Hezbollah and Israel trade fire amid Iran tensions


Tape Ball Regular
Feb 27, 2006

Israeli soldiers returning from the front in Lebanon talk of battling an intelligent, well-prepared and ruthless guerrilla army whose fighters don't seem to fear death.

"It's hard to beat them," one soldier said. "They're not afraid of anything."

"They're not fighting like we thought they would," one soldier said. "They're fighting harder. They're good on their own ground."

One soldier said the guerrillas wore olive green army uniforms "to confuse us" because Israelis wear the same. Others said Hezbollah hid underground in reinforced bunkers until they thought it safe to come out and attack. The Israelis prefer to stay away from those bunkers, the soldiers said, instead calling in coordinates so forces massed behind the border can hit them with guided missiles.

"They're not normal soldiers, you know," Sidorenko said. "They're guerrillas. They're very smart."

"They have good knowledge about where we are, what we're doing, what kinds of weapons we have," Sidorenko said.




hahahahaha they're just saying that to justify the amount and the intensity of the force they're using
source please? if it is right ITS a great news. May allah Bless all muslims
As entra points out there is some sinister reason for this. Why would some Israeli soldiers come out and say something like this and talk about top secret tactics and then say something that would give greater confidence to Hezbollah?
Jis ne apne sar pe kafan bandh liya, woh sab saroon ka sardaar.

As far as that "smart" deduction is concerned, besides nuclear weapon, I dont think there is anything Israelis might not have used so far.

The Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah fired rockets towards Israeli forces on Friday, drawing retaliatory fire from Israel into south Lebanon, in a third day of cross-border salvoes amid wider regional tensions with Iran.

Suggesting its attack was calibrated to avoid further escalation, Hezbollah said it had targeted open ground near Israeli forces in retaliation for Israeli air strikes that had also struck open areas.

Israel said it did not wish to escalate to a full war, though it was ready for one.

"Our understanding is that Hezbollah deliberately aimed at open areas in order not to escalate the situation," Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Amnon Shefler said.

The incident, which has caused no casualties, followed an alleged Iranian attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker in the Gulf last week in which two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed. Tehran denied involvement. With the Islamic Republic facing the possibility of Israeli or international action in response to the Gulf incident, the violence has flared across a border that has long been a theatre of conflict between the Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel.

The salvoes began on Wednesday with a rocket strike on Israel from Lebanon for which no group claimed responsibility. That attack, on which Hezbollah has not commented, drew retaliatory Israeli artillery and air strikes.

Hezbollah, one of Iran's major allies in the Middle East, said it had fired dozens of rockets on Friday at open ground near Israeli positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms border area in response the Israeli air strikes on Thursday. The attack drew a wave of criticism from Hezbollah's opponents in Lebanon, a country suffering a crippling financial crisis which the ruling elite are failing to tackle.

In a rare challenge to Hezbollah, the fighters who fired the rockets were stopped by locals as they passed through a Druze area afterwards. "What is happening in the south is dangerous, very dangerous, especially in light of the great tension emerging in the region," Samir Geagea, a Christian politician with strong Saudi ties and a staunch Hezbollah opponent, said on Twitter.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon said the situation was very serious and urged all parties to cease fire.

The Israeli military said its Iron Dome system intercepted 10 of 19 rockets on Friday, with six falling in open areas and three landing inside south Lebanon.

There have been no reports of casualties or serious damage over the three days of aerial fire, which have jarred an extended period of relative calm since Israel and Hezbollah fought a one-month war in 2006.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office said he was consulting his defence and military chiefs over the violence.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz told his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, on Friday that Israel is "prepared for any scenario, and will continue to operate against Hezbollah or any of its proxies," according to a transcript from his office.

Gantz told the U.S. Defense Secretary that "additional action must be taken in order to thwart Iranian malign activities, including its nuclear program and attacks in the region and in particular its use of UAVs and missiles."

Security analysts have long cited the risk of Israeli entanglement in a multi-front war with Iran, which also backs Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip with whom Israel waged an 11-day conflict in May.

Israel says it is rallying global action against Iran over last week's suspected drone attack on the vessel off the coast of Oman, but is willing to act alone if necessary. The United States and Britain say they will work with their allies to respond to the attack.

Tehran has denied any role in the July 29 incident.

Britain will raise the tanker attack in a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting later on Friday, diplomats said, but the 15-member body is not expected to take any action. Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy economies said Iran was threatening international peace and security and that all available evidence showed it was behind the Mercer Street attack.

The leader of Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday that his group had chosen to respond to Israeli air strikes on open land, but could escalate its actions in the future.

No strikes were reported on Saturday, and no casualties have been reported thus far.

On Friday, Hezbollah fired rockets towards Israeli forces, drawing retaliatory fire from Israel into south Lebanon. Both sides targeted open land, indicating that they did not wish to escalate the salvos further.

In a speech commemorating the end of the 2006 war with Israel, Nasrallah said this week's Israeli air strikes were a "dangerous development" that had not been seen in the last 15 years.

He said the group wanted to show any Israeli air strike would be responded to in "the appropriate and proportional way".

"We chose yesterday open land in the Shebaa Farms area to send a message, and to take a step, and we can later escalate by another step," Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah said that Hezbollah's options included a response on any open land in "northern occupied Palestine," Galilee, or the Golan Heights.

The exchanges began on Wednesday with a rocket strike on Israel from Lebanon for which no group claimed responsibility. That attack, on which Hezbollah has not commented, drew retaliatory Israeli artillery and air strikes.

Regional tensions are running high following an alleged Iranian attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker in the Gulf last week in which two crew members were killed. Tehran denies involvement.

The Israeli military said on Thursday it downed a drone belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah group that crossed into Israeli airspace from Lebanon.

In a brief statement, it said the incident occurred on Wednesday.

"Our troops monitored and successfully downed the drone," the military said. "We will continue to operate in order to prevent any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty."

The statement gave no technical details about the drone, but Israeli media reports said it was unarmed and likely on a reconnaissance mission.

Tensions flared along the Israeli-Lebanese border last week, with Hezbollah launching rocket attacks that drew Israeli air strikes and artillery fire.

But both sides targeted open ground, suggesting neither was interested in wider conflict. Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006.

Last week's flareup coincided with wider regional tensions with Iran, which has denied U.S., Israeli and British allegations it was behind a July 29 attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker in the Gulf in which two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed.

An Iranian fuel shipment arranged by Hezbollah for Lebanon will set sail on Thursday, the Shi'ite group said, cautioning its U.S. and Israeli foes against any moves to halt the consignment that it said aimed to ease an acute fuel crisis.

Hezbollah's opponents in Lebanon warned the move could have dire consequences. Sunni politician Saad al-Hariri, a former prime minister, said it risked sanctions being imposed on a country whose economy has been in meltdown for nearly two years.

Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Amnon Shefler declined to comment on whether Israel would take any military action to stop the shipment, but called it part of an Iranian scheme to export its revolution and promote its proxies.

The arrival of the Iranian fuel oil would mark a new phase in the financial crisis which the Lebanese state and its ruling factions, including Hezbollah, have failed to tackle even as fuel has run dry and shortages have triggered deadly violence.

There was no comment from the Lebanese government on the announcement made by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose heavily armed group is Lebanon's most powerful faction.

The U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, told Al Arabiya English that Lebanon didn't need Iranian tankers, citing "a whole bunch" of fuel ships off the coast waiting to unload.

The United States was in talks with Egypt and Jordan to help find solutions to Lebanon's fuel and energy needs, she said, speaking hours after Hezbollah's announcement.

Marking the biggest threat to Lebanon's stability since the 1975-90 civil war, the financial crisis has hit a crunch point, with hospitals and other essential services being forced to shut or scale back due to power cuts and the acute scarcity of fuel.

Fuel shortages have worsened since the central bank said last week it would no longer finance the imports at heavily susbidised exchange rates. The government has yet to raise official prices, however, leaving shipments in limbo.

Nasrallah, whose organisation is designated as a terrorist group by the United States, said further Iranian shipments would follow to help the people of Lebanon.

"I say to the Americans and the Israelis that the boat that will sail within hours from Iran is Lebanese territory," Nasrallah said, suggesting that any action to stop it would be met with a response.

"We don't want to get... into a problem with anyone. We want to help our people," he said in a televised address.

Iran's semi-official Nournews said the fuel was all purchased by a group of Lebanese Shi'ite businessmen.

"The shipments are considered their property from the moment of loading," said the news website, which is close to Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

In June, Nasrallah said Iran was prepared to accept payment in the Lebanese currency, which has lost more than 90% of its value in two years.

U.S. sanctions on Iran, reimposed in 2018 when then-President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, aimed to cut its oil sales to zero.

Hezbollah, founded by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in 1982, is also targeted by U.S. sanctions.

Nasrallah did not say when or where the shipment would dock. One possibility is in neighbouring Syria, where Reuters reported in April the group was readying fuel storage capacity as part of plans to respond to the crisis.

Hariri criticised Nasrallah for declaring the ships Lebanese territory, rejected what he described as Lebanon being treated as an Iranian province, and said the country could suffer the fate of Venezuela, which is under heavy sanctions.

Samir Geagea, a Christian politician and Hezbollah opponent, said that having usurped government authorities in security and military affairs, the group was now taking over economic decision-making to the detriment of the Lebanese.

The leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group said for the first time on Wednesday that it has the ability within Lebanon to convert thousands of rockets into precision missiles and to produce drones.

"We have been producing drones in Lebanon for a long time, and whoever wants to buy them, submit an order," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech to followers.

He said Hezbollah was able to transform standard rockets into precision missiles with the cooperation of "experts from the Islamic Republic of Iran". Such production had been spurred by arch-foe Israel's increased use of drone technology, he said.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006 and have at times in the years since traded fire across Lebanon's southern border.

There was no immediate Israeli response to Nasrallah's statements. While the Israeli military outguns Hezbollah guerrillas, Israel worries that in a future war they could use precision-guided missiles to knock out parts of its national infrastructure like ports or power stations.

Israel has said in the past that it has brought down several Hezbollah drones that had crossed into Israeli air space. Hezbollah says its increased anti-drone capabilities have led to a decline in Israeli drone overflights.

Israel last week published the names of three Lebanese companies that it accused of supplying materials for Hezbollah's precision-guidance missile project, a move designed to generate international economic pressure on the Shi'ite Muslim group.

"Hezbollah are endangering the citizens of Lebanon and the state of Lebanon," Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement. Israel, he added, would "act resolutely in the face of the Iranian precision project operating from the heart of Lebanon".
Authorities in Israel say they have shot down three Hezbollah drones heading towards one of its gas rigs in a disputed area of the Mediterranean.

Military officials say the drones were launched from Lebanon and were shot down by a combination of fighter jets and ship-mounted missiles.

Hezbollah confirmed it had launched the drones in a short statement.

Tensions have mounted between Israel and Lebanon over ownership of the Karish gas field.

US energy envoy Amos Hochstein is mediating between the two countries to settle the longstanding dispute. Israel says the field lies within its UN-recognised exclusive economic zone, but Lebanon has also laid claim to parts of it.

Hezbollah said it had targeted the rig as part of a reconnaissance flight.

"The mission was accomplished and the message was received," the statement said.

Last week, the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, threatened to use force to prevent Israel from operating the rig.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said the Islamist group was "preventing the state of Lebanon from reaching an agreement regarding maritime borders, which are critical to the economy and prosperity of the Lebanese nation".

Hezbollah's reported attack comes amid political instability in Israel. On Thursday lawmakers voted to dissolve parliament and call the fifth election in four years.

The vote, which comes after the collapse of former Prime Minster Naftali Bennett's multi-party coalition, offers Benjamin Netanyahu, the right-wing opposition leader, a chance to return to power.