IDF

IDF to fight ‘war crimes’ charges

By Yaakov Katz, January 22, 2009

The IDF and Foreign Ministry are preparing to combat dozens of lawsuits they fear will be filed against IDF officers on war crimes charges.

Several NGOs have accused Israel of using disproportionate force during its three-week Gaza campaign. Amnesty International accused Israel of “indiscriminate” military force resulting in war crimes. Oxfam International has accused Israel of “massive and disproportionate violence... in violation of international law.”

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IDF gets a fresh face

By Yaakov Katz, January 15, 2009

A Manchester-born soldier has become one of the public faces of the IDF during Operation Cast Lead.

Former paratrooper Elie Isaacson, 28, made aliyah in 2000 and heads the North American Desk in the IDF Spokesman’s Unit.

The work, he said, is extremely interesting. “We are dealing with press from all over the world and it is a challenge but we are more on top than ever before,” he said. “The fact that I have a combat background gives what I say a bigger punch since when I talk about the field I know what I am talking about. I have been there and have seen it.”

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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 teens volunteer for the IDF

January 8, 2009

British teenagers are working on army bases across Israel after being asked to help by the IDF.

The army approached the FZY youth movement, along with its American sister group Young Judea, to ask if participants on its year programme could volunteer. Teens from the religious Zionist movement, B’nei Akiva, also volunteered. Some IDF bases had been understaffed as soldiers were deployed to Gaza. The teenagers began working on eight bases across Israel on Sunday, packing kits for soldiers in Gaza, checking equipment for faults and monitoring stocks.

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Fresh Gaza violence likely as truce ends

By Yaakov Katz, December 18, 2008

The Israel Defence Forces went on high alert this week as Hamas threatened not to renew their ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The six-month truce between Israel and Hamas was due to expire today (Friday). While Israel prefers to extend it, Hamas appears to be split between continuing the pact and ending it. Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal said on Sunday that the ceasefire would not be renewed, while Hamas officials in Gaza said only that the issue was under review.

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Fears of fresh Gaza violence as ceasefire nears end

By Yaakov Katz, December 16, 2008

The Israel Defense Forces have gone on high alert as Hamas threatened to not renew their ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The six-month truce between Israel and Hamas is due to expire on Friday. While Israel prefers to extend it, Hamas appears to be split between continuing the truce and ending it. Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal said on Sunday that the ceasefire would not be renewed, while Hamas officials in Gaza said only that the issue was under review.

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A simmering dispute set to bring the house down

By Yaakov Katz, November 27, 2008

Soldiers pose on the rooftop for pictures, young women with scarves covering their heads stuff laundry into washing machines lining the hallway, and teenage boys with large kippot and sidelocks sit in a room nearby listening attentively to a rabbi's sermon.

All this is happening in a settler-squatted four-story building in Hebron on a road that links the settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Cave of the Patriarchs.

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Shin Bet fears settlers may turn to arms

By Ben Lynfield, November 6, 2008

Amid growing tensions with radical settlers, the head of the Shin Bet security service has warned that extremists can be expected to engage in armed attacks against the IDF in the event of peace moves with the Palestinians.

Yuval Diskin did not explicitly say that he expected attempts at political assassination in the event of a push for removal of settlements and outposts in the West Bank.

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PA to curb Hamas with 700 police in Hebron

By Yaakov Katz, October 23, 2008

IDF officers met their Palestinian counterparts this week to co-ordinate the arrival of 700 Palestinian policemen in Hebron in an effort to crack down on Hamas before Mahmoud Abbas's presidential term ends in January.

The 700 recently completed US-backed military training in Jordan and were due to be sent to the Palestinian section of Hebron, one of the largest and most volatile cities in the West Bank.

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IDF launches inquiry into draft-dodge organisation

By Yaakov Katz, September 16, 2008

In an effort to combat the growing phenomenon of draft dodging among Israeli youth, the Israeli attorney general has, in a rare move, decided to launch an investigation against a left-wing group that offers teenagers assistance in receiving exemptions from serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

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