A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
April 16, 2008 Gaza- Tactical Mistakes Result in Three IDF Deaths
It was not a good day for the IDF on the Gaza border. Three soldiers were killed due to poor tactical action on the ground. A group of terrorists were spotted next to the border, and a platoon of Givati went to intercept. Unfortunately, they did not spot another group of terrorists on a nearby hilltop. Those hilltop terrorists succeeded in opening deadly machine gun fire on the Israeli soldiers, killing three and wounding two more. The remainder of the platoon was in no position to respond and the Palestinians retreated into Gaza. The brigade then responded by sending a large force into Gaza. In the course of that operation and related air strikes, 15 Palestinians were killed. By this evening, 12 Qassam rockets and numerous mortar shells had rained down on the settlements around Gaza. The fear is, that Hamas will respond now with large-scale attacks on Síderot and Ashqelon. Itís clear the Israeli government did not decide that it wanted the Pesach Seders to be interrupted by attacks. It is unfortunately all too easy for events on the ground to spin out of control, especially when one of the sides is doing all it can to upset the status quo.
Yesterday Israel tested a new missile system: Blue Sparrow, primarily as a test system of the ìChetzî intercept missile. The missile tested was designed to be launched from a plane, and then travel above the atmosphere before reentering and striking it target. The missile is being used to simulate the Irananian Shiab 3, except the Israeli version has the ability to launch dummy warheads, something that the Iranian warheads cannot do, but Israel fears will be capable of soon. The plan is to use the new missile for a live test of the "Chetz 3", which will be ready by the end of the year. According to reports, the ìChetz 3î will be a faster interceptor designed to intercept the incoming missile at a much greater distance, in case that missile has a nonconventional warheads on it. The debut of the new missile says a great deal about what is, no doubt, Israelís growing offensive missile capabilities, something about which Israel has been very quiet.