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Israel-Lebanon Conflict 2006

Israel-Lebanon Conflict 2006
Israel-Lebanon Conflict 2006
Israel-Lebanon Conflict 2006

Conflict between Israel and Lebanon of 2006. The conflict is still ongoing, 4 weeks into, perhaps 1,000 people have died, of which 65% are civilians.
This conflict began with Hizbullah attacking Israel, and is not part of the Palestine-Israel conflict, rather it must be understood as part of the Islamist war against the Western world. Still, it cannot be understood without referring to the 50 years of conflict in the Middle East, between Jews and Muslims.
The first incident was a Hizbullah attack on Israel on July 12, where 8 Israeli soldiers were killed, 2 kidnapped. Israel would retaliate immediately with a full-scale attack on all parts of Lebanon, although only the southern parts of the country was relevant for the aggression on Israel. Why all of Lebanon was bombed remains unclear as of early August.
Prior to the incidents along the Lebanese-Israeli border, similar incidents had taken place between Palestine and Israel on the Gaza Strip, both kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and heavy retaliation from Israel.
The Israeli attack was first called Operation Just Reward, but shortly after renamed into Operation Change of Direction. The first Hizbullah attacks were called Operation Truthful Promise. From the Hizbullah side, perhaps 800 rockets were launched into Israeli territory and Israeli occupied territory over the first two weeks. Most rockets, however, were small and few managed to strike at the intended target. Much confusion about the type of rockets caused speculations that Hizbullah received direct military aid from Iran.
Israeli attacks on Lebanon hit the southern parts most heavily, but all major towns and cities, even in the north were hit. Beirut suffered hard, having the most vital parts of its communications destroyed, airport, highways and ports.
As of July 28, 398 Lebanese had been killed, 700,000 made homeless. On the Israeli side, 51 had been killed, of which there were 33 soldiers.
Israel has met strong protests mainly from Syria and Iran, but received strong support from the USA. Middle Eastern countries have condemned Israel but not as strong. Protests from European countries against Israel has been linked with a condemnation of Hizbullah's actions.
The war is staged in reality on two arenas. In addition to the real war, an equally important propaganda war was fought. Through its first weeks this battle saw largely victories for Hizbullah. On July 30 emerged accusations that Hizbullah killed its own in order to defame Israel, but this is as of yet not confirmed or invalidated.
Though the war met great support among Israelis in the first weeks, in early August questions were raised concerning the continued strength of Hizbullah, hence the efficiency of the Israeli forces.

2006 July 12: Hizbullah launches its Operation Truthful Promise, in which rockets were sent from areas in southern Lebanon under their control, into Israel. Hizbullah soldiers kidnaps two Israeli soldiers and kills another 3, all being part of a routine patrol along the border. Five more soldiers were killed by a land mine, when trying to rescue the two abducted soldiers. Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, stated that the only way of returning the two kidnapped soldiers, was through a prison exchange.
July 13: Israel attacks Lebanon, attacking important airports in the country, including the international airport of Beirut.
July 14: Hizbullah sends rockets at Haifa.
— Israeli forces destroy the main road between Beirut and Damascus, and continues attacking Beirut's international airport.
July 15: Ports of Beirut are bombed by Israel.
— Hizbullah rockets kill 8 in Haifa.
July 16: Israeli attacks on the town of Aitaroun kills 45.
July 23: Israeli troops enters Lebanese territory, taking control of an area overlooking important Hizbullah lands.
July 25: Hizbullah launches its heaviest attack on Haifa, launching 140 rockets throughout the day.
— Israeli air strike kills 4 UN observers, and is accused by the UN for doing this deliberately.
July 26: Heavy fights between Hizbullah and Israeli troops over important southern Lebanon villages.
July 28: USA and Great Britain declares intentions to have UN led international forces to intervene in southern Lebanon, in order to establish stability in the area.
July 30: Israel attacks the town of Qana. 56 people die, including 37 children. The attack results in strong international protests, but there are also voices suggesting that many of the civilians died from Hizbullah bombs destroying buildings in order to defame Israel in the parallel propaganda war.
August 1: Israel makes a push into Lebanon, doubling its forces.
August 2: Hizbullah launches 220 rockets into Israel territory, the largest so far in the war.
August 6: A wave of Hizbullah rockets against Israel kills 10 civilians.

By Tore Kjeilen