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Old Jul 12, 06, 2:30 am
  #31  
us2
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Take care and stay safe. Sorry to hear of more violence over there, but that just seems to come with being in that part of the world, I guess. Please keep us posted so we know you're OK.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 3:06 am
  #32  
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I just love CNN's accuracy.

It is reporting that Hizbollah fired 2 rockets into Israel. I heard at least 8 in my area alone.

It is also reporting that the cross-border attacks are continuing right now. That is not true either. They stopped at least an hour ago.

At 7 pm, the Israeli government is going to hold a special meeting to determine what steps, if any, it will take.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 3:25 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Dovster
I just love CNN's accuracy.

It is reporting that Hizbollah fired 2 rockets into Israel. I heard at least 8 in my area alone.

It is also reporting that the cross-border attacks are continuing right now. That is not true either. They stopped at least an hour ago.

At 7 pm, the Israeli government is going to hold a special meeting to determine what steps, if any, it will take.
Stay safe!
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Old Jul 12, 06, 4:25 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by Dovster
Apparently, Hizbollah launched the attacks all along the border (I could only hear what was happening near my own home) usings both mortars and rockets.

Its purpose was to serve as a diversion during which time it entered Israel and kidnapped two Israeli soldiers serving on the border.

Israel is now involved in a number of retaliatory actions (as far as I know, they involve shelling and air attacks but no ground forces).

Given the situation in Gaza after the rocket attacks on Israel and the kidnapping of one soldier by Hamas, it is very possible that South Lebanon will soon be facing a similar situation.

This would be tragic for the people living there, most of whom have no desire for a war with Israel, but on the other hand Israel can not allow its citizens to come under rocket fire and its soldiers to be kidnapped.

Moreover, as Hizbollah operates only with the cooperation/permission of Syria the potential for a much wider-spread conflict can't be ignored.

BEYFlyer and I have a long-standing agreement to meet for drinks somewhere along the border as soon as our respective countries make that possible. Sadly, it seems like today's events have pushed back that meeting even further.
Sad day for all of us... This just sickens me ... Don't know what else to say... Stay safe Dovster and hope your ex doesn't make a return visit . God help us all. Excuse me while I go prepare for the wrath of the IDF...
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Old Jul 12, 06, 6:34 am
  #35  
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BEYFlyer, I certainly hope that your preparations prove not to be necessary and that Beirut is spared any military retaliation from Israel but I am not overly optimistic about that.

I am going to attempt to write the rest of this post as objectively as my journalistic experience allows me and try to put aside any personal feelings I might have as a resident of an area which came under fire this morning.

As I am writing this, I can hear constant firing. It all, however, sounds like outgoing artillery and bombs being dropped by the IDF north of my home (in Southern Lebanon).

According to Israeli television, IDF ground troops have moved into Lebanon in an attempt to find the two soldiers. The odds of them being successful, however, are small.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared the attacks an "act of war" and says he holds the government of Lebanon responsible for them.

Israeli Army reserve units have been put on alert for call up and a Government meeting is scheduled for 7 pm to determine what action to take.

Under international law, Lebanon is, indeed, responsible for Hizbollah's actions. It would not be had it taken all possible steps to keep Hizbollah from launching any attacks from within its borders, but it has taken no such steps at all. Indeed, Lebanon has repeatedly said that it is not the guarantor of Israel's safety.

On the other hand, it is very doubtful that the Lebanese government could take any effective steps even if it wanted to. The Lebanese military is very weak and I don't know what action it would be able to undertake against Hizbollah -- which certainly is stronger in the southern part of the country.

Moreover, if the Lebanese military were to attack Hizbollah, it would risk having Syria enter on Hizbollah's side. It would also risk re-igniting the tragic civil war the country endured for so long.

The worst possible scenario that Lebanon faces is Israel reacting with unrestrained attacks against the entire South and Beirut. The best that it can hope for is Israel restricting itself solely to Hizbollah targets in the South.

The probability is that Israel will do something in between. It will most likely concentrate on the South, and keep any ground troops in that area, but may well go after Lebanese infrastructure (such as electrical plants) in other parts of the country. This could easily result in widespread problems in Lebanon.

From an economic point of view, the situation is ripe with danger to both countries. The attacks came in the beginning of the tourist season and even the most restrained fighting, in a very restricted area, is liable to frighten off tourism to both Israel and Lebanon. As tourism is a major industry in both countries (albeit more important to the Lebanese economy than to Israel's) the impact is certain to be major.

Okay, that was my objective view. Now for my FlyerTalker view:

With a lot of luck, Israel will find the two soldiers quickly (and alive) and stop all further actions. Hizbollah will have gotten a good scare and not attack again. In the meantime, all the tourists going into Israel and Lebanon will be scared off, cancel their reservations, and you and I will be able to get airline tickets anywhere for pennies.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 8:59 am
  #36  
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Wow, we have 2 OMNIers giving us instant updates from Lebanon and Israel. Stay safe and keep us posted.

And, Dovster, thanks for your objective view above.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 9:32 am
  #37  
 
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Just another note to say 'stay safe'.

And I for one will not be contributing to the lowering of ticket prices. I'm hoping to get over there in the next couple of months, missiles be damned.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 1:52 pm
  #38  
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I had hoped against hope that neither BEYFlyer or I would have any further news to contribute to this thread but apparently that is not to be the case.

We have two kinds of shelters on my kibbutz. The first are reinforced rooms attached to most houses and they are used when the situation appears to be somewhat dangerous. (My ex does not have one which is why she came to my house last time.)

The other kind are large, communal, shelters dug deeply into the ground. These are only used when the situation is considered extremely dangerous.

A few minutes ago we received SMS notification that "The Army is about to attack Lebanon. Everybody must go down to the shelters."

As the Army has been active all day in Lebanon -- since the Hizbollah rockets I first posted about -- I can only assume that this means a much serious IDF attack is about to happen (indeed, may already be underway) and that the army expects Hizbollah to return fire with everything it has.

I won't be going down to the shelter but I will sleep tonight in the reinforced room at my house -- the first time I have ever done so.

I very much hope that BEYFlyer's further contributions to this thread (if any) concern only things that he has heard about -- and not experienced first hand.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 2:00 pm
  #39  
 
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All the best, Dovster, and to everyone caught up in this.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 2:27 pm
  #40  
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Dovster, Mrs. Cholula and I have been watching this all day on FOX News and I just had her read this thread a few minutes ago so she could come up to speed with your first person reports.
Thanks for keeping us updated and watch your butt.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 3:36 pm
  #41  
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I want to thank Cholula and SanDiego1K for moving this thread here from Omni.

I asked them to do so because, while I very much hope I am wrong, I think it may turn out to be one of the most interesting ones on F/T -- especially as we have people on both sides of the border posting on it. Therefore, I did not want it restricted only to those members who are Omni-enabled.

It is a little after midnight here and for the last hour or so there has been quiet, at least in my area. My kibbutz is literally on the border and our "twin sister" in Lebanon, the village of Yaroun, is clearly visible with the naked eye.

I am happy to say that the Israeli artillery and air strikes I was able to see before darkness fell were not aimed at Yaroun or any other populated area. Instead, they appeared to be hitting roads and Hizbollah emplacements. I heard on television that roads and bridges in South Lebanon are a major target in order to make it more difficult for Hizbollah to move the kidnapped soldiers any further away from the border.

Shortly after I posted that I would not be sleeping in the underground communal shelter near my house, I went to it to see if my neighbors needed help in getting it ready. I discovered that I was not the only one to pass up staying in it -- in fact, the only ones there were children or parents.

I doubt that this is true in all the underground shelters on the kibbutz as there are some houses which don't have reinforced rooms. My ex's house is one of them and I believe that she and my daughter will be spending the night in the communal shelter closest to them.

I will probably be going to sleep very soon and hope it is one not disturbed by any explosions. It is, perhaps, even more important that BEYFlyer's sleep is not disturbed by them -- as I live in a small community while he is in Lebanon's biggest city.

For those of you who are extremely religious Christians, you can take comfort in the fact that I live at least an hour's drive from Har Megiddo, which in English is known as "Armageddon".

--

As I was typing out that last paragraph the artillery fire started up again. It sounds, however, that it is quite a distance from my home.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 4:10 pm
  #42  
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Sleep tight and safe, Dovster and BEYFlyer. Come back to us in the morning with word that all is quiet.

Last edited by red456; Jul 12, 06 at 4:37 pm
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Old Jul 12, 06, 4:45 pm
  #43  
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A sad time for all involved. Stay safe.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 4:52 pm
  #44  
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Is this more an OMNI topic than a Travel Safety & Security one? I only ask because I am often in what are "hot spots" yet wouldn't find posting such details in Travel Safety & Security to be as appropriate as to post in OMNI or maybe even CommunityBuzz or maybe even Trip Reports.

That asked, I appreciate the reports and don't really care where this thread finds a home.
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Old Jul 12, 06, 6:07 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Is this more an OMNI topic than a Travel Safety & Security one? I only ask because I am often in what are "hot spots" yet wouldn't find posting such details in Travel Safety & Security to be as appropriate as to post in OMNI or maybe even CommunityBuzz or maybe even Trip Reports.

That asked, I appreciate the reports and don't really care where this thread finds a home.
We discussed it and felt it needed a home other than OMNI. It could have gone any number of places but I volunteered TS/S as it's new home. My reasoning was that it has a loose association to TS/S as it does involve an area of the world where many FT'ers travel.
And I don't have any objections for future threads on so-called "hot spots" involving travel security issues, especially when it involves first-hand reporting by a FT'er.
After all, we're not ALL about TSA bashing here.
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