It is easy in this ‘Israeli summer’ of protests to lose sight of what is happening on Israel’s borders, but a short stroll around the neighborhood with the IDF is in order this morning both to see the dangers and to see how the IDF can never rest.
To begin with dear readers, observe how easy it is for one person to start a regional conflagration:
An IDF patrol came under fire on the Lebanese border Monday morning. According to IDF reports, the soldiers were in an area along the Hatzbani River when a Lebanese soldier opened fire. The IDF returned fire wounding the soldier. Shortly thereafter, a Lebanese news report claimed that the Israeli soldiers had been in Lebanese territory prompting Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to praise the actions of the Lebanese soldier. Happy for any event to divert attention from its complicity in the Hariri assassination investigation, Hezbollah chimed in that the IDF ‘attack’ on the Lebanese soldier is “an attack on all of Lebanon.” For its part, Israel lodged a complaint with UNIFIL forces in the area who confirmed that the IDF soldiers were indeed in Israel when the incident occurred.
Next on our perambulation, consider how the war with Hamas along Israel’s southern border of Gaza can also flare up at any second:
Last night, an Israeli Bedouin woman encamped near Ashkelon was ‘moderately’ wounded by shrapnel when a Qassam fired by Hamas from Gaza exploded near her tent. Your humble servant suspects that the steady stream of IAF jets flying over his house this morning toward Gaza are retaliating by bombing smuggling tunnels there–in fact this was just confirmed on Israeli radio. This was the 795th rocket fired out of Gaza at Israeli children, women, and men since the last supposed cease-fire!
Meanwhile, our ambling continues alongside the Palestinian Kalandiya community in Judea and Samaria north of Jerusalem where we can see how, at great peril, the IDF constantly works to thwart terrorism:
In the pre-dawn hours of Monday an IDF patrol from the Kfir Brigade was on a mission to arrest two wanted terror suspects. They came under attack from a violent mob. In the ensuing firefight, five IDF soldiers were wounded (one needed to be taken to Hadassah Hospital) and two Palestinians were killed. Interestingly, one of the dead Palestinians who had been attacking the IDF soldiers was a member of the Palestinian Authority’s Military Intelligence unit.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the ridiculously named Kalandiya ‘refugee camp’, it was established in 1949 by the notorious, self-perpetuating, U.N. organization UNRWA on land which the United Nations leased from Jordan–at the time that Jordan was illegally occupying Judea and Samaria. UNRWA is now the largest employer in Kalandiya with over 11,000 employees.
Finally, we can relax a little bit as we finish our stroll along the Syrian and Jordanian borders. Syrian soldiers are too busy killing their own citizens in Hama again today to be too much interested in Israel, while Jordanian soldiers are too busy propping up King Abdullah who has been besieged by mass demonstrations. But be assured that the IDF is ever alert on those borders as well monitoring situations as they evolve.
Addendum: Your humble servant’s first op-ed/article appeared in the Jerusalem Post this morning. What follows is a link to that article–happy reading (by the way if you take the Post, please no laughing at your humble servant’s picture):