Southern District Hit with Palestinian Rockets, Shells
By Yaacov Lappin and Ben Hartman
08 October, 2012
Air Force responds to some 30 mortar shells by bombing Hamas terror targets in Gaza, including mosque; escalation follows air strike in Rafah on two global jihad men plotting terror attacks, 8 bystanders injured.
Photo: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
The IDF struck targets in Gaza Monday in response to a barrage of more than 30 rockets and mortar shells fired into farming districts in southern Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The IDF response involved both Air Force and tanks.
An army source said that a tank directed fire at a Hamas position hidden inside a mosque located in southern Gaza. The source added that Hamas often uses "religious sites as cover for its terrorist activities against Israelis."
Earlier Monday, the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel was bombarded with dozens of Palestinian rockets and mortars. Local residents reported awaking to the sounds of explosions, and rushing for cover in safe rooms designed to protect them from the projectiles.
All of the strikes landed in open areas and caused no damage, except for a single house in the Eshkol Region that was lightly damaged by shrapnel.
There were differing reports on the number of strikes on the Eshkol region on Monday morning. While the Negev police said that from 6am to around noon there were a total of 23 strikes, the IDF spokesperson’s unit said there were a total of 30.
Ronit Minaker, of the Eshkol Regional Council, said that residents received SMS messages and heard alarms beginning at around 6am Monday morning, and heard dozens of strikes on the area over the course of around an hour and a half. The strikes began at the same hour of the morning when the local children usually wake up, and on Monday were required to spend the first few hours of their last day of the holidays waiting in bomb shelters, Minaker said. Minaker said that at the moment residents are outside of the bomb shelters but have received instructions to stay within 15 seconds from a protected area.
She added that the council will hold a meeting on the situation later on in the day, and are waiting for a decision from the IDF on whether or not they can hold a planned Simchat Torah celebration Monday, which is scheduled to host a large number of people in an open area outside a local synagogue.
Minaker said the strikes hit land belonging to three different communities, causing damage to a house, a road, and some livestock.
The residents have become accustomed to a long period of quiet in the area, Minaker said, and the communities were hosting tourists and other visitors when the strikes began.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they targeted the rural district as a response to an Israeli air strike on Sunday night, which struck and seriously injured two members of an al-Qaida-inspired terror cell as they rode on a motorcycle in southern Gaza.
The two men, 23-year-old Talat Khalil Muhammad Jerbi, and 24-year-old Abdullah Mohammed Hassan Makawi, were in the finals stages of preparing a large and complex terrorist attack on Israelis, and were plotting on launching it from the Sinai Peninsula, the IDF said.
Makawi is a member of the Ashura council of Holy Fighters on the Edge of Jerusalem, an al-Qaida-inspired organization based in Gaza. Talat was involved in previous rocket-fire on Israelis, planting bombs, and building weaponry, the IDF said. He was also a senior planner of the June 18 cross-border terror attack from Sinai on the Israeli border, which killed an Israeli civilian, and took part in the attack, the IDF added.
Both were severely wounded in the air strike on Sunday night.
Palestinian medical sources said eight others were injured in the attack, including four children.
The air strike was the product of a joint effort by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Air Force.
Sunday's air strike is unrelated to the intrusion of a hostile drone into Israeli airspace on Saturday.
* * * * * * *
Our military is a reservist-based organization and a substantial percentage
of the personnel expected to man C3 systems will be reservists. The notion
that they will be able to ‘command’ any C3 system very easily, as they
belong to a different generation that adapts to changes – the information
generation – is wrong. I intend to freeze the configuration, as I feel that
we are chasing the tail of application refinements.
The Objective in Real Time
Maj. Gen. Uzi Moscovitch, the Head of the IDF’s C4I Branch, outlines the
main challenges his division faces and the IDF’s primary plans for
communications and computers
At the 2012 Fire Conference on Air and Land Jointness in a Complex
Environment, Maj. Gen. Uzi Moscovitch, head of the IDF’s C4I Branch, went
into great detail concerning the future challenges his division faces, along
with future plans and his visions for improving the directorate.
Appointed head of the IDF’s C4I Branch about six months ago, Moscovitch
first served in a number of positions in the Armored Corps, ranging from
ground trooper to division commander. Most recently, Moscovitch headed a
strategic workshop at C4I that shaped the branch's objectives for the coming
Moscovitch began by explaining that the most significant challenge of today
is “acquiring technologies that would enable us to convey a precise map
reference from the weapon sight and superimpose it accurately on a tactical
aid or on a mapping layer, so that it may be addressed as a target.”
“Numerous complexities are involved here – flat, curved, and different
viewing angles. We have projects and start-ups, and this field is possibly
the most significant challenge for us. What we need is a precise and
standardized map reference – a 10-digit resolution as a minimum reference
and a 12-digit resolution as a desirable objective. In an era of urban
warfare, if you do not operate in a world of precise map references, there
will be operational implications.”
According to Moscovitch, the operational challenge in the field of command,
control, and communication systems (C3) is that “every operational C3 system
should support each one of the five primary efforts. These five efforts
include intelligence, logistics, command and domination, situational
awareness and command, and maneuvering and employment of firepower.
Everything associated with the employment of firepower and the ability to
process, fuse, and filter intelligence data is important, and more should be
invested in it than in the logistics element. I do not take logistics
lightly, it is important that we know what our inventory levels are and what
our status is now and in the future. Still, the main idea is that the C3
systems should support all of the elements I pointed out.
“As far as the issue of situational awareness and command is concerned,
there are essential prerequisites for operational C3 systems that constitute
the base layer of any system. In a world where everyone uses a smartphone,
knowing the situational picture of our own forces first may sound trivial,
but in the tactical medium and in an urban area, it is by no means a simple
task. In addition, we have yet to mention enemy forces, which do not give
away their positions voluntarily. While it may sound rudimentary, in
operations such as Cast Lead, the demand is for a detailed status picture of
our own forces. This has implications on the aspect of communication
networks and end units.
“In the field of firepower employment, the world is replete with mapping
technologies as well as standards. The world is evolving, as there are
substantial civilian incentives pushing the field forward. As far as our C3
systems are concerned, at the right time, a decision should be made
regarding the technology and standards that need to be adopted for the next
three to four years. This involves a major risk, and therefore, the
estimated assimilation time needs to be determined – in addition as to
whether it is a good time. This decision incorporates a sort of built-in
frustration: as you make your decision and set your goals for a specific
period, you know that the world will continue to move forward, and that in a
few years, you will be lagging behind.
“The essential prerequisites for operational C3 systems are identification
and recognition capabilities for blue and red – friend or foe – on the same
system. Once again, it may sound simple and trivial, but it is part of the
“Additionally, we need the ability of conference-type communication at the
communication and application level between the various service branches
within a given arm. Within every arm, each arm-specific system was developed
at a different time using different technologies and different interfaces.
One of the most significant challenges involves the ability to connect and
interface those systems. The systems should address the six primary efforts
“The communication medium should be both reliable and adequate. The mobile
abilities will never match the standard of the stationary abilities. Anyone
carrying a smartphone in their pocket does not carry a telephone, but
instead, a transceiver. When radio systems are the issue, the conflict for
the planner is between bandwidth and power. For a military radio system, you
must add encoding and immunity. This leads to a complex scientific
undertaking. It is tempting to think that by tomorrow morning, everyone can
have iPad-like sets at the individual troop level. Though it appears to be
simple, in reality, it is very complex.
“Another prerequisite is operating simplicity. Here, there is a chance for
an immediate clash with commercial interests. We have a tendency to
constantly refine our applications. The manufacturing firms want to do it
and so do we, but in our operational C3 systems, we have reached a situation
in which I will do whatever I can to freeze the configuration to the maximum
extent possible. Our military is a reservist-based organization and a
substantial percentage of the personnel expected to man C3 systems will be
reservists. The notion that they will be able to ‘command’ any C3 system
very easily, as they belong to a different generation that adapts to
changes – the information generation – is wrong. I intend to freeze the
configuration, as I feel that we are chasing the tail of application
refinements. As far as the cost-to-benefit ratio between refinement and
assimilation is concerned, I believe that we are at an imbalanced point.
“Generally, the first level of C3 systems is for the stationary command
posts: we have been there in reasonable form for a period of almost 20
years. A vital trail accompanied developments in the field of accurate fire
and intelligence. We have experienced some assimilation difficulties, but
the items that we have outnumber the items we don’t have.
“In principle, the three primary arms (land, air, and intelligence) have C3
systems that were developed at different times using different technologies.
We link these systems to fulfill the prerequisites that are essential for an
operational C3 system.
“In this layer of C3 systems, communication is not a problem. The
operational process works by identifying and defining the enemy, or spotting
a potential target, which is defined by a land C3 system. This goes to a hub
located somewhere in the rear, within our stationary hub. From there, it
goes to a place located further back, and finally it reaches the GHQ-level
system, out of which it may be disseminated to other systems.
“We have a few doubts regarding our development trends for the next 4-5
years. Our primary mission will be to verify how we can accept the changes –
the highly significant developments expected from these manufacturers.
"The second level is tactical connectivity. We are already in an era where
there are many sensors and a lot of information and intelligence on the
ground. We want to reach a state where we would be able to convey data
records between combat platforms, particularly between land and air. I am
not referring to a direct voice link. The question here is how to transmit
the data records produced from the air to the ground or vice versa. Within
all of this, we should connect whatever we are capable of producing in the
rear to our stationary echelon.
"The process is very similar to what I presented before, with one
significant difference: here there are no hubs – the land element does not
transmit to some land hub located in a rear-area command post or GHQ – it
all takes place between one platform and another. We expect to have a
tactical, mobile, ad-hoc internet network. Each of these characteristics has
its own complexity and linking all three together is highly complex. This is
one of the three significant things we intend to do in the coming years.
Direction of Operational C2 Systems
“Two operational developments are under way, and both are intertwined. We
need to take an irregular enemy entity and peel off its layers. The process
that should take place is a spectral peeling of the enemy. Some of these
capabilities are futuristic while others already exist. This will lead to
flooding information systems with data, and that phenomenon will only
intensify. A need arises for the assistance of operational expert systems.
Around the world, such systems are addressed mainly by marketing elements.
The military world does not have a commercial incentive. The potential
clients are the few modern militaries that possess the appropriate systems
and the appropriate precision weaponry. At C4I, together with the IDF’s
ground forces, we have major software houses. I hereby call on anyone who
may benefit from it. This is the direction we intend to take."
* * * * * * *
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
"In the 2nd Lebanon War, we had sufficient logistics supplies and food, but
they did not always reach the troops on the ground," says the head of the
IDF Logistics Branch, Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen. "We are now prepared to
transfer supplies by air, land and sea"
The Logistic Failures Will Not Be Repeated
By Amir Rapaport
05 October 2012
In July 2006, IDF troops operating in southern Lebanon near the end of the
Second Lebanon War were looking for any way to quench their thirst. In an
attempt to satiate this thirst, the troops drank stagnant water out of
storage containers owned by Lebanese civilians, and even looted soft drinks
from local stores. Any water bottle obtained was consumed immediately.
Dehydration was only one problem in a long series of logistic failures
throughout the Second Lebanon War.
"During the Second Lebanon War, there was no shortage of logistic items,"
says Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, the head of the Logistics Branch at the
IDF's Technological & Logistics Directorate, in a special interview with
IsraelDefense. "We had sufficient inventories of food, water, and
ammunition. The problem was that the items did not reach the forces that
Brig. Gen. Cohen is familiar with southern Lebanon. He grew up in Moshav
Avivim, located right near the border. When he was seven years old, he was
severely injured in a shooting attack when terrorists ambushed a bus
carrying schoolchildren from the Moshav. Twelve schoolchildren and guardians
were killed in the incident. To this day, Cohen has shrapnel embedded in his
face. Despite this injury, Cohen eventually began his service in the IDF as
a soldier in the Golani Infantry Brigade, and subsequently advanced to
senior positions in the IDF's logistics layout.
In the event of another war in Lebanon, will things be any different?
"Yes," Cohen says emphatically.
The Failures of the Second Lebanon War
In an attempt to analyze the failures of IDF logistics during the Second
Lebanon War, Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen points out that the Logistics Branch he
currently heads was disbanded only a few months prior to the war.
In the summer of 2006, the IDF disbanded the divisional logistic groups that
were responsible for resupplying combat divisions. As in past wars, the
operations of the divisional logistic groups was cumbersome, often got lost,
and even mistakenly overtook armored columns or blocked important advance
Another problem encountered during the Second Lebanon War was the failure of
combat logistics – the forces on the ground advanced faster than the rate at
which the logistic routes breached for them were laid. The food and water
carried by combat troops for one or two days of combat operations was
consumed long before supplies were delivered to them – if such deliveries
were even made. Not to mention, the attempts to deliver supplies using ATVs
and llamas – South American beasts of burden – were unsuccessful.
The issue of logistics, so it seemed, was of low priority for commanders,
and the result was reports of hungry and thirsty troops deep inside hostile
territory. In dire need of supplies, C-130 Hercules transporters paradropped
supplies to the forces on the ground in SAM-infested areas. This dangerous
operation put the pilots, aircraft, and equipment at risk. In some cases,
the equipment was not dropped close enough to the IDF combat elements. In
other incidents, equipment was dropped directly into the hands of Hezbollah.
According to Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen, as part of the lessons from the war,
not only did the IDF reestablish the GHQ Logistics Branch, but also
resurrected the divisional logistic units (although in a reduced format
compared to the divisional logistic groups disbanded prior to 2006). Each
divisional logistic group now has 700-800 vehicles, compared to 1,200
vehicles used in the old divisional groups.
"After the Second Lebanon War, a structured process of drawing lessons and
conclusions was put into effect. Maj. Gen. Dan Biton led this effort, first
as head of the IDF GHQ Doctrine & Training Directorate, and subsequently as
head of the Technological & Logistics Directorate," explains Cohen.
A few months after the Second Lebanon War, the port of Ashdod in southern
Israel was closed for a month to unload equipment and ammunition delivered
to Israel to raise inventory levels, which had been mostly below the red
line prior to the outbreak of hostilities.
"I estimate that 90% of the lessons of the war have been addressed very
effectively. For example, following the war, operational competence indices
were set for all of the logistic units, as was previously the norm only in
the IAF. These indices are based on such criteria as the training standards
of the forces, equipment quality, inventory levels, and more. In most units
today, the level of competence is around 90%. Contrary to the practice that
prevailed until 2006, in order to go below the red line, even for one
specific item, the express authorization of an officer at the rank of
general is required. Without such express authorization, no equipment may be
issued from emergency inventories.
"We have covered a lot of ground with regards to the equipment of the
reservist units as well. We are currently in the process of completing the
replacement of personal gear and war-like stores in all units. Soldiers will
never again arrive at the front lines without suitable gear.
"Most importantly, following the war, the Logistics Corps was removed from
the responsibility of the Ground Forces Branch (to which it had been
subordinate a short while before) and once again, became subordinate to the
GHQ Logistics Directorate. In addition, we established unified
responsibility in the field of logistics – from the GHQ to the level of the
"Beyond that, the logistics issue was incorporated in all IDF operational
plans. Today, no plan is drawn and no exercise is conducted without fully
incorporating logistics planning. During the Second Lebanon War, many IDF
commanders did not consider logistic issues a part of their responsibility,
mainly because they had become accustomed, over many years of low intensity
combat operations in the territories, to a state where logistics support was
delivered to them, all the way to the end units on the ground. Now, IDF
commanders understand that as part of conducting combat operations, they
must be responsible for logistic supplies on the ground, and that without
logistics, their combat operations cannot be continued.”
What about opening logistic routes? Assuming that the rate of advance of the
(combat) forces is faster than the rate at which the routes are opened, how
will you deliver supplies to the ground forces?
"Today we have options of delivering supplies through aerial, land, and
naval routes,” says Cohen. Though he did not wish to go into further detail,
Cohen relates that a major share of the developments initiated by the IDF
GHQ Technology & Logistics Directorate were intended to re-supply the forces
through airlifting. Examples include the Flying Elephant project, a
GPS-based unmanned paraglider undergoing development at Elbit Systems,
portable water purification systems for forces in the field, and fire-proof
diesel containers, which will be able to accompany tanks and bulldozers in
combat, if necessary.
In the event of another war against Lebanon, logistics centers will endure
heavier fire than that in 2006. How are you preparing for this?
"We understand that the threat has changed and that the fire we took in 2006
was only a sample compared to what we can expect in the event of another
war, so we made the necessary adjustments.
"Among other things, we are conducting call-up exercises for reserve units
under the assumption that the process will take place under heavy fire. We
provided protection to the mobilization centers, dispersed our equipment and
inventories throughout the country, and trained the logistics personnel to
fight under fire. A part of our concept is to disperse the command posts as
well. Each logistics command post that may come under attack has an
alternative command post.
"Additionally, based on the assumption that the roads will come under fire,
we developed a comprehensive command plan for the routes in cooperation with
the Israeli Police, the Ministry of Transportation, the IDF Homefront
Command, and other elements. Generally, the Technological & Logistics
Directorate is fully responsible for the logistics of the IDF Homefront
Command, and far-reaching changes were made in this field as well, based on
the lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War."
* * * * * * *
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Israel Deploys Patriot Missiles Near Northern Port
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
08 October, 2012
JERUSALEM — Israel has deployed Patriot anti-missile batteries near the
northern port city of Haifa, Israeli media reported Oct. 8, just two days
after an unidentified drone infiltrated the country’s airspace.
A military spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that the U.S.-made missiles, which
can shoot down drones, had been stationed near Haifa but refused to confirm
the move was related to the Oct. 6 infiltration.
A defense official told AFP it was not the first time that the mobile
Patriot batteries had been deployed near Haifa.
Israeli fighter jets shot down the unarmed drone over the northern Negev
desert on Oct. 6, after it entered the country’s airspace from the
Mediterranean Sea near the Gaza Strip.
The army said it did not believe the drone had been launched from Gaza but
was looking into the possibility that Lebanese Hezbollah militants may have
dispatched it, a military official told Israeli public radio.
Patriot missiles, which the United States first sent to Israel during the
1991 Gulf War, were used to defend Haifa during Israel’s 2006 conflict with
Hezbollah, when the Shiite militant group fired hundreds of rockets from
The Patriot system is capable of intercepting both aircraft and missiles.
* * * * * * *
U.S. Army Officers in Israel to Prepare for Joint Drill
By Elad Benari, Canada
07 October, 2012
U.S. army officers have begun arriving in Israel ahead of joint military maneuvers between the countries' armed forces.
Israeli F-16 / Israel news photo: Flash 90
U.S. army officers have begun arriving in Israel ahead of joint military maneuvers between the countries' armed forces, the Yediot Achronot newspaper reported on Sunday.
The officers will supervise the arrival of hundreds of U.S. troops on October 14 for joint maneuvers that will take place the following week and last for three weeks, the report, quoted by AFP, said.
The U.S.-Israeli exercises will be the most important yet between the two countries, the paper said.
TIME Magazine reported last month that Washington had significantly reduced the number of its joint military exercises with Israel, probably because of disagreement between them over how best to deal with Iran's nuclear program.
Instead of the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops originally trumpeted for Austere Challenge 12, as the annual exercise is called, the Pentagon will send only 1,500 service members, and perhaps as few as 1,200, TIME reported.
Yediot Achronot said in its Sunday report that Israel's air defenses will be tested on this occasion, including its Arrow missile-to-missile batteries and its Iron Dome rocket interception system.
An Israeli army spokeswoman contacted by AFP refused to comment on the upcoming military exercises.