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IAF Chief: Hizbullah Has More Than 10,000 Rockets

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Hizbullah terrorists have stockpiled more than 10,000 rockets over the years that have passed since Israel pulled out of south Lebanon, according to Israel Air Force Commander Eliezer Shkedy. He told reporters that Hizbullah still has an arsenal "of very many rockets of all kinds," and that the military goal now is to "deal seriously with the infrastructure that has been built over the course of years." Brig. Gen. Yuval Helmish told reporters that some of the stockpiled rockets have a range of over 43 miles. The missiles which hit Haifa on Sunday morning, leaving eight dead and many injured, were reportedly Iranian-made but were built with parts made in Syria.


IDF: Residents from Tel Aviv Northward Remain on Alert

By Ha'aretz, YnetNews.com & IsraelNationalNews.com

A barrage of Katyusha rockets fired by Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon late Sunday landed in the lower Galilee's Jezreel Valley for the first time.

Rockets landed in the city of Afula and the surrounding communities of Upper Nazareth, Migdal Ha'emek and Givat Ela at 11 p.m. At 30 miles inland from the northern border, this was the longest range rocket to hit Israel. There were no reports of injuries.

Liat, a resident of Migdal Ha'emek, told Ynet, "We heard the alarm, and then came the blasts. We're sitting in our secured room; we don't know when we can come out. We're close to Nahalel Junction, and so far we haven't heard any ambulance sirens or police. I hope no one was hurt."

An Afula resident, Liora, said she heard two explosions. "We live in lower Afula. It didn't sound close, but we heard them. The alarm started on the second hit. We're sitting in the protected room, the kids are sleeping, and I guess we'll sleep the night here. I experience the Scuds (during the Gulf War) from Ramat Gan, but it's still very unpleasant."


The Shi'ite terrorist gang Hizbullah still has at its disposal a significant arsenal "of very many rockets of all kinds," Israel Air Force Commander Major General Elyezer Shkedy told reporters at a news briefing on Sunday.

Shkedy said that thus far the Israel Defense Forces has struck part of Hizbullah's array of rockets and that the goal of the military campaign against Lebanon is to "deal seriously with the infrastructure that has been built over the course of years."

Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday said the Israel Defense Forces offensive on Lebanon had not depleted its large stockpile of rockets, and warned that the Islamic group could strike almost anywhere in Israel." We will continue. We still have a lot more and we are just at the beginning," Nasrallah said in a taped televised address on Al-Manar. "We promise them surprises in (any) confrontation."

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

Nasrallah threatened "direct confrontation" if IDF ground forces entered Lebanon, adding that his guerrillas have "complete strength and power" despite Israel's five-day bombardment. "As long as the enemy pursues its aggression without limits and red lines we will pursue the confrontation without limits and without red lines," Nasrallah said. "The enemy doesn't know our capabilities or what we have."

The Hizbullah leader said the IDF's offensive in south Lebanon "relied on false information," adding that "all the targets hit in south Lebanon were civilian. There were no bases or Katyushas there."

He urged Arabs and Muslims worldwide to support Hizbullah, saying his group was fighting Israel on behalf of them. "Today, especially in this sensitive moment and after several military achievements and surprises, Hizbullah is not fighting a battle for Hizbullah or even for Lebanon. We are now fighting a battle for the (Islamic) nation," he said. "The peoples of the Arab and Islamic world have a historic opportunity to score a defeat against the Zionist enemy ... We are providing the example," he added.

"We surprised you in Haifa and promise to surprise you far past Haifa," Nasrallah said in a televised statement.

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.

Those caught outside at the time of the siren should enter a stairwell or get close to wall or shelter and lie down. The Home Front Command also told the public to await further instruction.

Other communities in the north also came under attack from the rockets Sunday. Residents across the north were instructed to take cover in bomb shelters and secure areas.

All of those killed were in an Israel Railways depot located near an Israel Electric Corporation installation on Haifa Bay, according to the head of Magen David Adom rescue service. Some 30 Israel Railways employees were in the depot at the time. At least 17 people were wounded in the strike, six seriously and four moderately.

Police reported a total of 53 injuries in Haifa and its immediate surroundings. Rambam Medical Center in Haifa said it had received 27 patients, three injured seriously, two moderately and the rest lightly. Following the strike, Israel Railways announced it was halting all train traffic north of Binyamina. Following the rocket strike, authorities closed the Haifa port and diverted ships to the Ashdod port.

Israeli security officials said Sunday that Hizbullah hit Haifa with Iranian-produced Fagr missiles, which have a range of 24 miles. Two salvos of rockets hit Ahuza, a central residential and business district of Haifa, and the border town of Nahariya. A rocket also struck Kiryat Haim, on the outskirts of Haifa, Channel 2 television reported. Channel 10 television reported that rockets also hit the Checkpost business district on the Haifa-Nahyaria highway. A subsequent attack hit a major street in Haifa, causing further injuries, police said.

"The injuries at the depot are the most severe," said Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav. "It has been a sad morning for us - the type of morning we are not accustomed to since the [1991] Gulf War."

Hizbullah's television station, Al-Manar, reported that rockets would hit the oil refineries in Haifa Bay. "After the enemy continued all night their destructive shelling of [Beirut's] southern suburb and other areas... the resistance movement fired dozens of rockets on Haifa," the TV station said, reading a statement from the militant group.

Hizbullah also warned that if the Israel Air Force continues its strikes on Beirut strikes, it would target petrochemical plants in Haifa.

The group said it intentionally avoided hitting petrochemical installations in Haifa, which houses Israel's major oil refinery, according to a statement read on Al-Manar. "But the next time, it [Hizbullah] will not spare anything in Haifa and its surroundings," the statement said.

The Israel Defense Forces said over the weekend that more than 700 rockets have been fired at Israel since the start of the military operation in Lebanon, prompted by the Hizbullah abduction of two IDF soldiers last Wednesday.

Israelis abroad have been warned by the National Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Unit to refrain from visiting Islamic and Arab countries (aside from Mauritania and the Comoro Islands) and to be wary of accepting "enticing and/or unexpected proposals abroad…gifts and invitations to free vacations from suspect and/or unknown elements."

The IDF censor has also issued a sharply worded reminder to the multitude of journalists in Israel to cover the war, reminding them that broadcasting the precise location of missile impacts in real-time assists Hizbullah to aim its rockets and violates Israeli law, which requires such matters to be cleared by the military censor. A news team from the Al-Jazeera Arab news network was detained after the organization violated censorship for the first time in the years it has been reporting from Israel.

IDF Homefront Command Chief Maj.-Gen. Yitzchak (Jerry) Gershon instructed those citizens living in the Carmiel and Tiberias areas, which have been struck over the Sabbath, to remain in protected rooms in their homes, far from doorways, windows and external walls. Residents of Haifa, Acco (Acre) and nearby areas have been instructed to remain in their homes. Residents of the most northern communities, referred to by the Homefront Command as the "frontline," are to remain in communal bomb shelters.

Three Patriot anti-ballistic missile batteries were put in place in Haifa over the Sabbath. Military sources noted that this is the first time the anti-ballistic missile system is being deployed in Israel in a number of years. Haifa has special strategic significance, being home to a major seaport, as well as primary Israel Electric Company power station, and oil refineries.


US Accuses Iran, Syria of Complicity in Middle East Violence

By VOA News & Ha'aretz

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that Iran and Syria are fomenting conflict in the Middle East by supporting Hizbullah and other militant groups. Rice said Iran and Syria are backing terrorists and militants against Israel, as part of a larger campaign against the spread of democracy in the region. Rice spoke on CBS's Face the Nation program from the Group of Eight Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

"I absolutely see that Syria and Iran are playing a part in this," said Condoleezza Rice. "They are not even trying to hide their hand. Syria has held press conferences for Hizbullah. And Iran is the major financier of these [terrorist] efforts. Iran and Syria, like these extremist elements - Hizbullah and Hamas, do not have a future in the different kind of Middle East that the president [Bush] and his allies are building."

An Iranian government spokesman has denied charges that Iran is aiding Hizbullah. He also warned Israel of dire consequences if it attacks Syria. Speaking to reporters Sunday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said there are no Iranian Revolutionary Guards fighting alongside Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Asefi also dismissed charges that Iran has provided missiles to Hizbullah as "propaganda." He said Hizbullah is strong enough to take care of itself.

An Israeli army general, Udi Adam, said Sunday that Iranian troops are helping Hizbullah fire rockets into Israel, and that Israel has identified the Iranian troops.

Hizbullah was founded after the 1982 Israel invasion of Lebanon. It took its inspiration from the 1979 Iranian revolution, and most Western analysts believe it gets considerable military and financial support from the Iranian government. The United States lists Hizbullah as a terrorist group.

Iran claims it gives only moral support to Hizbullah. On Saturday Abbas Ali Kadkhodai, spokesman for Iran's powerful Guardian Council, reiterated Iran's assertion that it has no influence over the group.

Asefi also said Iran stands by Syria, which has also been accused of backing Hizbullah, in the current crisis. He warned Israel against attacking Syria, saying it would face great losses if it does so.

Late Saturday, Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has kept up a steady stream of harsh rhetoric against Israel, likened Israel's attacks on Lebanon to the ones of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler that began World War II.

Adhmadinejad, who was elected one year ago, has been internationally condemned for questioning the existence of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews are estimated to have been killed by the Nazi regime.

Pope Benedict has expressed grave concern over the escalation of fighting in Lebanon, while denouncing terrorism and retaliation in the Holy Land. He spoke from his mountain retreat in the Italian Alps, where he is on vacation until the end of this month. The pope said that, neither terrorist attacks, nor reprisals, particularly when there are tragic consequences for the civilian population, can in any way be justified.


Excerpt: The European Union Will Use NATO to Take Israel

By Emanuel A Winston (Commentary written on July 9) Excerpt: What is the next move for the Arabists and their "Shadow Government" in Washington despite their clout in the Oval Office?

One "band-aid" solution was that they need a war sufficiently large enough between Israel and the Arab Muslim Palestinians, which (to save the "poor Palestinians") would warrant a United Nations call for global intervention.

"Intervention" means the use of a mix of military forces under the umbrella of the United Nations but, actually driven by Washington Arabists with the E.U. (European Union) of the world with words of "Peace," "Saving the Jews" and "We must save those poor Palestinians" to justify the intervention to be led by France, Germany and England, among others....

However, before that venture, a small war is needed. The present clash in Gaza may suffice when Israel is forced to re-occupy Gaza merely to stop the rain of Kassam rockets and Katyusha missiles -- with the ongoing unification of the various deadly terrorist organizations into one protected base of global terrorist operations....

Should Israel refuse to passively allow occupation of its ancient homeland, there could be a manipulated conflict, staged like the Gulf of Tonkin incident....The so-called "Peace-Keepers" would, of course, be primarily U.S. and European soldiers, formed into combat units, straight out of NATO. It is here the Pentagon wants to know if Americans (including especially American Jews) would go along with an attack against Israel..." (Full version is available at www.worldjewishpress.com)


Urgent Appeal: Act to Save Israel

By Arlene Kushner (Commentary)

I have just acquired information of a most alarming nature from the Middle East NewsLine, the most reliable of sources, regarding the situation of the war in the north. Please spread this information absolutely as widely as possible, especially in the U.S. Send this to everyone you can, put it on your lists and websites. If ever a groundswell of response was necessary, it is now.

The Bush administration is playing a good cop-bad cop routine with Israel. Bush is not taking phone calls from Olmert, but is saying positive things to the press. Sec. of State Rice is the one who is communicating with Israel, and she is putting pressure on Israel not to send in ground forces. The goal is a "ceasefire" in the next 72 hours.

Unfortunately, we are dealing with a novice, confused government that is lacking the essential part of the male anatomy (figuratively this applies also to Livni) that will allow it to mount a ground war in the face of Rice's objections. If we were determined to do so, we damn well could.

What is more, Steve Hadley, Bush's National Security Advisor, was in Russia two days and made a statement to the effect that the U.S. has no evidence that Iran and Syria are involved in what's happening here -- thereby making it a local Israeli issue. A local Israeli issue is precisely what it is not!!

The facts: Even though there have been over 1,000 Israeli Air Force sorties into Lebanon, with airport, etc. bombed, the Hizbullah missiles continue to hit us. In fact, it's getting worse. Eight people were killed in the last attack on Haifa. Hundreds have been wounded. Residents of Tel Aviv are now warned that they may be attacked. Rosh Hanikra and the Golan have been hit. What is happening? Without a ground expedition, it's impossible to strike accurately and actually take out the missiles. Hizbullah is threatening our strategic facilities and this remains a real danger.

There are other sources of major concern: The C-802 rocket that hit the Israeli ship on Friday was a sophisticated radar-guided weapon that comes from Iran via China. Israeli authorities were surprised: they didn't know Hizbullah had these. This means intelligence is lacking and we don't know what else they have.

The fact of the Iranian weapon makes even clearer what is well understood: Iran is involved here. Hizbullah is not a rag-tag operation; it is an Iranian expeditionary force. Israel is the canary in the mine, dealing with what the west will deal with in larger terms down the road, if no action is taken. Iran is testing the waters.

In spite of talk in the last day or two (which I had duly reported) of an IDF goal of putting the Lebanese army on the border, the IDF is opposed to this. Putting the Lebanese army on the border without taking out Hizbullah strength will be counted as a victory by Hizbullah. The Lebanese army is much weaker than Hizbullah; Hizbullah will strengthen its forces behind the lines and then come forward to attack us again. Hizbullah strength must be removed.

Here in Israel, there must be pressure on the government to stay strong, stay the course, and do what needs to be done to take out Hizbullah strength. This should be shared with every member of the Knesset.

But even more important is pressure from inside the U.S. on Bush; he is focused on the election later this year and needs to know that American voters are watching him now. Please, call or write to President Bush:


Haifa: Tourists Want to See Katyushas

By YnetNews.com

Since Thursday evening the site of the Katyusha landing in Haifa's Stella Maris neighborhood has become a pilgrimage site to the city's residents and tourists. "We are not afraid," said a tourist from India who arrived to the site where the rocket fell in a tour bus. "We wanted to see the place where the hit was. Every place in the world can be dangerous. Haifa is an important and very beautiful city. We feel very safe here."

Also Haifa residents, armed with cameras and cell phones with cameras, arrived at the site where the Katyusha hit in order to immortalize the cavernous hole in the ground. "It fell right next to my house. My toddler yelled `boom-boom' and then I brought her hear today to see what happened. My older daughter was afraid and did not want to join," said Shlomit Atias, a resident of Kiryat Eliezer.

Also Yaakov Mizrahi, 42, a survivor of the Tyre disaster in Lebanon, brought his children. "I just had to come here today. I survived in Tyre and now I am not about to stay at home. I wanted to show my little daughters this site. We made a family trip here, and it's actually quite nice."


Despite the lively traffic on Stella Maris, during Friday night the roads in the city were empty. Many of the partygoers who usually fill the pubs and clubs did not show up, causing the owners to close earlier than expected. Yet, throughout Saturday it seemed as if routine again set in. Coffee shops and restaurants along the Carmel were full, as were the beaches. Some 5,500 visitors came to the Sand Sculpture Festival, appearing in its second year on the city's Meridien Beach.


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