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Egyptian drones spying on Israel
Jerusalem Post ^ | 12-22-03 | DOUGLAS DAVIS

Posted on 12/22/2003 6:53:50 AM PST by SJackson

Israeli officials are expected to protest Egyptian drones that are being used to spy on Israeli defense facilities when Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher visits this week, London's Sunday Times reported.

Amid growing military tensions, Israel is reported to have threatened to shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which have been detected in recent weeks over the nuclear research facility at Nahal Sorek and the missile test site at Palmahim, south of Tel Aviv.

The flights contravene the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt and are said to be fueling the growing distrust between Israel and Egypt over a military build-up.

"We'll raise the urgent issue of their spy flights for sure," an Israeli source told the Times. "However, we know that they may stop them only when we intercept the intruders, and that will not take long."

A military source conceded, "we're worried about them," adding that "they have the nerve to send their UAVs over is a worrying sign." Israel's worries are said to reflect broader concern about Egypt's growing military strength and President Hosni Mubarak's declining health.

Jerusalem reportedly asked Washington not to supply Egypt with advanced F-15 jets or "smart" JDAM (joint direct attack munition) bombs. After being shown intelligence which revealed that Israel was the "enemy" in all of Egypt's recent war games, the US froze Cairo's request.

The Times also noted that while the Egyptians are conducting reconnaissance missions using drones, Israel's Ofek-5 spy satellite observes every inch of Egyptian territory. Israeli concerns are said to be compounded by the uncertainty over the health of 75-year-old Mubarak, who was forced to interrupt a speech last month when he became ill.

"Mubarak is committed to peace with Israel," one Israeli politician told the paper. "But it is not certain that his successor will be equally committed."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: egypt; uav

1 posted on 12/22/2003 6:53:51 AM PST by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
2 posted on 12/22/2003 6:54:47 AM PST by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Don't threaten to shoot them down, shoot them down.
3 posted on 12/22/2003 6:55:32 AM PST by petercooper (DEAN = Democrats Experiencing Another Nightmare)
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To: SJackson
If Egyptian UAVs are overflying Israel, why have they not been shot down? If they're not overflying Israel, what's the issue?

Something doesn't smell right with this one.
4 posted on 12/22/2003 6:55:37 AM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: SJackson
Classic. Israel has spy satellites, but the neolithic arabs merely have UAVs.

The problem is, satelites are benevolent reminders of vigilant borders, whereas UAVs are provocative potential hostile delivery methods for WMDs. Low-tech arabs lose again.

How can they be so ham-handed when they despise pigs?

5 posted on 12/22/2003 7:00:19 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: FreedomPoster
Something doesn't smell right with this one.

Israel can't just shoot them down, because to do so would provoke the Egyptians. That's the last thing they need, especially if Mubarak's days are numbered.

Also, Israel is narrow enough that Egypt could probably get good intel just by flying them very high, and along the border.

The article correctly notes, BTW, that Israel isn't "pure" in this sense, as they do have their own Ofek spy satellite that they can and do use to spy on Egypt, along with everybody else in the region.

6 posted on 12/22/2003 7:03:48 AM PST by r9etb
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To: SJackson
Let's just keep sending them US taxpayer dollars as gifts
7 posted on 12/22/2003 7:07:17 AM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: SJackson
Where did they purchase the drones? Did they build them themselves?
8 posted on 12/22/2003 7:09:36 AM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: SJackson
Shoot them down when they land...
...in Cairo
9 posted on 12/22/2003 7:10:14 AM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: joesnuffy
Let's just keep sending them US taxpayer dollars as gifts

If Egypt can fly all the way through the demilitarized zone of the Sini that they got by treaty by promising to never fly through it, to spy on Israel, my suggestion is that Egypt indeed does not need any more American Tax dollars. The money sent to them is done under promises they obviously are not keeping.

10 posted on 12/22/2003 7:13:08 AM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: r9etb
OIC. So flying UAVs into Israeli airpspace isn't provacative, but shooting them down would be. Perfect, I think I see where you're coming from.

If the Egyptians are flying them high, inside their borders, then I don't want to hear any whining from the Israelis about it.

Spy satellites are another issue altogether. The Arabs are welcome to launch theirs to do the same.

This thing still smells.
11 posted on 12/22/2003 7:17:08 AM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: r9etb
Tel Aviv does not border Egypt. Flying military aircraft over another countries nuclear facilities is an act of war, nothing else.

My guess is that the recent illegal deployment of Saudi F15's in this same area is tied to this spy effort. The Jihad is getting ready to jump on Israel again.

Guess the Arabs need their arses kicked again. Tends to clear their thinking. But as the world has progressed to NBC warfare since the last Arab League attack on Israel, my guess is this next Arab war will end with mushrooms.

After 5 wars one would think the Arabs would have had enough, but hate is not in the brain but the heart.

My fear is the Arabs are going to release bio warfare agents that will spread around the globe. Bugs don't read maps, and if smallpox shows up in Tel Aviv, the world better sterilize Arabia before Arabia sterilizes the world.
12 posted on 12/22/2003 7:19:26 AM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: American in Israel
>>If Egypt can fly all the way through the demilitarized zone of the Sinai

Now we're getting somewhere. Is the issue that the Egyptians are flying UAVs in a demilitarized zone? I guess maybe this is obvious to the newspaper's readers, but it is not obvious to those of us not intimately familiar with all the details of the region. The J-Post should have made this point more explicit, if this is the issue.
13 posted on 12/22/2003 7:19:36 AM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: SJackson
Anything the Egyptians can put up, the IDF can, and should knock down.
14 posted on 12/22/2003 7:38:14 AM PST by LibKill (You are not sheeple. Refuse to be clipped.)
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To: SJackson
Just breaking on Fox.....some Egyption envoy to Israel was pelted with shoes by Pali crowd in Bethlehem. He became short of breath....just announced he suffered heart attack and is being treated in Israeli hospital. I didn't catch all the details.

The Egyptians apparantly have to learn the facts of life through incidents such as these.

Leni

15 posted on 12/22/2003 7:45:56 AM PST by MinuteGal (Florida Freepers! Go to Fla. chapter forum for important announcements on chapter re-organization!)
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To: r9etb
The article correctly notes, BTW, that Israel isn't "pure" in this sense, as they do have their own Ofek spy satellite that they can and do use to spy on Egypt, along with everybody else in the region.

Satellite overflight is not an invasion of airspace. Low flying dones are. Apples and oranges. A drone can double as a cruise missile. A satellite can not.
16 posted on 12/22/2003 8:11:40 AM PST by adam_az
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To: Zack Nguyen
Where did they purchase the drones? Did they build them themselves?

Unfrickin' believable! After much research, I've discovered they just bought them right off the shelf!

Luckily, using current rubber-band technology, they're only able to stay aloft about eleven seconds.

17 posted on 12/22/2003 8:16:06 AM PST by geedee (Liberals tend to worry about right and left and leave the right and wrong for others to sort out.)
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To: adam_az
If you read the article, you'll see that the Israelis are complaining because the Egyptians are looking at their stuff. The fact is that the Israelis are looking at Egypt's stuff, too.

Note that the article does not really say that the Egyptians are violating Israeli airspace. Nor does it say that the drones are "low-flying."

If they are violating Israeli airspace, then the Israelis would be justified in shooting them down -- but the decision to do so would not be without consequence.

The Israelis have to think of it in the context of how the Egyptians will respond. It probably wouldn't be a friendly response, and the Egyptians have a lot of options for making the Israelis uncomfortable. Especially since Mubarak is ailing.

18 posted on 12/22/2003 8:20:07 AM PST by r9etb
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To: adam_az
Satellite overflight is not an invasion of airspace. Low flying dones are. . . . A drone can double as a cruise missile. A satellite can not.

Excellent point. I suspect the next Egyptian drone headed toward Israeli airspace will be vaporized.

19 posted on 12/22/2003 8:24:25 AM PST by toddst
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To: r9etb
Israel, r9etb wrote: If you read the article, you'll see that the Israelis are complaining because the Egyptians are looking at their stuff. The fact is that the Israelis are looking at Egypt's stuff, too.
Note that the article does not really say that the Egyptians are violating Israeli airspace. Nor does it say that the drones are "low-flying."


Are we performing an academic exercise of literary critique here, or using our brains, correlating information, and trying to understand what's happening? Your comment above is textual criticism, not critical thinking.

Nahal Sorek is near Jerusalem. The Egyptians could only observe it by overflying Israeli airspace, which is forbidden by Israel and Egypt's peace treaty. Similarly, Palmahim is south of Tel Aviv on the central plain, which is nowhere near the Egyptian border. You can't observe it from Egypt. You came to your conclusion by relying only on the information presented in this short article. Without knowlege of Israeli geography, I understand how that happened. JPOST didn't mention this, because most of their readers do know Israeli geography. They could have been more clear, but still, the only possible conclusion is that Egypt is overflying Israel with drones.

If they are violating Israeli airspace, then the Israelis would be justified in shooting them down -- but the decision to do so would not be without consequence.

Sure, the Egyptians could retaliate by... what? Downgrading diplomatic relations? More than they are already? Shooting down an Israeli drone? Oh right, Israel doesn't fly drones over Egypt. The Israelis have to think of it in the context of how the Egyptians will respond. It probably wouldn't be a friendly response, and the Egyptians have a lot of options for making the Israelis uncomfortable. Especially since Mubarak is ailing.

Funny, I would think that an ailing dictator would be less likely to get involved in military adventures. Can you explain your train of thought, please? What options do they have to make the Israelis "uncomfortable?" Ignore the terrorists digging their tunnels, some more?
20 posted on 12/22/2003 8:41:37 AM PST by adam_az
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To: American in Israel
The Arabs are intransigently, and floridly, psychotic as a group. There will be war.
21 posted on 12/22/2003 9:08:35 AM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: adam_az
Funny, I would think that an ailing dictator would be less likely to get involved in military adventures. Can you explain your train of thought, please? What options do they have to make the Israelis "uncomfortable?" Ignore the terrorists digging their tunnels, some more?

Cripes, you're dense.

If Israel starts shooting down Egyptian drones, then that rachets up tensions by putting the Israelis on an aggressive footing with respect to Egypt.

Mubarak is about the best Israel could hope for as far as an Egyptian leader is concerned. His replacement may be more aggressively anti-Israel, and the odds of that increase if Israel starts shooting down drones. The Israelis know that -- re-read their comments about Mubarak.

As for options -- well, they could begin aggressively funding terrorist groups, for one thing. They could also become more aggressive militarily, hoping to provoke Israel into making aggressive responses.

22 posted on 12/22/2003 9:36:58 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
Let's see.

You got the factual part of your post wrong, because of your ignorance of geography.

Then you called me dense because I disagreed with your entirely subjective (and incomplete in terms of data inputs) analysis?

Mmmm hmmm.

23 posted on 12/22/2003 9:50:55 AM PST by adam_az
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To: r9etb
If Israel starts shooting down Egyptian drones, then that rachets up tensions by putting the Israelis on an aggressive footing with respect to Egypt.

I presume then that you'd have no objection to Mexican drones overflying the Southwest, or perhaps French drones launched from sea overflying DC. The idea that as a sovereign nation Israel doesn't have the right to destroy aircraft violating her airspace by tens if not hundreds of miles, depending on the route, is a ridiculous double standard. For Israel to have allowed this is a betrayal of her responsibility to protect her population.

BTW, regarding your assessment of Mubarak, why does his military, whose officer corps has trained for years for an attack on "a small country to the northwest" practice canal crossings with their Abrams tanks into the demilitarized Sinai? I'd suggest it's for the same reason the EAF has been increasing cooperation with the RSAF, the same reason the RSAF is basing planes near Israel, an eventual attack.

24 posted on 12/22/2003 9:54:22 AM PST by SJackson
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To: adam_az
You got the factual part of your post wrong, because of your ignorance of geography.

What -- they can't fly a drone along the Mediterranean coast to look at Palmahim? (Here's a map for your amusement. Palmahim is on the coast, just south of Tel Aviv -- as your superior geographical knowledge had no doubt already told you.)

As for your density -- I guess I was merely commenting on your inability to understand the article, which provides the basis for my comments regarding Mubarak.

25 posted on 12/22/2003 10:06:35 AM PST by r9etb
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To: SJackson
I presume then that you'd have no objection to Mexican drones overflying the Southwest, or perhaps French drones launched from sea overflying DC. The idea that as a sovereign nation Israel doesn't have the right to destroy aircraft violating her airspace by tens if not hundreds of miles, depending on the route, is a ridiculous double standard. For Israel to have allowed this is a betrayal of her responsibility to protect her population.

Easy for you to say. The US is so strong that if we decided to down the drones, we could do so without fear of the consequences. The Israelis are in a more difficult spot, and therefore have to consider whether or not their response will make things worse rather than better. For the moment, the Israelis are not at war with Egypt.

But if they start shooting things down they're that much closer to war with Egypt. War is always a very precarious thing for the Israelis, and it's probably more precarious now, given that the Palestinian Authority is a ready-made beach head if war ever breaks out. They've got to be very careful.

As for Mubarak, he is a moderating influence in the region. When he's gone, things could become more difficult for Israel -- especially if Egypt and Israel are already experiencing heightened tensions.

26 posted on 12/22/2003 10:13:55 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
Coastal waters are still domestic airspace.

The other location mentioned is near JERUSALEM. It would require an overland flight to reach this location, which you conveniently ignored.

You seem like one of those people who has to prove themselves "right," no matter how many facts you have to ignore and no matter how much namecalling you have to do in order to prove it.

Have a nice day.
27 posted on 12/22/2003 10:51:09 AM PST by adam_az
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To: r9etb
"As for Mubarak, he is a moderating influence in the region. When he's gone, things could become more difficult for Israel -- especially if Egypt and Israel are already experiencing heightened tensions."

Mubarak is a "moderating influence?"

Did you fall and hit your head?


text FROM THIS ARTICLE:

"Jerusalem reportedly asked Washington not to supply Egypt with advanced F-15 jets or "smart" JDAM (joint direct attack munition) bombs. After being shown intelligence which revealed that Israel was the "enemy" in all of Egypt's recent war games, the US froze Cairo's request."

Yes, sounds very moderate. As was showing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion "miniseries" on Egyptian state TV during Ramadan. Very moderate. Ignoring Palestinian weapons smuggler tunnels crossing the Egyptian border? More of his enlightened, moderating influence. "Kill the Jews" rhetoric from the official state mosques? More moderation.

So far, you managed to:

1) Misunderstand that Jerusalem and Nahal Sorek are landlocked, requiring overland passage by a drone, and then left this out of your later argument since you were unable to use rhetorical misdirection to characterize it differently, as you attempted to do with Palmahim,

2) Misunderstood that Palmahim is not reachable without overflying territory, including territorial waters, and showed a complete lack of understanding for the concept of soverignty,

3) Called Egypt "moderate" even though the article demonstrates just the opposite, and you could only call him Moderate in comparison to say, Saddam Hussein,

4) Namecalled, ("dense") twice,

5) Somehow reached the conclusion that Egypt can violate Israeli soverignty with impunity without consequence, but that Israel is unable to respond because of diplomatic baggage of some sort which you have still so far been unable to explain.

Mmmm hmm.



28 posted on 12/22/2003 11:01:12 AM PST by adam_az
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To: adam_az
The other location mentioned is near JERUSALEM. It would require an overland flight to reach this location, which you conveniently ignored.

If you read my first post to you (I don't think you did, the first time) I said: if they're overflying Israel, the Israelis would be justified in shooting them down, but that it would not be without consequence.

You seem like one of those people who has to prove themselves "right," no matter how many facts you have to ignore and no matter how much namecalling you have to do in order to prove it.

Gee -- coming from a fellow who opened with name-calling, and who seems ignorant of the facts as offered by the article, I find it difficult to be concerned about your scolding.

29 posted on 12/22/2003 11:02:58 AM PST by r9etb
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To: adam_az
Mubarak is as "moderating" as you're likely to get, over there. Would you rather replace him with a salamikaze fundamentalist?
30 posted on 12/22/2003 11:06:34 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
Please quote the message number and words in which I engaged in namecalling.

Your first message contained the text:

"Also, Israel is narrow enough that Egypt could probably get good intel just by flying them very high, and along the border"

Egypts border with Israel is along the Negev. Not near Jerusalem or Palmahim. That's why I went into the geography lesson.
31 posted on 12/22/2003 11:10:32 AM PST by adam_az
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To: r9etb; adam_az
As for Mubarak, he is a moderating influence in the region. When he's gone, things could become more difficult for Israel -- especially if Egypt and Israel are already experiencing heightened tensions.

You're right. The culture he's formented, with Saudi help, only provided 4 of the 9/11 19. Maybe his successor will do better. As to Iraq, as I'm sure you're aware Egypt has sent militants to Syria by the busload. Perhaps his successor will make things more difficult for the US as well.

32 posted on 12/22/2003 11:17:57 AM PST by SJackson
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To: r9etb
Actually, yes, because the net result would be a more actionable situation.

Mubarak is a two-faced, lying dictator.

US military aid would not continue to an openly fundamentalist Egyptian government.

Israel would be able to take a much more deterrent stance.

Europe would take a strong stance against a fundamentalist Egypt that restricted access to the canal.

A fundamentalist Egyptian regime wouldn't last that long, and the fallout of it's collapse would might in fact just be better than the status quo at the moment, a possibility that you hadn't considered.

The real problem is that Mubarak is going to soon die ANYWAY and there is no clear successor, so we don't know what will come after him, anyhow. The REAL problem is that we've been supporting this dictator out of the expectations that Arabs aren't capable of anything better. The old "soft bigotry of low expectations" redux.
33 posted on 12/22/2003 11:20:41 AM PST by adam_az
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To: r9etb
The other location mentioned is near JERUSALEM. It would require an overland flight to reach this location, which you conveniently ignored.

Oh, by the way: I decided to find Nahal Sorek on a map.

According to this map, Nahal Sorek is on the Mediterranean coast.

Global Security has maps and pictures placing the Nahal Soreq [sic] nuclear facility just south of Palamchin:

That dark patch on the left is the Mediterranean. Seems to me that a high flight down the coast would enable the Egyptians to photograph both sites, and the UAV need not venture anywhere overland, and certainly not "near JERUSALEM."

Have a nice day.

34 posted on 12/22/2003 11:37:04 AM PST by r9etb
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To: SJackson
You perhaps forget Egypt's relations with Israel before Sadat, and then Mubarak, cooled things down some.

Mubarak is no saint. But he's a helluva lot better than a salamikaze would be.

35 posted on 12/22/2003 11:39:52 AM PST by r9etb
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To: adam_az
Egypts border with Israel is along the Negev. Not near Jerusalem or Palmahim. That's why I went into the geography lesson.

You need a geography refresher. See post #34.

36 posted on 12/22/2003 11:42:08 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
Seems to me that Egypt would still have to overfly Israel's territorial coastal waters, which are Israeli air space. You said that "Egypt could probably get good intel just by flying them very high, and along the border."

Now you're changing your story to flying up and down the coast... which still violates Israeli airspace, just as much as an overland flight would.

You said that "Egypt could probably get good intel just by flying them very high, and along the border."

That's very clever, except that the sites in this article don't straddle the border, making your initial thoughts impossible. You changed your story, again.

You said:

"That dark patch on the left is the Mediterranean. Seems to me that a high flight down the coast would enable the Egyptians to photograph both sites, and the UAV need not venture anywhere overland, and certainly not "near JERUSALEM."

LOL *EVERY* "fact" you wrote is wrong! Palmahim is not on the coast, as your map shows, in fact

Also, Nahal Sorek is part of the Jerusalem Wastewater Authority district. http://www.jda.gov.il/english/wastewater.htm It's NEXT TO JERUSALEM, a few miles northwest. Tel Aviv is only 30 miles from Jerusalem, after all, and Palmahim is 10 KM south of Tel Aviv.

Again, you wrote:

"Also, Israel is narrow enough that Egypt could probably get good intel just by flying them very high, and along the border."

Nahal Soreq is closer to Jerusalem than it is to Egypt, Egypt doesn't have a border nearby, and the coastal area at the western border of Palmahim is an artillery and missile range. Not too bright to be flying drones in an artillery range, in any event. Palmahim extends to the coast, which your map doesn't show. Nor does it indicate distance.


Which border with Egypt WERE you referring to when you said that "Egypt could probably get good intel just by flying them very high, and along the border"?

37 posted on 12/22/2003 12:51:22 PM PST by adam_az
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To: adam_az
LOL *EVERY* "fact" you wrote is wrong! Palmahim is not on the coast, as your map shows, in fact.

Uh huh.

I guess all those maps are wrong, then. For example, this map puts Palmahim on the Mediterranean coast, about halfway between Tel Aviv and Ashdod.

And it's certainly possible that GlobalSecurity.org is incorrect about the location of the Nahal Sorek nuclear facility.

And I suppose that all of those references to the Nahal Sorek nuclear facility being "south of Tel Aviv" are also misinformation.

But I think it's far more likely that you're wrong. And you just can't stand that, can you?

38 posted on 12/22/2003 1:07:35 PM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
One more time.

Tel Aviv is 30 KM NW of Jerusalem.

The part of Palmahim that is on the coast is the gunnery range. They use the Medeterranean as an artillery range. Falling shells tend to keep away boats. :) Palmahim is 10 KM south of Jerusalem, and is abouf 5 KM wide.

Nahal Soreq is SE of Palmahim, is about 5 KM NW of Jerusalem.

Saying Nahal Sorek is south of Tel Aviv isn't incorrect, but you can't draw a conclusion on relative distances from that statement. It's just closer to Jerusalem, and is not visible from the sea.

It's like saying that the Washington Square Park is south of Washington Heights in Manhattan. It is, but it's still closer to South Street Seaport.
39 posted on 12/22/2003 1:26:36 PM PST by adam_az
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To: SJackson
One small Israeli nuke on the Aswan dam and the toilet known as Egypt gets flushed big time.
40 posted on 12/22/2003 7:04:45 PM PST by dennisw
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To: SJackson
Goody... FREE DRONES..... spot em, snag em, re-use them...
41 posted on 12/22/2003 7:09:54 PM PST by hosepipe
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To: adam_az
Whatever -- take it up with GlobalSecurity.org. I trust them more than I trust you, though.
42 posted on 12/22/2003 10:04:13 PM PST by r9etb
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