Reservists called for duty will most likely be sent to Gaza in order to free soldiers in compulsory service for deployment in Lebanon. This is definitely not a good sign of things to come. Hezbollah continued to fire Katyusha rockets while Israel rained down missiles on cities in southern Lebanon.
July 21, 2006
Israel Calls Up Reserves, a Sign of Wider Ground Raids
By STEVEN ERLANGER and JAD MOUAWAD
JERUSALEM, July 21 Israel called up a few thousand reservists today, in possible preparation for a more extensive ground operation in southern Lebanon, as its warplanes continued to hit targets there and to drop leaflets warning residents of villages to leave their homes and head northward.
Over the last two days, there has been an increase in ground clashes as Israeli troops have moved about a mile or so inside Lebanon to demolish Hezbollah outposts and fortifications. Four Israeli soldiers were killed in fierce battles with Hezbollah guerrillas north of Avivim on Thursday, the Israeli army said. On Wednesday, two Israeli soldiers were killed in the same area, as Israel discovered a warren of storage rooms, bunkers and tunnels near Maroun al-Ras.
Hezbollah said it has lost three fighters, but the Israelis say scores of Hezbollah fighters have died. Israel also said two of its Apache helicopters collided near the Lebanese border, killing a pilot and injuring three crewmen.
Army set to call up thousands of reservists; IAF planes pound Lebanon’s main road link to Syria
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and The Associated Press
GOC Northern Command Major General Udi Adam said Friday that Israel is at war and that human life is important, but now is not the time to count the dead.
The Northern Command believes that the fighting in the north will continue for several more weeks, with additional casualties and fatalities.
“We must change our way of thinking. Human life is important, but we are at war, and it costs human lives. We won’t count the dead at present, only at the end. We’ll cry for the dead and will encourage the fighters. There are more places like Meron A-Ras, and unfortunately we’ll have to reach them.”
Could the U.S. use ME conflict as pretext for war on Iran?
7/21/2006 1:15:00 PM GMT
Experts linked the Israeli offensive in Lebanon to U.S. plans to end Iran’s nuclear programme
Diplomatic talks in recent months have so far failed to end the long-running standoff over Western demands that Tehran halts its nuclear programme, which the U.S., backed by Israel and the European Union, claims is used as a cover for hidden preparations aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
Many political experts linked the ongoing Israeli operations in Lebanon to the U.S. plans to forcefully put an end to Iran’s nuclear programme.
They suggest that the current offensive in Lebanon, which Israel started ten days ago following the capture of two of its soldiers by the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, would be used by the U.S. as a pretext for military action against Iran, according to an editorial on Asia Times.
An Israeli army convoy of armored vehicles near the Israeli-Lebanese border, close to the town of Avivim in northern Israel, Friday, July 21.