Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Attack on Northern Israel

War Blogging updates right after the introduction.
Dear visitors. We see from the traffic spike that many of you are visiting for the latest updates on the clashes up North between the IDF and the Lebanese Army. As you already know, the Muqata is the leading source, in the English language, for up-to-the-minute action reports when it comes to important events in Israel (wars, flotillas, elections, etc.), but the Muqata is much more than that.

We invite you to continue to stay and regularly visit the Muqata, not just for our up-to-the-minute action reports, but also for our deep and meaningful posts (particularly JoeSettler's and our reader's comments and feedback) that delve into the important issues of the day facing the Jewish and Israeli world (not to mention our waffles too).
Also, we invite you to visit our fellow war blogger IsraellyCool who is also liveblogging the conflict (but come back here afterwords).

To be among the first to know, follow the Muqata on Twitter.

11:42 PM Video of how the attack started...



10:43 PM
Map of attack. As you can clearly see the attack from Lebanon happened on the Israel side of the Blue Line (demarcating the border). The fence is set a few meters inside Israeli territory for tactical and functional reasons.


10:11 PM Still looking for a good copy, but here is the series of events today on Israeli news (thanks to Eitan).

8:08 PM
Entire attack caught on video tape. Will publish it here as soon as we have the link.






7:10 PM Q. Were IDF soldiers attacked using weapons and training supplied to the Lebanese army by the United States? (See PDF)

Some additional relevant articles on the subject: mererhetoric Harvard Law LA Times


7:01 PM Updates to summary below (in the 6:28 briefing)

6:28 PM Press Conference for Bloggers with IDF Spokesman / Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich


Initial Statement:

Today's unprovoked attack by the Lebanese army against the IDF, took place in Israeli territory along Israeli's Northern border. In some areas, there is a gap between the IDF security fence and the actual border, which is where this attack took place. IDF soldiers were
conducting routine maintenance work including clearing bushes from the area. This sort of activity is crucial to keep an open line of sight, to prevent attacks and kidnappings, like the one in the summer of 2006, which was in a similar location.

This crucial work was fully coordinated with UNIFIL, and there was nothing unique about it.

A Lebanese sniper opened fire towards IDF forces in a clear and blatant violation of UN security council resolution 1701.

The IDF retaliated with artillery and helicopter fire.

IDF intelligence is investigating if this was premeditated attack.

Noah Pollak (Commentary Mag): Why was this so well documented on the Lebanese side? Seems odd.
Lt. Col Avital: We are investigating. Were snipers brought especially for this attack? We will know in next few hours.

Michael Totten: Rumors of Hizbollah fighters on scene. Is this true?
Lt. Col Avital: Right now, full responsibility on Lebanese Army. This will be checked.

Lt. Col Avital: Soldiers conducting maintenance work; it was the IDF commanders who watched the work who were shot at.

The LAF opened fire not at the soldiers who were doing the routine maintainance work on the fence, but at the commanders who were standing nearby observing the work. this indicates that it was a preplanned attack not in reaction to the work on the fence.

The IDF estimates 4 casualties on their side.

Some parts of the LAF are influenced by Hezbollah

After the initial exchange of fire, we were requested to suspend our fire so that they could evacuate their wounded. roughly half an hour after we suspended our fire, LAF shot an RPG at one of our tanks. They missed the tank and our tank returned fire.

IDF only opened fire in response to our soldiers being shot at and wounded.

This is the most serious incident along the northern border since 2006.

The Border is currently calm.

Official Casualty Statement:

Lt Col (res) killed: Dov Harari.
Critically wounded (res) company commander (Captain).

6:16 PM
Unfortunately confirmed. One senior officer killed - Lt. Col Dov Harari. Another injured in today's ambush.

IDF officially calling today's attack an ambush.

5:55 PM Terrorist attack in South. Terrorists shoot near Kibbutz Nirim at team working on fence.

5:25 PM Work on fence was done in coordination with UNIFIL.

5:15 PM Received this (Reuters) photo of an LAF soldier after they attacked.


5:10 PM Sharp-eyed readers of the Muqata noted that UN soldiers (blue berets) are standing next to LAF soldier as they prepare to fire on Israel earlier today. Photographers were also on site - before the attack.



4:55 PM Lebanese News Reports:
Lebanon will call for a UN Security Council emergency session to discuss Tuesday’s clashes between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) along the border earlier in the day.
4:51 PM Why would Hizbollah start a war with Israel now? One view is to deflect rising criticism over Hizbollah's involvement in the assassination of Lebanon's Prime Minister.
Five years on, the assassination of Lebanese prime minster, Rafiq Hariri, still dominates political life in Lebanon. Tensions are on the rise due to rumours that a special UN tribunal has been investigating his death in a car bombing.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia met in Beirut on Friday for a meeting, urging all factions to do what they can to ensure stability. (France24)
4:40 PM UK Press reporting senior IDF officer killed.

4:24 PM
Apparently, this is the Lebanese Army RPG that started the unprovoked attack on IDF forces. Foreign reports continue that there are casualties among IDF soldiers, though there has been zero confirmation of this from the IDF Spokesman's unit.


4:22 PM Reports that IAF Warplanes have struck at an Lebanese army base.

IDF forces and Lebanese Army and Hizbolla forces are advancing additional forces on the Israel-Lebanese border.

Meanwhile, the IDF spokesman has the following official statement:

Earlier today during the mid-day hours, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) fired at an IDF position along the Lebanese border in northern Israel. The force was in Israeli territory, carrying out routine maintenance and was pre-coordinated with UNIFIL. The border area is east of the Israeli town Metula. The incident occurred west of the internationally recognized "Blue Line" (the border between Israel and Lebanon) and east of the security fence, thus lying in Israeli territory.

The IDF force immediately returned fire with light arms at a force of the LAF, and the IDF also made use of artillery fire. Several minutes later an Israel Air Force (IAF) helicopter fired at the LAF Battalion Command Center in Al-Taybeh, damaging several LAF armored combat vehicles.

The IDF holds the LAF responsible for the incident that disrupted the calm in the region, and its consequences.

The IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi arrived at the Israeli-Lebanese border, is following the events closely as they unfold, and is constantly holding situation assessment reports with the OC Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, as well as the Galilee Regional Division commander and additional commanders

The Israeli public in the Galilee region to carry on with their routine way of life.

4:19 PM Reports that IAF just attacked LAF forces in Taibe.

3:50 PM Lebanese sources are saying that fighting has resumed. No updates on this from IDF which last reported quiet at 3:00 PM.

Visiting Israel?

Learn to Shoot at Caliber-3 like an IDF soldier

with top Israeli Anti-Terror Experts!

3:19 PM Foreign photographers on site before the attack, taking photos of the LAF aiming RPGs at the IDF position.


3:15 PM Photo of injured IDF soldier being evacuated by MDA rescue evacuation helicopter (photo from foreign source.)

3:12 PM Unconfirmed foreign sources reporting that IDF officer was killed in attack. We are tracking this story. Reminder - this is unconfirmed.

2:59 PM 3 Lebanese reported killed.
Pictures from the scene, apparently right before the attack (AFP):

The context of the pictures in unclear, but it appears to be IDF soldiers adding cameras on the fence the IDF soldier is cutting down trees next to the fence (all within Israeli territory) and LAF soldiers preparing to attack them.



2:19 PM One Lebanese Army soldier confirmed killed. Possibly additional Lebanese soldier killed too.

2:14 PM All indications are that the IDF soldiers were definitely on the Israeli side of the border when fired upon. Pretty much confirmed that no Katyusha's hit within Israel. Hezbollah claims that Israel was trying to install tracking cameras.

1:57 PM Clashes may be over. No confirmed information yet on injuries. Conflicting reports regarding the Katyusha fire, but that seems to have not happened according to latest reports.


1:33 PM At this time, its unclear how many people (and on which sides) were wounded as a result of the Lebanese Army attack on an IDF patrol. Lebanese news reporting a Katyusha was fired into Israel's Northern Galilee, but this is also unconfirmed (and may be the mortar fire which was reported earlier)

1:30 PM JPost: IDF
soldiers were reportedly on a routine patrol. They were operating past the border fence, but within Israeli territory, since the fence does not always exactly parallel the border.

The cause of the clashes was unclear. Lebanese forces may have misconstrued the IDF patrol's position and thought they had crossed the border.

1:27 PM
Muqata sources in Northern Israel report that the exchange of gunfire has subsided. Mortars and gunfire were directed at IDF troops near Misgav Am.

1:24 PM Reports of attack on IDF troops near the South Lebanon border. IDF responding with tank, artillery, attack helicopter and sniper fire. Updates coming shortly.




Visiting Israel?

Learn to Shoot at Caliber-3

with top Israeli Anti-Terror Experts!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד













































18 comments:

Islamo-Nazism said...

Hey isn't that UNIFIL soldiers standing next to the LA soldiers in the 4th pic from the top?

What's the sorce/s of the pics?

Shlomo said...

Indeed. Here is a picture of a UNIFIL soldier waving a white flag from the same location, same time.

http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.305760.1280839956!/image/2503879629.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_295/2503879629.jpg

Islamo-Nazism said...

I think there's also a UNIFIL vehicle behind the LA soldiers.

Knighted Vorpal Sword said...

May HKB"H protect the lives of all the Israeli soldiers.

NormanF said...

There are no LAF soldiers. They are all Hezbollah.

The difference between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah is a legal fiction.

Anonymous said...

Where is Gen'l Sherman when you need him?

Anonymous said...

You should check jssnews.com

They have tonns of pictures and a minute per minute too. It's in french but they are good.

(and they spoke about lebanese soldiers with UNIFIL human shield for 3 hours already! ;))

Suzanne said...

UNIFIl not in control:
http://www.daylife.com/photo/01f1dEvb6PcOI?q=lebanese

Jenny said...

you guys are great - thanks for the updates!

Folderol said...

5:25 PM Work on fence was done in coordination with UNIFIL.

Could you provide a source for this? Would be grateful!

JoeSettler said...

Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the source.

Shimshon said...

Found a picture on "Le Monde" clearly showing UN soldiers protecting the Lebanese Army.

See the picture here:
http://www.shimshon9.com/soldiers-protecting-lebanese-army/03/08/2010/

JoeSettler said...

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mesh/2008/07/us_support_for_lebanese_army/

Link from Noah, one of our readers.

This is a question that is clearly going to need some serious answers.

The back of the hill said...

From sources:

1) incident took place on Israeli territory: gaps between border fence and border, routine maintenance work, clearing bushes, kidnapping done in place like that. all coordinated with UNIFIL.
2) Sniper stand decided initiate fire; clear violation of 1701. Retaliation with artillery and helicopter; IDF now looking into whether it was preplanned.
3) Hizbullah fighters in Lebanese army uniforms; we can see the influence of H in some of the armed forces;
4) Commanders watching were fired at, not the soldiers involved in the cutting; commanders watching from a distance not at scene of the tree/shrub cutting. that's why the response so strong.

Additions:

Today's unprovoked attack by the Lebanese army against the IDF, took place in Israeli territory along Israeli's Northern border. In some areas, there is a gap between the IDF security fence and the actual border, which is where this attack took place. IDF soldiers were conducting routine maintentce work including clearing bushes from the area. This sort of activity is crucial to keep an open line of sight, to prevent attacks and kidnappings, like the one in the summer of 2006, which was in a similar location.

This crucial work was fully coordinated with UNIFIL, and there was nothing unique about it.

A Lebanese sniper opened fire towards IDF forces in a clear and blatant violation of UN security council resolution 1701.

The IDF retaliated with artillery and helicopter fire.

IDF intelligence is investigating if this was premiedtated attack.

The LAF opened fire not at the soldiers who were doing the routine maintainance work on the fence, but at the commanders who were standing nearby observing the work. this indicates that it was a preplanned attack not in reaction to the work on the fence.

we estimate 4 casualties on their side.

some parts of the LAF are influenced by Hezbollah

after the initial exchange of fire, we were requested to suspend our fire so that they could evacuate their wounded. roughly half an hour after we suspended our fire, LAF shot an RPG at one of our tanks. They missed the tank and our tank returned fire.

IDF only opened fire in response to our soldiers being shot at and wounded.

this is the most serious incident along the northern border since 2006.


Official Casualty Statement:

Lt Col (res) killed: Dov Harari.
Critically wounded (res) company commander (Captain).

Hillel said...

It appears that Tzahal deliberately sent soldiers into an area that they know is also claimed by Lebanon but WITHOUT ANY ARMORED PROTECTION!

Surprise, surprise; unprotected Israeli soldiers are fired on.

Have all Israeli military leaders lost their brains? Or have they simply decided to jeopardize the lives of some of their soldiers unnecessarily?

And so Jews died, not because of the predictable enemy, but because of Jewish stupidity.

If I'm missing something here, please tell me!

Nachum said...

Yeah, Hillel. You're missing that it was Lebanese soldiers who did the shooting. Why some people always turn to blame the IDF first is beyond me. Geez.

Render said...

The US didn't provide any RPG-7's to the LAF.

The sniper rifle could have been US made, or Russian, or French.

Note that the bulk of the LAF's tank force is still the Tiran T-55.

===

It really doesn't matter much where the weapons came from. What matters is how and where they were used, by and and against whom.

It doesn't matter why they want to kill us all, it only matters that they do.

THE
USUAL
SUSPECT,
R

Anonymous said...

Israel should call for an official investigation of this incident (like Goldstone/the flotilla). When the UN refuses, Israel should use that as an excuse to reject the conclusions of other UN investigations, which as we know are applied unevenly.

Search the Muqata

Loading...

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails