Hezbollah rockets kill eight in Haifa; Tel Aviv next? (Update: Olmert says 1559 or bust)

posted at 3:05 pm on July 16, 2006 by Allahpundit

Does it pay for me to do these posts? PJM‘s updating furiously, as are lots of other folks. Let me know in the comments or by e-mail if you’ve already read/heard most of this stuff elsewhere. If so, it’s not worth the effort.

The Times has a vivid account of the scene in Haifa after a Hezbollah rocket hit the train station, killing eight people. Nasrallah tells Israelis to consider themselves lucky that the city’s chemical plants haven’t been targeted — yet. According to JPost, the IAF is dropping bunker busters to try to kill him. JPost also says Syria has mobilized some of its reserves, perhaps in anticipation of an Israeli invasion of south Lebanon. Chief of Staff Dan Halutz says there are no plans right now … but there is a report of IDF reserves being called up and heading north. Nasrallah says he can’t wait. No doubt the Times already has its people in place.

The IDF says the rockets that hit Haifa were Iranian Fajr models made in Syria. The question now is, what else does Hezbollah have and how far can they reach? Tel Aviv has already been put on “rocket alert.” Stratfor explains why:

Hezbollah already demonstrated its capability to strike Haifa with what were likely Iranian-made Fajr-3 rockets that have a range of 28 miles. “Beyond, beyond” Haifa, however, lies Tel Aviv, Israel’s most densely populated and industrialized city. Sources in Lebanon whose reliability is unconfirmed reveal that Tel Aviv may very well become Hezbollah’s next big target, and Hezbollah is believed to possess the capabilities to carry out such an attack from southern Lebanon. According to Israeli intelligence, Hezbollah has as many as 30 Zelzal-2 rockets, a 610 mm heavy artillery rocket that can deliver a warhead of more than 1,000 pounds to a range of approximately 130 miles, giving it the ability to hit the northern outskirts of Tel Aviv from the Israeli-Lebanese border. The Zelzal-2 is a solid fueled rocket, which means it can be launched with very little preparation.

The IDF says Hezbollah has more than 10,000 rockets. In fact, says a senior Iranian military official interviewed by al-Sharq al-Awsat, it’s more like 11,000. The same official tells the paper there are 200 Iranian “personnel” currently advising Hezbollah in Lebanon. Khamenei himself entered the fray this morning with the kind of subtle, measured rhetoric Iranian politicians are famous for:

In a speech carried on state television Sunday, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei branded “Zionists” as “an evil and cancerous being and an infected tumour”…

Quoted by the ISNA news agency, former president Mohammad Khatami also praised Hezbollah as “a shining sun that illuminates and warms the body of all Muslims and supporters of freedom in the world”.

The same article quotes anti-Syrian Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt as suggesting the Israeli-Lebanese conflict is a proxy war — on both sides:

“The war is no longer Lebanon’s … it is an Iranian war,” Jumblatt told the Arabic news channel Al-Arabiya.

“Iran is telling the United States: You want to fight me in the Gulf and destroy my nuclear programme? I will hit you at home, in Israel,” said Jumblatt, an outspoken critic of Iran’s key regional ally Syria.

Debka interprets Khamenei’s comment that Hezbollah “won’t be disarmed” as a guarantee that the mullahs will supply them with weapons and reinforcements if it comes to that. Nasrallah insists that he doesn’t need help — then panders to pan-Arab nationalism by asking where the hell is it? Under the gun for leading the charge against Hezbollah at yesterday’s emergency Arab summit, the Saudis promptly pony up $50 million for Lebanon.

Speaking of the summit, Hosni Mubarak reveals that Iran wanted in so that it could get Hezbollah and Hamas involved in the negotiations. No dice, says Mubarak, who used surprisingly blunt language in dismissing the ploy as “a trap.” Too bad he’s not advising Europe on the Iranian nuke program.

Bits and pieces: According to Halutz, the IAF attack on the road between Beirut and Damascus has prevented at least one new weapons shipment from reaching Hezbollah. Lebanon’s Syrian-puppet president Emile Lahoud has accused Israel of using illegal phosphorus bombs. And the G8 has issued a statement blaming Hamas and Hezbollah for the crisis. Here’s the interesting part:

We extend to the Government of Lebanon our full support in asserting its sovereign authority over all its territory in fulfillment of UNSCR 1559. This includes the deployment of Lebanese Armed Forces to all parts of the country, in particular the South, and the disarming of militias. We would welcome an examination by the U.N. Security Council of the possibility of an international security/monitoring presence.

Meanwhile, Gilad Shalit is still alive. As is the hopelessly stupid Islamist ambivalence towards Hitler.

Update: In case it wasn’t obvious, Israel’s casus belli has moved way beyond the return of the three kidnapped soldiers. Olmert’s office just issued its demand: deployment of the Lebanese national army in the southern part of the country to rein in — and disarm? — Hezbollah, in accordance with UN Resolution 1559.

Query: can Lebanon’s government do it without triggering a civil war?

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For what it’s worth, this and Drudge are the first places i look…Drudge is behind Hot Air. So, if it’s not a bother…

Blaise on July 16, 2006 at 3:23 PM

Yes, you are being read. You version is a bit more concise and readable for those of us who don’t have time to follow all the links.

JollyRoger on July 16, 2006 at 3:44 PM

Can the Lebanese disarm Hizballah?

If the Israelis keep killing Nasrallah’s thugs, the answer could be yes – with help from a UN force that would stand around looking pretty in their robins egg blue helmets but would also make splendid targets – rather than the Lebanese army.

rick moran on July 16, 2006 at 3:57 PM

This is my main source of info on this stuff. Important times.

Savage on July 16, 2006 at 4:18 PM

Yes, keep posting. You usually seem to have a few links the other sites don’t have.

jaleach on July 16, 2006 at 4:39 PM

Absolutely…this is the first place I always look…lots of info…in a concise, legible fashion…keep it up.

BirdEye on July 16, 2006 at 4:42 PM

HotAir is my first stop for concise and clear roundup.

Clark1 on July 16, 2006 at 4:43 PM

I concur AP. Please do continue to post.
Funny how the KSA will have $50 M to rebuild Lebanon but seemed to be perfectly happy with allowing their Arab brothers in S. Leb to live in squalor all these years. What was it I heard? The only Arabs not allowed to immigrate to the KSA are Palestinians.

Babs on July 16, 2006 at 4:50 PM

In the trackbacks, it looks like the boss says keep at it. Which you ought to do.

see-dubya on July 16, 2006 at 5:03 PM

HotAir is my first stop for concise and clear roundup.

Same here, and much appreciated.

speed647 on July 16, 2006 at 5:08 PM

HotAir is my first stop for concise and clear roundup.

Ditto. Keep up the fine work, please.

tdau1997 on July 16, 2006 at 5:38 PM

I spent quite a bit of time searching Israeli, Palestinian, and Lebanese sites and was pretty sure I would say you can step back from intensive updating. Unfortunately, you still found things I had missed. Thank you.

flaco on July 16, 2006 at 7:14 PM

My first stop. Please keep posting.

frreal on July 16, 2006 at 8:43 PM

I concur with the room. Lots of links, and a number I hadn’t seen and a tight job of putting them into context and keeping the story updated in one little spot. Muy akbar. Gracias.

Pablo on July 16, 2006 at 9:05 PM

Query: can Lebanon’s government do it without triggering a civil war?

It looks like we’re gonna find out.

Pablo on July 16, 2006 at 9:10 PM

I come here for updates because Allah (not the fake one, but the Pundit) usually summarizes events with the tart disdain I think the main actors merit.

I consider this story very important, but since I can’t affect its outcome and since so little is happening, I don’t see any point in my following events in detail. If anyone ever starts killing muslims faster than they reproduce, I’ll want details and lots of photos. Until then, too little is happening to warrant my reading more than Allah’s short, snarky summaries. Peace be upon him.

Kralizec on July 16, 2006 at 9:14 PM

You da god, Allah.

You have the best range of sources and the pithiest summary.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 16, 2006 at 9:16 PM

All of this reminds me of this quote from Menachem Begin in 1982 When Israel invaded Lebanon before.
The hour of decision has arrived. You know what I have done, and what all of us have done. To prevent war and bereavement. But our fate is that in the Land of Israel there is no escape from fighting in the spirit of self-sacrifice. Believe me, the alternative to fighting is Treblinka, and we have resolved that there would be no Treblinkas. This is the moment in which courageous choice has to be made. The criminal terrorists and the world must know that the Jewish people have a right to self-defense, just like any other people.

Creed on July 16, 2006 at 9:21 PM

Creed, thank you for posting that very topical Begin quote. It’s as true today as then. I am all for Israel not only being safe within her borders, but also having the lands which have been extorted from them such as Gaza. It all belongs to Israel, if for no other reason than as the spoils of war: they won, they keep winning, and the land belongs to them. Where else in the world do the losers dictate to the winners?
No more Treblinkas. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. May God Bless Israel.

Doug on July 16, 2006 at 10:18 PM

Best round-up on the internet.

Bryan on July 16, 2006 at 11:36 PM

Please continue the good work. I find your links to be quite valuable.

DannoJyd on July 17, 2006 at 1:54 AM

Don’t know if it pays you to do it but it pays me to read. I start the pc session on Drudge (can’t miss) then to Malkin for energy and Hot Air for synergy. I don’t get in trouble for yelling here (yet).

(I also read American Thinker, especially Vasko Kohlmayer. I like Polpundit especially Oak Leaf but have had to use Firefox for Polipundit to avoid picking up computer gremlins)

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance was discussing Iraq with someone he deals with at work, a young Iraqi shiite living here. The question was, can Bush achieve stability in Iraq? This Iraqi said that until we stop the Syrians we cannot stabilize Iraq. He wanted to know if my acquaintance thought Bush had the will to go after Syria.

My friend’s response was that Bush obviously recognized the connection. The question instead was, does the American public have the will to do this? In my friend’s opinion, it depended on how effective the left wing in this country was in their campaign to discredit Bush’s war against terror, and control the reporting of the war.

This whole mess shows the folly of any nation allowing an alien nation to exist within its borders, Lebanon harboring Syrian armies, Jordan harboring palestinian armies, and IMHO, the US harboring a growing little Mexico. These nations within a nation are cancers that will eat you from the inside out.

In my experience, a nation fights the war its people lets it fight. There is always a moment of permission, when some event happens that triggers the public to give permission to expand the war. It can be fake or real. I do not think Israel has come to that moment yet. They have been absorbing dead childrene and dead soldiers for years. Right now the enemies are acting like sharks, bumping the victim and testing its response. Satan lives.

entagor on July 17, 2006 at 1:58 AM

To answer your initial question, yes. You are providing sources that I’m not finding readily elswhere.

This is one of the three or four places I’m hitting regularly, so don’t stop doing what you are doing!

jefferson101 on July 17, 2006 at 8:08 AM

I wouldn’t kill yourself on blow by blow like liveshots unless you have a blogger on scene, but please keep the threads up to counter MSM, they are more anti-west than the Arab foriegn ministers.

My 2cents:
Better sooner than later to confront these groups. The more time they have to build up the more casualties Americans will suffer later. If other countries help in Iraq, Lebanon, Afgan or elsewhere they need our vocal political support as it is ultimately saving American lives.

Nation building? These folks can’t have democracy until their political parties are no longer armed militias.

Terror war? These folks can’t be bargained with. Their will to jihad cannot be broken. Their threat of an atomic explosion in a US city must be eliminated, and they are hiding within a largely supportive population. I can’t be plainer, there is no chance for successful negotiations with them, they must be killed. That means lots of ‘civilian’ casualties.

Watch MSM for the moral equivilancies, it’s the enemy’s greatest weapon against us.

This is the results of the political appeasement policy of the leftist Israeli government, which we not only support but are starting to copy and politically appease terror elements in Iraq and elsewhere. It will lead to Americans in bomb shelters one day.

We need to let the military execute the plans they have for these scenarios without political interference, and the leaders need to take the heat and explain to the people why we need to do these things, regardless of collateral damage in a WAR.

In this world of information it will come out which political leaders tied the hands of the military leaders, resulting in higher casualties and longer battles. Those leaders will lose the next elections, but that won’t help those that need the firepower NOW.

Reality Check on July 17, 2006 at 9:51 AM

For whatever it’s worth, HotAir and Michelle’s blog are the first places I check in the morning. I find your updates quite helpful, well-rounded and informative. Please keep it up!

Best Regards,

SpartRan on July 17, 2006 at 9:55 AM

I agree with most everyone else here, Allahpundit. Please keep up the reporting as best you can. If I am at home, I am usually off the computer and watching FoxNews, but while I am at work you are my only source of up-to-date news on this issue. You do better, in my opinion, than the FoxNews website.

Thorough and concise. Thanks again.

Cary on July 17, 2006 at 11:32 AM

Oh, no, no, Mr Allah, you keep right on doing what you’re doing. This is always my first stop.

dhimwit on July 17, 2006 at 12:16 PM

Just a factual nit to pick with the phosphorus bombs link.

I learned waaaaaaay more than I ever wanted to about white phosphorus when I wrote series of posts debunked Sigfredo Ranucci’s crockumentary Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre.

It’s primary purpose in modern warfare is as an obscurant or target marking round, with a secondary role of being very useful against fuel-type targets–say, oil tanks, barrels of gasoline, or rocket bodies–where the WP can burn through light steel and ignite the flammables within.

Bob Owens on July 17, 2006 at 2:59 PM

$50 million for Lebanon from the Saudi’s! There go the gas prices…but it will be worth it if this is the final purge!

In fact, the US should kick in $50 million, and the Canadians, and the Japanese, and the British, and the French and everyone else and rebuild Lebanon into the free and prosperous country and stick it in the mullahs’ eyes!!!!!!!!!

Wake up Arabs! You’re in the stone age! You culture is in the toilet! You women look like mobile camp sites, you colleges are gone, your libraries are gone!

While all the Arab countries with oil are making BILLIONS, your country is in ruin.

You had better hope that the returning imam Iran keeps talking about has a degree in civil engineering!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 17, 2006 at 3:17 PM

BTW Did you ever check out the site meter at the bottom of the page? Very interesting data on how HotAir’s doing!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 17, 2006 at 3:28 PM

It’s not just the links, it’s teasing out links which serve a larger narrative that you do so well; that, and nailing the fundamental questions at issue like:

“Query: can Lebanon’s government do it without triggering a civil war?”

That you manage to bring it all in at less than 1K words (including excerpts!) is all the more remarkable. Nobody wants you risking burn out, of course, but since you asked, pls. don’t stop. :)

JM Hanes on July 17, 2006 at 8:44 PM

Allah…if you stop posting here I’ll be forced to root against your followers! Oh wait…I’m already there. Well…KEEP POSTING ANYWAY!

Can Lebanon’s Government do it without triggering civil war? I would first have to ask does Lebanon HAVE a government? If they truly did have a government would they allow a faction of said government to initiate a war with a neighbor who hasn’t lost ANY WAR EVER? I think not.

I’m sure the Israeli Paving Company will do this job up right and if Syria wants a piece…well…as my friend Singlemind said it:
I hope Israel returns the Arab world to its glory days of 1967. Maybe the Syrians will get practice ejecting from their aircraft after the Israelis blast them out of the sky. Remember 1982? Bekaa Valley: 82-0.

and for the research challenged, here’s the link to the story of the Bekaa Valley Air Battle.

Pilgrim on July 17, 2006 at 10:32 PM