Israel’s anti-tunneling initiative wreaks havoc on Hezbollah’s subterranean infrastructure.
On November 14, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left many scratching their heads in bewilderment when he unexpectedly agreed to a ceasefire with the Gazan-based terror group, Hamas. In a two-day spate of cross-border violence, sparked by an intelligence operation in Gaza, the terrorist group fired an unprecedented 460 rockets and mortars into Israel, the highest ever for the terror group in such a brief period.
Of course, the fact that no Israelis were killed during the bombardment (a Palestinian living in Israel was killed) made Netanyahu’s announcement more palatable to the Israeli public but there was another more pressing matter that was dogging the prime minister. At an event hosted in honor of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, He made a cryptic reference to other “considerations that must be hidden from the enemy,” which “the public can’t always be privy to.”
Two weeks later, on November 29, Israel struck multiple enemy positions near Damascus and southern Syria. The target bank included pro-Iran militias as well as weapons bound for Hezbollah. It was the first reported Israeli strike in Syria since the September 18 downing of a Russian IL-20 “Coot” surveillance aircraft by inept Syrian anti-aircraft crews.
At the time, some speculated that Netanyahu was referring to this operation since it carried with it the potential of conflict with the Russians. Within days however, it became clear that Netanyahu was referencing a more sinister development on the Israel-Lebanon border. On December 4, Netanyahu announced that Israel had undertaken Operation Northern Shield, an undertaking aimed at uncovering and destroying Hezbollah tunnels penetrating Israel from Lebanon.
The task of detecting and uncovering subterranean Hezbollah infrastructure is painstaking and difficult but the operation, which is ongoing, is yielding significant positive results. Using sophisticated equipment which detects seismic and subterranean anomalies, the Israelis have thus far uncovered at least three terror tunnels. An Israel Defense Forces spokesman indicated that there were more tunnels but the IDF has remained mute about this due to security considerations.
The first and most extensive tunnel was uncovered near the northeastern Israeli border town of Metula. This tunnel was more than 80ft beneath the surface, was 6ft wide and 6ft tall and penetrated 130ft into Israeli territory. It was large enough to accommodate swarms of Hezbollah operatives equipped with ATVs and motorcycles. The tunnel originated from the Lebanese village of Kafr Kela beneath civilian infrastructure and was constructed right under the noses of UN forces operating in the area. It is also likely that the Lebanese Army (also known as the Lebanese Armed Forces) was aware of its existence. The LAF, having lost all vestiges of independence, is subordinate to Hezbollah and acts as its auxiliary arm.
Israel believes that Hezbollah intended to use the Metula tunnel to cut the town off from the rest of the country and engage in a mass murder-kidnapping spree. The second tunnel was found in northwestern Galilee near the small town of Zar’it. The IDF announced the existence of a third tunnel but has not disclosed its location.
During the operation, Israeli combat engineers lowered a camera-equipped robot into the Metula tunnel and shortly thereafter, it filmed two Hezbollah terrorists operating within its confines. One of the operatives caught sight of the robot and moved in for closer look, whereupon the robot detonated a charge sending both terrorists scurrying like frightened rabbits. One of them was identified as Imad “Azaladin” Fahs. According to I24, Azaladin has a PhD in mechanical engineering from Tehran’s University of Technology and also has ties to Mexican drug cartels, having trained with them near the border with the United States. Hezbollah’s ties to narco-terror are well known. The group has deep roots in Venezuela and Mexico and the US Justice Department recently designated Hezbollah a transnational criminal organization.
During Israel’s 2014 counter-insurgency campaign against Hamas, known as Operation Protective Edge, the IDF uncovered a network of some three dozen, Hamas-constructed tunnels leading into Israel. This shocking development prompted the IDF to re-think its strategy vis-à-vis Hezbollah to the north. Despite religious differences, one being Sunni and the other Shia, Hamas and Hezbollah maintain similar radical Islamist ideologies and are allies who share information. It would therefore be logical to assume that Hezbollah, whose capabilities are far greater than its southern cousins, were digging tunnels as well.
The challenges for Hezbollah are far greater, however. The subterranean soil around Gaza is soft making construction of tunnels easier. In Lebanon, Hezbollah must dig through solid rock. It is a virtual certainty that Hezbollah embarked on its tunnel-digging initiative with the assistance of Iran and North Korea, the latter being expert in the practice of tunnel-digging.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah attempted to use tunnels to execute mega attacks. In 2014 however, Hamas prematurely played its hand and unwisely attacked Israel before most of the tunnels were ready for use. Accordingly, Israel deprived Hamas of a major strategic asset. Hezbollah too suffered from Israel’s southern coup. Israel began to invest heavily in anti-tunneling technologies and its combat engineers became proficient in tunnel detection, causing many to collapse and transforming Hamas tunnels into giant burial chambers for its Islamist operatives. This expertise was transferred northward culminating in the current Northern Shield initiative.
Hezbollah intended to use its tunnels in conjunction with a massive rocket barrage as part of an opening salvo against Israel. Had it succeeded, Hezbollah could have surprised Israel with swarms of heavily armed operatives roaming northern Galilee, perhaps even capturing a small community or two and sowing fear and chaos throughout. Just as frightening is the prospect of Hezbollah capturing dozens of Israelis – civilians and soldiers – in a surprise attack from areas deemed secure and shuffling them at gunpoint back into the tunnels and straight into Lebanon for future use as bargaining chips.
But Northern Shield has robbed Hezbollah of the initiative and deprived it of a major strategic asset. All Hezbollah can do now is sit, wait and watch as Israel systematically dismantles and destroys what took Hezbollah years to construct. Israel 1, Hezbollah zero.
The University of Cape Town campus. Photo: Adrian Frith via Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Cape Town, the top-ranking academic institution in Africa, is set to consider enforcing an academic boycott against Israel later this month.
The UCT Senate, a decision-making body comprised primarily of professors and administrators, endorsed a proposal on March 15 to bar the university from entering into any formal relationship with Israeli academic institutions that operate “in the occupied Palestinian territories,” or otherwise enable “gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the university said in a statement.
The campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – Students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum held between Tuesday and Thursday, calling on the school to separate itself from companies that conduct business with the State of Israel.
The tally was 69 percent in favor and 31 percent against.
Members of the pro-Israel community nationally and locally condemned the outcome.
“For the sake of My servant Yaakov, Yisrael My chosen one, I call you by name, I hail you by title, though you have not known Me.” Isaiah 45:4 (The Israel Bible™)
Many have seen similarities between the Biblical King Cyrus and President Donald Trump. (Breaking Israel News)
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
Many are claiming this was a pre-election gift to Trump’s friend, Netanyahu, but it others see a much larger significance that transcends politics and enters into the realm of the Biblical. One such belief was expressed by Breaking Israel News publisher Rabbi Tuly Weisz, who noted that the announcement came on the Jewish holiday of Purim.
“The same days on which the Yehudim enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.” Esther 9:22 (The Israel Bible™)
If there was ever a quintessentially Jewish holiday, it’s Purim, when the Jewish people were threatened by Haman, a descendant of Amalek, and saved by God’s hidden hand. Even so, we find examples of people from the Nations being inspired by the story of Purim and even gathering to mark the day alongside the Jewish people.
Protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags shout anti-Israel slogans during a demonstration in Amsterdam June 4, 2010. Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has set off a diplomatic furor, drawing criticism from friends and foes alike and straining ties with regional ally Turkey, which cal. (photo credit: REUTERS)
AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags turned their backs on a Dutch chief rabbi during his eulogy at a vigil for Muslims killed in New Zealand.
The incident Sunday happened as Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs was discussing the meaning of a minute of silence at the gathering at the Dam Square World War II memorial monument. Thousands of people, many of them Muslims, gathered at the square to commemorate the 49 people slain Friday by a far-right killer at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Hamas is now accusing the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah of exploiting the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip to call on Palestinians to overthrow the Hamas regime. Fatah, for its part, is accusing the “dark forces” of Hamas of acting on orders from outside parties to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.
The US administration says it will publish its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, known as the “Deal of the Century,” after the general elections in Israel on April 9
There is a difference between an “honest broker” and a “neutral arbiter.” In advance of the rollout of its Middle East peace plan, the Trump administration has taken a series of steps to ensure its role as the honest broker. The U.S. is not “neutral” between our ally, Israel, and the Palestinians who seek to replace it. But it won’t be easy to change presumptions that are deeply embedded in the
When the FBI informs us that parents are ready to spend up to $6.5 million in bribes to get their children into prestige colleges, it seemingly implies that all is very, very well in the American university. But Warren Treadgold tells us that’s an illusion.
He’s a distinguished professor of Byzantine history at St. Louis University who has also taught at Berkeley, FIU, Hillsdale, Stanford, and UCLA. Having entered college in 1967, he draws on long experience to both indict and offer a remedy of the most thoroughly left-wing major institution in America. His book, The University We Need (Encounter, 2018) presents its case with insight and a light touch.
The threat posed by Hezbollah and Ali Musa Daqduq, a senior operative in Hezbollah, was unmasked by Israel on Wednesday.
Daqduq was responsible for the “abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” the IDF said. The role of Hezbollah members in neighboring states is an illustration of how groups allied with Iran are continuing to build a web linking Tehran to Beirut via a “road to the sea” that transits Iraq and Syria.
According to the IDF, the role of Daqduq includes establishing terror cells in Iraq to fight the US in 2006, stints training in Lebanon in 2013-2018 and now putting down roots in Syria.
Every few weeks, some political or national figure demands a national conversation about race. (Most recently, Senator Kamala Harris insisted, “We have not had these honest discussions about race.”)
What does a conversation about race mean? Invariably, an indictment of the fundamental unfairness of our country, the historical roots of racism in white supremacy, and the national guilt of white people.
Or, to put it more simply, why Senator Kamala Harris deserves to be in the White House.
We don’t have national conversations about anti-Semitism because the problem can’t be narrowed down to an easily blamed demographic. The Democrats invariably try to blame anti-Semitism on the usual suspects, white male Republicans living more than two hundred miles from a Starbucks, but the largest toll of violent anti-Semitic attacks tend to fall on New York City’s black neighborhoods.