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December 18, 2015 5:27 pm

Report: IDF Clearing Forest to Create Exposed Cliffs for Monitoring Lebanese Border

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The Israel-Lebanon border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Israel-Lebanon border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The IDF is clearing large tracts of forest along the northern border with Lebanon to create exposed terraces that would make it difficult for terrorists from groups like Hezbollah to infiltrate Israel, Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon reported on Friday.

The clearing of areas in Israel’s Galilee forests, especially near small towns and villages, is apparently meant to protect against potential terrorist attacks in which enemy militants would attempt to take over a Jewish community.

Senior Northern Command military engineer, Maj. Ariel Glickman, led a Makor Rishon reporter on a tour of the area, explaining that, as things are, Israel cannot properly monitor the forested area from above because of the thick canopy.

“We are working hard to utilize natural obstacles,” said Glickman. “When we make a steep slope it makes it difficult for the enemy to infiltrate.”

According to the report, every kilometer of manufactured cliffs, escarpments in the area’s recognizable white limestone, takes about a month to complete. In April, The Times of Israel reported that the IDF was preparing an 11-kilometer stretch of such terracing in the Western Galilee.

Col. Zacharia Yefet, also an engineer with the Northern Command, told Makor Rishon that the IDF was also laying its own obstacles for potential infiltrators on the exposed cliffs such as cement beams and special fencing.

Like Glickman, Yefet underlined the military’s goal of enhancing natural obstacles while utilizing the actual terrain for operational purposes.

He was also dismissive of locals who said the military was destroying their natural surroundings.

“Sometimes residents can get angry, after we ‘destroyed’ the view of somebody who just built a huge porch facing the forest and suddenly discovered bare land. But, there’s no choice,” he said, adding that in some cases the IDF backed away from land that environmentalists claimed was critical for local wildlife.

According to the report, the army said it was working with environmental authorities and the Jewish National Fund, though some environmental groups have complained about the changing landscape.

Israeli fears of a terrorist takeover of a Jewish community also fueled the military’s campaign last summer in Gaza to destroy dozens of tunnels underneath the Gaza Strip, some dug in the direction of Israeli towns.

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  • art

    People have to get real. Forests are wonderful BUT, it is more important to make a sacrifice for the safety of people. Sadly, the forests are one more sacrifice that Israel must make because its islamic neighbors refuse to accept a Jewish state in the ME. Any anger should be directed to the arabs who launch terror attacks, and the rest of the world who is complicit

  • Barbara McCarrell

    Tell the treehuggers that those trees won’t do them any good, and those people won’t enjoy the view if they’re dead! Protect Israel at any cost! EPA has just about ruined the United States! It’s all about the New World Order those agencies). They will certainly be surprised to see WHERE their NWO is!!!
    All that is now just suspected will be seen clearly sometime between now and January 21st, 2016. You just don’t scoff at nighttime dreams/visions. You wait and see . . . . and pray.

  • brenrod

    wouldn’t it be more effective to bomb hezbullah areas in to cinders?

  • Arab violence against civilians began long before the liberation occupation

    It goes back to about 1635 in Sefad
    Contrary to popular myth, Palestinian Arabs had been deliberately targeting Jewish civilians for decades if not centuries before Israel was even established, and half a century before the Israeli liberation occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The first major attacks on civilians took place in 1920-21, when violent riots erupted in Jerusalem and Jaffa. In 1929, at least 85 Jews were killed in massacres in Hebron and Safed, among other locations; in the early 1930’s, the first Palestinian terror organization, Black Hand, began carrying out attacks against civilians; and during the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939, violence against civilians became widespread throughout Palestine.

    Attacks by Arabs against Jewish civilians continued during the 1948 War, including an ambush on a medical convoy in which 79 Jews – mostly doctors and nurses – were killed, and massacres in Kfar Etzion and Haifa. During the 1950’s and 60’s, terrorists from neighboring Arab countries (“fedayeen”) repeatedly infiltrated Israel to attack civilian targets, including a wedding, a synagogue, buses, trains, and civilian homes.

    Attacks on civilians intensified in the period leading up to and following the Six Day War, including deliberate massacres of children in a school and on a school bus, the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games, and attacks on civilian buses, apartment buildings, hotels, airport terminals, and pedestrian malls, among others. Palestinian terrorism during this period also included the hijacking and/or bombing of several civilian flights and a cruise ship.

    Palestinian suicide attacks began in 1989 and continued throughout the 1990’s. The frequency of suicide bombings greatly intensified in the early 2000’s, with targets including many restaurants, bars and cafes, a Passover Seder, a discotheque, a university cafeteria, shopping malls, and many buses. Israel responded by building the West Bank security barrier and reinforcing the Gaza barrier, both of which have proved very effective at preventing terrorist attacks.

    Since the Gaza barrier prevented terrorists from attacking Israelis at close range, they changed tactics and began firing rockets at Israeli cities. Between 2001 and 2009, 8,600 rockets and mortars were fired at Israeli population centers. The rocket-fire was multiplied several times over following Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005. After 8 years of rocket attacks on civilian targets, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in an attempt to root out the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

    “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

    – Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, May 15, 1948 (one day after Israel declared independence)