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The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."


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.

Smoke rises after IAF airstrike in Gaza [file]

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

IsraelDefense 8/10/2012

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 

C3 Challenges

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 
previously outlined.

“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 
needed them."

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 
individual soldier.

"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

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 
neighboring Lebanon.

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

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.
The drill was postponed eight months ago just as concerns were brimming that Israel would launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. It was later rescheduled for later this month.
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.