Newsletter : 6fax0720.txt
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News from Israel: Fearing more Hizbullah rocket attacks, Israel moved most of the
flammable agents that had been stored in Haifa. The Homefront Command said Wednesday its
troops had taken most of the petrochemicals and other combustible liquids away from
Haifa's strategic port for storage at an undisclosed location, out of Hizbullah rocket
IDF Wages Ground-Battles on Three Fronts
By Ha'aretz, VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
The IDF fought fierce ground battles on three fronts Wednesday, chalking up many
operational successes. Two soldiers fell in the line of duty battling Hizbullah forces and
nine others were wounded, two moderately.
The fighting with Hizbullah forces went on for several hours at the Israel-Lebanon
border, near the Israeli town of Avivim - opposite the Lebanese village of Marun A-Ras,
which was turned into a Hizbullah stronghold after Israel's hasty withdrawal from the
region in 2000.
IDF Special Forces entered the area late Tuesday night and found a large stockpile of
Hizbullah weapons and munitions. Hizbullah terrorists had been hiding out and opened fire
on the troops, killing the two soldiers moments before they themselves were killed. Their
comrades then began shooting mortar shells at the area, making evacuation of the wounded
and fallen soldiers difficult.
Several hours later, the IDF foiled an attempt by Hizbullah to infiltrate into the
northernmost Israeli town of Metula. An Israel Air Force helicopter opened fire on a cell
of militants that had been identified as it set out from a Hizbullah position near the
More than 60,000 Lebanese have fled southern Lebanon and the IDF issued an order Wednesday
evening calling on all 300,000 Lebanese living south of the Litani River to evacuate their
homes. Hundreds of thousands of south Lebanon residents were expected to evacuate the
area. The IDF broadcast its warning from an Arabic-language radio station in Israel.
The IDF has been putting special efforts into destroying long-range Zilzal missiles and
launchers, capable of striking Tel Aviv with much larger missiles than have struck Israel
so far. Many of the launchers are hidden in densely-populated areas. Overall, the IDF says
more than 1,000 terrorist targets have been hit so far, including 180 Katyusha and
long-range rocket launch-sites.
In a development that could place Tel Aviv within the sites of Arab missile-launchers
from the couth, a Katyusha rocket was fired from Gaza toward the western Negev. The rocket
landed in Kibbutz Bror Hayil.
The IDF continues to carry out operations in Gaza aimed at locating kidnapped IDF
soldier Gilad Shalit and preventing the launching of rockets at Israel's southern towns.
Six Arabs were killed in clashes as the IDF entered the Mughazi slums coastal region. Five
IDF soldiers were wounded.
Meanwhile, Israel Air Force warplanes dropped bombs late Wednesday on a bunker in south
Beirut where senior Hizbullah leaders were thought to be, the Israel Defense Forces
IDF officials said dozens of aircrafts dropped 23 tons of explosives on the bunker. The
officials said top Hizbullah figures were thought to be there, possibly including
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Hizbullah said in a statement on Thursday that none of its leaders were killed during
the strike. "Hizbullah denies that any of its leaders or personnel were (sic) killed
during the latest bombardment...in the southern suburb." Israel has said that one of the
objects of its offensive in Lebanon is to eliminate Hizbullah leaders.
According to General Staff estimates, it is possible to greatly intensify the scope of
the attacks against the Hizbullah rockets, with special emphasis on their longer-range
weapons, as well as strikes against senior members of the group's operational arm.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz told senior IDF officers Tuesday that attacks against
Hizbullah would continue "without letup and time limit."
On the eighth day of Israel's military campaign in Lebanon Wednesday, the Lebanese
death toll passed 300, almost all civilians. As the Israeli blockade of Lebanon continues,
there are concerns about a looming humanitarian disaster.
Lebanon's minister of economy and trade, Sami Haddad, told reporters it was the single
deadliest day since the Israeli military offensive began a week ago. "We are really facing
a humanitarian disaster. The estimate is that we have around half a million refugees.
Today the death toll is 55; it's the highest number of casualties, civilian casualties in
any one day. This brings the total number killed to more than 300 people," he said.
Lebanon was still rebuilding from its disastrous 15-year civil war when the latest
crisis erupted. The economy was booming, and the country looked solidly on the road to
Meanwhile, the evacuation of foreigners from Lebanon continued. The evacuations have
been chaotic and slow, sparking many complaints. Thousands of people clutching their
passports massed at the Canadian rendezvous point, and several passed out from heat
exhaustion after standing in the burning sun for hours, waiting for their names to be
called. One family piled their luggage in the middle of the street and sat down, blocking
traffic in protest.
The vast majority of the people who are leaving on chartered ships and military vessels
are Lebanese citizens with dual nationalities. Their Western passports are allowing them
to escape the Israeli bombardment and whatever chaos might follow.
For the first time Wednesday, the Israeli military bombed a residential area that is
not Shi'ite. They blew up a well-drilling truck in the Beirut neighborhood of Achrafiyeh,
a Christian area with no Hizbullah presence whatsoever. Some nearby residents and
political analysts said they believed the point was to drive a wedge between Christians
and Muslims, or to send a message to the country's most influential Christian leader,
General Michel Aoun, who has allied himself politically with Hizbullah.
The Bush administration says it stands with the international community in wanting an
end to bloodshed along the Israeli-Lebanese border, but only when the groundwork for a
lasting cessation of hostilities has been laid. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack
says the United States is attempting to balance immediate concerns for the loss of
innocent life with the long-term goal of forging a solution that will prevent future
"Hizbullah and their backers have dragged innocent people into the current situation,
so Secretary Rice's view, President Bush's view, I think a view that is widely shared, is
[that] you want to arrive at a cessation of violence," said McCormack. "But you want that
cessation of violence to unfold in such a way that you have a solution whereby the world,
the region does not end up in the same place it is right now three weeks from now, three
months from now, three years from now."
Israel has said it has no intention of halting strikes on Hizbullah positions until the
group's ability to launch attacks on Israel is eliminated, and the United States has shown
no appetite to publicly pressure Israel to cease military operations, at least for
The Bush administration notes that the international community has placed blame for the
crisis squarely on Hizbullah. McCormack said Saudi Arabia and other nations in the region
have a role to play in ending the conflict by pressuring Syria and Iran to halt their
support of Hizbullah.
The U.S. House of Representatives, following similar action by the Senate, is expected
to unanimously approve a strong resolution supporting Israel in its conflict with
Hizbullah and Hamas. Lawmakers say such defense includes conducting operations both in
Israel and the territory of nations posing a threat to it, under Article 51 of the U.N.
The resolution notes Lebanon's failure to disarm and disband the Hizbullah under U.N.
Security Council Resolution 1559 and it blames Iran and Syria for supporting terrorist
activities against Israel.
Hizbullah Katyushas Kill Three, Including 2 Children, in Arab Nazareth
By Ha'aretz & IsraelNationalNews.com
The police department reported that the number of fatalities in Nazareth as a result of
Wednesday afternoon's Katyusha attacks on the city has risen to three.
Two Israeli-Arab children, ages eight and 10 years old, were killed immediately in the
Hizbullah assault that also sent 135 people to the hospital in Nazareth.
The two brothers, Rabiya Abed Taluzi and Mahmoud Abed Taluzi were killed instantly by
the Katyusha missile that struck the street, in which they were playing, near their home.
The deaths bring the number of Israelis killed by Hizbullah rockets since the fighting
began to 15.
The eighth day of rocket fire was one of the worst yet, with Hizbullah bombing dozens
of towns in the north, including Haifa, Safed, Nahariya and Afula. The rockets targeting
Nazareth and Afula appeared to be 220-millimeter Syrian rockets.
The siblings were killed by a direct hit from a rocket in the yard of their family home
in Nazareth on their way to visit their uncle in a nearby house, the Israel Defense Forces
said. It was the first time the town had been attacked.
Upper Nazareth, the mainly Jewish town adjacent to predominantly Arab Nazareth, was hit
over the weekend.
Some friend and relatives gathering to mourn the Taluzi boys said that even though the
brothers were killed by a Hizbullah rocket, they should be added to the list of Lebanese
casualties. "The Israeli government is to blame for the incident," said a Nazareth
resident near the house of mourning. "The Israeli aggression must stop."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jareysi after the rocket strike
and offered him any assistance he needs. Olmert and Vice Premier Shimon Peres sent their
condolences. "The rockets don't distinguish between Arabs and Jews, and Nazareth will
receive assistance like any other town," Peres said.
World Reactions: Israel is Right, and Talk of World War III
World leaders meeting in a suburb of the Russian city of St. Petersburg at the G-8
summit have come down squarely on Israel's side. They called for Hamas and Hizbullah to
return the Israeli soldiers they are holding captive and for the cessation of rocket
attacks on Israel - as conditions for Israel's cessation of its offensive on Lebanon.
The G-8 is a self-proclaimed Group of Eight industrialized nations, namely, the U.S.,
Russia, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan.
Canada took a surprisingly pro-Israel approach when Prime Minister Stephen Harper told
reporters before the summit that Israel "has a right to defend itself," and that Israel's
offensive in Lebanon was a "measured" manifestation of that right. He clearly blamed the
current warfare on Hamas and Hizbullah.
In response to calls for a more "proportionate" Israeli response to Hizbullah and
Hamas, an Israel Radio correspondent in Washington quoted observers who said that such a
response would have to include indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, just as both
terrorist groups have done. Israel should therefore be commended for not acting
"proportionately," the observers say.
Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has described the Israel-Lebanon-Hamas
warfare as part of the beginning of World War III. The Republican Congressman from the
southern state of Georgia, speaking on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, mentioned a series
of locations in which the west and Muslim terrorists are clashing.
Noting the "question of the survival of Israel," as well as bombs in India, the war in
Afghanistan, the "Iran/Syria/Hamas/Hizbullah alliance," the "war in Iraq funded largely
from Saudi Arabia and supplied largely from Syria and Iran," and Muslim terrorist threats
in Britain and the United States, as well as the missiles from North Korea, Gingrich
concluded, "I mean, we
are in the early stages of what I would describe as the third
"Frankly," Gingrich said, "the Israelis have every right to insist that every single
missile leave south Lebanon, and the United States ought to be helping the Lebanese
government have the strength to eliminate Hizbullah as a military force."
"The threat to the United States," Gingrich said, "is an ideological wing of Islam that
is irreconcilable to modern civilization as we know it throughout most of the world. The
United States and her allies face a long war with this irreconcilable wing of Islam."
Iranian President: West Uses Holocaust as Pretext
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has again expressed doubts over the true extent
of the Holocaust and called it a pretext by the West to gain domination over the Middle
"Some of the Western countries had for centuries followed the aim to dominate the
region (Middle East) and used the pretext of the Holocaust for preparing the grounds to
realize this aim," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
"Why do you claim that six million were killed in the Holocaust? Let us make a research
- maybe 10 million were killed," he said sarcastically during a meeting with high school
students. "Not allowing any research proves that there is a problem and something is
fishy," added the president.
On Saturday the Iranian president had compared Israel's government to Adolf Hitler and
said that "just like Hitler, the Zionist regime (Israel) is just looking for a pretext for
launching military attacks."
"This regime (Israel), which claims that Hitler has committed huge crimes, is now
acting just like him," he said, referring to Israel's offensive against Lebanon.
Ahmadinejad last year termed the Holocaust a "myth."
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