Two IDF soldiers were killed when each of the vehicles they were patrolling the border road with Lebanon were struck each by an anti-tank rocket. Six other soldiers were injured and have been transported to Ziv Hospital in Tzfat. No information was relayed initially after they were evacuated to Rambam Hospital for treatment. Information released through journalist Rassan Ben Jiddo shortly after 1:00 PM issued the claims the Hezballah took credit for these attacks. There was also news reports claiming mortar fire had erupted along the border. The two IDF soldiers killed were Major Yochai Kalangel and Sgt. Dor Nini pictured below.
After calm returned to the border region, Hezballah made calls for calm after firing at the least six anti-tank rockets at light vehicles which is against the Geneva Conventions though it is doubtful that such violations will be reported by many in the mainstream media as the violations were against Israelis and not perpetrated by Israelis. Hezballah terrorists attacked an IDF post along the border earlier in the day yesterday without reports of injuries or other casualties. During these exchanges of fire a Spanish United Nations peacekeeper was killed. Israeli Channel 2 reported that Hezballah had requested for UNIFIL to inform the Israelis that they had made a request for calm as they were finished firing and now desired to call an end to hostilities before there was any serious response from the Israeli Defense Forces to their instigations.
Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the reports of these attacks upon IDF forces while touring the Sderot which is situated appropriately on the border with Gaza where the Prime Minister related to the damages inflicted by the IDF upon Hamas forces and their infrastructure during this past summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas in response to their constant cross-border rocket launches and the resultant destruction of the Hamas tunnel systems and other infrastructure disabled or destroyed during the fifty days of fighting noting, “Anyone who tries to challenge us in the north should look at what happened to Hamas, not far from here, which was recently dealt the hardest blow it has received since its creation.”
These attacks from Hezballah emanating from the Sheba Farms region, within Syria near the Golan Heights and across Israel’s northern border with Lebanon will eventually lead to another exchange should Hezballah continue their recent escalations. Their claims that today’s attacks were revenge for the air attack by the IAF which struck their positions in southwestern Syria which resulted in six fatalities including claiming the lives of a senior Hezballah commander as well as an Iranian IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) General, the special military arm from Iran responsible for terror and other attacks throughout the world and the very group which was implicated in the Buenos Aires, Argentina 1994 bombing of the AMIA, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) about which Alberto Nisman was the prosecutor recently discovered murdered in his apartment as we reported here and here. The Israeli strike was made to interdict to prevent a serious rocket attack from within southwestern Syria which was being assembled by the Hezballah and IRGC forces at two locations late last week. Hezballah protested the strike referring to it as an unjustified and unprovoked attack on troops which posed no danger to Israel and were simply operating within Syria in defense of the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad. Iran has also threatened to attack Israel with a thunderous assault like lightening unlike anything Israel has ever seen and that Israel will be completely unable to defend against the attack due to its swiftness and devastating results. The setting up rocket launching positions which were obviously aimed to target Israel and not being targeting any positions within Syria was only prevented from potentially causing serious damages to IDF positions along the Golan Heights or even worse, striking inside Israel in the Galilee where the potential for civilian casualties would be significant thus the immediate and swift response by Israeli jet fighters taking out the launchers and personnel before they were able to launch their rockets. That was what Hezballah and Iran referred to as an unprovoked attack on their personnel who were simply carrying out exercises which were of no threat to Israel.
On another front on these fatal attacks on IDF vehicles and personnel, it has been rumored and is being investigated by the IDF that the vehicles struck in yesterday’s attacks were unarmored vehicles which are not for use on the border. There are claims that by mistake unarmored Isuzu dMax jeeps were the issued vehicles and are not outfitted with sufficient armor for border duties. As the vehicles were struck with anti-tank missiles the type of vehicle may not have necessarily saved these soldiers’ lives as even armored vehicles are insufficiently up-armored to resist anti-tank missiles which are designed to penetrate at least a dozen inches of armor plate and some even twice that much armor and lighter vehicles and APCs are usually armored with a maximum of six inches of armor plate equivalent. The difference would be if the vehicles were supposed to be outfitted with the Trophy Active Protection System developed by RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, that would have made a difference. Had the vehicles of any thickness of armor also been a vehicle protected by the Trophy System then whether the vehicle was armored would have been inconsequential as no anti-tank missile would have been able to even reach the vehicle still capable of exploding or doing any serious damage. Prime Minister Netanyahu commented later in the day after being briefed on the extents and numbers of IDF soldiers and young Israelis which the fact that all of these soldiers are also young men who have families and represent the future for Israel and each one lost is a loss felt by the whole nation as the majority of Israelis feel as if we are all family and not merely countrymen. It is because much of the nation as a whole mourns the loss of each and every soldier and many take the loss of each young man or woman in the defense of our small nation so precariously perched at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea at its eastern edge with nothing but enemies desiring to kill every last Israeli as their holy mission. It was speaking for the nation which has been deeply wounded that Prime Minister Netanyahu stated to the media and the nation filled with mourners this day stating, “Those who committed these acts will pay the full price for their actions. For a long time Iran has been using Hezbollah to establish a terror front against us on the Golan. We are aggressively acting to prevent this. The government of Lebanon and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria are responsible for attacks on Israel that emerge from their territory. Our single goal is to defend Israel and Israelis. We have acted this way in the past, and will continue to do so.”
Beyond the Cusp