Why Gazan’s Troppled Mubarak’s Wall Late Jan 2008???

Finally Anis Naqash revealed the secret  behind  breaking Gaza Wall Mubarak’s Egypt

Image result for Anis Naqash

The goal was not to break the siege to get their needs from the other side

What was the goal?

Upon the advise of Hezbollah’s Great Leader Martyr Imad Mughniyeh, under the cover of Tens of thousands Gazans mobilized by Hamas to crossed the borders, Hamas moved  thousands of Syrian and Iranian missiles hidden behind  the wall.

“It is your golden opportunity” Mughniyeh told Hamas.

Listen to Anis 23:30 in the following Video

السيد حسن نصرالله (يسأل خالد مشعل) من ارسل الصواريخ الى غزة؟

نصر الله يوجه رسالة لحماس حول سوريا

2:40

2:00

 A new Surprise, Another slap on Pharoah’s Face: Gazan’s Cut through the Wall of Shame

PUMPED: Posted late Jan 2008

Gazans cut through Egypt’s border barrier

Image: Palestinians cross the Rafah border into Egypt.

Some 80% of imports into Gaza come through the tunnels, the UN says

By Jon Donnison
BBC News, Gaza

 

“Every problem has a solution. The Egyptian steel barrier was a problem but we found a solution,” says Mohammed, a grimy-faced Gazan tunnel digger who didn’t want to give his real name.

Mohammed, covered in dust and dirt, is in the process of digging a 750m (2,460ft) smuggling tunnel from Gaza into Egypt. He says he’s been digging it for 18 months.

As he hauls up a plastic container of sand with an electric winch from the metre-wide tunnel shaft, he says the new underground Egyptian barrier aimed at stopping smuggling is a “joke.”

“We just cut through it using high-powered oxygen fuelled blow torches,” he says.

The Egyptian government says it began constructing the barrier along the Gaza-Egypt border last year. When finished it is meant to be 11km-long (seven miles), stretching down 18m (59ft) underground.
According to Egypt it is made of bomb-proof, super-strength steel and is costing millions of dollars to build.

‘Embarrassing’

Mohammed smiles when he hears this.

“We pay around a $1,000 (£665) for a man with an oxygen-fuelled cutter to come and break through it. It takes up to three weeks to cut through but we get there in the end,” he says.

If they [Egypt] opened the border, we wouldn’t need to dig tunnels. But until they do, we’ll keep digging, whatever they do to try and stop us
Mohammed, tunnel digger

Mohammed says the steel barrier is 5-10cm (2-4in) thick.

The BBC spoke to one man in Gaza employed to cut through the barrier. He said he could cut a metre-square hole through it in less than a day.

This news will be embarrassing for Egypt’s government.

Encouraged by the United States which gives millions of dollars in military aid to Egypt every year, it says it is trying to crack down on smuggling into Gaza.

The BBC asked the Egyptian government to comment on the fact that Gazans were already cutting through the barrier. The government has not yet responded.

Sheep and shampoo

The Palestinian territory has been under a tightened Israeli and Egyptian economic blockade since 2007 when the Hamas Islamist movement took over the territory.

The blockade was enforced to put pressure on Hamas and to stop weapons being smuggled in.

Lorries wait to load goods from the tent-covered smuggling tunnels in Rafah. Photo: April 2010

Little attempt is made to keep the tunnels secret

Egypt’s secular government is opposed to Hamas, which has historical ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition movement in Egypt which is illegal but largely tolerated.

Many Gazans are angry with the Egyptian government, which – they say – is increasing their suffering.
The blockade has meant that Gaza is to a great extent dependent on the smuggling tunnels from Egypt. Millions of dollars worth of goods are smuggled in every month.

Everything from fridges to fans, sheep to shampoo comes through the tunnels. The BBC even obtained video footage this year of whole brand-new cars being dragged through tunnels from Egypt.
The UN estimates that as much as 80% of imports into Gaza come through the tunnels.
Big business

The tunnels are not at all hard to find. In the southern Gazan town of Rafah, right on the border, there are lines of them covered by white tents.

map

<>Little attempt is made to keep them secret. They are surrounded by huge mounds of sandy earth which have been dug out of the ground.

The air is thick with diesel fuel from the trucks that transport the goods across the Gaza strip.
The openness of the smuggling operation suggests that if Israel and Egypt really wanted to stop the tunnels they could easily do so.

Israel has at times bombed some of the tunnels, but has stopped short of totally shutting them down.
Aid agencies in Gaza say that if Israel or Egypt really forced the smuggling to stop, it would lead to an even more desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza which would be damaging to Israel’s and Egypt’s international reputations.

Diplomats in the region also believe that so much money is being made in Egypt from the trade through the tunnels that much of the smuggling is likely to continue.

But the head of operations in Gaza for the UN relief agency Unrwa, John Ging, says that ordinary people in Gaza are losing out.

“Everything is expensive because people are hostage to the dynamics of a black market.”

Mr Ging stressed that it was the Israeli-Egyptian blockade that was allowing that black market to thrive.
The UN does not use illegal goods and building materials smuggled in through from Egypt.

If the blockade remains in place it seems the tunnel industry will continue to thrive, underground steel barrier or not.

“If they opened the border, we wouldn’t need to dig tunnels,” says Mohammed peering into the shaft of his tunnel in Rafah. “But until they do, we’ll keep digging, whatever they do to try and stop us.”
“Every problem has a solution,” he smiles.

في مفاجأة من العيار الثقيل.. فلسطينيو غزة ينجحون في اختراق الجدار الفولاذي

 

عواصم: فجر حفارو الانفاق الغزاويين مفاجاة من العيار الثقيل، بكشفهم أنهم قد تمكنوا
من اختراق ما يعتقد انه الجدار الفولاذي المقاوم للقنابل الذي قيل ان السلطات المصرية مبنته للحد من عمليات التهريب على الحدود المصرية مع قطاع غزة.
وكانت السلطات المصرية قد بدأت العام الماضي في بناء جدار حاجز تحت الارض لمنع التهريب والتجارة غير الشرعية ببضائع تقدر بملايين الدولارات تدخل الى الاراضي الفلسطينية عبر الحدود المصرية مع قطاع غزة.
  ونقلت هيئة الاذاعة البريطانية “بي بي سيعن أحد حفارى الأنفاق فى قطاع غزة قوله: “أن لكل مشكلة حلا”، واضاف إن الغزاويين يستخدمون آلات (مشاعل) حرارية فائقة القوة لإحداث ثقوب فى الجدار الفولاذى، بينما قال آخر: “إن اختراق الجدار يمكن أن يستغرق ثلاثة أسابيع من العمل غير أنهم نجحوا فى ذلك فى نهاية المطاف”.

وزعمت الهيئة ان هذه أنباء محرجة للحكومة المصرية التى انفقت ملايين الدولارات لبناء هذا الحاجز وكانت قد قالت أخيرا إن العمل بالجدار الممتد لأحد عشر كيلومتر وبعمق نحو عشرين مترا تحت الأرض قد شارف على الانتهاء، وقالت الحكومة المصرية إنه مصنوع على ما يبدو من فولاذ فائق القوة لا يمكن اختراقه.

وتمثل عمليات تهريب البضائع عبر الأنفاق من مصر إلى قطاع غزة تجارة كبيرة تقدر بملايين الدولارات.. ومن بين تلك البضائع السيارات الجديدة التى يجرى تهريبها كل شهر.

وازدهرت تلك التجارة بعد فرض سلطات الاحتلال الاسرائيلي حصارها الاقتصادي على قطاع غزة، في محاولة للضغط على حركة حماس التي تتولى ادارة القطاع .

كانت تقارير صحفية كشفت في وقت سابق أن السلطات المصرية رفعت من وتيرة العمل في بناء “الجدار الفولاذي” على الحدود مع قطاع غزة لمنع عمليات التهريب عبر الأنفاق الأرضية ، حيث اقتربت أعمال البناء من منطقة صلاح الدين ذات الكثافة السكانية العالية والتي خضعت لعمليات مسح سكاني وحصر للمباني ، تمهيدا لإجلاء الأهالي من المساكن المتاخمة للشريط الحدودي وتعويضهم بأراضي بديلة .

ونقلت صحيفة “الشروق” المصرية المستقلة عن مصادر مطلعة القول إن الشركة المنفذة لأعمال الجدار أوشكت علي الانتهاء من عمليات حفر الخنادق وتثبيت الألواح الحديدية علي أعماق كبيرة ، كما تواصل 6 معدات عملاقة عمليات الحفر ويتواصل تدفق الستائر الحديدية علي مواقع العمل.

وأضافت المصادر ذاتها ” منازل منطقة صلاح الدين معرضة للخطر بسبب كثرة الأنفاق والتي تنذر بالانهيار في أي لحظة وهو ما يتطلب إعادة تخطيط المنطقة بالكامل”.

يذكر أن إسرائيل تمارس ضغوطا كبيرة على مصر منذ فترة طويلة لكي تتصدي للتهريب عبر هذه الانفاق تحت الأرض بين غزة وسيناء المصرية.وتقول ان الفلسطينيين يستخدمونها لتهريب الاسلحة والذخيرة الى جانب السلع التجارية التي يتم تهريبها الى غزة.

وكان ناشطون مصريون قد رفعوا دعوى على الدولة المصرية بسبب قرارها بناء الجدار على حدودها مع قطاع قائلين بأنه ينتهك التزامات مصر إزاء جيرانها العرب. وحدد القضاء الإداري المصري موعد جلسة النطق بالحكم في دعوى وقف بناء الجدار الفولاذي بين مصر وقطاع غزة يوم 29 يونيو/يونيو المقبل.
“جدار الموت”
 كان الكشف عن بناء السلطات المصرية لحدار حديدي على حدودها مع قطاع غزة قد أثار جدلا واسعا حيث اعتبره فلسطينيو غزة تديدا جديا لحصارهم المستمر منذ منتصف يونيو/حزيران عام 2007، بينما اعتبر مسئولون مصريون أن من حق بلادهم الحفاظ على أمنها ولديها مطلق الحرية في أن تفعل داخل أراضيها ما يؤمن سلامتها، ولا يمكن أن يزعم ولا يحق لعربي مهما كان، وباسم أي قضية مهما كانت أن يقول لمصر افعلي هذا أو لا تفعلي ذاك على أراضيك.
كانت تقارير صحفية ذكرت في وقت سابق أن مصر بدأت مؤخرا بناء جدار فولاذي بعمق من 20 إلى 30 مترا تحت الأرض، بطول عشرة كيلومترات تمثل الحدود مع غزة، في محاولة للقضاء على ظاهرة الأنفاق التي تُستخدم في تهريب البضائع من سيناء إلى القطاع المحاصَر.

وأدى الكشف عن بناء الجدار الفولاذي والذي وصفه الفلسطينيون بـ “جدار الموت”، إلى تصاعد ردود الأفعال العربية والدولية المنددة بالخطوة التي اتخذتها القيادة المصرية، وتمحورت ردود الأفعال حول استنكار هذه الخطوة التي اعتبر عددٌ كبيرٌ من المتابعين والمحللين أنها تأتي كخطوةٍ إضافيةٍ تهدف إلى تشديد الحصار على أكثر من مليون ونصف المليون فلسطيني مُحاصَرين في قطاع غزة منذ أكثر من ثلاثة أعوام متواصلة.

وفيما يخص مواصفات الجدار، ذكر موقع “الشبكة الفلسطينية الإخبارية” على الإنترنت، نقلا عن مصادر وصفها بالموثوقة، أن آلية للحفر يتراوح طولها بين 7 إلى 8 أمتار تقوم بعمل ثقوب فى الأرض بشكل لولبى، ومن ثم تقوم رافعة بإنزال ماسورة مثقبة باتجاه الجانب الفلسطينى بعمق ما بين 20 و30 متر.

وأضافت الشبكة فى تقرير مرفق برسم كروكى لقطاع من الجدار، أن العمل على الآليات الموجودة هناك يتولاه عمال مصريون فى أغلبهم يتبعون شركة “عثمان أحمد عثمان”، بالإضافة إلى وجود أجانب بسيارات جى أم سى فى المكان.

ووفقا للمصادر فإن ماسورة رئيسية ضخمة تمتد من البحر غربا بطول 10 كيلومترات باتجاه الشرق يتفرع منها مواسير فى باطن الأرض مثقبة باتجاه الجانب الفلسطينى من الحدود يفصل بين الماسورة والأخرى 30 أو 40 متر.

وأوضحت أنه سيتم ضخ المياه فى الماسورة الرئيسية من البحر مباشرة، ومن ثم إلى المواسير الفرعية فى باطن الأرض، مضيفة أنه بما أن المواسير مثقبة باتجاه الجانب الفلسطينى فإن المطلوب من هذه المواسير الفرعية هو إحداث تصدعات وانهيارات تؤثر على عمل الأنفاق على طول الحدود من خلال تسريب المياه.

ولفتت إلى أنه خلف شبكة المواسير هذه يتمدد فى باطن الأرض جدران فولاذية بعمق يتراوح بين 30ــ35 متر فى باطن الأرض، وعلاوة على وظيفة هذا الجدار المصمم لكبح جماح الأنفاق إلى جانب أنابيب المياه، فإنه يحافظ على تماسك التربة على الجانب المصرى، فى حين تكون الأضرار البيئية والانهيارات فى الجانب الفلسطينى، على حد قول هذه المصادر.

وكان وزير الخارجية المصري أحمد أبو الغيط، قد أكد في تصريحات سابقة له “أن مصر ليست علي استعداد لأن تتوقف عن حماية شعبها وحدودها، وأن أحداً لا يمكنه أن يدفع بلاده لأن تخشي أمراً يحمي أمنها القومي،

مشيرا إلى أن الأهداف التي دعت مصر إلي إنشاء الجدار المصري هي تحطيم جدار مماثل كانت مصر قد أقامته منذ سنوات علي حدودها مع إسرائيل عندما كانت تحتل قطاع غزة،

وأن فلسطينيين قاموا بتحطيمه في يناير 2008 وهو ما دفع مصر إلي إعادة إنشائه حماية للأراضي المصرية من الاعتداء عليها ومنع من وصفهم بـ «هؤلاء الذين يقتحمون ويتسربون إلي الأراضي المصرية”.

 إلا أن مصادر أمنية مصرية أكدت أن قيام القاهرة بعمليات إحكام الحدود مع قطاع غزة فى الوقت الحالى عبر بناء سياج حدودى تقنى محكم جاء لدواعى السيادة والأمن القومى المصرى، ولا يعنى أبدا تشديد الحصار على قطاع غزة مشيرا إلى أن معبر رفح يظل مفتوحا معظم الوقت.
وقالت المصادر إن تهريب السلاح عبر الأنفاق “هو اعتداء مباشر على سيادة الدولة المصرية وشرعيتها كدولة، ولا يمكن السماح باستمراره عبر شبكة الأنفاق المنتشرة على تلك الحدود”، مضيفا أن من يستخدم الأنفاق لتهريب السلاح من سيناء فى اتجاه الجانب الآخر يمكنه استخدامها للتهريب فى الاتجاه المعاكس ليس فقط لتهريب السلاح ولكن المخدرات والأفراد أيضا.

وشددت المصادر على أنه “من حق مصر أن تهتم بسيادتها على حدودها وأن تطور الجدار الفاصل بينها وبين قطاع غزة ومن حقها أن يكون الجدار قويا لا تسقطه بلدوزات تحركها قلة غير مسئولة على الجانب الآخر من الحدود كما حدث فى يناير 2008 ويكون نقطة ضعف يستخدمها أعداء السلام”.

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ISRAELI ARMY PATROL IS HIT WITH IED AROUND GAZA STRIP

South Front

On February 17, the Israeli military announced that one of its patrols had been hit with an IED near the security fence south of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli sources revealed that the IED had detonated when the Israeli soldiers were trying to remove a Palestinian flag from the fence. According to the sources, at least three Israeli soldiers were injured in the IED attack.

Moments ago, an explosive device detonated on IDF troops adjacent to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip

In response to the attack, an IDF tank targeted an observation post in the southern Gaza Strip

 So far, no Palestinian armed group has claimed responsibility for the IED attack. However, Israeli sources believe that the attack was likely carried out by the Hamas Movement or the Islamic Jihad Movement, the two main armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

The area of the security fence around the Gaza Strip had witnessed several clashes between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli Army since the U.S. recognized Jerusalem city as the capital of Israel on December 7, 2017. Many Palestine protestors had been reportedly killed along the fence by Israeli soldiers. In response, Palestinian armed groups had launched several rockets on Israeli settlements north of Gaza.

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عماد مغنية كما عرفتُه وودّعتُه

ناصر قنديل

فبراير 16, 2018

– لأنني عرفتُه عن قرب لثلاثين عاماً من عام 1978 إلى عام 2008 وقبيل استشهاده بثلاثة شهور كان آخر لقاءاتنا، سأجعل كلامي عن علاقة القائد الشهيد الأخ الغالي والصديق الحبيب الحاج عماد مغنية شهادة أضعها بين أيديكم عن بعض من المشاهد التي تستحضرها الذاكرة من مخزون السنوات الثلاثين.

– كان لقاؤنا الأول عام 78 في بنت جبيل عندما كنت أقودُ تجمّعاً لمقاتلين من عشرة تنظيمات يسارية وقومية ووطنية لا تؤمن بالحلّ السلمي والتفاوضي مع «إسرائيل» قرّرت أن تتفادى مرحلة الخلاف مع سورية بعد دخول قواتها إلى لبنان بالتوجه نحو الجنوب، حيث الوجهة الحقيقية لكلّ بندقية شريفة. كان التجمّع يحمل اسم القوات الثورية المشتركة، وكنا نتخذ من مدرسة الشهيد أمين موسى سعد «الأخضر العربي» مقراً لنا وكانت يومياتنا موزّعة بين العمل مع الفلاحين وتنظيم دوريات الاستطلاع على الحدود وشنّ الهجمات على الميليشيات العميلة لـ«إسرائيل» التي كانت تحتلّ شريطاً حدودياً يضمّ عدداً من البلدات والقرى، وكنا نحيي سهرات ثقافية حول فلسطين يحضرها شباب المنطقة، وفي إحداها كان لقائي الأول أنا إبن العشرين بعماد إبن الستة عشر ربيعاً ومحور السهرة كان ذكرى استشهاد القائد الثوري العالمي أرنستو تشي غيفارا. وبعدما تحدّثت مطوّلاً عن المناسبة ومعانيها وأعلنت افتخاري بأن أكون غيفارياً وفتحتُ باب النقاش كان بين المداخلين شاب يافع عرفت لاحقاً أنه عماد مغنية، وكانت مداخلته شراكة بتقدير عظمة غيفارا، لكن السؤال فيها كان، وهل تفتقد بلادنا وشعوبنا لرموز بمستوى هذا البطل كي نستعيره لنتخذَهُ رمزاً فلمَ لا نقول نحن حسينيون، فالإمام الحسين لا يقلّ عظمة في مسيرة البطولة والشهادة عنه إن لم يَزِد. وبعدما أكدت موافقتي على حسن وصواب ودقة ما قال هذا الشاب وشرحت الخوف من التفسيرات الطائفية والمذهبية تواعدنا وتلاقينا مراراً لنناقش معاً مساهمة شباب المنطقة في العمل المقاوم والتدريبات العسكرية التي واظبت عليها مع أصدقاء عماد حتى كان الاجتياح «الإسرائيلي» عام 1978 وقاتلناه وبقينا خلف خطوط انتشاره حتى بدأ بالانسحاب.

Related image

– لقاءات كثيرة تمّت بعد انقطاع عامين تقريباً، عندما تصادف لقائي الثاني بالشهيد عماد كمسؤول عن أمن سماحة السيد محمد حسين فضل الله رحمه الله.

نداء الإمام الخميني في يوم القدس العالمي

وكان يسمّيه سماحته عندما نتحدّث عنه، صاحبك عماد يقول، أو يفكّر أو يرتّب، وكانت تلك فترة التضامن مع الثورة الإسلامية في إيران وسطوع نجم الإمام الخميني المقدّس، وفترة المواجهة مع مخابرات نظام صدام الذي كانت صحيفة «صوت الشغيلة» وإذاعة «صوت الثورة العربية»، اللتان كنتُ في موقع قيادي فيهما، الرئة الإعلامية الوحيدة للوقوف مع الثورة ومواجهة مخابرات صدام. وكدنا نكون فريقاً واحداً في هذه المرحلة حتى وقوع الاجتياح «الإسرائيلي» لبيروت عام 1982.

– على جبهات منطقة الشياح وفي محور كنيسة مار مخايل تلاقينا من دون موعد منذ بدايات الحصار الذي تعرّضت له بيروت ولشهور بقينا كلّ ليلة معاً، ومعنا الشهيد علي ديب أبو حسن سلامة، ومع خروج المقاتلين الفلسطينيين من بيروت بكينا معاً، وتعاهدنا على أنّ المقاومة خيارنا، وكلمة سرّنا، فلسطين والإمام. وخلال عامين بين 82 و84 موعد انتفاضة بيروت التي أخرجت المارينز وأسقطت اتفاق السابع عشر من أيار وفتحت طريق الإمداد للمقاومة من دمشق إلى بيروت فالجنوب، كان الحاج عماد قائداً ينظّم أعمال المقاومة التي لا أعرف الكثير من تفاصيلها، سوى ما يتطلّب منه أن يستعين بعلاقاتي بسورية وبالتنظيمات الفلسطينية فيها، خصوصاً فتح الانتفاضة والجبهة الشعبية القيادة العامة، لتأمين احتياجات لوجستية لبعض هذه العمليات، وما كانوا يبخلون جميعاً من دون أن يعرفوا سوى أنّ شباباً إسلامياً خمينياً هو وجهة هذه الإمكانات، ليولد القائد عماد مغنية في هذه المرحلة ومن حوله العشرات والمئات من الشباب الواثقين بصدق قيادته وصدق خياره، ويكون من ضمن الشبكة التي تشكل منها حزب الله لاحقاً كحزب لهذه المقاومة.

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– سنوات ما بعد 84 كان الحاج عماد المسكون بفلسطين والإمام يسعى للتواصل مع كلّ مَن يمكن يشكل رافداً للمواجهة مع «إسرائيل» والمشروع الأميركي، ويطالبني بتعريفه إلى كلّ مناضلي الخط اليساري والقومي في الأردن وفلسطين والجزيرة العربية والبحرين والتواصل معهم وكانوا أصدقاءه ورفاق دربه في كثير من أنشطة لا أعلم عنها سوى، قوله وقولهم، الأمور تمام. وعندما أسمع عن عمل ما في سياق هذه المواجهة التي صار الحاج عماد رمزاً لها، يسأل عنه كلّ مَن يملك إرادة جدية للمساهمة فيها، أقول في سرّي بفرح، لقد فعلها عماد، وخلال هذه الفترة كانت بدايات انفتاحه على العمق الفلسطيني الإسلامي، بالإضافة لعلاقاته بشباب فتح الذين كان يعرفهم من تاريخ انضوائه في تشكيلات فتح لسنوات في بيروت. وكانت الباكورة مع الإعداد للانتفاضة الأولى التي لم يخف الشهيد عماد تفرّغه لدعمها، كرسول لخط الإمام، وما تسنّى لي بعدها من مواكبة علاقته العميقة مع الشهيد القيادي الدكتور فتحي الشقاقي مؤسس حركة الجهاد الإسلامي والصديق المشترك بيننا.

– في التسعينيات وحتى التحرير عام 2000 صارت لقاءاتنا أصعب بحكم مسؤوليات الحاج عماد في المقاومة، فصارت على جدول أعماله وفقاً لبرامجه، يُفاجئني في كلّ زيارة لطهران ضمن مواعيد مشابهة للقائنا هذا، بأن ينتظرني أحد من قبله في المطار ويتولّى تنسيق لقاء مطوّل بيننا، ولقاءات بالقيادة الإيرانية، وحوارات مع قادة الحرس الثوري وكبار ضباط أركانه، وتنظيم محاضرات أتحدّث خلالها عن الأوضاع الدولية والإقليمية ومشروع المقاومة، وكذلك أحياناً كثيرة وأنا في الطريق بين بيروت ودمشق أفاجأ بسيارة عابرة تشعل أضواءها بطريقة لافتة فأعلم أنه هو، ونترافق معاً بقية الطريق لنتحدّث عن الوضعَيْن السياسي والعسكري والتحليلات للمشهد الدولي والإقليمي، ونستشرف الآفاق والتقديرات، ويضعني في صورة الوضع العسكري والميداني للمقاومة، وما تطوّره من سلاح نوعي سيغيّر من وجهة الحرب مع الاحتلال. وأذكر أنّ أهمّ ما سمعته منه كان عن العبوات الذكية، التي تنفجر على مرحلتين الأولى لدفعها لأعلى فتصير بمستوى نقطة ضعف دبابة الميركافا، في المفصل بين جسم الدبابة وبرجها، لينفجر نصف العبوة المدمّر عندها ويطيح بالميركافا أسطورة القوة «الإسرائيلية» التي دمّرتها عبوات الحاج عماد الذكيّة وحوّلتها أشلاء في حرب تموز، وكان بشغف يشرح ويقول عندما نتحقق بالتجارب من فعالية العبوات الذكية ستكون أهمّ هدية لفلسطين أن نضع هذه التقنية بين أيدي المقاومين هناك.

– بعد التحرير وقبل حرب تموز 2006 صار عنوان الحديث، كيف تنتقل تجربة المقاومة لفلسطين، حتى تمّ تحرير غزة في 2005 فكان عيداً بمعنى الكلمة للحاج عماد يعادل عيد التحرير عام 2000، وكانت فلسفة الحاج عماد العسكرية توطين تقنيات الصواريخ وصناعتها في غزة، متسائلاً لماذا ننقل الصواريخ ولا نفكّر بتصنيعها؟ وكان صاحب القرار باعتماد هذه الوجهة بما بات له من تأثير في قرار حزب الله وإيران وقوى المقاومة الفلسطينية.

– اللقاء الأخير مع الشهيد القائد كان في دمشق قبيل استشهاده بثلاثة شهور، حيث فاجأني كالعادة. وهذه المرّة في بهو أحد الفنادق واضعاً يديه على عينَيْ من خلفي سائلاً «هل عرفت مَن؟»، فأجبت بلا تردّد «وهل يخفى القمر»، وتعانقنا وسالت دموعنا فرحاً وشوقاً، وجلسنا ساعات وهو يشرح ما قامت به قيادة المقاومة من قراءة نقدية لتجربة الحرب واستكشاف نقاط الضعف بعيداً عن الزهو بنشوة النصر، وكيف قامت بترميم أغلبها، وماهية الاستعدادات للحرب المقبلة. وأقتبس من كلامه، ستكون حرب تموز نزهة بالقياس للحرب المقبلة، نعدّ لهم جيش الربع مليون، هذه المرّة نحن مَن سيخوض الحرب البرية وسندخل الجليل، الدعم الإيراني مفتوح وفوق قدرتنا على الاستيعاب. أطال الله بعمر السيد القائد رسم الاستراتيجية إلى القدس وترك لنا التفاصيل، وسماحة السيد يرسم ويخطط وعلى صديقك التنفيذ. ويبتسم ثم يختم، والأخوة في الحرس ليل نهار يعملون لتأمين كلّ ما يلزم.

– في نهاية اللقاء لفتُّه إلى خطورة تنقّله وضرورة أن يكون أشدّ تحفظاً، فاجأني بعد التفسير العملاني لطريقة تنقله مبتسماً، ثم ضحك وقال، – ومشهد وجهه يحضر أمامي الآن، – وهو يقول، «أبو عيسى تعبت، صار لي تلاتين سنة بركض ليل نهار لأرضيه، رب عمل بتشتغلو ليرضى يقلّك يعطيك العافية، رب عملي هو الله، ناطر يتطلّع فيي وياخدني شهيد».

– رحمك الله أيّها القائد ورحم والدك وأخوتك وابنك، أحياء عند ربّكم تُرزقون، ورحم الله شهداء المقاومة، وحمى الله سيد المقاومة سماحة السيد حسن نصرالله والسيد القائد الإمام الخامنئي، وقدّس روح الإمام المؤسّس روح الله الخميني، ونصر مقاومتنا حتى يتحقق وعد النصر في القدس ونحتفل معاً بذكرى الشهداء ونشعل البخور لروح عماد فلسطين.

مداخلة في مؤتمر تكريم الشهيد الحاج عماد مغنية في طهران 15-2-2018

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Genocide? As Gaza Dries Out, israel Turns Off Fresh Water Spigot

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Rather than heeding the warnings from the UN to open up Gaza’s blockade and allow vital aid, what we have witnessed over the course of the last decade is a periodic all-out Israeli assault on Gaza’s vital infrastructure.

GAZA  (Analysis) — Near the end of last month, Haaretz reported that, according to an expert hydrologist, 97 percent of Gaza’s drinking water has been contaminated by sewage and salt. The UN also confirmed that this was the case early last year, and clearly, the situation has remained unchanged even up until 2018. Robert Piper, the UN’s local coordinator for humanitarian and development activities, has called the situation “really very serious” and stated that “[w]e are falling far behind the demand for clean drinking water for Gazans.”This kind of mistreatment is part and parcel of an overall package of deprivation that continues to plague the Palestinian people. There are some 2 million residents in Gaza affected by this egregious policy, famously one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. Gaza’s water resources are fully controlled by Israel and the division of groundwater is something that was provided for in the Oslo II Accord. However, despite the fact that under the Accord Israel is allocated four times the Palestinian portion of water resources, it has been revealed that Israel has been extracting 80 percent more water from the West Bank than it agreed to.

In 2009, the World Bank wrote that the responsibility was on the government of Israel to recognize that water and sanitation is a central component of the Gaza Strip humanitarian crisis and make arrangements to facilitate fuel distribution to some 170 water and sewage pumps in Gaza; maintain the Beit Lahiya Sewage Lake; and restore regular electricity supply in order to reduce dependence on fuel for generators.

&amp;amp;lt;img src=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Citizen-Activist-email.png”/&amp;amp;gt; According to the World Bank, at the time, almost all of Gaza’s population was without running water and was dependent on stored water supplies. The World Bank also noted that nearly all sewage and water pumps were out of operation due to lack of electricity and diminished fuel supplies, something that we will address below. But once again, these deficiencies fall squarely on the shoulders of the Israeli government, which is wholly responsible for Gaza’s electricity and water supply.

In order to rectify the issue, the Deputy UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Maxwell Gaylard, called for the immediate opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow the entry of spare parts and materials critical to the restoration of Gaza’s water and sanitation services. Israel famously closed Gaza’s crossing points in June 2007 and the local population has been suffering ever since.

However, there are many other factors that have helped to create this humanitarian catastrophe. Israel routinely unleashes bombing campaigns on the Gaza Strip every few years, targeting vital infrastructure, including destroying Gaza’s only power plant in 2014. The blockade single-handedly prevents vital materials and equipment from making its way into Gaza, making redevelopment impossible, even some four years later.

 

Electricity supply

A Palestinian family warm themselves on a fire outside their makeshift home during a power cut in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP/ Khalil Hamra)

A Palestinian family warm themselves on a fire outside their makeshift home during a power cut in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP/ Khalil Hamra)

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Gaza Strip endures dry, hot summers that are subject to drought.

Exploiting these conditions, Israel has used electricity as an inventive point of leverage to torture the Palestinian people, while the international community has stayed largely silent. This is the same international community that cites human rights abuses in Syria, Iran, and North Korea to promote military intervention and regime change to suit its geopolitical needs, yet stays silent as 2 million Gazan residents are suffering immensely in what is widely regarded as an open-air prison and the world’s largest ghetto.

On a good day, residents in Gaza over the last six months have been receiving three to four hours of electricity per day, the flow of which is controlled by Israel. However, according to the Times of Israel, Gazans were only able to obtain four hours’ worth of electricity thanks mainly to fuel supplies sent from Egypt. On a bad day, some estimates cite that Gazans have been receiving as little as two hours electricity per day if any at all.

After the Palestinian Authority said it would begin resuming payment for Israeli electricity flows to the Gaza Strip (at a cost of some $2.8 million per month), Israel announced it would restore its share of the electricity supply. However, this will increase Gaza’s electricity supply only to approximately six hours’ worth of electricity per day. The outage of electricity is expected to last for 12 hours a day at least, according to the Electronic Intifada.

One should bear in mind that, with a Gazan population of around 2 million residents, the effects of this stringent electricity supply are felt far beyond just the average household. In August of last year, Gaza’s children’s hospitals also warned of a health “catastrophe,” as power cuts routinely take place during four-hour-long dialysis treatment.

For years, Israel has attempted to shed blame from its inhumane policies and instead point to the debacle solely on an internal Palestinian issue between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Last year, Human Rights Watch’s director for the region, Omar Shakir, told the right-wing pro-Israel publication Algemeiner that because Israel is “legally the occupying power,” it bore the brunt of the responsibility for this crisis. “Israel controls the borders, the airspace, the waters of Gaza, so Israel has an obligation that goes beyond merely responding to a request from Palestinian authorities,” Shakir reportedly said.

The Electronic Intifada also notes that Israel has been using electricity as a politically viable blackmail tool, with Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stating it would restore electricity after Israeli prisoners held in Gaza were returned, as well as the bodies of two Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. It is also worth noting that Egypt, too, shares a great deal of the blame for this horrific treatment of the Palestinian people

 

Assaults on Gaza

a Palestinian girl walks next to destroyed houses, in the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City

A Palestinian girl walks next to destroyed houses, in the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City after a devastating bombing campaign by Israel in March of 2015.

Rather than heeding the warnings from the UN to open up Gaza’s blockade and allow vital aid, what we have witnessed over the course of the last decade is a periodic all-out assault on Gaza’s vital infrastructure.

Since the blockade was enforced, there have been three major IDF operations in Gaza: Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Following Operation Cast Lead, the World Bank reported that there had been severe damage to the water and sanitation infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.


Read more by Darius Shahtahmasebi


After Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the UN reported that more than 20,000 Palestinian homes, 148 schools and 60 healthcare centers in Gaza were damaged or destroyed. Israel even bombed a disability center at the time. Gaza has no air force, no air defenses, and no substantive military to defend its people.

While most pro-Israeli pundits would point to Hamas rocket fire as an excuse for the interventions, the truth on the ground tells a different story.

The Submission to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, published by Truthout, quite clearly demonstrates that Israeli airstrikes and ground attacks preceded Hamas rocket fire; and that Hamas rocket-fire had been nonexistent since Israel’s previous assault in 2012. In other words, Hamas had been abiding by its terms of the ceasefire — even while Israel had been starving Gaza of basic human rights, as argued and outlined above.

Further, in July 2014, The Guardian published a blog by investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed, which claimed Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza in 2014 was rooted in a desire to control Palestinian gas off the coast of Gaza and had nothing to do with concerns about Hamas rocket fire. The Guardian axed his blog not long after.

The Jerusalem debacle

Israeli police fire tear gas at Palestine protesters during protests against US. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Ramallah, Occupied Palestine. Feb 2, 2018. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Israeli police fire tear gas at Palestine protesters during protests against US. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Ramallah, Occupied Palestine. Feb 2, 2018. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Israel modus operandi has been to attack Gaza by punishing the civilian population with these heavy sanctions affecting its basic life necessities. It is almost as if the Israeli government has been attempting to provoke a response from the Gaza Strip, which could then be used again to justify yet another intervention — given it has been proven that Israel has lied about its stated reasons for intervention in the past. This response, however, never came in the form that Israel might have hoped for.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, inflaming an already tense situation, was the political icing on the cake of Palestinian suffering. Regardless of one’s views on the Israel-Palestine conflict, which continues to divide people all along the political spectrum, the fact remains that this decision alone pushed an already volatile situation to a point of outright violence. According to Reuters, since Trump’s infamous decision, at least 13 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

Further, it wasn’t long after Trump’s announcement that Israel began resuming air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come in the not-too-distant future. While tensions are heating up between Israel and Syria, Lebanon and Iran, it has been largely overlooked that Hamas and Israel are preparing for an imminent war even as we speak.

 

Gaza in crisis

A Palestinian man and his son warm themselves by a fire during cold, rainy weather on the outskirts of the Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, Jan. 5, 2018. (AP/ Khalil Hamra)

A Palestinian man and his son warm themselves by a fire during cold, rainy weather on the outskirts of the Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, Jan. 5, 2018. (AP/ Khalil Hamra)

In 2015, the UN predicted that Gaza would become uninhabitable by 2020. Not pulling any punches, the UN concedes the cause of this crisis is based on two important factors: Israeli military operations and the decades-long blockade that has crippled Gaza’s economy and infrastructure. Reportedly, Gaza has an unemployment rate of some 50 percent, the highest unemployment rate in the world, with a youth unemployment rate of at least 60 percent.

According to The New York Times, UN officials are warning that Gaza is facing a total collapse. Rather than exporting some much-needed freedom, human rights and democracy, the Trump administration instead announced that it would withhold $65 million from UNRWA — vital money required for providing basic necessities for some 1.2 million Palestinians in Gaza. The Times also wrote:

Still, whether out of bluster or desperation, Gazans both in and out of power have begun talking openly about confronting Israel over its blockade in the kind of mass action that could easily lead to casualties and escalation.”

No matter how one cuts it, whether Israel has been intentionally trying to elicit a response from Gaza or not, the fact remains that the Israeli government is intentionally pursuing a long list of policies that will almost certainly lead to a hostile escalation, as the international community continues to turn a blind eye to the everyday suffering of the Palestinian people. Israeli policies indeed border on a systematic genocide that will, if unchecked, completely erode the Gaza Strip to nothingness in just a few short years.

Top Photo | Palestinian children fill their bottles with water from a UNICEF tap in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: UNICEF)

Darius Shahtahmasebi is a practicing attorney with an interest in human rights, international law, and journalism. He is a graduate of the University of Otago, where he obtained degrees in Law and Japanese. Follow him on Twitter at @TVsLeaking.

Soleimani: Avenging Martyr Mughniyeh, Other Martyrs Is Thru Eradicating «Israel»

Local Editor

15-02-2018 | 10:26

Commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Core Major General Qasem Soleimani addressed a conference in the Iranian capital, Tehran, marking the martyrdom anniversary of Hezbollah commander martyr leader Haj Imad Mughniyeh.

Commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Core Major General Soleimani

At the beginning of his address, Maj. Gen. Soleimani paid tribute to the martyrs of the Lebanese Resistance.

He went on to say: “The martyrdom of Haj Imad Mughniyeh had a prominent role in the development of the Islamic awakening,” adding that his martyrdom “initiated an uprising in the Islamic communities”.”It’s the first time that I’ll talk about my dear friend, Haj Imad Mughniyeh,” Gen. Soleimani said, adding that Haj Mughniyeh “is a legend to the entire world”.

The IRGC commander talked in depth about Haj Mughniyeh saying “he wasn’t specialized in guerrilla wars only. He had more strength than the enemy… [He] didn’t see things with the same perspective that we see.”

Gen. Soleimani gave credit to the Hezbollah leader martyr’s role in “breaking the fear in Lebanon” of the apartheid “Israeli” entity “rising in the face” of the Zionists.
He went on to say that “The enemy was obliged to admit and talk about Martyr Mughnyieh’s heroism.”

Elsewhere in his address, Gen. Soleimani tackled the issue of resistance saying: “The Mujahideen remain steadfast despite the injustice of some Arab regimes.”

He added, “Haj Imad Mughniyeh was the Man of surprises. He exposed the ‘Israeli’ drones, took pictures of them and knew the plans of the Zionists.”Relatedly, the IRGC commander praised Hezbollah martyr leader’s “strategic” role in confronting the “Israeli” aggression on Lebanon in July 2006, recalling one of his achievements: “striking the ‘Israeli’ Saar warship.

Also, Gen. Soleimani said the 1997 Ansarieh operation in southern Lebanon had been planned by Haj Mughniyeh.Regarding the Palestinian cause, the Iranian general said Haj Imad “brought Yasser Arafat to Iran and played a big role in raising Hamas’ capabilities”.

Gen. Soleimani concluded his address by referring to Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as “one of the Divine miracles who confronted and faced the enemy,” whose orders Haj Imad was fully committed to following.

He added, “Sayyed Nasrallah gave Lebanon value. He saved not only the Shiites but also the Sunnis and Christians”.

Accordingly, “The enemy must know that avenging the blood of Martyr Mughniyeh and the other martyrs is via eliminating apartheid ‘Israel’,” the IRGC commander stated, shedding light on “Israeli” fear generated by “martyr Mughniyeh and other martyrs’ blood in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq”.

The “Resistance front is expanding more and more every day,” Gen. Soleimani concluded, describing Martyr Leader Imad Mughniyeh as an “extraordinary personality nobody can underestimate and who was even feared by his enemy.

Source: Live Coverage, Translated by website team

 

Suleimani: Imad Mughniyeh a Legend

Suleimani Mughniyeh ceremony

Commander of Iran’s IRGC’s Quds Force, Maj. Gen Qassem Suleimani on Thursday hailed Hezbollah’s late commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh as a legend that had forced the Israeli enemy to acknowledge his superiority.

At a commemoration ceremony in Tehran in honor of Mughniyeh on his 10th martyrdom anniversary, Suleimani paid his tribute to him, noting that Mughniyeh’s martyrdom shocked the world, but “resulted in Islamic uprising” against the Israeli enemy.

Suleimani expanded on Mughniyeh’s role in the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance.

“Hajj Imad Mughniyeh forced the Israelis to withdraw from south Lebanon and to acknowledge his superiority,” Suleimani said during the ceremony.

“Hajj Imad Mughniyeh had major role in turning Gaza into fortified stronghold of resistance against Israeli enemy.”

The Iranian general meanwhile, stressed that the real revenge for Mughniyeh is to eradicate the Zionist entity.

Hezbollah’s number one commander was assassinated on Feb. 12, 2008 in a car bomb in Syrian capital Damascus, in a joint operation by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and CIA.

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The Coming War on Lebanon: Israel, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Prepare “Long-Planned Middle East War”

Global Research, February 13, 2018

This previously published article (December 2017) on Global Research reveals the well-calculated plan of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia on inciting a “civil war” in Lebanon to defeat Hezbollah. 

Israel – seemingly leading the squad with the green signal from Washington – has just fabricated yet another grounds for war. 

***

Washington’s plan to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ultimately failed. Now Lebanon seems to be in the cross-hairs with tensions between Israel and Hezbollah on the same level that led to the 2006 Lebanon war. There is also the possibility that a new offensive against Syria that might take place as Washington maintains its troop levels in the devastated country caused by ISIS and other terrorists groups they supported. Various reports suggests that the Pentagon may reveal that there are close to 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria even though ISIS has been defeated. So why is Washington staying in Syria? Will there be another attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the near future? Most likely, yes. Adding the Trump administration’s continued hostilities towards Iran, the drumbeats of a new war in the Middle East is loud and clear.

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have one main objective at the moment and that is to destabilize Lebanon and attempt to defeat Hezbollah before they prepare for another offensive in Syria to remove Assad from power. Before they declare an all-out war on Iran, they must neutralize their allies, Hezbollah and Syria which is by far an extremely difficult task to accomplish.

The Israeli government knows that it cannot defeat Hezbollah without sacrificing both its military and civilian populations. Israel needs the U.S. military for added support if their objective is to somewhat succeed. Israel and the U.S. can continue its support of ISIS and other terrorist groups to create a new civil war in Lebanon through false-flag terror operations which in a strategic sense, can lead to an internal civil war. Can Hezbollah and the Lebanese military prevent terrorist groups from entering its territory? So far they have been successful in defeating ISIS on the Lebanon-Syria border, and will most likely be successful in preventing a new U.S.-supported terrorist haven in Lebanon. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri who originally resigned from his post while visiting the Saudi Kingdom, then suspending his resignation is a sign that a political crisis has been set in motion. So what happens next?

The Curse: Lebanon’s Natural Resources and the Greater Israel Project

In the case of a devastating war on Lebanon, with a civil war intact, Israel would surely attempt to take control over Lebanon’s natural resources. Since Trump got in the White House, Israel has expanded its Jewish settlements through land seizures throughout Palestine at unprecedented levels and with the occupation of the Golan Heights (a Syrian territory), they already control a portion of oil, gas and vital water supplies. Lebanon would be a huge bonus. In 2013, Lebanese Energy Minister Gebran Bassilestimated that Lebanon has around 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil offshore. With Lebanon’s political chaos and Israel preparing for a long-term war with Hezbollah, all leads to Israel Shahak’s ‘The Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ which states the intended goal for the fragmentation of Lebanon and other adversaries in the Middle East:

3) This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach’s study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

4) The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980’s,” talks about “far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967” that are created by the “very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel” 

Israel is gearing up for a long and devastating war against Hezbollah, an Iranian-ally who is . based in Lebanon’s southern region to deter Israel’s expansionist ideas. As Saudi Arabia (Israel’s closest ally in the region) continues its immoral and devastating war on Yemen, it is raising tensions with Iran. According to Thomas L. Freidman’s article ‘Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, At Last’ praising who he calls “M.B.S.” or Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman for his reformist policies. According to Friedman 

“Iran’s “supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” said M.B.S. “But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

The Trump administration’s continued support of the Saudi Monarchy which negotiated an arms deal worth billions to take place has only emboldened the Saudi government to take an aggressive stand towards its adversaries in the Middle East namely, Iran.

Lebanon Prepares for Another War

On November 21st, Reuters’ published an article titled ‘Lebanon army chief warns of Israel threat amid political crisis’based on Lebanon’s Army Chief warning his troops to be on high alert concerning Israel’s aggressive behavior along the Southern border. It was reported that 

“Lebanon’s army chief told his soldiers on Tuesday to be extra vigilant to prevent unrest during political turmoil after the prime minister quit, and accused Israel of “aggressive” intentions across the southern frontier” despite Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon and decided to put his resignation on hold.

Commander-General-Joseph-Aoun (Source: The National)

The army’s Twitter account quoted the Lebanese Army’s Commander General Joseph Aoun who said that

“Troops should be ready to “thwart any attempt to exploit the current circumstances for stirring strife” and that “the exceptional political situation that Lebanon is going through requires you to exercise the highest levels of awareness.”

Israel understands that a defeat against Hezbollah and the Lebanese military will be absolutely difficult to accomplish, therefore preparations to engage the Hezbollah this time will be an effort to create as much damage as possible and reduce their military capabilities, maybe in time for U.S. troops to enter the war through Syria and coordinate targets with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). As I mentioned earlier, and may I add, with an interesting choice of words, a report published by Reuters on November 24th suggests that the Pentagon might announce how many troops they have in Syria:

Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon could, as early as Monday, publicly announce that there are slightly more than 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria. They said there was always a possibility that last minute changes in schedules could delay an announcement. That is not an increase in troop numbers, just a more accurate count, as the numbers often fluctuate

A War That No One Will Win 

The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), an establishment think-tank based in New York City published an article on July 30th of this year by Neocon warmonger Eliot Abrams who was a deputy assistant and deputy national security adviser for President George W. Bush titled ‘The Next Israel-Hezbollah Conflict’ admits that “the next war is a war that will not be “won” by Israel or Hezbollah.” Abrams said that “Israel’s realistic war aims will not match the damage it will suffer—and the damage it will necessarily inflict” in reference to a strategic assessment ‘by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies titled ‘Political and Military Contours of the Next Conflict with Hezbollah’ by Gideon Sa’ar, an Israeli politician and a former Likud member of the Knesset and Ron Tira, a strategist, Israeli Air Force officer and a pilot highlights what Israel’s realistic goals should be:

Israel’s objectives in a future conflict will be derived first and foremost from what it wants to achieve in the distinct context (such as, for example, preventing Hezbollah’s buildup of certain qualitative edge capabilities or preventing deployment of high quality Iranian weapon systems in Syria), but a review of the fundamental data reveals a few “generic” objectives that could be applicable in many contexts: postponing the following conflict, shaping the rules for the routine times that will follow the conflict, increasing deterrence with respect to Hezbollah and third parties, undermining the attractiveness of Hezbollah’s war paradigm (use of rockets and missiles hidden among the civilian population), preserving Israel’s relations with its allies, and creating the conditions to reduce Iranian involvement in the post-war reconstruction of Lebanon, as well as imposing new and enforceable restrictions on the freedom of access of the Iran-Alawite-Hezbollah axis

The strategic assessment mentioned what realistic goals Israel can achieve when the conflict takes place according to the assessment:

There is only a limited range of “positive” and achievable objectives that Israel can hope to attain from Hezbollah and from Lebanon. While the purpose of an armed conflict is always political, in many contexts it is hard to find a political objective that is both meaningful and achievable at a reasonable cost, and that is the reason for the basic lack of value that can be found in an Israel- Hezbollah military conflict 

The reason according to Mr. Abrams’s conclusion that an Israeli defeat over Hezbollah is impossible is because of Russia’s presence in the region:

That’s because Russia cannot be expelled, Lebanon will remain roughly half-Shia, and Hezbollah will survive—as will its relationship with Iran. After the war, the best assumption would be that Hezbollah will rebuild, as it did after 2006. But Hezbollah would achieve nothing positive in such a conflict, suffering immense damage and bringing immense destruction upon Lebanon. Its only possible “gain” is the damage it would inflict on Israel. In a way this is the only “good news”

Israel’s Economy During Wartime

David Rosenberg’s opinion piece ‘Israel’s Next War: We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ on the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict in the Israel-based news source Haaretz explains the consequences of war and how it effects Israel’s economy. Rosenberg said that

 “In 2014, the missile war wasn’t a threat so much as a spectacle, as Israelis watched Iron Dome missiles bring down Qassam rockets, to applause. Score one for the home team.”

However, Rosenberg claims that the next war with Hezbollah will be different, in fact it will effect Israel’s economy in several ways:

The next war isn’t going to look like that. The round figure everyone uses for Hezbollah’s missile arsenal is 100,000. That is a suspiciously round figure and is probably wrong, but no one disputes that the Shiite militia is well-armed, and more importantly, many of its missiles carry much more powerful warheads and are much more accurate than they were in 2006. Hezbollah’s arsenal includes attack drones and coast-to-sea missiles, too. For its part, Israel is also better prepared. Iron Dome, which is designed to bring down short-range rockets, has been complemented by the introduction of the David’s Sling and Arrow systems, designed to intercept long-range rockets and ballistic missiles, respectively. 

But against an onslaught of thousands of missiles, no Domes, Slings or Arrows will be able to provide the kind of defense Israelis have grown used to. Israel’s infrastructure and economic activity are vulnerable to even a limited missile attack from Hezbollah. Geographically, Israel is a small country with no hinterland, which means facilities for electric power and water are concentrated in small areas. More than a quarter of electric power is generated at just two sites. Natural gas is produced at a single offshore field and delivered via a single pipeline. A large portion of our exports derive from a single industrial plant. A prolonged missile war will almost certainly bring business to a halt

Israel’s economy will shrink within a short-time period according to Rosenberg:

In the worst-case scenario, a post-war Israel would no longer be seen by global investors and businesses as a safe place to put their money and do deals. Imagine Startup Nation without the constant flow of cross-border capital and mergers and acquisitions. The fantasyland of the last 11 years would disappear in a matter of days or weeks

Rosenberg is correct. For example, during the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict, Israel was faced with economic uncertainties. The Times of Israel published an article during the conflict with an appropriate title ‘War depresses people, economy; strong shekel harmful’ clarified what experts said on how the economy would be effected during a “drawn-out” conflict:

Experts temper the pessimism by noting that in the past, the Israeli economy has been resilient. If the current conflict is resolved quickly, there may be little cause for concern. On the other hand, a drawn out conflict in Gaza may cause investors to worry about the country’s stability and could cause long term damage to Israel’s reputation and position as a key player in the global economy. 

“Our key concerns are the openness of the Israeli economy and our ability to be a key player in the global markets,” Zvi Eckstein, former deputy governor of the Bank of Israel and dean of the School of Economics at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, noted in an interview with The Times of Israel. “It’s really still a key uncertainty how the conflict will end up,” said Eckstein. “Most people predict we will get back to the same relatively stable geopolitical situation as we were in early July, and if so, I would say the economy would rebound back later next year. But if not, the threat to Israel’s economy would be quite devastating”

That conflict was against a weaker adversary, Hamas. For starters, a war with Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria however would have a negative impact on Israel’s tourism industry where it receives more than 3 million tourists (mainly from the U.S. and Europe) per year. Israel’s level of production will also take a hit. The Street published an interesting article ‘How Is Israel’s Economy Affected by the Current War?’ explains what happened to Israel’s economy during the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict:

The Israeli economy suffers directly from reductions in productivity every time missile alert sirens send the country’s residents into bomb shelters. The economic costs of the war are estimated upwards of $2.9 billion, and already the war has soaked up 1.2% of the GDP. In the event that quiet prevails after a ceasefire is reached, the Israeli economy is resilient enough to withstand the costs of this operation.

History reflects that the Israeli economy surged at a rate of 6% prior to the 2006 Lebanon war and then slowed down to 2.9% prior to this current conflict. The tourism sector is going to be particularly hard hit, and if a third intifada ensues the economic costs for Israel could be crippling. Since a big chunk of Israel’s workforce is enlisted in the IDF, productivity declines are widespread and costs are mounting. The IMA (Israel Manufacturers Association) has already listed a figure of $240 million in losses as a result of the war effort

Another War, Another Tragedy

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Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. want to permanently eliminate the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance and to achieve that goal, Lebanon will have to become another Libya causing more chaos in an already volatile situation. The only beneficiaries in this coming war is Israel and the U.S. if of course, they are victorious. The U.S. and their allies would re-establish themselves as the hegemonic power in the Middle East with absolute control over the natural resources including oil, gas and water. Israel would also expand and conquer more territory for Greater Israel. Saudi Arabia would remain a vassal state with more political leverage over its neighbors.

And if Saudi Arabia foolishly decided to go to war with Iran, the House of Saud will inevitably collapse since Iran is much more stronger, militarily speaking. Washington plans to keep its military presence in Syria is a signal that removing Assad from power is still on the agenda. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Trump administration (decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal with the intention to eventually kill the deal) is a recipe for a planned long-term conflict. Israel’s economy would suffer a major setback if they were to launch an attack against Hezbollah. Besides the fact that a war against Hezbollah would mean that missiles would constantly strike within Israel, creating a massive amount of stress on Israeli citizens and a downturn of the economy would only add another dimension to the wide-reaching full-scale war. Israel hopes that Hezbollah will be temporally neutralized until the U.S. congress and the Trump Administration jointly approve another military and economic aid package worth billions in time to continue its wars. Then there is the possibility of a joint U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israeli orchestrated attack on Syria to remove Assad from power to ultimately isolate Iran, but with Russia and China backing Iran, it would be a no-win situation.  The biggest loser in all of its foreign policy blunders is the U.S. Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel’s plan to launch more aggressive wars against its neighbors to further an expansionist objective would come at a great cost to Israeli citizens as their economy sinks into the rabbit hole and with the threat of incoming missiles from southern Lebanon makes it that much more worst. Lebanon and to an extent Israel will be once again devastated by a new war. For both sides of the border, it is a formula for disastrous consequences.

This article was originally published by Silent Crow News.

Featured image is from the author.

A Slight Bump to Israeli Arrogance

Decades of air supremacy led Israel to act as if were alone in the skies of the Middle East. This ended when Syria shot down an Israeli fighter jet

By Gideon Levy

February 11, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – Israeli arrogance might not have ended Saturday, but it surely cracked. Suddenly it became clear that Israel is not alone in the Middle Eastern, that even its immense military power has its limits. There could be a silver lining, if Israel accepts that it cannot forever live by the sword, nor even by advanced airplanes. Perhaps the F-16 that was downed took down with it the doctrine according to which everything can and should be resolved by force; first of all force, always force, only force.

Decades of air supremacy — and often, as in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, air exclusivity — have led Israel to behave as if it is not only the strongest power in the skies of the Middle East, but the only one. On Saturday this assumption reached its end. Israel is not alone in the sky and the price is painful. The comic relief was when Israel claimed the Iranian drone had violated its sovereignty. Israel can violate anyone’s sovereignty — overflying Lebanon, bombing in Syria, Sudan and of course helpless Gaza — but only the Iranian drone violated sovereignty.

Nothing could have been more predictable than the downing of the plane Saturday. Despite all efforts to disguise it, the plane “fell,” and Israel took a slight blow to the wing. After dozens of ostensibly successful sorties in Syria, it was clear that it would happen. An omnipotent Israeli plane will be downed. No one thought about what would happen afterward and where that could lead. Drunk with success, Israel increased the bombings’ frequency, thinking that its strength increased with each one. No one said a word. No one said “stop.” The airstrike hasn’t been invented that doesn’t get wall-to-wall support here. Are we bombing? There’s nothing better. Syria’s bleeding, after all, so what could be bad?

Few know whether all the airstrikes were necessary, and if the benefit outweighed the harm. Everybody kept quiet or cheered. These bombings also do damage and have a cumulative cost. Sometimes they actually spur on the enemy, sometimes they plant a desire for vengeance. And when the Israeli commentators say for months that neither side wants war, it’s time to get the bomb shelters ready; they say that before every war.

The genuine danger of an Iranian military buildup across the border should not be taken lightly. It’s dangerous and frightening. Iranian expansionary plots are worrisome. But not everything can be solved, certainly not with bombing raids. This must be acknowledged. In Israel, with an army of pundits who can only parrot what is dictated to them, an issue like the airstrikes in Syria isn’t even raised for discussion. In Israel there is also no significant opposition to anything. On Saturday too, the center-left broke out in cheers of encouragement and support, as it does after every bombing raid and before every war.

Nor has Israel’s overall policy on Iran ever been tabled for debate. The nation of the army and the sword is always against agreements and in favor of every war. In Israel, the only opposition is to agreements. For the prime minister and the ruling right, every agreement is a Munich Agreement. Few opposed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iranian nuclear accord. It’s doubtful that Israel saw any benefit from it. The Israeli Churchill brought the country to the edge of an abyss.

It’s difficult of course to know what would have happened had Israel supported the agreement, but the fact is that Israel now faces the danger of a war with Iran. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Arrogance has its price.

It’s arrogance that says that the Gaza Strip can be allowed to starve and the West Bank to roil forever, simply because we are strong. It’s arrogance that determines that only Israel can arm itself endlessly, and everyone else must bow their heads in surrender forever. And then a man falls from a plane one night, or one morning, and Israel suddenly wakes up to reality: It is not alone, it is not omnipotent and it certainly cannot depend forever solely on its military might.

This article was originally published by “ Haaretz” –

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Israeli Strikes in Syria Risk Forcing Russia to Adopt pro-Iranian Stance

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