Israel Attacks Gaza and Golan
it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth—Matthew 5:38
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This unusual article demanded such an odd opening. On April 4, 2013, two questionable events reminded us that no government had ever promised not to lie. The pictures above were taken somewhere within the Eshkol Regional Council, near Gaza. In one of them it shows the site of an alleged Qassam missile hit, the second shows shrapnel collected on the spot. Israel claims that two missiles were fired on the night of April 3, causing no damages. During the recent visit of President Obama to Israel, a video was released showing a similar hit (see "Obama, B'ona," says Israel). In both cases, it is difficult to discern any physical evidence of the device containing any significant amount of kinetic energy. The sidewalks hit were only slightly damaged. There are no signs of significant explosions, gunpowder darkened the surroundings a bit. The shrapnel shown looks oddly regular in shape. There is no access to the sites, so the only official explanation belongs to the State of Israel. Its claims are not credible.
The claims get even less credible when judging the aftermath. During President Obama's visit, I claimed that Gaza will pay for the alleged firings. Accordingly, on April 4, the IDF air force hit Gaza for the first time since Operation Pillar of Cloud. Safa Palestinian news agency reported that Israel bombed a factory in the al-Shugaya neighborhood, adding that no one was injured. Was this an Israeli retaliation on a false-flag attack?
The amount of released information is minimal. No real analysis of the events can be done. Israel wants international media to keep reporting on missile attacks from Gaza, in order to justify IDF attacks on the Strip. Why should I collaborate with that? Against all odds, the answer was hiding within an extinct volcano in the Golan Heights.
Syria hit Tel Fares Stronghold?
On November 11, 2012, the headlines of the Hebrew media were dramatic: "IDF fires at Syria for the first time since 1973." For the first time since the Yom Kippur War, the IDF's Artillery Corps fired a missile at a Syrian mortar post in response to the firing of a 120mm mortar shell shortly before. The latter had hit IDF's Tel Hazeka stronghold south of the ghost-city of Quneitra, in the Golan Heights. The IDF issued two decidedly different statements. For domestic consumption, it claimed "the shell was not aimed at Israel and was fired as part of clashes between the Syrian army and rebel forces." The odd statement ignores the fact that no such battles have been reported in the area. Moreover, mistaking the direction of a mortar to such a degree is difficult to believe; the area is a war zone and soldiers in it are well trained in such delicate issues. The official answer of the IDF's Spokesperson Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai was equally enigmatic: "IDF forces fired warning shots and relayed a message to the Syrian forces via the United Nations that warns against additional firing. Additional firing will prompt a quick response." One week before that, a similar mortar had landed nearby in the Alonei Habashan settlement. After almost forty years of quiet, the first two hits were too close to each other, hinting that what we are witnessing here is something else. Yesterday's event is related.
The Golan Heights are a rather flat plateau. Few features break its baseline; thus, these immediately acquire military importance. The cease-war border between Syria and Israel draws an arch. At its center is Quneitra, a former Syrian city that was divided during the 1973 war and is home now to the UN forces separating the two armies. Three sites on the Golan Heights are of strategic importance to Israel. The most obvious is Mt. Hermon on the northern edge of the plateau (IDF Soldiers Desert Mt. Hermon Stronghold). The second is an extinct volcano located next to the abandoned city of Quneitra; the crater of this volcano is large and can be visited. It is surrounded by two hills, named Avital and Bental. The first faces Quneitra and atop it is a major Israeli SIGINT base, which watches over Damascus. Just south of it along the border, are the Hazeka Hills, where the hit stronghold is located. This stronghold belongs to the Israeli Air Force; it serves as a weather station and a communications-relay base. In other words, after forty years of silence, the Syrians shot two mortars at the most strategic spot along their border with Israel. This is the favorite crossing point of Israeli commandos into Syria.
Readers probably have already guessed that the third most prominent spot on the Golan is Tel Fares, on its southern flank. This volcano provides an extraordinary spot for looking across the border, into Syria. Israel claims that the mortars fired caused no damage. Roughly at the same time, an IDF patrol near Tel Hazeka was hit by gunfire; again no damages were reported. The IDF added that tanks fired across the Syrian border at the source of the fire and achieved a direct hit.
These hits are not random. There are over thirty Israeli strongholds on the Golan. Yet, all the recent hits are on intelligence installations. It is difficult to attribute them to the rebels; according to what has been published about them, they would be unlikely to recognize the pivotal spots (Tel Hazeka is rather difficult to be seen). One explanation is that Israel tried to take advantage of the ongoing civil war in Syria and made especially risky commando crossings. It got caught, and the Syrian government retaliated. However, the commandos have regularly crossed these spots for decades without the Syrian government reacting. Its reactions now may start a war with Israel at the most uncomfortable time; it is unlikely that the Assad regime decided to fight Israel and the rebels at once.
Gaza, Golan; Same, Same
Let's summarize the two theaters. In both cases, Israel claims to have been the victim of rather clumsy attacks that contradict the political interests of their alleged perpetrators.
The Shin Beth is not shy of manipulating reality, to say the least. Rabin was famous for rejecting intelligence reports of this organization, always demanding to see the raw materials. "Data cooks" he called them and paid for that with his life. What we are seeing near Gaza and on the Golan Heights is the same. Israel is quite openly cooking data there; this time with the willing cooperation of the IDF.
Israel is systematically creating the justification for its future attacks at minimal costs and no damages. In the future, it will be able to re-occupy Gaza and remove Hamas while claiming it is reacting to the (false-flag) attacks. In the future, it will be able to occupy Damascus and condition its withdrawal on Syria renouncing to the Golan Heights. Gaza, Golan; same, same. Israel gets ready to attack.
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