Carl in Jerusalem is live-blogging the situation in Israel as the IDF responds to the kidnapping of two Israel soldiers by Hizbullah from across the border in Lebanon. He has information from IDF sources:
Rumors flying that Ehud Olmert will be declaring war tonight (2 years too late)?
3 dead IDF soldiers in the north, 2 IDF soldiers kidnapped, triple pronged attack, Katyusha, terrorists on the ground shooting freely at IDF outpost, and then capturing 2 IDF soldiers.
Heavy fighting going on now. IAF knocked out bridges throughout southern Lebanon, IDF navy shelling Beirut suburbs,
In Gaza, Mohammed Deif, leader of Hamas, lost other leg and arm, not dead yet from last night’s IAF aerial bombing on a non empty building…
Shlomi Moshav in the north all children and parents are in the bomb shelters,
IDF tanks and troops have crossed into Lebanon where they left 6 years ago
IDF tanks and troops have cut Gaza strip in to two sections as IAF continues bombing
Censorship on other details now in effect by IDF
Fortunately, Hizbullah and Hamas would never co-ordinate with each other, right? The former is Shi’ite; the latter is Sunni, after all…
Oh, wait a minute. They just did.
Well, I guess pigs have flown. Hell has frozen over. It’s a cold day in July.
Late-breaking update: Both the kidnapped soldiers were Druze:
…DEBKAfile is also saying that the two kidnapped soldiers are both Druze. For those who were not aware, most Druze do army service here.
I was very suprised to learn that the (possibly) kidnapped soldiers are non-jewish muslim(?) israeli soldiers…. I would guess their captors will not afford them any amenities because of this fact.
There are also a fair number of Druze in Lebanon..I wonder how they feel about this? (I’ve heard that the Druze tend to be loyal to the country they’re in– Israeli Druze are even more patriotic than many Jewish Israelis…but those in Arab countries are very anti-Israel).
Supposedly they are fierce fighters– the Arabs fear Israeli Druze soldiers more than the others…
Thanks for linking me guys. It’s been a wild night.
On the specific question of the kidnapped soldiers’ religious beliefs, my best guess right now is that one is Druze and one is Jewish. See http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2006/07/israel-does-not-have-bodies-of-four.html
But the Druze are definitely excellent soldiers, and they will unfortunately get no breaks from Hezbullah.
I don’t know much about the Druze, so a google brought this up:
The Druze community in Israel
Very informative (at least to me).
The real fly in the ointment here
is what are Hizbollah’s military
capabilities. There are rumors that
Iran has equipped them with rockets
capable of reaching Tel Aviv. One
can only guess where this could go
if Tel Aviv was hit by missiles.
Right now Israel is limiting its
response to Lebanon but that is an
old tactic and not very effective.
Knocking out Syria and taking out
that Mashaal character might be a
more logical way to approach this
matter as well as putting a real
hurt on Hizbollah and I do mean
a hurt. Not punitive raids but an
extermination campaign. Do it fast
though before the world can react.