03 August 2006

As Hizbullah Punishes the Zionist Invaders, Attack on Lebanon Stalls

Even before Monday's "daring but apparently fruitless raid" - to quote the the Financial Times - aimed at a hospital in the strategic Bekka Valley, concerned voices among the pro-imperialist media lamenting the poor performance of the Zionist invaders continue to make themselves heard.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal on 1 August, Bret Stephens, a member of publication's editorial board, wrote the following:
Israel is losing this war.

This is not to say that it will lose the war, or that the war was unwinnable to start with. But if it keeps going as it is, Israel is headed for the greatest military humiliation in its history... The conflict with Hezbollah... is now in its 21st day. So far, Israel has nothing to show for its efforts: no enemy territory gained, no enemy leaders killed, no abatement in the missile barrage that has sent a million Israelis from their homes and workplaces.
Tapping into their spy network and offering on-the-ground reporting, the Zionist intelligence site DEBKA provides a detailed analysis of the Zionist offensive's shortcomings:
DEBKAfile’s military analysts say it would be wrong to assume that that the Israeli advance to the Litani comes in the form of troops fanned out the full width of the southern Lebanese front. This is not so. The ground forces are in fact quite far from the river. They are driving forward in three spearheads in the western, central and eastern sectors, battling heavy Hizballah resistance in their path...

Five points stand out from these military movements:

1. The IDF aims to carve out and control three enclaves along the Lebanese-Israel border in an area not yet cleansed of Hizballah fighters in nearly three weeks of combat.

2. The operation to push Hizballah out of the south past the Litani River is proceeding very slowly and is still in its early stages.

3. The IDF will need another 3 to 4 days just for the initial stage and the attainment of a strip no broader than 3-5 km from the Israeli border. Another 20 km of hostile territory remain to be traversed and neutralized before the Litani is reached. Therefore, the talk of winding this operation up by the end of the week, as some Israeli officials have suggested is totally unrealistic. While the 48-hour qualified halt in Israeli attacks induced a euphoric sense in some parts of Israel including the war was over, there is still a long way to go....

4. Even if one of the three forces reaches the Litani, Hizballah concentrations will remain behind, the largest around the Mediterranean town of Tyre and its satellite Palestinian refugee camps....

5. The operation to control territory up to the Litani River is beset by a number of difficulties:
  • Hizballah has halted its rocket assault on northern Israel as part of the fog of war to keep Israeli guessing about its next steps... After three weeks of warfare, air force intelligence and AMAN cannot say for sure how many rockets, launchers and operators remain to Hizballah arsenal and where they are cached.
  • The IDF has not so far plumbed the full extent of Hizballah’s bunker network across Lebanon.
Hospital Raid

While Apartheid Israel's attack on Dar Al-Hikmeh hospital in the Bekaa Valley was indeed audacious, it apparently backfired, representing yet another defeat for the Zionist invaders. In an interview with a Hizbullah spokesperson given to Palestine Today, Ma'an reports that:
"At 11.04 on Tuesday evening, an Israeli Apache was trying to airdrop elite Israeli commando soldiers of the Golani unit near Ba'albak hospital." The Hezbollah fighters had abducted an Israeli who had taken part in the planning of the airdrop, making him confess details of the operation, and had prepared their traps for the invading unit.

The source confirmed that "the Israeli soldiers were not able to move in the area and were forced to find shelter in a nearby house after half an hour of confrontations. Then the soldiers abducted three of the house's residents and withdrew after at least three of them [the soldiers] were injured. That operation was a success for Hezbollah, thanks to God and to the violation of the Israeli intelligence by Hezbollah."
A report in Ha'aretz seems to confirm Hizbullah's claim. Commenting on an Al-Jazeera television report, Ha'aretz wrote "that an Israeli commando unit landed near a hospital in that area. According to the report, the unit was planning to attack a senior Hezbollah official suspected of being in the hospital, but the official was not actually located there."

Once the Zionist invaders landed near Baalbek, the occupier army tried to support them but were turned away due to heavy fire from Resistance fighters. AFP reports:
An Israeli helicopter made a brief landing near the eastern city of Baalbek as battles raged between Israeli air forces and guerrillas of the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah late Tuesday, police said.

Gunships hovering at low altitude tried to land on hilltops overlooking Baalbek, a main Hezbollah stronghold, but faced fierce resistance from Hezbollah guerrillas who opened up with anti-aircraft batteries, they said.

One helicopter landed for a few moments on Ain Jawzeh hill, east of Baalbek, but was forced to flee because of intense Hezbollah fire.
Ongoing Resistance

While the hospital attack removed the focus temporarily from the ground war, fierce resistance Apartheid Israel's efforts to invade Lebanon across the country's Southern border continue unabated. The Daily Star reports on Thursday:
Five Israeli soldiers were wounded in clashes with Hizbullah fighters in South Lebanon on Wednesday, the army said. Three of the soldiers were wounded, including one seriously, in fighting near the village of Mhaibib, an army spokesman said. The other two were wounded near the border village of Aita al-Shaab, where three Israeli soldiers were killed and 25 wounded in clashes with Hizbullah the previous day.
Like Bint Jbeil, the city of Ayta Ash Sha'ab has become a graveyard for the Zionist land-grabbers. A day earlier, Ha'aretz reported that, "Three IDF soldiers were killed in battles with Hezbollah fighters in Ayta a-Shab on Tuesday. Twenty-five soldiers were also lightly wounded."

On Wednesday, the pro-Apartheid Jerusalem Post provided a detailed account of the trap set by Hizbullah in there:
Dozens of Hizbullah gunmen, the IDF said, surprised a force from the brigade's Battalion 101 as it moved through the small town just over the hill from the Israeli community of Shtula, in the central sector. Once home to 5,000 Shi'ites, Aita al-Shaab was believed by the IDF to be a Hizbullah stronghold, one of many in which soldiers were operating on Tuesday as the IDF geared up for an effort to push Hizbullah north to the Litani River.

Led by Lt.-Col. Ariel Yohanon, commander of Battalion 101, the troops moved quietly through the narrow alleys in the small village with some troops taking up positions in homes vacated by their owners who fled north in anticipation of the expected incursion. Suddenly, IDF officers recalled, a wave of anti-tank missiles, RPGs and heavy gunfire hit a group of troops in one of the homes. Two soldiers were killed during the initial clashes and a third was killed in a later rocket attack.

The battle lasted for several hours and the wounded soldiers were treated at the scene under heavy gunfire, as an evacuation was deemed almost impossible...

The idea, a senior officer said, was to stay in the village for up to 24 hours, to kill as many Hizbullah gunmen as possible and then to move on to the next village with the ultimate goal of pushing the Hizbullah as far north as deemed necessary even beyond the Litani. A total of five brigades were operating in the region, and heavy gunfights involving light machine guns and rockets were reported.
A report in Ma'an on Tuesday adds additional details to the operation in Ayta Ash Sha'ab as well as news of other successful resistance operations that turned back Zionist advances elsewhere, including Kafr Kila and 'Adasiyya:
Three Israeli soldiers have been killed in battles with Hezbollah fighters in the town of Ayta Ash Sha'ab close to the Israeli border. The Hezbollah fighters announced that they have destroyed an Israeli military tank and a bulldozer in fierce battles near that town.

In related news, sources in the Lebanese resistance confirmed that an Israeli division, which tried to infiltrate the Lebanese village of Kafr Kila on Monday evening, was forced to back off. Earlier, the resistance had announced that they prevented another Israeli force – the Golani Battalion - from advancing near 'Adasiyya. The Israelis admitted that two of their soldiers were injured and claimed that they had killed 20 Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah denied this figure, instead offering their condolences to the families of three fighters killed in battle: Hussain Ali Korani, 21; Muhammad Hussain Ja'far, 23; and Muhammad Wafiq Daqiq.
Ma'an reported elsewhere that in Tayba and Mitsfai Biair, too, the Resistance successfully halted the Zionist stampede:
Three Israeli soldiers from the 'Golani Brigade' (Infantry Brigade No. 1) had been injured on Wednesday morning. One of the soldiers was seriously injured in the clashes in the eastern area of the Lebanese borders adjacent to the Israeli village of Mitsfai Biair

Reports also said that two other soldiers had been injured on Wednesday morning in confrontations in the Lebanese village of Tayba, after Hezbollah fighters targeted their tank with an anti-tank missile. Two further soldiers were injured at Ayta ash Shab.
The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday on an attack against Zionist invaders in the village of Rajamin. Two soldiers belonging to "an armored battalion of the 188th Brigade... were killed and two more were seriously wounded in clashes with Hizbullah guerrillas in the village of Rajamin in the western sector of south Lebanon on Thursday. A short time later, one of the wounded was succumbed to his wounds at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, raising the number of IDF dead to three."

Ze'ev Schiff, Amos Harel and Aluf Benn wrote a combined report in Ha'aretz on Thursday that covered more of the fighting taking place in the city of Farajin:
Three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed and another seriously wounded Thursday in heavy fighting with Hezbollah guerillas in south Lebanon.

The four soldiers were hit by an anti-tank missile fired by guerillas in the village of Farajin. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

And it yet another piece, Ma'an reports that Apartheid Israel has renewed its campaign to conquire Bint Jbeil. "Ground confrontations continue between the Lebanese resistance and the Israeli military in Bint Jbeil, with Hezbollah announcing the destruction of several Israeli tanks crossing the border."

No matter where Apartheid Israel attempts to invade Southern Lebanon, the organized, armed Resistance - under the leadership of Hizbullah - seems able to challenge them. And to this point, the Zionist invaders have had no response to either the guerrilla resistance or to the rocket attacks.

Rocket Attacks

On Wednesday Hizbullah launched its most audacious rocket barrage against Apartheid Israel to date, firing more than 200 rockets into the Zionist settler colony - "killing at least one person and wounding 19 others." For the first time, too, the attacks struck a Zionist enclave in the occupied West Bank near Jenin.

The tenacity and constancy of the Hizbullah attacks has prompted some Zionist colonialists - among them residents of Kiryat Shmona - to consider a full evacuation of the city.

Upping the ante, on early Thursday morning, Hizbullah launched its first nighttime barrage of rockets. And on Thursday afternoon, the Jerusalem Post reported:
Eight people were killed and dozens wounded in a massive rocket barrage on northern towns Thursday afternoon.

Police reported that 130 rockets were fired into Israel within 90 minutes between 16:00 p.m. and 17:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Five were killed in Acre when a rocket hit near a home while residents stood on a balcony. Three others were killed in rocket attacks near Ma'alot.

Forty-seven people were evacuated to hospital in MDA ambulances, one in critical condition, one in moderate condition and 12 in light condition. 33 were evacuated to hospital for shock, MDA reported.
With reports of such steadfast resistance on the part of Hizbullah and it allies, one should hardly read with surprise the data from the just released poll by the Beirut Center for Research and Information. Based on interviews with 800 Lebanese citizens, 86.9 per cent of respondents support the Lebanese-backed resistance against Israel. 70.1% agreed with the capture of the two Israeli soldiers, and 63% believe that Israel will never defeat Hezbollah.

This grassroots support among the Lebanese people, coupled with the successful guerrilla resistance led by Hizbullah, has already markedly changed the political dynamics in the Middle East, as Olmert's cries to the UN attest. No longer feared as an invincible superpower, Hizbullah has created a trailblazing model for the thousands and thousands of followers it has gained over the last months to follow.

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