Browsing Posts tagged Israel Defense Forces

As we reported yesterday, Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) fired at Israeli soldiers working along the Lebanese border in northern Israel Tuesday afternoon. Despite operating south of the internationally recognized “blue line” and thus in Israeli territory (which the United Nations confirmed today in the New York Times), Lebanese snipers shot and killed Lieutenant Colonel Dov Harari and injured Captain Ezra Lakia. It is certainly no coincidence that LAF forces targeted their fire at IDF commanding officers.

Said Captain Lakia, who is still hospitalized after being wounded by shrapnel in his chest, “the troops continued to fight though their commanding officers were absent, after Harari and I were wounded…they fought bravely.”

Captain Ezra Lakia Recovering in Haifa

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In a small Jerusalem café, I sat with Noam Shalit and tried to discuss his son, Gilad. I say tried because each time Noam, a soft-spoken, bespectacled man, began a sentence, the owner of the café rushed over with complimentary plates of humus, salads and desserts. Passersby, glimpsing Noam through the window, burst inside to embrace him. “We are with you,” they cried. “We will get our Gilad home.”

That our is the key to understanding the devotion that Israelis feel for Gilad Shalit. The Israel Defense Forces is a citizens’ army in which most young men serve for a minimum of three years, followed by several decades of reserve duty. Young women serve for at least two. Our soldiers are literally our parents, our siblings, our children. Israel is also a small country with few if any degrees of separation between families. Even those who have never met the Shalits know someone who has. And all of us have loved ones—a brother, a son—who could suffer the same ordeal that Gilad began four years ago today. continue reading…

The only ship that was violent was not carrying any aid. Of the six ships in the flotilla which announced their intentions to break Israel’s legal maritime blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza, five were redirected without incident. The one vessel, Turkish-operated Mavi Marmara, was the only ship which ambushed Israeli soldiers. Over the past 10 days, it has been obvious that the dozens of  “peace activists” came ready and eager for a violent skirmish and were thus anything but peace loving individuals.

After contents of the ship were unloaded, it has been discovered that the Mavi Marmara did not contain a single ounce of aid. Not one box of food or medicine for the people of Gaza. continue reading…

Thanks again to all of you who sent in your questions and comments! We answered a ton of them live but there were many more you all sent in that we would like to respond to! Below, find our “overtime” segment for the twitter press conference! continue reading…

Seizure of the Gaza flotilla: Press conference with Deputy FM Danny Ayalon

31 May 2010

Link to video

DEPUTY FM AYALON:  Good morning, everyone. I want to report this morning that the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well-known for their ties to Global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons that were prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers’ intent was violent, their method was violent, and unfortunately, the results were violent.

Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome. We repeatedly called upon the organizers and all those who were associated with them, through diplomatic channels and any other means we could, to stop this provocation.

The so-called humanitarian aid was not for a humanitarian purpose. Had it been for a humanitarian purpose, they would have accepted our offer to deliver all humanitarian supply through the appropriate channels which are used on a daily basis, as we make sure that Gaza will not be in short of humanitarian supplies. On a daily basis, we do that. We ask them to send this through the appropriate channels, whether it’s the U.N., whether it’s the Red Cross, whether it’s our people, but to no avail. continue reading…