Israel news

Media clampdown in Gaza result of Lebanon lessons

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 15, 2009

Alongside the brigades of Merkava tanks and battalions of armoured personnel carriers sent to the Gaza Strip over the past two weeks, the IDF also sent a detachment of military police cars.

Their targets were not rowdy soldiers attempting to abscond without a pass. Rather, they were journalists — both Israeli and foreign — trying to photograph the massed forces and to interview the soldiers preparing to enter the combat zone.

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We learned lessons from the Blitz, says Home Front

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 15, 2009

The IDF Home Front Command studied the wartime Blitz while overhauling its operational plans before Operation Cast Lead.

It concluded that, if the people of London could continue working despite repeated nights of aerial bombings, there was no reason for Israel’s southern region to be paralysed by Hamas rockets.

Like the other major units of the IDF, the Home Command also underwent a comprehensive process of reassessment following the second Lebanon war.

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UK aid floods in for troops

By Simon Rocker, January 14, 2009

Around 3,000 parcels containing thermal wear and chocolate have so far been delivered to Israeli soldiers serving in Gaza in a campaign launched by the Zionist Federation and backed by the JC.

The ZF raised £45,000 in a week to buy the goods which were delivered with messages of solidarity via volunteers in Israel.

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Sailors take the war to Hamas from new front

By Yaakov Katz, January 14, 2009

The Navy ship approaches the Gaza Strip quietly under the cover of darkness.

It is 2am and the ship is patrolling the coast of Gaza in search of Palestinians who use the beaches as launch pads for Kassam rocket attacks into the western Negev.

Using a high-tech thermal camera, the sailors scan the shore to ensure that no Israeli soldiers are in range of the Typhoon artillery cannon.

Suddenly, as the camera focuses on a hotel under construction, one of the soldiers says: “Wait a second, there is something there.” The camera zooms in on what turns out to be a pack of dogs.

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Alert after attacks from Lebanon

By Yaakov Katz, January 14, 2009

The IDF is on heightened alert along the Lebanese border out of fear that Hizbollah will attack Israel while it is preoccupied with its war in the south.

The alert level was raised immediately after Israel began the operation in Gaza and increased after four Katyusha rockets hit the northern city of Nahariya last week, lightly injuring two people. On Sunday, gunshots were fired at an IDF patrol in the Golan Heights and three more rockets hit the north on Wednesday morning.

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'No truce without end to smuggling'

By Yaakov Katz, January 14, 2009

As pressure mounted around the world for a Gaza ceasefire this week, it became clear that the key to a truce lay in Egypt — from where weapons are smuggled into Gaza.

Israel’s demand for a stop to the smuggling is based on lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War. UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the war and saw the deployment of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon, did not put an end to the smuggling of weapons from Syria to Lebanon. Since then, Hizbollah is believed to have tripled its missile stockpile from 15,000 to over 40,000 with longer ranges and larger warheads.

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‘Rally cancelled’ message exposed as a hoax

January 9, 2009

A Hoax email was sent to thousands of inboxes late on Friday afternoon, claiming that today's (Sunday) Rally for Israel had been cancelled.

The email purported to come from the Board of Deputies but organisers immediately made clear it had no foundation. The rally will took place as planned.

Rabbi Danny Rich, the chief executive of Liberal Judaism, earlier dissociated himself from the solidarity rallies in London and Manchester.

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Voices from the front line

January 8, 2009

We hope this will stop the Kassams
Elraz Azran
31, Restaurateur, Sderot

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The war being waged online

By Jonny Paul, January 8, 2009

The crisis in Gaza has fuelled a fierce war on the internet by activists on both sides.

With Israel not allowing journalists into Gaza, the internet has become another front in the conflict.

The IDF has used YouTube to update people on Operation Cast Lead, with a dedicated page showing videos of Israeli troops in action.

Social networking site Facebook is being used to set up groups to drum up support for the various protests taking part across the country. Users can also sign up to a facility that automatically updates the number of Kassam rockets hitting Israel.

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Israel rejects ceasefire call

By Daniella Peled, December 31, 2008

Israel has rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

France had called for a temporary truce to allow humanitarian aid to reach the beleaguered Stri, but an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said that the plan failed to include any guarantees that Hamas would stop firing rockets at Israeli communities.

However, sources said the truce might be reconsidered if its terms were amended.

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