[Marxism] Ze'ev Schiff: IDF still not in control of strip along Lebanon's border

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Thu Aug 10 05:45:38 MDT 2006

Ze'ev Schiff writes in Haaretz:

Last update - 08:57 10/08/2006    
ANALYSIS: IDF still not in control of strip along Lebanon's border 
By Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz Correspondent 
The large number and the location of the casualties that the Israel Defense Forces sustained Wednesday indicate that the army does not yet control the narrow strip along the border, although this stage of the ground operation was supposed to have been completed already.

The two battles also reveal a great deal about Hezbollah's method of fighting. They took place in two relatively small communities, Ayta al-Shab and Debel, close to the international border, on territory that until May 2000 was in Israel's Security Zone.

The ground operation, dubbed "Change of Direction 8," was intended to conquer this border strip. First it was to be a two- to three-kilometer strip. Then it was expanded to five to six kilometers, including numerous Lebanese villages and towns. The mission was to blow up all Hezbollah's outposts in this strip and drive its forces out.

What happened in Bint Jbail recurred in Ayta al-Shab. Although it seemed that the town had been conquered, it transpired again and again that there were still Hezbollah men in it. Once again, clashes and battles took place, and again, the IDF suffered dead and wounded.

Although the army had conquered the town, Hezbollah men were hiding in underground bunkers well camouflaged from the outside. The bunkers had been stocked with large quantities of food, enough to last for weeks, and ammunition, including antitank missiles and, in several cases, short-range rockets.

The bunkers are connected to electricity and, according to one report, are air conditioned. When the fighting dies down, Hezbollah fighters emerge from the bunkers and set up ambushes for IDF soldiers and armored vehicles.

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