UPDATE: Molotov cocktails and stones thrown at IDF patrols in Judea and Samaria.
The advance group of 9000 U.S. Air Force personnel, Marines, and Naval seamen have begun arriving in Israel for a military preparedness exercise that is scheduled to last at least through 2012.
During his visit to Israel several weeks weeks ago, US Third Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc said the mission to Israel has been enhanced and that the coming event is more a “deployment” than an “exercise.”
According to Debka, “the joint force will now be in place ready for a decision to attack Iran’s nuclear installations or any war emergency.” The U.S. military personnel gathering in Israel during January include airmen, missile interceptor teams, technicians and intelligence officers.
Plans call for joint missions between a soon-to-arrive U.S. aircraft carrier and the Israel Air Force. Various scenarios to be incorporated into the “exercises” include possible missile attacks from terrorist Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Syria.
Anyway you look at it, Austere Challenge 12–the name of the Israeli-U.S. “exercises”–is a prelude to an attack on Iran.
THIS DAY IN ISRAELI HISTORY
On January 7, 1948 members of the Irgun planted a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem in an attempt to break the Arab siege of the Jewish Quarter which was starving its residents. Fourteen Arabs were killed, and three Irgun members were killed by British police. The siege was not broken.