know that many think that this is a continuing condition and there is no hope for peace. Warring is going to be the norm. I feel that if the world continues to back terrorism as it is doing right now, it will be. If the world wakes up and sees that Israel is the scapegoat and that the Arab world is acting like bullies, it could bring about pressure to cause terrorism to end. People in this part of the world have the ability to live in peace if they see that it is more advantageous to live a peaceful life.

Right now Ireland is forming another flotilla to enter Gaza. Is this helpful? What in the world are they backing? What are they against? This is an example of how warped the world has become in understanding what is right and what is wrong. It makes me shudder.

From what I've read from the Socialist party's diatribes against Israel, they think that Jews stole Arab land and so they plot against Israel. When are people going to understand and accept facts that we didn't and that we re-created Israel in the most legitimate ways; legally, rightfully, and that there were very few Arabs living in the area at the time of its birth. Jews never wanted to displace them and never did. It's quite a history, but who is actually finding out about it? From what I can see, people today get their information from word of mouth from Palestinians only.


http://palwatch.org/ Itamar Marcus articles from Palestinian Media Watch

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Who Recognizes Israel?

by Nadene Goldfoot
Is it so shocking that Israel's Netanyahu is asking for recognition of Israel in order to have peace? Recognition means acceptance of the state in the neighborhood. It means that it will be respected and not shot at. It means it's a legitimate neighbor and all want peace. It would be in a state such as USA is with its neighbors of Canada and Mexico today. Israelis are tired of putting up with rocket firing morning, noon and night. You can't sign a peace treaty with people who are intending to do you in anyway. Palestinians have to say, "Okay! You're a legitimate state accepted by the U.N. in May of 1948. We concede to that. We'll quit trying to drive you all into the sea. "

Palestinians don't want to recognize Israel because they want the West Bank and East Jerusalem to have no building at all by Israelis there. They want it for themselves. Since Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel, Israel feels it is their city. Jerusalem is THE city as far as Judaism goes. It's in our history, our religion, and our soul. We don't mind having Arabs living in East Jerusalem. We have a million Arabs living in Israel. However, the state of Palestine wants their country to be free of all Jews. They want us out. We have fears that they will try to take over all of Jerusalem, also. After all we've been through, we're not about to let that happen. We remember how our cemeteries were desecrated by the Jordanians. People used them as latrines. King David and his son King Solomon would roll over in their graves if they thought we'd let Jerusalem be given away. Most of our give aways that were in the name of peace have just resulted in being used as landing places for our neighbors to attack us.

The West Bank in history was Judea and Samaria. It's also most important in Jewish history. Again, we don't mind and wouldn't kick out the Arabs living there, but we don't like the idea of uprooting all the Jewish people that live there, either.

The Palestinians are always demanding that we give up land. We had a sufficient chunk of land promised to us in the first place, but had to settle for only a small part of it at the formation of Israel and that was okay with us. Something was better than nothing. Ever since then the Arabs have been chipping away pieces of it. We gained land after the 1967 battle of many Arab countries attacking us. Maybe it was a miracle that we won the war, but we won, and gained back Jerusalem from Jordan. Now, we're not about to let it go just because they're demanding.

They're calling out that building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal by the international community. Well, the international community is not supportive of Israel in any way shape or form, anyway. I feel they're still harboring anti-semitic feelings and have always been against the Jewish people. They certainly haven't condemned Palestinians for attacking Israel civilians with rockets, have they.
The whole affair is so one sided that it makes me dizzy. No wonder a Rabbi in Israel blew up cursing the Palestinian terrorists who are so against Israel. I would have said, may you all lose all your teeth except one, and in that one tooth get a giant toothache. I think that's the curse my grandmother used to use on people she was exasperated with.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Continuing Attacks on Israel 2010

Below is a report compiled by David Wilder who is a leader of the Jewish community of Hebron, Israel. (Gini Detry, Isaiah 40)

Terror Summary Translated by David Wilder

One of the questions I frequently hear, is: What's the security situation? As Obama continues to pressure Israel into further concessions, in order to prepare 'direct talks' with our enemy, a.k.a. continued Israeli abandonment of Eretz Yisrael, a decrease in security and more dead Jews, it is important to know exactly: How quiet has it really been?

This is a summary of terror activity in Israel for the first six months of 2010, as prepared by Yeshanews (Hebrew) You judge for yourself.

6 people killed
2 critically wounded
9 moderately wounded
232 lightly wounded in terror attacks and fighting against terrorists
139 rockets fired
At the Gaza border fence 60 shooting attacks, bombs, missiles fired, and attempted infiltrations.
130 Arabs apprehended with knives. 22 admitted intentions to perpetrated a terror attack

Rocket/Missile attacks:
25 mortars and 48 Kassam missiles shot into Israel
1 killed (foreign worker)
2 people in shock
45 mortars and 19 Kassam missiles fell inside Gaza
2-3 rockets shot at the Gulf of Eilat
1 discovered 70 meters from the Almog beach

Terror at Gaza border fence:
2 soldiers killed
1 injured by sniper fire
1 injured in mine blast
The Israel Air force attacked 8 tunnels, 1 weapons factory, 4 terror bases, 4 munitions storage area, 3 terrorist groups shooting rockets, 12 terrorists killed and one critically injured.
3 terror infiltrations prevented
The marines killed 6 terrorists planning an attack from the sea
18 shooting attacks against soldiers
1 hand grenade thrown
8 Anti-tank missiles shot
12 shooting attacks against workers
1 attack against farmers
3 mines discovered
5 bombs exploded
1 'wagon bomb'

Knives and stabbing attacks:
103 Arabs arrested armed with knives
57 on their bodies
24 in vehicles
22 with other tools
1 killed by stabbing attack - Soldier Ihab Chatib, at the Tapuach junction.
1 lightly wounded in Netanya
1 terrorist killed
1 terror suspect shot and lightly wounded
A knife attack prevented - 2 terrorists killed

Bombs in Judea and Samaria:
38 bombs discovered
4 fake bombs discovered

Rock attacks and Arab violence:
218 injured by rock attacks and Arab violence
132 police and border police, 2 border police officers, lightly injured. 1 lightly-moderately wounded
12 soldiers and one officer wounded
56 civilians lightly wounded, including 3 children, one foreign tourist lightly wounded, 4 moderate and 3 treated for shock
2 civilians injured in auto accident due to rock attack, 1 wounded in accident due to rock barrier in street, 1 civilian by Arab violence in Southern Hebron Hills, 1 youth in Jerusalem, and a handicapped person by Arab violence during a car theft.

Auto attacks:
3 auto attacks-attempts to run people over, 4 people lightly injured

Terror shooting:
One policeman killed, 1 moderately wounded, 3 lightly wounded, 2 civilians and one guard lightly wounded

Killed and wounded in attacks and fights against terror:
3 soldiers killed, 1 killed by 'friendly fire' during terror operation, 1 policeman and one foreign worker killed

Cemetery desecrations:
3 times ancient Jewish cemetery in Hebron desecrated via arson attacks.
23 gravestones destroyed on Mt of Olives
2 other attacks near Nevatim and Shefaram

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Virus of Anti-Semitism Now Hitting "Doctors Without Borders"

Israeli doctors did a mitzva in flying to the Congo to treat 50 local villagers who had been severely burned. They worked hard, nonstop treating these burn victims. They even trained doctors to perform skin grafts. If that wasn't enough, they donated tons of medical equipment before they left.

The Doctors Without Borders refused to work with the Israeli and para medics. One Israeli medic said they treated them as though they were occupiers. That was because Dr. Marie Pierre Allie, President of the French branch of the organization, said that Israel's self defense actions in Gaza were worse than the Darfur genocide in the Sudan.

What a horrible accusation! To my knowledge, none of these doctors without borders were ever witnesses in Gaza. They are going on heresay, slander, which is anti-semitism.

There you are. We have Israeli doctors saving lives and doing their best and they are being discriminated against by their peers because of what we call loshun hora-gossip-maligning gossip plus anti-semitism, and maybe just a pinch of jealousy thrown in for good measure. I mean, how many of the ten commandments are these doctors breaking already?

George Greenberg's family in Melbourne, Australia always donated to this group, but after this, will not. He asks that people read this report from Alan Dershowitz. I've just read a presentation by Alan Dershowitz -http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/dershowitz/entry/moonbats_against_israel_posted_by which you too should read and think about.

As George commented, These doctors are singling out one Jewish democratic state with terrible accusations yet they're not bothered by anything done by the Islamic states, of which I have counted 46 which have a majority of Muslims in their population. There's all sorts of problems with how they treat their citizens and others, yet no one says a word.

Israel just invented and introduced to the world a sniffing tester to find cancer. Here we are sharing these wonderful medical inventions, of which this is but one, and we are treated in this way. 2,000 years of being treated like pariah is getting old. 6 years of being shelled by rockets and mortars before reacting to me shows an awful lot of restraint and thought, but in the end a desire to live.
We're less than 1% of the human population. We thought the world was improving and growing up, but perhaps not.

Reference: Alan Dershowitz http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/dershowitz/entry/moonbats_against_israel_posted_by which you too should read and think about.
George Greenberg's email.
8/18/2010 from The Israel Project
Israel’s Darfur Refugees
Israeli soldier with Darfur refugees (Courtesy of IsraAid)Israel has granted asylum to hundreds of refugees from Sudan’s Darfur region.[8] According to the UN, more than 400,000 people have been killed in the six-year-old Darfur conflict, and more than two million more have been displaced.[9] The conflict has been marked by widespread atrocities such as mass rape, military attacks on civilians and ethnic cleansing.[10]
In September 2007, the Israeli government granted asylum to 498 Darfur refugees.[11] The following month, the government gave 51 of them new homes at kibbutzes – collective living communities unique to Israel – where they now live and work.[12] On Oct. 17, 2007, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced that 300 of the Darfur refugees were successfully settled in homes in the southern Negev region.[13] Israel’s foreign ministry announced in September 2007 that it would donate $5 million to victims of genocide in Darfur -- $4 million via international aid organizations and $1 million through the purchase and donation of medicine and water desalination equipment. [14] There also has been significant grassroots, social activism by Israeli civil society organizations on behalf of Darfur refugees. The Committee for Advancement of Refugees from Darfur (CARD) coordinates and oversees all of Israel’s media efforts and political advocacy aimed at bringing greater public awareness to the Sudanese refugee problem in Israel.[15] Similarly, the Hotline for Migrant Workers, a non-governmental organization, has undertaken legal action for the refugees. The Hotline’s volunteers visit detention centers, take testimonies and provide clothes and phone cards.[16] Among other NGOs assisting Darfurian refugees are the World Union of Jewish Students Institute (WUJS) in Arad, the Jewish Agency for Israel[17] and a number of kibbutzes such as Kibbutz Eilot in southern Israel.[18]

Voice of America recently profiled a 25-year-old Israeli man, Yotam Sheffy, who has dedicated himself to helping provide Israel’s Darfurian refugees access to food, medical care and schooling. Sheffy, whose grandparents are Holocaust survivors, said, “There's no difference. And if the doors weren't open there for my grandmother by simple village Christians, not me nor my father would be alive."[19]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Peace Talks to Commense between Israel and Palestinians
by Nadene Goldfoot

On August 11th the Oregonian had an article about Israel and Palestinians Peace Talks by Matthew Lee in Washington and Fisnik Abrashi of Sofia, Bulgaria. It was telling how the peace talks were not going to happen. I noted that some adjectives were used that surprised me, such as the "hawkish" Netanyahu when mentioning his name, and the "ceremonial" president Shimon Peres. Such adjectives were not used on other people. Are we just more colorful and need more adjectives to describe us?

Today's article in the Oregonian by Paul Richter out of Washington's McClatchy-Tribune was more factual and longer. The headline, "Israelis, Palestinians expected to resume direct peace talks", did surprise me in that it did not explain the turn around. We know that the Palestinians want pre-conditions and Israel does not. Netanyahu feels that that is what talks are about, to discuss issues, and then after discussion to decide and come to agreements or not. Netanyahu is anxious to start the talks and said to "get on with it." I only get out of this article that Obama is happy the peace talks are resuming. It says that if the talks get stuck, Obama will put forward his own proposals and USA will not be passive bystanders. To me that implies pressure. It's nice to try to bring about peace but I'm not looking forward to anyone pressuring Netanyahu into an intolerable position, and that's the way it is looking to me.

8/16/2010 Oregonian page a9, Israelis, Palestinians expected to resume direct peace talks.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mitchell and Clinton Nudging Netanyahu With a Stick

Here's the situation. We have Israel surrounded by Muslim states that are out to destroy it. I say that because after 62 years of existence, there have been many wars against it from these neighbors. Hamas terrorists in Gaza rule the area and their charter says to destroy Israel. They are still shooting rockets at Israel. Despite this, USA is pressing Israel to give up land again to create a Palestine on its doorstep.

First it was Mitchell meeting with Netanyahu followed up with THE phone call from Hillary Clinton. Abbas has said that he would finally talk to Netanyahu provided:

provided that they were based on a statement from March 19th by the Quartet of mediators: USA, European Union, Russia and the UN. Out of this quartet, I do not see one group that is pro-Israel in any way. The USA used to be, but the new direction it has taken is more likely to be against us.

The Quartet wants Israel to halt settlement building in Judea/Samaria and come to a full peace agreement with the Palestinians within 24 months. They also want Palestine to be created with borders before the 1967 Middle East war. I just read that Russia is supplying Iran with uranium to start up their program, and Iran is a country who has called for Isael's destruction. I can see how Russia will vote concerning anything about Israel.

Obama wants the talks to go back two years where they had broken off when Israel conducted Operation Cast Lead when rockets were being fired from Gaza by Hamas terrorists for 6 long years. Incidently, rockets are still being shot from there. From January to July of this year, 120 rockets have been fired at Israel.

Clinton conferred before the telephone conversation with the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt. They are former countries that have fought against Israel but right now are at peace. I have a feeling that they will go along with Syria and Iran's feeling about having Israel in their midst. It is Syria and Iran who are backing so much of the terror coming from Gaza.

Abbas has no power over Gaza. They are completely in the hands of the Hamas terrorists.
Netanyahu wants the talks to start immediately without any such "precondition". I go along with him. Talks are to talk about things. You don't settle something before the talks. That's what the talks are for. There are a lot of things to talk about, here. The people with the most at stake are the Palestinians who think they want a state so badly. Yet they're playing the "I won't talk to you until I get my own way " game. Hillary endorses this stand, evidently as she is nudging for it.

All of Mitchell's mediations have made little progress that can be seen. I don't know what he thinks he can do when Hamas, not under Abbas's authority, refuses permanent accommodations with our Jewish state. In fact, their charter says they will destroy Israel. I haven't heard of him trying to change their minds on this as a prerequisite for peace, which in my opinion, should have been done a long time ago.

If I were Netanyahu, and thank Ha Shem that I'm not, I would say, when Hamas changes their charter to accept Israel and welcomes Israel and breaks bread with salt with them, then I'd consider talking to Abbas or whoever it would be by then. Otherwise I wouldn't bother wasting my breath talking to them or stressing about it. They're being pig-headed (pardon the expression) , and one can't reason or discuss a thing when they are at this level of reasoning.

Update: 8/15/10 Hamas refuses to talk. Read reference below. Just as I figured. It'll take miracle to get Hamas to consider peaceful conditions.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Israeli Border Police Again Destroy Homes and Synagogue in Unauthorized Area

by Nadene Goldfoot

In 1929 the Jews of Hebron were masssacred by Muslims. Hebron's history goes back to the bible and is very important to us. It lies south of Jerusalem in the Judean hills and is part of Judea of the Judea/Samaria area so-called "West Bank". This is where Abraham and Sarah and their family are buried. Jews continued to live there. In 1968 Kiryat Arba was founded east of Hebron. They built on an abandoned military base in 1970 and by 1971 were able to move in. 7,000 people lived there by 2006 with about 2,700 Israelis living around the area. This building is in the Judean mountains of Judea/Samaria or so called West Bank area. I remember my husband doing his student teaching in a high school in Kiryat Arba. It was not far from Haifa, where we were attending school. Of course, nothing is far from any place in Israel.

Mitzpe Arihai is a town that some of the 2,700 live in outside of Kiryat Arba. It is considered by Israel as an unauthorized outpost, probably due to all the politicizing with the USA about a "two state solution" with the West Bank being the future home of Palestine. Netanyahu has been trying to negotiate with both Abbas and Obama.

Israeli police have destroyed this town in the last year and a half six times already and these zealots just keep building it again. This time Border Police not only destroyed the homes there but also the synagogue. They raided the area at 2:30am. It's a little too reminiscent of pogroms on Jewish villages in Russia.

It is hard to believe that our own police would treat our own Israelis in such a cruel manner, but I guess that they mean to treat both Arabs and Jews equally in matters of the law. There has been a lot of illegal building done by Arabs in Jerusalem, also. I presume they will or have also received such treatment.
No doubt these determined religious people will build immediately again. They are just trying to live where Jews have always lived before in our history. I believe that under Sharon they would have received their building permits, but this is today.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

PLO's Three-Stage Plan to Destroy Israel
Do Palestinians Want the Two States?
In 1974 the PLO had its 12th National Convention. They adopted "The Strategy of Stages."
They wanted to give the Western world the impression that they were moderate. Up to now they had turned down opportunitites to create their own state, but this time they would "agree to set up a Palestinian Arab state in any West Bank and Gaza territory vacated by Israel." Yet they would not recognize Israel in doing so. This would be their first stage of the great plan.
Stage II would include resuming fighting from their closer base which would make it possible for the Arabs to destroy Israel. (They have been doing this by attacking southern Israel with rockets and mortars for the past 6 years. In the last 3 days Israel has been attacked from Lebanon and in Eilat, which has also hit Jordan).
Stage III will be for them to take all of what they call Palestine, which would be the total destruction of Israel. This will be the outcome of the "Two State Solution." The Palestinian Arabs therefore have no intention of there ever being two states: Israel and Palestine, only Palestine.
Reference: http://www.printfriendsly.com/getpf?url=http%3A//www.israelunitycoalition.org/news%3F from The "Two State Solution": Reality or Delusion? Daily News-Problems of Middle East Peacemaking, Study Paper August 2010 by Arnold M. Soloway-5 pages.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Today: Attack on Lebanese Border
There is a security fence along the Israel/Lebanese border. Exactly how the international border runs is not plainly known, as it runs along both sides of the fence in different places. Evidently, according to Lebanon, some IDF soldiers wanted to cut a tree down inside the fence and were told not to by the Lebanese soldiers. According to Israeli reports, the IDF was just doing maintenance work along the fence. Fighting ensued with 3 Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist being killed. An Israeli soldier, Lt. Col Dov Harari age 45, was killed. Capt. Ezra Lakia of the IDF was critically wounded.
The Israeli residents nearby had heard explosions and it was reported that a Katusha rocket exploded there in the Upper Galilee, but later was not found.
There are12,000 U.N. Peacekeeping forces there, UNIFIL. All they did was to issue a statement telling both sides to stop. Israel does its own patrolling of the border for protection.
This became very serious, the most that has happened in the vicinity since 2006. Israel complained saying they are following the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.
8/4/2010 Update from Jewish Federation:-Notice: Differing from newspaper reporting-

Lebanese soldiers opened fire across the border at Israeli troops around midday yesterday. A senior IDF officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dov Harari, 45, was killed in the skirmish, as were three Lebanese soldiers and one Lebanese journalist. There were also a number of injuries on both sides.

The internationally accepted border between Israel and Lebanon is known as the "blue line." Israel's border fence is a few yards back from that line. Yesterday, Israeli troops were conducting routine work on the area between the fence and the blue line. They do so by using a "cherry picker" vehicle that stands on one side of the fence and leans over the fence in to the second side. (A photo can be seen here.) All work was carried out well before the blue line -- in other words, 100% on Israel's side of the border. An aerial photo of the area, showing the location of the incident, can be seen here. As is customary when such work is carried out, Israel first notified the local UNIFIL commander. In an interview on Wednesday morning (Aug. 4) with Israeli Army Radio, Hungarian diplomat Milos Strugar, who is serving as the political advisor to the UNIFIL commander, explained that the work carried out by the IDF along the border with Lebanon yesterday took place within Israeli territory and was coordinated ahead of time with the Lebanese army. “I can confirm that the IDF had coordinated the pruning work along the border with the Lebanese Army through UNIFIL. The IDF informed UNIFIL that it would be pruning a tree on the northern side of the border fence, but south of the international border line.” Strugar added that the situation immediately intensified, as the Lebanese Army was also in the area. “Our people who were there tried to pacify the situation and to enable the IDF’s work.”
“In the morning, the IDF informed us of their work and we passed that on to the Lebanese Army. Our investigation into this subject is not completed, and I am awaiting the final report,” Strugar added. Background on UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that governs these matters can be seen here. Speculation still abounds that this incident was an intentional Lebanese attack aimed at deflecting Lebanese public attention from a UN report on the assassination of former President Rafik Hariri, which was threatening to cause major civilian unrest in the country in the coming days. The presence of journalists among the Lebanese troops strengthens this claim. According to the IDF, journalists and photographers were briefed in advance of the intention to ambush IDF troops and were therefore present at the site of the clash between Israeli and Lebanese forces. The killed correspondent, Assaf Abu Rahal, worked for Hezbollah-affiliated Beirut daily al-Akhbar.
IDF GOC of the Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot called the attack an "initiated and provocative action by the Lebanese army, without any provocation from our territory. Full responsibility lies on the Lebanese army." Raw video footage by Reuters can be seen here.

Lt.- Col. (res.) Dov Harari, 45, who was killed in the clash, was laid to rest in his home town of Netanya today. It was to have been the last miluim (reserve stint) after 27 years of service for Harari, and the reserve battalion commander was expecting to be sent home soon to spend the rest of the summer vacation with his wife and four children. Harari worked in the family business, selling building material. According to family and friends, though, there was nothing he loved more than the army, and he never shied away from a reserve call-up. Last night, the White House conveyed U.S. President Barack Obama's personal condolences to his family, an Israeli Defense Ministry representative delivered President Obama's condolences to the Harari family this morning.

An immediate letter of complaint was sent by Israel to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The text of the letter can be seen here.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak also issued strong statements on the issue. Both can be seen here
There have been no further incidents on or near the border since yesterday's conflict.
The question remains as to how the Lebanese journalists and photographers knew in advance of the Israeli soldiers being in the area and what they were there to do. The UN and Lebanon had previously been notified of their work they were coming to do and it was okayed. Now it's known that the journalists had connections to Hezbollah, a terror group. (See Israel project news)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Eilat and Jordan Hit by Long-Range Rockets
This morning both Eilat and Jordan were hit by long-range rockets and mortars. Eilat, the southern-most city in Israel with a population of about 65,000 is a popular holiday resort for tourists and Israelis. It is at the northern tip of the Red Sea. It lies next to Jordan.
The attack came from the Sinai peninsular in Egypt. I've been expecting something from Lebanon, but not from there. I hope Israel was more aware than I.
Five Grad rockets hit Jordan's resort, Aqaba, injuring four Jordanians. One exploded in front of the Intercontinental Hotel. Two cars were wrecked.
In Eilat, a rocket hit a taxi outside a hotel. It burst into flames. Two rockets exploded north of the city near the border with Jordan. Two more landed in the sea in Jordan waters.
The two cities had been hit on April 22 when two Katyusha rockets from Sinai exploded in Aqaba. There were no casualties then, either. In 2005 and 2007 both Al-Qaeda and Hamas were involved in attacks in Aqaba port. Then they killed a Jordanian soldier. A suicide bomber had attacked a bakery in Eilat and killed three bystanders.
It looks to me like Jordan would benefit if these terrorists could be stopped. They're also in the line of fire.
Resource: The Israel Project: press@theisraelproject.org