Antimissiles Deployed in Tel Aviv

Roi Tov – Nov 17, 2012

Censorship of a military operation seems to be a thing of the past. Hiding movements of troops in an environment where most people have cellular phones and cameras is impossible, at least in the long term. The ongoing Israeli attack on Gaza—Operation Pillar of Cloud—is providing several proofs of that. The oddest was reported on November 17, 2012, by Haaretz “Hamas’ al-Aqtsa Brigades signed text messages sent to many Israelis, reading: ‘We will turn Gaza into a cemetery for your soldiers.’” Unlike the past, Israel is unable to hide the preparations for a ground attack on Gaza, as the large picture below shows.

Other types of information are easier to hide. One way of achieving that is overflowing the media with distractions. Thousands of pictures of Pillar of Cloud make it difficult to spot the most critical ones. Related to this is the phrasing of official announcements in a way that makes it difficult to understand what the key issue is. Following the firing of two unguided surface-to-surface artillery rockets Fajr-5 from Gaza to Tel Aviv on November 15, the IDF deployed a fifth Iron Dome antimissile system near Tel Aviv and ran to tell the press about that. “It was done months ahead of schedule,” read the subtitles. Impressive, it sounds as if Israel constructed a new battery overnight and deployed it in the morning. The reality is different; the IDF is successfully hiding a weakness.

The four batteries already placed in Tel Aviv’s outskirts at the beginning of the operation failed to intercept two Fajr-5 missiles out of the two fired from Gaza. This is a 100% failure in this category; yet, as commented on in the past, the IDF manipulates statistics. In this case, they reported a 90% interception rate. How is the manipulation done? The batteries are deployed in areas where the interception conditions are optimal, and all other events are not counted in the statistics. Any science student will testify under oath that this analysis technique is flawed and void of any value, except for propagandistic ones.

The other astonishing item hiding in the IDF reports is that the battery was not constructed overnight, but brought from the IAF’s School of Aerial Defense. Let me translate: following the failure of the already deployed batteries, the IDF pulled out its last reserve. There are no more batteries available for new deployments. The next one being constructed is scheduled to be deployed only in 2013.

Finally, a small addendum to the reports supports the claim that the IDF has reached its antimissile weapons limit. The IDF changed Iron Dome’s interception plan. From now on, only one interceptor will be fired at every rocket, instead of the two used at rockets aimed at residential areas until now. This confirms something previously analyzed. An antimissile costs around $50 thousand per unit. A simple Qassam missile costs less than $100. This is the epitome of non-symmetrical warfare. What would happen the day all 200,000 missiles aimed at Israel are fired? Even if the various antimissile systems used by Israel achieved a 100% success rate, they may hit 0.1% of the fired missiles or less. Israel is purposely misleading its population regarding its defensive capabilities.

Ground Attack

An unjustifiable aggression, Operation Pillar of Cloud backfires on Israel. Antimissile systems show that they are ineffective under asymmetrical conditions. Netanyahu won’t be able to continue the military operation once Israel’s civilians begin protesting against it. Minor protests are already taking place. The Hadash Party is already distributing the poster: “Stop Netanyahu – The People Oppose War,” it reads in Hebrew and Arabic.

The only fast solution is to enter Gaza and seize the Palestinian launchers. That would be the secondary target of the ground incursion being planned; the main one will be the killing of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader acting as Prime Minister in Gaza. The picture above shows some of the IDF preparations. It cannot be easily dismissed as a decoy. It shows two lines of “Achzarit” (“cruel” in Hebrew) Armored Personnel Carriers. These are modified Soviet T-54 and T-55 tanks. Captured by Israel from Arab armies, they became too old to carry around modern equipment (the 54 and 55 numbers relate to the year in which they were designed); thus, Israel removed the heavy turret and created a light APC. The landscape seen is typical of the area surrounding Gaza, sand and bushes. However, the key detail is half hidden among the vehicle lines: a refueling truck. This means they are about to move; IDF vehicles are not stored with fuel in their tanks. Israel has strategic reasons for the announced incursion to Gaza, and by now there is plenty of collateral corroboration. As Hamas announced, Gaza is about to become a large cemetery, though probably for both sides.

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