11 January 2008

Rockets fired from Lebanon exposed an Israeli secret

Beirut - According to Israeli ynetnews.com
web site, the rockets fired at the northern town of Shlomi early
Tuesday exposed an Israeli military secret:
katyusha rockets 010808.jpg

“The IDF treats the Lebanon border as a peaceful and quiet one. Almost
like the biblical end-of-days vision. The alert systems that are
supposed to detect rockets launched at Israel and warn the civilian
population are not activated regularly, because there are no warnings
of impending attacks. “

Israel considers it northern border “ a sleepy border”
Ynetnews added: The alert systems installed on the northern border are
highly sophisticated and are different from the systems deployed in the
south, around the Gaza Strip. We are talking about sensitive systems,
and ongoing activation would lead to erosion and malfunctions. We
aspire to have these systems in top shape when the moment of truth
arrives. Moreover, it might be unpleasant to admit this, but ongoing
activation of these systems, 365 days a year, costs a lot of money.”

So these systems are deployed regularly along the border, but they
are turned off for part of the time. The moment the alert level
changes, it is possible to activate them within a very short period of

Ynet continued : “ The moment the army revealed its secret, that it
does not activate these systems regularly, there is a possibility that
various groups like the one that fired the rockets the other day would
attempt to check the IDF’s alertness in one way or another, without
taking a big risk in the process.

Ynet says : “ Hezbollah was also glad to hear that it has the
occasional “window of opportunity” to fire an anonymous rocket at the

Ynet wrote that the “ Israeli officials estimate that the rocket attack
Tuesday was carried out by the Usbat al-Ansar organization. A small
terror group that is based in Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp
that is closely affiliated with global Jihad .

The group attempts to undermine the status quo created in southern
Lebanon in the wake of the Second Lebanon War.The last time this group
fired at Israel was June 17: A Katyusha rocket landed in the northern
town of Kiryat Shmona. This time they fired a short-range 107 mm rocket
from Wadi Hamul, located roughly 3-4 miles ( 5- 6 KM) north of Shlomi. “-(tearsforleb)

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.