Tag Archives: IDF

links for 2009-01-07

7 Jan

IDF on the Ground: Latest Photos and Video from Gaza

7 Jan


IDF Spokesperson, the press site of the IDF, just posted new videos of air and ground strikes on Hamas targets. In the video clip below, the Israel Air Force (IAF) assists IDF ground forces in striking Hamas targets, including gunman posts and launchers—some of which were located in populated areas. The IAF neutralized the sources of gunfire and destroys the terrorists stash of weapons.

The IDF notes that “Hamas deliberately uses the Palestinian people, with whom Israel continues to seek peaceful coexistence, as human shields.”

NYT: Israel’s Tough Questions Answered in Short Tweets

4 Jan

Today’s New York Times features an article discussing how Israel is using social media to reach a global audience. Israel Consulate PR chief David Saranga is quoted:

Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well.

The article goes on to mention MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow making mockery of David’s Twitter press conference. Maybe Israel should have some on-air presence on Maddow’s show to present its side of the story (is this in the works?) :>  Or maybe readers and viewers should voice their opinion?

To read the full article and see related links here’s the link to Noam Cohen’s story.

IDF Posts Ground Invasion Photos; Barak on Peace

3 Jan

Israel Minister of Defense Ehud Barak today said that Israel’s aim is to force Hamas to stop its hostile activities and bring about peace in the region. Here’s his statement which was issued via the IDF website:

A few hours ago, Israeli ground forces entered the Gaza Strip as part of operation Cast Lead against the Hamas terrorists and their affiliates and infrastructure in Gaza…Our aim is to force Hamas to stop its hostile activities against Israel and Israelis from Gaza, and to bring about a significant change in the situation in Southern part of Israel…We are peace seekers. We have restrained ourselves for a long time but now is the time to do what needs to be done. We are determined to afford our citizens what any citizen anywhere in the world is entitled to – peace, tranquility and freedom from threats.

The IDF posted new photos of the ground invasion. More are posted on the IDF site.

Israel Launches Ground Operations in Gaza

3 Jan

Israel launched its ground operation in Gaza today.  Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson Major Avital Leibovitch said:

The objective is to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure in the area of operations…We are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas.

DEBKAFile’s Washington source reported that in a telephone conversation with prime minister Ehud Olmert, US president George W. Bush OK’d Israeli air, sea and ground operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He promised the US would veto a resolution condemning Israel at the UN Security Council meeting next Monday. 

Sources: DebkaFile,  Haaretz, Jerusalem Post,




Gaza Rocket Stats: 2005-Today

3 Jan

The IDF released the following statistics today:

1. Today, over 950,000 Israelis live within range of rocket and mortar attacks.

2. There have been approximately 7,200 rockets (Grads, Qassams) and mortars launched at Israel since 2005.

3. During 2008, there have been 1755 mortars shells, 1720 Qassams rockets, and 75 Grad missiles launched at Israel.

4. Since Hamas’ election there has been a steady increase of these rocket attacks against Israel’s citizens:

  • Between Israel’s evacuation of Gaza and the election of Hamas (Aug. 15, 2005 – Jan. 25, 2006), there was an average of over 15 rocket and mortar attacks a month.
  • Between Hamas’ election and Hamas’ forceful takeover of the Strip (Jan. 25, 2006 – June 14, 2007), there was an average of over 102 attacks per month—an over 650% increase.
  • Between Hamas’ takeover and the start of the Tahadiya (State of Calm), (June 14, 2007 – June 16, 2008), there was an average of over 361 attacks per month—an increase of an additional 350%.

5. On Nov. 4 – 5, Israel launched Operation “Double Challenge”, targeting a tunnel Hamas was building as part of a plan to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

6. From the end of Operation “Double Challenge” until the end of the Tahadiya, (Nov. 4 – Dec. 19, 2008) a period of only a month and a half, there were 170 mortars, 255 Qassams, and 5 Grads fired upon Israel’s civilian population centers.

7. Since the end of the Tahadiya (Dec. 19, 2009) until the beginning of Operation “Cast Lead,” (Dec. 27, 2008) a period of little more than a week, there were approximately 300 mortars and rockets fired onto Israel.

8. Since the begining of Operation ”Cast Lead”, there have been an additional 500 launches, 284 of which have been verified as rockets (both Qassams and Grads), and 113 as mortars.

Beyond Twitter: Israel Takes its PR Fight to Arab Media

1 Jan

According to Haaretz, Israel launched a PR campaign to “conquer” Arab satellite TV channels as part of “Operation Cast Lead”. This media blitz is spearheaded by Arabic speakers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Foreign Ministry, and senior government officials. The objective is to communicate Israel’s stance vis-a-vis the situation in Gaza.

Ehud Olmert used the Arab station Al-Arabiya prior to the start of “Operation Cast Lead” to address Gaza civilians. He focused on the human impact of continued rocket attacks in Israel. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni recently appeared on Al-Jazeera where she said the station shouldn’t present just one side of the story (for more).

This past weekend, Captain Avichai Adarai, an officer in the Arabic department of the IDF asked why the Al-Jazeera had not run footage of the suffering of civilians on the Israeli side of the border.

Lastly, Ophir Gendelman, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Arabic media department, was interviewed on Russian Arabic channel Russia Al-yom. He concluded:

We live in the Middle East and fill a central role in the politics of the region. It is critical for us to be seen and heard, so that our stance will be understood. This could only help our standing in the region.