Over the course of Shabbat, over 150 rockets hit northern Israel: they landed in Kiryat Shmona, Tsfat, Nahariya, Carmiel, Rosh Pina, Ma’alot, Hatzor Haglilit, the Golan Heights, and Haifa. In Tsfat, four members of one family were hurt, the mother seriously; there was also someone seriously wounded in Carmiel.
Those who remain in the north spent the Shabbat, for the most part, in shelters. Many have fled south.
The city of Beit Shemesh, which I mentioned before, has offered to take in 2,000 people from the north, housing them in schools and community centers, providing them with meals, and with local trips during the day to keep people occupied. This sort of outpouring of response is the pride of Israel — the heartfelt human caring.
The continuing barrage is particularly bad news in that it means the attempt to take out Hezbollah rocket sites from the air has been less effective than had been hoped. Many caches of weapons are buried deeply in fortified bunkers.
Airstrikes will continue. In fact, the US is rushing Israel bunker busters — laser-guided smart bombs that penetrate fortified underground locations with little collateral damage; this is part of a weapons deal that had been struck previously, but shipment is being expedited. The bombs can be attached to F15 fighters. According to the NY Times, Israel is scheduled to received 100 of these bombs.
But with it are growing operations by ground forces. Reserve forces have been called up, and troops and equipment are amassed at the border. More and more it seems necessary if this war is to be won. More and more is it clear that if we don’t do it, no one will.
Utilizing local media and leaflets dropped from planes, the IDF is advising the civilian population of the area south of the Litani River — where Hezbollah operates — to move north of the river. Ten south Lebanese villages that have been the sites of rocket launchings are going to be combed for bunkers, munitions caches and hideouts.
Meron A-Ras has already been taken by the IDF. Among the things that have been discovered there are missile launchers hidden in the mosque. You’ve got it: a mosque. And this is hardly a unique event. Meanwhile, Magen David Adom has transported a Lebanese woman wounded in Meron A-Ras to Tsfat for treatment.
IDF Commander of the North Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam, referring to the cost in human lives of this operation, is quoted by Arutz Sheva as saying: "There are more places like Meron A-Ras, and unfortunately we’ll have to reach them."
One of the concerns that weighs heavily is the possibility of mines planted by Hezbollah in anticipation of a ground invasion.
YNet reports that a holding compound for Lebanese prisoners is being constructed, and maintains that this means there will be a major incursion into Lebanon.
This posting can be found at: https://arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/7/22/posted-july-22-2006.html