While we struggle without own war related issues Israel seems to have the same concerns, only much more immediate. Following are reports direct from Israel via a relative living there:
Resupply of combat reservists to be done by September
Yaakov Katz, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 12, 2007
While a year has passed since the Second Lebanon War, the IDF is still in
the process of transforming its combat units and hopes to complete
replenishing emergency supplies for reservists by the end of the summer,
senior officers said Wednesday.
Following the war, the IDF received NIS 2 billion in aid from the government
to procure brand new equipment for combat reservists. Behind the project is
Col. Ilan Peretz, head of the Planning and Organization Department in the
IDF's Ground Forces Command.
"We will finish resupplying all of the infantry units by September and will
then continue on to the rest of the IDF," Peretz told The Jerusalem Post
Wednesday in an interview coinciding with the war's first anniversary.
"Reservists are getting equipment that is equal and sometimes even better
than compulsory combat soldiers."
The new equipment includes new bulletproof vests, lightweight helmets and
new Load Bearing Equipment (LBE) harnesses for carrying ammunition and other
supplies. The IDF is also in the process of shortening M-16 rifles and
according to Peretz will become one of the first Western militaries to only
operate with the short version of the American weapon.
"Today's IDF is a different IDF," Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen.
Moshe Kaplinsky said Wednesday. "We made mistakes before the war but since
then we have made great achievements."
Peretz said that he was aware the new equipment on its own was not enough to
change the outcome of the next war. But he said it could change the way
soldiers feel when they were sent to the front lines to fight for their
country. By the end of the year, the IDF hopes to have trained 70 percent of
its reserve units.
"I don't think that this equipment was what was missing in the last war," he
said. "But this will certainly improve the quality and the feeling among the
In addition to the changes in equipment, due to difficulty in getting
supplies like food and ammunition to units operating inside Lebanon last
summer the IDF has decided to assign a non-commissioned career serviceman to
each reserve battalion to be responsible for the unit's logistical needs.
The IDF has also ordered hundreds of Trophy active protection anti-missile
systems, which it plans to begin installing this summer on its Merkava
The decision to purchase the systems was made following the war in Lebanon,
during which Hizbullah anti-tank missile squads damaged 40 Merkava tanks and
killed more than 30 tank crew members.
Developed by the Rafael Armament Development Authority, the Trophy system
creates a hemispheric protected zone around armored vehicles such as the
Merkava tank, which operated prominently in Lebanon during the month-long
war this past summer. The system is designed to detect and track a threat
and counter it with a launched projectile that intercepts the anti-tank
IDF: Budget cut will hurt readiness for war
National security cabinet to discuss intended NIS 480 million cut to defense
budget. IDF warns cuts will damage army's readiness for war
Ronny Sofer YNET Published: 07.11.07, 03:29 / Israel News
The debate is heating up over whether to cut NIS 480 million from the
security budget, ahead of the national security cabinet meeting Wednesday
The intended budget cuts, according to a senior IDF official, would damage
Israel's readiness for war or any other threatening scenario.
Officials in the Prime Minister's Office however say the money is needed
more elsewhere, "for example securing the Gaza perimeter, strengthening the
north and education reforms."
The national security cabinet is meeting on the issue upon Defense Minister
Ehud Barak's request.
"The government has the right to make cuts, but it must understand their
significance," a senior IDF officer told Ynet.
"The cuts would be at the expense of air force, navy and ground forces
training, inventory and equipment, and the army's readiness for war or any
On Sunday the cabinet discussed snipping NIS 1.2 billion from most of the
government ministries - the bulk of which would be taken from the Defense
After Labor members voted against the cuts Sunday, it was decided that half
the sum would be taken from the ministries, while the other half would be
taken from the government's reserves.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, who demanded
that the cuts be made without tapping into reserve funds, in the end gave in
to the idea.
"Such cuts prevent flexibility. There are regular expenses which can't be
affected. What will be most affected is drafting reservists, reducing
training, and equipment and supplies. These are exactly the things that were
on our agenda to improve after last summer's war," the officer explained.
He noted that the IDF could be run more efficiently, but it couldn't do so
in the middle of the year. The officer pointed out that this was the second
large-scale cut to the IDF's budget in the past year. The first one, in
February, amounted to NIS 280 million.
The officer did admit, however, that a small portion remained from
additional budget allotted to the security establishment in December 2006.
The defense minister, IDF chief of staff, the army's head of planning and
the IDF chief's financial advisor will debrief the security cabinet on the
significance of the cuts during Wednesday's meeting.
IDF arrests 20 terror suspects in the West Bank
JPost.com Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 10, 2007
The IDF arrested 20 terror suspects in the West Bank overnight Monday.
Seven fugitives were arrested in Kalkilya, including two Tanzim operatives.
Nine Hamas operatives were caught in the Tulkarm area, a Tanzim operative in
the Ramallah area and three Tanzim operatives in the Hebron area.