Israel-Lebanon Conflict 2006
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.