VIDEO - The diplomatic clock has began ticking – and the Israel Defense Forces is seeking to harvest the gains of the operation in Lebanon as soon as possible. Army sources said Tuesday evening that the chief of staff has ordered the Air Force to destroy all Hizbullah positions on the northern border by Saturday.
As part of the same effort, two outposts in the northern part of the Rajar village have been destroyed.
"Explosives of between hundreds of kilograms to a ton have been planted among the outposts, which means we must act very cautiously," a senior IDF source said.
In the context of the new policy, every gunman found at a distance of up to a kilometer from the border will be hit.
|Hizbullah post destroyed (Video: IDF Spokesperson's Office)|
The IDF said Air Force operations in the Shiite district of Beirut and Balbec have landed an extremely heavy blow on Hizbullah and its institutions. Air Force jets are currently acting freely in villages in southern Lebanon, after residents of 28 villages received an order to evacuate, and around 60,000 residents have left.
Enemy loses half of capablities
The IDF now says Hizbullah has 50 to 60 percent of the capablities it had at the start of the week – and the organization still has long-range capabilities. It is not clear, however, how many rockets remain of the approximately 11,500 rockets which the terror organization had at the start of the confrontation.
Security forces are not ruling out the possibility that rockets will also hit the center of the country. A senior officer explained that a rocket fired at Tel Aviv must approve Iranian approval, and will only be launched out of strategic considerations.
At general headquarters, it is believed Hizbullah will seek to be the side that fires the last shot in the current round, and that after the confrontation, the organization will still have the abilities to fire rockets.
Defense officials say the cost of Operation Changing Direction is around NIS 50 to 100 million (USD 11 to 24 million) a day. On the front, the IDF is also operating logistically, as it is spread out between two battle zones.
Colonel Nissim Peretz, Head of the Logistics Department at the Logistical and Medical Branch, told Ynet that the operations are greater in scope than during the disengagement plan.
"We are working to transport equipment to all regions, to transfer arms and to bring one hot meal a day to every soldier," he said.
The Logistics branch is working around the clock to ship out armored vehicles, tanks, ships, and even planes. "We are working with our soldiers and with reserve soldiers who volunteered to help," said Colonel Yoni Aryeh.
"We have found a spirit of volunteering that is impressive – everyone wants to be part of this effort," he said.