With rising hostilities with pro-Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah, the Israeli military is training for a conflict on its northern border with Lebanon.
“In the last week, the Northern Command conducted intensive training to enhance readiness for combat on the northern border,” the IDF disclosed in a press release on Sunday.
The Jerusalem Post reported the details of the military drill:
Paratrooper and combat engineering forces from the Israeli military carried out intensive training drills at the IDF’s Northern Command, preparing troops for combat in densely populated urban areas, winter weather conditions, and in the northern terrain, as per the IDF.
The drills further combined tanks, combat engineering, infantry, and artillery forces.
“Despite the winter weather, the rain, the mud, and the fog, and after 113 days of defending the northern border, this week we carried out a series of difficult and complex exercises to strengthen the Brigade’s readiness,” the deputy commander of the participating 226th Brigade was quoted as saying.
“The spirit of the commanders and soldiers is strong, professionalism is at a very high level and the troops are ready for anything. After this week, I can wholeheartedly say – we are ready.”
Aftermath if Israeli airstrikes against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/5fj9Bmdfl1
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) January 28, 2024
The announcement comes as IDF strikes terrorist targets in southern Lebanon in response to repeated cross-border rocket and mortar fires by Hezbollah. “A short while ago, fighter jets struck two Hezbollah military sites in the towns of Zibqin and Houla in Lebanon,” the Israeli military said on Sunday afternoon. “In addition, IDF artillery struck a number of areas in southern Lebanon in order to remove a threat.”
WSJ: 80% of Hamas tunnel system remains intact
With Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza entering its third month, the vast network of Hamas’s terror tunnel system remains intact, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday citing Israeli and U.S. sources.
“As much as 80% of Hamas’s vast warren of tunnels under Gaza remains intact after weeks of Israeli efforts to destroy them, U.S. and Israeli officials said, hampering Israel’s central war aims,” the WSJ reported.
Besides destroying Hamas’s terrorist fighting forces, the dismantling of terror tunnels is among the key military objectives of the Gaza operation undertaken by the IDF. “Disabling the 300-mile tunnel system would hinder the Hamas’s terrorists ability to hide and maneuver around the Strip’s territory unexposed to Israeli fire as well as deny storage for weapons and ammunition and command-and-control centers for its leadership, Israel has previously stated,” the i24NEWS noted Sunday.
Israel’s military planners have been “astonished” by the size, depth, and sophistication of the vast underground terror infrastructure uncovered in Gaza, recent media reports suggest.
According to an article published by The New York Times in mid-January, “Israeli officials and soldiers who have since been in the tunnels — as well as current and former American officials with experience in the region — say the scope, depth and quality of the tunnels built by Hamas have astonished them. Even some of the machinery that Hamas used to build the tunnels, observed in captured videos, has surprised the Israeli military.”
UN Chief Tells Western Donors to Restore UNRWA Funding Despite Staffers’ Involvement in October 7 Massacre
United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who previously blamed Israel for the October 7 atrocities committed by the terror group Hamas, is now urging Western donors to restore the funding for the UN Palestinian aid agency, UNRWA, after evidence emerged that several of its employees took part in the mass-murder of Israelis on October 7.
The United States, Canada Germany, Britain, Italy, Australia, and Finland halted funding for the UNRWA after facts came to light that its Palestinian employees were involved in murdering, raping, maiming, and kidnapping of innocent Israelis on October 7.
While UNRWA has sacked 12 employees for participating in the October 7 attacks, this, however, appears to be the mere tip of the iceberg. UNRAW factifies across Gaza have been extensively used as terrorist installations in the ongoing conflict, Israeli intelligence services reveals.
The Israeli news website Ynet reported Sunday:
Israel believes there are more UNRWA staff collaborating with Hamas, after the UN conceded that 12 members of the organization had participated in the October 7 massacre. Officials also said that UNRWA sites were used as terror instillations in the war. Military intelligence was looking for further indications that incriminate more members of the UN refugee organization of taking part in the atrocities.
The military intelligence delivered the information they had collected to the Foreign Ministry and later IDF’s intelligence Chief Aharon Haliva, met with the U.S. Ambassador Jacob Lew and with David Satterfield, the U.S. special Mid-East envoy for humanitarian issues, to reveal the findings to them.
Despite ever-mounting evidence implicating the UNRWA in one of the most horrific crimes in recent history, the UN chief shamelessly doubled down in defense of the terrorist-riddled agency, the France24 TV channel reported:
UN chief Antonio Guterres pleaded on Sunday for donor states to “guarantee the continuity” of the body’s Palestinian refugee agency after several halted funding over accusations of staff involvement in Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.
“While I understand their concerns – I was myself horrified by these accusations – I strongly appeal to the governments that have suspended their contributions to, at least, guarantee the continuity of UNRWA’s operations,” Guterres said in a statement, referring to the agency’s acronym.
The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which has its own tarnished record of rewarding terrorists and their families through the multi-million dollar pay-for-slay scheme, panicked at the news of Western donors suspending their funding for the Hamas-infiltrated UNRWA.
The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday:
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh called for countries that announced they would withdraw funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to reverse their decision, in a post on X on Saturday.
Al-Sheikh called for the reversal citing great political and humanitarian risks should funds be withdrawn from the agency, which operates as the exclusive UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.
From my interview on @i24NEWS_EN today:
“@UNRWA has become an indistinguishable arm of Hamas and an incubator for relentless antisemitism and incitement. Its staff even participated in the Oct 7 massacre. #defundUNRWA now and abolish it altogether once and for all.” pic.twitter.com/MSpV7wneEW
— Arsen Ostrovsky 🎗️ (@Ostrov_A) January 28, 2024
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