ANOTHER SHELL LANDED NEAR THE ISRAELI DEFENSE POSITION AT EL HAZAKA ON THE GOLAN MONDAY, NOV. 12, LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER DAMASCUS PROMISED THROUGH UNDOF PEACEKEEPERS TO SILENCE THE MORTAR BATTERY RESPONSIBLE FOR “STRAY SHELLS” LANDING IN ISRAEL. THE PROMISE WAS DELIVERED AFTER ISRAEL FIRED A TAMUZ GUIDED MISSILE 4 KILOMETERS INTO SYRIA AS A WARNING SHOT. SO MONDAY, ISRAELI TANK GUNS OPENED FIRE ON SYRIAN ARMY POSITIONS AND KNOCKED OUT THE BATTERY RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING SHELLS ACROSS THE BORDER INTO ISRAEL.
While Israel accepted the first three incidents as accidental intrusions from the Syrian civil war, the shell fired Monday was seen as a deliberate act of provocation. Our sources report that having observed Israel’s restrained response to the first mortar and lack of resolve to Palestinian violence from Gaza, the Syrian ruler decided to test Israel further to see what he can get away with by pinning the IDF down on two fronts.
And that may be just for starters.
While Israeli officials and IDF spokesmen insist that the two fronts are not connected, intelligence sources report that the restraint exhibited by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak thus far risks landing Israel in really hot water on two if not three violent fronts. Hizballah is lurking around the corner in Lebanon to jump in when the situation heats up and provide additional back-up for their joint Palestinian ally in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian missile offensive from Gaza was still going strong Sunday night, Nov. 11, after two days and more than 110 rockets – for a number of reasons, DEBKAfile reports. For one, Hamas can’t bring all the Palestinian militias ranged against Israel under a single operational command center contrary to its claim. The most important groups, the Iranian-backed Jihad Islami, the various Salafi extremist factions – some associated with al Qaeda – and the Popular Front all cling to their independence of action. Any Hamas order to hold their fire, if it were given, would be disobeyed. This defiance is eroding Hamas’authority as rulers of Gaza.
Furthermore, Hamas and fellow terrorist group leaders believe Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is undecided about how to proceed in Gaza. They are counting on his being unable to bring himself to order a major military operation to cut them down to size and put a stop to the deadly cycle of a rocket barrage recurring every few days, year after year. And so the shooting goes on.
- At least two Syrian soldiers injured by Israel’s retaliatory fire after mortar hits Golan (timesofisrael.com)
- Israel tanks knock out Syrian mortars shelling Golan. Assad tests Israel’s resolve in Gaza too (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
- What keeps the Gaza missiles coming? Egypt bids for a truce. Netanyahu undecided. (lynleahz.com)