Ynet reports that the Sunday Times reports today that on the first day of the war against Hizbullah, Dan Halutz called Olmert after the IAF successfully destroyed Hizbullah’s Zalzal rockets – these were the long range rockets that could reach Tel Aviv – and informed him that “We won the war.” The remainder of the article goes on to explain how Israel’s vaunted army found itself ill prepared for Hizbullah’s surprises. Read all of this with a grain of salt until verified by another source. Still, some of these details have already appeared in other publications

Even as Halutz was declaring victory, 12 Israeli soldiers from the Maglan reconnaissance unit were already running into an ambush just over the border inside Lebanon near the village of Maroun a-Ras.

“We didn’t know what hit us,” said one of the soldiers, who asked to be named only as Gad. “In seconds we had two dead.”

With several others wounded and retreating under heavy fire the Maglans, one of the finest units in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), were astonished by the firepower and perseverance of Hezbollah.

“Evidently they had never heard that an Arab soldier is supposed to run away after a short engagement with the Israelis,” said Gad.

“We expected a tent and three Kalashnikovs — that was the intelligence we were given. Instead, we found a hydraulic steel door leading to a well-equipped network of tunnels.”


“They monitored our secure radio communications in the most professional way,” one Israeli officer admitted. “When we lose a man, the fighting unit immediately gives the location and the number back to headquarters. What Hezbollah did was to monitor our radio and immediately send it to their Al-Manar TV, which broadcast it almost live, long before the official Israeli radio.”

Hezbollah appears to have divided a three mile-wide strip along the Israeli-Lebanese border into numerous “killing boxes”. Each box was protected in classic guerrilla fashion with booby-traps, land mines, and even CCTV cameras to watch every step of the advancing Israeli army.

“Our brass stupidly fell into the Hezbollah traps,” said Raphael, an infantry battalion reserve major. “The generals wanted us to attack as many villages as possible for no obvious reason. This was exactly what Hezbollah wanted us to do — they wanted to bog us down in as many small battles as possible and bleed us this way.”


“Conquer Bint Jbail,” Halutz told Adam, the northern sector commander. Adam is said to have replied: “Hold on, Halutz. Do you know what that means? Do you realise that the casbah [old quarter] of Bint Jbail alone contains more than 5,000 houses? And you want me to send in one battalion?”

Adam nevertheless did as he was told and sent the 51st battalion of the Golani brigade to fight a heroic but hopeless, battle.

As the Israeli soldiers approached the town from the east they fell straight into yet another ambush. Hand grenades killed battalion commanders. Then a rescue operation was mounted, which took all night

Read all of it if you want to be truly disgusted. If these reports are true, the idea that these leaders and the IDF leadership have still not offered to resign is nothing short of outrageous. If they have some information they would like to share that might alleviate the justified concerns of most Israelis and their supporters, they should simply put it out there. That they haven’t suggests they have little or nothing to offer but also refuse to take the fall. The time now is not for cover-your-ass-and-save-your-political-career machinations. The time now is critical for learning what happened, rebuilding confidence through training, restocking supplies, preparing the country for another war, and bringing in some of the older IDF leadership who had been in retirement since at least 2000.

This team shattered too many sacred and important elements of faith to be allowed to lead the recovery. They are simply unqualified to lead a military campaign, as we have seen. This government has to go and some of the top officers in the IDF need to go. Hizbullah is reportedly already re-arming and re-grouping, the tunnels are mostly still there, the IDF’s communications policies have been breached and remain so, weapons systems are still no better than they were last week, nobody has come up with a strategy for defeating what Hizbullah put into place in Southern Lebanon, the UNIFIL force seems useless and the UN is now tacitly accepting that 1701 will be violated by the Arabs, but expects to prevent further war by applying the standards of 1701 to Israel. This is the final and worst outcome that Israel could have achieved in this war, with insult added to injury that they still have to negotiate to release the soldiers – an action that would have prevented this war.


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  • Maybe they should have used their SLA buddies more? Now I’m not saying that the war went flawlessly, but they did knock oout 54 rockets in the first day whose range would have allowed them to hit densely populated Tel Aviv. How many more would have died had that victory not happenned? So yes, the war was not perfect and I am confident that the IDF will learn from its mistakes. But now we know a lot more about the enemy in South Lebanon and will be able to deal with them better in the future. It wasn’t all bad you know.

  • TM, this article doesnt really offer any shocking new info. I mean during the war we already knew this from AP and Haaretz and Jpost and everything else.So yeah I think its very reliable.

  • I am afraid that Israel as an entity is doomed unless they destroy Iran, or their military capabilities.

    I do not understand what Israel is waiting for?

    I am telling you all right now, the Iranians are dead serious. They have plans and are tweaking these plans based on the pitiful Israel performance now, to destroy Israel for good.

    I am going on my current visit now to Israel not expecting that there will be a future visit. it will go over to the Palestinians and G-d help you those who will still be around.

    Would someone please wake the dopey Prime Minister Ilmert up and today, send planes to annihilate Iran.

  • Think about it. Given the terrain, and the idiocy that went on by way of preparation and the confusion of tactics, waiting to commit more troops was actually not that dumb of a decision. The carefully crafted ‘kill zones’ are the key here. They have to be effectively neutralized before any ground attack. That’s very hard to do, given the tunnel systems. Bunker busters might have done some of this work, but much better intell was needed to do the job.

    The battle ground was fully prepared for a full ‘Stalingrad’ defense in depth. The IDF did not avoid this by tactical superiority, but dithering & delay (yes, costly in it’s own right), which probably proved to be a minor valuable strategic asset. The expectations were that Hez would inflict 100’s of casualties (~500) on the IDF, and they came up short with just about 120. Now granted, many of these & other wounded soldiers, the ‘children’, could have been saved, or less injured given a different strategic plan or a better, larger, more coordinated assault. But almost anything the IDF did was almost guaranteed to cause more death & injury all around. The dithering may have saved substantial lives, and yes, may well have prevented a disaster that was very well choreographed by Hez & the Iranians.

    So I come away with thinking that given the situation on the ground, the outcome most favorable to Israel may have been achieved. The battle for how to define & structure the peace will be more crucial. If Hez is boxed in and defanged, the main objectives will have been satisfied. It won’t be pretty or easy, but this is not all the military’s fault. If you are constantly attacking over the same ground in the 21st century, you’re in a lot of trouble as a conventional attacking army force, now matter how large or well equipped. Marshal Zukov knew this during WW11, and everyone seems to have forgotten this lesson today. There’s got to be better & new ways found to achieve these objectives short of all out war. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • VJ,
    I think that you are giving a bit more credit to Hezbollah than they deserve. The fact that a limited number of our troops were fighting in the first couple of weeks meant that the squads in place could handle these units. If more Israeli soldiers would have been deployed, (hopefully smartly) this could have overwhelmed the terrorists.

    Hez is not ‘boxed and defanged’. We all know that they will not be cursed for the damaged they caused in Lebanon, and instead will be encouraged since they nonetheless stood up to the Zionists.

    As for the army, if you believe in sticks and stones, than yes, we are in big, big trouble. The pre-disengagement Sharon arranged restaffing of the army with Halutz and other yes-men for the sake of expelling Jews from Gush Katif and then the entire ‘West Bank’, as well as the severe cut in training exercises since the beginning of the 2000s, means that the IDF is weak. But thank God, we know that Israel has not won one single war based on technology and brilliant generals/leaders. Whining about equipment is pointless. No army is fully equiped with the latest weapons. Israel cannot afford to replace all the old tanks with Merkava 4’s. It is also virtually impossible to equip every soldier with night-vision equipment and personal GPS too. I do admit that sawing off 15 centimetres of the regular M16 is totally viable. There’s no reason to have metre-long guns in the hands of infantry anymore, except for the snipers.