Stratfor Update On Gaza, Israel, And Hezbollah

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Stratfor Global Intelligence,

Update On The Israel-Gaza Conflict

New intelligence indicates forces in Gaza may be manufacturing long-range rockets locally. If this is the case, a significant ground force offers the Israelis the best chance of finding and neutralizing the factories making these weapons. Meanwhile, Israel continues its airstrikes on Gaza, and Gaza continues its long-range rocket attacks on major Israeli population centers, though Israel claims its Iron Dome defense system has intercepted most of the rockets.




Israel appears to be positioning itself for a ground operation, perhaps as early as the night of Nov. 17. The Israeli Cabinet on Nov. 16 approved Defense Minister Ehud Barak's request to call up 75,000 reservists, significantly more than during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. The Israeli army meanwhile has also sought to strengthen its presence on the borders with Gaza. Primary roads leading to Gaza and running parallel to Sinai have been declared closed military zones. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery and troops continue to stream to the border, and many units already appear to be in position.


During Operation Cast Lead, the Israelis transitioned to the ground phase around 8:00 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2009. Going in during dark hours allows the IDF to take advantage of its superior night-fighting equipment and training, including the use of night vision goggles and thermal optics.


The Israeli air force remained active throughout the night of Nov. 16-17, striking at targets across the Gaza Strip including key Hamas ministries, police stations and tunnels near the border crossing with Egypt. The IAF reportedly carried out strikes in Rafah's al-Sulan and al-Zahour neighborhoods, as well as east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp. According to IDF reports, the air force carried out a rapid and coordinated military strike, targeting approximately 70 underground medium-range rocket-launching sites in the less than an hour. The IDF claims direct hits were confirmed. The IAF will increasingly target Hamas militant defenses ahead of any ground invasion. Already the IAF has bombed militant defensive positions, particularly in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.


Meanwhile, Hamas and other militant factions in Gaza have been actively striking back at Israel. More than 80 rockets have been launched from Gaza over the past 24 hours. Of the rockets launched Nov. 17, approximately 57 landed in Israel. According to the IDF, a total of 640 rockets have been launched since Nov. 14, with 410 landing in Israel. A long-range rocket was fired from Gaza toward Tel Aviv at approximately 4:45 p.m. local time Nov. 17 but was successfully intercepted by the recently deployed Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system in the area. Hamas continues to target areas around Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beersheva, with the Iron Dome system intercepting five rockets over Ashkelon at 5:15 p.m. The majority of rockets launched from Gaza appear to be of shorter range than the Fajr-5. The IDF has stated its Iron Dome interceptors have so far successfully intercepted 90 percent of the rockets, though this may be an exaggeration.


One of the long-range rockets was intercepted by the newly installed Iron Dome battery in the Tel Aviv area. A Stratfor source has indicated that the rocket was not a Fajr-5, but was a locally manufactured long-range rocket in Hamas' arsenal.


If militants in Gaza are now able to locally manufacture their own long-range rockets that can target Tel Aviv and other major Israeli cities, it would be a worrisome development for Israel. Thus far, Israel has been able to focus its efforts on limiting the supply of these rockets to Gaza through interdiction efforts, such as the alleged Oct. 23 strike on the Yarmouk arms factory in Sudan. But if Palestinian militants can manufacture long-range rockets in Gaza, it will be much more difficult for Israel to restrict Gaza's inventory of these rockets. Beyond rocket launch sites and caches, which Israel is currently targeting with its airstrikes, it would need to target production sites and those who would be responsible for manufacturing the rockets.


Furthermore, it will be significantly harder for Israeli intelligence to form an accurate picture of the number of these rockets locally constructed in Gaza. We have already seen that Israeli intelligence likely did not anticipate how many long-range rockets had escaped its first wave of strikes, and the fact that Hamas may have been producing these weapons could explain Israel's lack of complete information.


Hamas recognizes that these long-range rocket attacks have only increased the likelihood and intensity of an Israeli ground incursion. A significant ground force offers the Israelis the best chance of finding and neutralizing the factories making these long-range rockets as well as the shorter-range Qassams. Hamas and the other militants therefore are actively preparing their defenses for the anticipated incursion and are likely laying improvised explosive devices, setting up road blocks and defensive emplacements and sorting out their ranks and tasks.


Hamas has already announced that its Al Murabiteen units, consisting of five brigades spread across Gaza, will be concentrated in the border region to limit Israeli penetration into the Gaza Strip. Learning from Hezbollah's example in 2006, special units of Hamas are relying heavily on tunnels to maintain communications. Should Israel be drawn into more densely populated areas of Gaza in pursuit of weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, Hamas has also reportedly prepared its suicide bombers, known as Istishadiyeen, to raise the cost for Israel in an urban battle.

Hezbollah Remains Wary amid Israeli Operations in Gaza

While Hamas is preparing for an Israeli ground assault into Gaza, Hezbollah's movements on Israel's northern frontier bear close watching. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi on Nov. 17 called on the Muslim world to retaliate against Israeli actions in Gaza. Naturally, many are looking in the direction of Lebanon, where Hezbollah, Iran's most capable militant proxy, could open a second front against Israel.


Though Iran would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the spectrum of its militant proxy strength, especially after supplying Hamas with the long-range Fajr-5 rockets that have been targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Hezbollah will likely be extremely cautious in deciding whether to participate in this war.



The group's fate is linked to that of the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad; should Syria fracture along sectarian lines, Lebanon is likely to descend into civil war, and Hezbollah will have to conserve its strength and resources for a battle at home against its sectarian rivals. Indeed, Hezbollah has already been preparing for such a scenario by seizing control of villages along the Orontes River Basin in order to maintain connectivity with Syria's Alawite community.


At the same time, if Hamas is able to bog down Israeli ground forces by drawing them into a war of attrition in densely populated Gaza City, Hezbollah may see a political opportunity to burnish its credentials as the region's leading "resistance" movement. In this case, Hezbollah would likely monitor the situation until it could be assured that Israeli forces are sufficiently constrained on the Gaza front before it begins attacks on the northern front. Hezbollah is not looking for a major confrontation with Israel, and the tens of thousands of additional Israeli reservists called up compared to Operation Cast Lead suggest that Israel is already preparing for a two-front contingency. If Hezbollah does decide to participate in the war, it would be carefully timed to drive an already embattled Israel toward a cease-fire so that Hezbollah could claim a largely symbolic victory at relatively little cost.


With Hezbollah uncertain how the Israeli-Hamas battle will play out, the group appears to be taking a cautious approach. Stratfor has received indication that Hezbollah has prevented radical Palestinian groups in southern Lebanese refugee camps from firing rockets into northern Israel. In addition to an increase in the number of patrols by the Lebanese army and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, Hezbollah has been deploying numerous operatives in plainclothes along the border to monitor the situation. Hezbollah has also installed cameras around the Ain al Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon to monitor traffic from the camp to its outside environs. Whereas Hezbollah completely controls movement into and out of Palestinian refugee camps in the deep south, Ain al Hilweh lies completely within a Sunni neighborhood. For this reason, Hezbollah has rented a number of apartments around the camp, especially in al Ta'mir area, to keep a close watch there.


For now, Hezbollah appears intent on not allowing the battle in Gaza to spill into southern Lebanon. It remains to be seen whether that calculus would shift should Hamas succeed in wearing down Israeli ground forces.

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Earl of Chiswick's picture

Didn't Israel hack Stratfor? or was it Egypt

SgtShaftoe's picture

That was lulzsec, completely different dimension of conflict...

CPL's picture

Israeli Foreign Ministry: 'Ireland most hostile country in Europe',7340,L-4149059,00.html



Yes.  The fearsome Irish.  ...sigh...the media has gone batshit with this garbage.  Everyone is a racist today.

chumbawamba's picture

Here it comes: The Israeli Mistake.

Wait for it...

I am Chumbawamba.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

I hope they can get some of these to Gaza in time.

20,000 Stinger Missiles Disappear in Libya

Matt's picture

Disappear? Didn't the US State Department buy them?

mick68's picture

Stratfor's word is as worthless as the US govt. Just yesterday their middle east correspondant was on CNN telling the world that the war in Gaza had nothing whatsoever to do with the war in Syria.

When a patently obvious disinfo message like that is made, anything else they say is irrelevant.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

Conspiracy Theory S03E02 Death Ray

Dr. Judy Wood - Where Did the Towers Go?

Organic matter reacts differently then in-organic matter when subject to a directed specific type of energy wave. Sort of like that which comes from a Star Trek type Phaser. Think Tesla influence.

There were TWO types of demolition techniques used on the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11.

When I release specific info like this, I spread it far and wide to where they would have to shut down the entire Internet to get rid of it.

I was attacked with this type of weapon, but will not release the defense criteria mechanism, except to say it has to do with a type silicone covering.

Twenty-five years after Reagan's Star Wars speech

Reagan launches SDI

(Star Wars-Ronald Reagan ) Strategic Defense Initiative - SDI

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

I'm just going to come out with it: Fuck Israel.



But also, fuck everyone else. But mostly, Israel. That is all. 

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Even the inner core of neocon Jewish warmongers are starting to say Israel won't be here next decade:

« Reported to me, Henry Kissinger has stated — and I quote the statement word for word: "In 10 years, there will be no more Israel."

I repeat: "In 10 years, there will be no more Israel." ... »

« Sixteen US intelligence agencies with a combined budget over USD70 billion have issued an 82-page analysis titled 'Preparing for a Post-Israel Middle East.' ...

Interestingly, neither Henry Kissinger nor the authors of the US Intelligence Report give any sign that they are going to mourn the demise of Israel. This is remarkable, given that Kissinger is Jewish ... »

Cindy Adams in the New York Post, 17 Sep 2012

strannick's picture

Isreal will be here. Isreal doesnt ask anyone for the right to exist.

centerline's picture

That's not the point.  Wanting and getting are 2 different things.

strannick's picture



Tell that to Hank Kissenger

CompassionateFascist's picture

Jews will rule Palestine so long as they rule America. When the ZOG is broken, Israel will dry up and blow away. 

downwiththebanks's picture

Ha ha ha.  Except the UN.  The only reason the little White Colony exists at all comes though the sanctioned theft in 1947 and, since then, thanks to Uncle Sam's welfare checks.

Zionists really are a pathetic lot--existing all this time on handouts yet behaving like bullies.

Good thing the days of this blot on civilized humanity--now 60 years old--has begun winding itself down by its own rapacious criminality.

OutLookingIn's picture

Israel will still be there in 10 years.

It will be a glass topped parking lot.

Defeat to the Jews means death, so they will unleash the dogs of total war and make the area uninhabitable to most life for thousands of years.

A highly radioactive wasteland. Just asying, the entire area is bat shit crazy. Has been for over a thousand years. Aint going to change.

gnomon's picture

Yassir, if Israel is a "parking lot" so is Gaza, South Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and maybe Egypt.  Israel will not go quietly into that never-ending night.

Be careful what you wish for, JEW HATERS.

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

We're Banker Hater's, and since Usurous banking started in Israel, we hate the usurous bankers that abide there. The good people of Israel have had two thousand years warning, if they are still there it's because they are suicidal.

The verdict just in, BOMB ISRAEL

Dingleberry's picture

Israel doesn't ask anyone for the right to exist.....only our $$$.  And defacto protection. 


Fixed it for ya.

Vigilante's picture

Israel will be here...

...all the other feckers incl. Kissinger will go the way of the dodo.

Reports of Israel's death are vastly exaggerated.

Babylonians,Assyrians,Romans,nazis....the dustbin of history is full of Israel haters.


downwiththebanks's picture

Who's more important to you, tough guy:  the little invisible Sky-Goblin before whom you kneel or Uncle Sam, with those BIG welfare checks that enable your genocidal and racist attitude?

Meremortal's picture


We have some human shield job openings available, if you want to make yourself useful.



downwiththebanks's picture

i.e., Mossad's best buddies.

Just look at what they're doing on the Egyptian border:

According to an Ahram Online journalist currently at the crossing, however, Palestinian border authorities – citing security concerns – have said only one busload of activists (roughly 50 individuals) would be permitted to cross into the beleaguered coastal enclave.

Think about the impossible political problem to Apartheid Israel presented by a couple hundred thousand Egyptians marching into Gaza!  So what does Hamas do?

Stops it.

Matt's picture

More hyperbole. There are, according to the article you provided, maybe 500 people tops trying to get into Gaza.

Hedge Fund of One's picture

All this because of a Youtube video ... shame shame on that guy ... Hillary got him good though.

downwiththebanks's picture

Yep--and shipped them into Syria so that their alCIAda buddies can use them to destabilize Assad's gov't.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

For the record SoT, the USA has over 5,000 nuclear missiles, many of them deployed worldwide on nuclear powered submarines, and we are willing to use them as previously demonstrated.

Maximum pain for everyone is prescribed, unless we can identify who our owners are first and bring them to justice.

downwiththebanks's picture

This is quite funny. The Russian position on the alCIAda proxy war in Syria is for the world to adhere to international law.  People like you are cheering on alCIAda!

Meanwhile, Uncle Sam has airlifted thousands of alCIAda crazies out of Libya to the Iskanderun NATO base in Turkey, armed by the feudal despotisms in the Gulf.  There is abundant evidence of this, which you ignore.

You also quite clearly cannot read a map.

Gully Foyle's picture


Syrian Rebels Appear to Capture Advanced MANPADS.

a quick summary of what seem to be new rebel acquisitions of anti-aircraft weapons. The photograph above shows a rebel with an apparently complete (tube, gripstock and battery) SA-16. Another photo shows another rebel with an apparently complete SA-24, one of the most advanced heat-seekers in the world. This might be the only time an SA-24 MANPADS has been photographed outside of state control.

Possible Score for Syrian Rebels: Pictures Show Advanced Missile Systems

Video Shows Captured SA-16 And SA-24 Surface To Air Missiles

(Biden 2016 Help me Rhonda)

Matt's picture

So, did they capture them in Syria, or Libya? Or were they conveniently delivered to Turkey near the Syrian border?

caconhma's picture

Hezbollah will not get involved this time. Its main objective is to support Assad in Syria.

As for Israel, let us see if they are any good in a street-by-street fighting environment. After all, Bibi started all this shit to help him in the coming this January elections.

Israel has made a big mistake in Gaza. Egypt and other Arab American lackeys will get lots of problems from their own people supporting Israel.


If Israel has to call up its military reserve just to fight 1 million unarmed Palestinians, what fuck it can think it can do fighting 1 millions with 11 million reserves strong relatively well armed Iranian arm forces? Their goal is obvious: Let American assholes fight all over the Middle East.


Oh regional Indian's picture

Spot on... it will be an awesome sight to see the world's bullies with bloodid noses or worse. All over.

Fractally, this Israel/Gaza story is happening all over the world.


CunnyFunt's picture

The street-to-street fighting is inevitable. Netanyahu will justify it with the missile factory "intelligence". Every generator, lathe, welder, compressor, band saw, soldering iron, screwdriver and box cutter must be siezed as primary objectives.

downwiththebanks's picture

Except that the little Land-Grabbing Zionist army cannot fight.  They can only kill grandmas from 25,000 feet.

Zombie's picture

You are an idiot, sir. Israel will destroy Iran from the air.

downwiththebanks's picture

Apartheid Israel wouldn't dare go after Iran.  The Iranian air defenses would have Uncle Sam's fighter jets--given over to Apartheid Israel because they're on the welfare--falling from the sky like rain.

That's why the Zionist leadership specializes in jaw-flapping.

Vigilante's picture

You liberal bitches were issuing doomsday warnings before the first Gulf War...

...then in the second... on Iran...

..but you always end up with egg in the face

downwiththebanks's picture

What's funny to me is your assertion that, from the imperialist perspective, Iraq was a success when your little neocon dummies handed the country to Iran on a platter.  Moreover, you're fucked in Afghanistan.

And as for Apartheid Israel, the minute boots touched down over this past decade, they've soon been in retreat.  If they decide to enter Gaza again--which I doubt they have the guts to do--they'll fail to take Beit Lahiya, just like 2009.

And then they'll cry to the world for a cease-fire as they did in 2006.

mick68's picture

To everyone who thinks Israel is at fault, as yourself this. If 600 missiles were lobbed over the US border in a fairly short time period, would the US be a "bully" to send some back?

Israel and the Palestinians both believe the land is theirs, so they constantly battle over it. Should Israel apologize because they're more powerful and able to remove Palestinians?

Someone has to win, and it's Israel. Only a socialist would disagree.

Treason Season's picture

You are overlooking a simple glaring fact. The state of Israel has no right to exist where it it exists. Period. End of story. Don't buy the Rothscihld lie.

putaipan's picture

it does when it does. whhhoooops- post rasool/meischak landing.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

"No right to exist." WHAT?! What about the holocaust?! Didn't you know, if shitty things happen to your people, you are entitled to have your friends (who happen to be world superpowers) take land from someone else and give it to you as a safe haven and as reparations for the harm done to your people. 

'What about the people who already lived there' you ask? Well, they're 'terrorists' so good riddance. 



HeatMiser's picture

I'll make this simple for you to understand. It took 19 hundered and 40 years to make 14 million Jews. If half the population was removed did they have Helicopter Ben print more Jews beause they are 14-15 million now. That's why its called the Big Lie. And when Israel is no more they will move to the US and we will become the new Israel and Americans will become the new palastine bitches.

Cosimo de Medici's picture

Well, you win the Daily Double.  You're a moron as well as a bigot. The world population in 1940 was 2.3 billion.  Today it is 7 billion, or more than a 200% increase since '40.  The Jewish population has only doubled over that period, after nearly half of them were wiped out in what your type likes to call the Big Lie.  Not Big Lie, but rather Big Mistake.  As the Scarecrow say, "if (you) only had a brain".


JR's picture

“In January 1933 there were some 523,000 Jews in Germany, representing less than 1 percent of the country's total population. The Jewish population was predominantly urban and approximately one-third of German Jews lived in Berlin. The initial response to the Nazi takeover was a substantial wave of emigration (37,000-38,000), much of it to neighboring European countries (France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland).” -- GERMAN JEWISH REFUGEES, 1933-1939 Copyright © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

In his book Hitler’s Jewish Hatred, Cliché and Reality, author Ralf Georg Reuth recounts that Hitler blamed the Jews for both the collapse of the German economy and for the Russian revolution.

According to book reviews, “Drawing on numerous archives, Reuth paints the social backdrop during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. ‘Almost half of all German private banks were Jewish owned,’ writes Reuth, “the stock exchange was dominated by Jewish stockbrokers, and almost half of the nation’s newspapers were Jewish run as were 80 per cent of chain stores.’”

Notwithstanding that many prominent Jewish bankers financed Hitler to power, including Bernard Baruch, it is said that to “Hitler and many others, it was left liberal politicians and supporters, (German Jewish bankers and their international Jewish network), of the Weimar Republic who ‘stabbed Germany in the back’ by signing the armistice on November 11, 1918.”