Sunday, July 16

Home Front Command to Tel Aviv: Prepare for missile attacks

My kids on a visit to the Tel Aviv-Jaffa shore. (Photo: Dave Bender)

From Haaretz:

At least eight people were killed Sunday morning as rockets fired by Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon struck the northern port city of Haifa.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday told Israelis from Tel Aviv northward to "be alert."

The command said that in the event of a rocket strike, a siren will sound, alerting the public to seek shelter inside in a protected room or an area away from doors, windows and exterior walls.

The Home Front Command later backed off somewhat later in the morning, telling Tel Avivans and residents from the center of the country that they didn't need to take particular steps, as of midday, but to simply "be alert."

Quick show of hands: Anybody drowsy in Israel today, from Sderot to Metulla, Tel Aviv to the Jordan Valley?

Didn't think so. But if the Home Front Command sez "Be alert," be alert - we need more lerts.


Summary of WWW.IDF.IL updates:

July 16th 2006


Summary of IDF activity in the Gaza Strip overnight

    • The IDF carried out an aerial attack on a structure in Jebaliya, in northern Gaza, that was used by the Hamas terrorist organization and from which terrorist activity against Israeli citizens was planned and directed.
    • Armed gunmen opened fire at an IDF force in the area of Beit Hanun. The armed cell was targeted in an aerial attack.
    • IDF forces identified an armed cell carrying an RPG missile in the area of Beit Hanun. The armed cell was targeted in an aerial attack.

The IDF will continue to act with determination against terrorist organizations and terror infrastructure in order to create the conditions for the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and to stop terror attacks and the launching of rockets towards Israel.

July 16th 2006


Summary of IDF aerial attacks in the past 24 hours

The Hezbollah terrorist organization launched more than 400 missiles into Israel over the past three days, including more than 90 yesterday, July 15th 2006.

As part of the ongoing operation to protect the citizens of Israel from terror attacks originating in Lebanon, the IAF targeted more than 130 targets in Lebanon in past 24 hours, including more than 50 overnight.

Among the sites targeted overnight:

· 10 radar stations of the Lebanese military along the Lebanese coast. This was following the cooperation between Hezbollah and the Lebanese military in the attack of an Israel Navy missile ship on July 14th.

· Hezbollah's main headquarters in Beirut.

· Hezbollah's broadcasting compound, which has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hezbollah.

· Several access routes in Lebanon.

· Structures used to store weapons, including Katyusha rockets.

· Katyusha launching grounds

Additional sites targeted yesterday, July 15th 2006:

· Structures used to store weaponry including Katyusha rockets.

· Katyusha launching grounds

· Approximately 20 Hezbollah centers in Ba'al Beck and Beirut

· Several bridges and Hezbollah infrastructure across Lebanon.

The IDF will continue to use all means at its disposal in order to protect the citizens of Israel and return the abducted IDF soldiers to their homes.

July 16th 2006


IDF activity in the northern Gaza Strip

Beginning early this morning, July 16th 2006, IDF ground forces are operating near Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, as part of the ongoing operation in the Gaza Strip to thwart terror threats and the launching of projectile rockets.

The operation is focused on the terrorist organizations and the terrorist infrastructure involved in the launching of projectile rockets at communities in Israel.

The IDF operation is directed against the Gaza Strip's terror infrastructure only. The IDF will make every effort in order to prevent civilian casualties, and continues to stress to the civilian Palestinian population that, for their own safety, civilians should stay clear of combat zones.

The IDF will continue to act with determination and to employ all means at its disposal against Palestinian terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip to allow the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and to stop terrorist attacks and the launching of rockets at Israel.


July 16th 2006


IDF targets Hezbollah's Al Manar broadcasting compound

The IDF carried out an additional aerial attack against Hezbollah's broadcasting compound in Beirut early this morning (July 16, 2006), in accordance with the decision of the political echelon to operate to protect the citizens of Israel against attacks emanating from Lebanese territory. This was the third time the IDF attacked the compound.

Al Manar has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hezbollah, and has also helped the organization recruit people into its ranks. Hezbollah operates undisturbed from within Lebanon, and constitutes a severe terrorist threat to the people of Israel and to IDF soldiers, as shown by the continuous terrorist attacks over the past few days.


Following are Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remarks from the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 16.7.06:

"This is a very difficult morning for all of us. The severe blows on Haifa follow the murderous attacks on population centers throughout the country. These attacks are designed to hurt civilians because this is Hizbullah's criminal war against Israel and its residents. On behalf of the Cabinet and the people of Israel, I would like to send condolences to the families of those IDF soldiers and civilians who were killed and best wishes for a full recovery to those who were wounded, and to embrace the abductees and their families.

Several days ago, the State of Israel was attacked from the north. This attack follows the terrorist attack from the Gaza Strip. In both instances, the attacks began without any reason and they are mostly directed against innocent Israeli civilians within the sovereign territory of the State of Israel. In both the north and the south, there is no claim by any regional or international element whatsoever that Israel is in an area the sovereignty of which is disputed. The State of Israel cannot countenance this. We have no interest or desire to hurt the Lebanese or the Palestinian peoples. We want to live our lives quietly and to be good neighbors.

To my regret, there were those who incorrectly interpreted our aspiration to live in peace. We have no intention to give in to these threats. We know that many tests yet await us. Our enemies are trying to disrupt life in Israel – they will fail. The public is strong and united in this struggle.

In both north and south, the resolve being demonstrated by the public is an important part of the strength of the State of Israel and we are very proud of this. We must show patience and forbearance. This struggle is under no time constraints; this is a daily struggle and we – the Israeli Government and public – will continue to show equanimity, determination and sagacity as necessary. Our struggle is both moral and just and no other people in the free world would act as we have.

The Government is ready to extend immediate assistance to the residents of the north – in all areas. Government representatives, at all levels, have been instructed to formulate a socio-economic assistance plan. Throughout the operation, an interministerial Directors-General committee, chaired by Prime Minister's Office Director-General Ra'anan Dinur will – in full coordination with the Finance Ministry – provide assistance as necessary to the residents.

The decisions that we face are difficult and complex. My Government is determined to continue doing whatever is necessary in order to achieve our goals. Nothing will deter us, whatever far-reaching ramifications regarding our relations on the northern border and in the region there may be.

In conclusion, I would like to tell Defense Minister Amir Peretz, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, Israel Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi and all members of the IDF and the security services: I am proud to live in a state with such an army and with such security services. Continue the struggle without hesitation, the entire people of Israel are behind you."

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