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Second Lebanon War


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The 2006 "Second Lebanon War" began on July 12, 2006 and concluded on August 14 with a UN brokered cease fire. The conflict began when Hezbollah terrorists opened fire with rockets on mortars on the Israeli border towns of Zar'it and Shtula, wounding several civilians. This was a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. The purpose of the attack was to capture Israelis who could be used in a prisoner exchange barter such as the one that had taken place in 2004, in which Israel got the bodies of three kidnapped soldiers, as well as the drug dealer Elchanan Tannenbaum, in return for a large number of Lebanese and Arab prisoners, living and dead. During the war, about 1,200 Lebanese were killed, of whom about 500 - 700 were estimated by Israel or the UN to have been Hezbollah guerillas. About 149 Israeli soldiers and 44 civilians were killed. Upward of 4,000 civilians on each side were injured, and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes temporarily or permanently. UN Security Council Resolution 1701 terminated the hostilities by securing Lebanese agreement to take control of Southern Lebanon from the Hezbollah with the help of an enlarged United nations emergency force.

Overview of the Second Lebanon War

In 1982, Israel had invaded Lebanon to crush the large force of Palestinian terrorists who had fled Jordan in September of 1970 and eventually entrenched themselves in Lebanon, developing not only guerilla forces but regular army capabilities with fortifications and tanks.  Hezbollah was organized in Lebanon in that year, ostensibly in order to fight the Israeli occupation during the first Lebanese war, but actually as an extension of Iranian power instigated and trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. They practiced suicide bombing and instigated murderous attacks, primarily against US and international forces sent to keep the peace in Lebanon after the first Israeli invasion.  Hezbollah have always been quite frank about their desire to destroy Israel.

Under the protection of the Syrians who occupied Lebanon, the Hezbollah became a power within the state. They curried favor with the large Shi'ite population in the Beqaa valley and in southern Lebanon by providing schools, hospitals and other facilities. Within these facilities, Hezbollah implanted bases, dug extensive bunkers and installed rocket launching facilities, so that it would be impossible to separate these military targets from civilians. This pattern of deployment had also been followed by the PLO. Hezbollah became a part of the Lebanese political establishment by electing people to parliament. Thus, at one and the same time, it was possible for them to influence, if not to direct, Lebanese policy, and to gain the open support of the Lebanese president, while the Lebanese government could officially disown their acts and claim that Hezbollah was a militia not under government control.

On May 23, 2000, Israel withdrew all troops from Lebanon after eighteen years of patrolling the "security zone," a narrow strip of land along Lebanon's southern border. In June,  United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan certified that Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon complied with UN Security Council Resolution 425 Shortly thereafter, the U.N. Security Council endorsed Annan’s report. Hezbollah nonetheless alleged that Israel occupied Lebanon, claiming the small Sheba Farms area Israel captured from Syria during the Six day war of 1967 as Lebanese territory, as well as some other border areas. Hezbollah continued to ambush and harass Israeli border patrols. UN Security Council Resolution 1559, passed in 2004, was aimed at ending Syrian influence in Lebanon and disarming all militias. While Syria complied in the formal sense, its security apparatus remained in Lebanon, and the Hezbollah remained under arms, ready and willing to do the bidding of Syria and Iran. On October 7, 2000, Hezbollah terrorists raided the Sheba farms area and took three Israeli soldiers captive. U.N. forces filmed the kidnapping but did not interfere and initially did not allow Israel to examine the film for clues as to the fate of the soldiers. Additionally, the Hezbollah kidnapped a former Israeli army officer, Elchanan Tannenbaum, who had been lured to travel to Dubai search of lucrative drug deals. In January of 2004,  Israel  released a total of 429 prisoners, including 400 Palestinians, 23 Lebanese, 5 other Arabs and one German, who was accused of spying for Hezbollah in Israel, in exchange for the bodies of the three soldiers and Tannenbaum. However, Israel retained two or three persons in custody. Chief of these was Samir Kuntar. Kuntar, a Palestinian, is serving four life sentences. In 1979 he and a number of other terrorists arrived in the town of Nahariya by boat. Kuntar entered the apartment of the Haran family at 61 Jabotinsky street, and took the father and small daughter captive while their mother hid in the closet with a younger child. He and this team dragged his hostages to the beach, where a battle with police ensued. He murdered the father, Danny Haran, by shooting him in the back, and then smashed in the head of four year old Einat Haran. He also killed a policeman. Two members of the terror group were killed in the shootout. Kuntar and  Ahmad Al Abbrass were taken hostage. Al Abbrass was freed in a 1985 hostage exchange ("Jibril" exchange). The second known Lebanese prisoner is a Lebanese Jew, Nissim Nasser. Nasser came on Aliya to Israel and became an Israeli citizen. However, he spied for Lebanon and was caught. Hezbollah claims, apparently falsely, that Israel holds numerous additional Lebanese prisoners, and it has used the prisoner question as a "national" issue.

The release of prisoners in 2004 increased the motivation of Hezbollah for further "successful" operations. In the summary of 2006, Hezbollah apparently got the green light from Iran for another "operation" against Israel. Iranian involvement was admitted in 2007 by Hassan Nasrallah on Iranian television, which censored his remarks. The provocation was timed to coincide with a meeting of the G-8, which issued a renewed call for pressure on Iran to end its nuclear development program, and to distract from the process of seeking international justice for the assassination of Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri, presumably murdered by the Syrian government or its agents.

The attack began on the morning of July 12, 2006. Under cover of diversionary shelling of Israeli towns, Hezbollah terrorists crossed the blue line and attacked an Israeli patrol. Of the seven Israeli soldiers in the patrol, two were wounded, three were killed, and two, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev,  were seized and taken to Lebanon.  Five more soldiers of a relief unit were killed, and a tank was disabled in a failed Israeli rescue attempt.

The Israeli government decided to initiate a massive air response, but not to call up reserves or commit large numbers of ground troops. Israel bombed Hezbollah headquarters in downtown  responded with massive air strikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon, which damaged Lebanese civilian infrastructure, including Beirut's Rafiq Hariri International Airport which Hezbollah used to import weapons, an air and naval blockade, and a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah then launched more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in guerrilla warfare from hardened positions.

The conflict killed more than a thousand people, of whom about 500 were Lebanese civilians. Great damage was inflicted on Lebanese infrastructure, and the Beirut headquarters of the Hezbollah. About a million Lebanese left their homes temporarily in response to Israeli leaflets warning them of impending bombings. About 300,000-500,000 Israelis fled northern Israel for varying periods because of the random terror inflicted by the Hezbollah rockets.  During the war, media highlighted Lebanese civilian suffering and generally ignored damage in Israel. Even though the Hezbollah are on the Terrorist Organization lists of the UK, the United States and other countries, they were referred to consistently as "militants." Reuters and other news services published faked photographs of "smoke" over Beirut that had been created in Photoshop. Hezbollah supplied fake photo-opportunities of ambulances supposedly rushing to rescue victims. The same woman was shown in photos in different towns, in each case supposedly mourning the destruction of her home. Media bias was documented in detail by bloggers and in a summary report by Carol Saivetz and Marvin Kalb. (See: THE ISRAELI-HEZBOLLAH WAR OF 2006: The Media as a Weapon in Asymmetrical Conflict,US media frenzy and the rehabilitation of Hezbollah, Image and reality in Lebanon: CNN spin obscures truth,  CNN Explains how Hezbullah manipulates the news, Reuters faking photos of Israeli "war atrocities". Lebanon War: More Media Photo Hoaxbull-ah)

After the ceasefire, some parts of Southern Lebanon were temporarily uninhabitable due to unexploded cluster bombs. These U.S. supplied munitions had been used by the U.S. and others in previous wars, but Israel's use of the same weapons provoked near-universal condemnation.

On 11 August 2006, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved UN Security Council Resolution 1701  which ended the hostilities. The resolution had the backing of the Israeli government and soon won approval of the Lebanese government. It called for disarmament of Hezbollah, return of the hostage Israeli soldiers, withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon, and for the deployment of Lebanese soldiers and an enlarged United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) force in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah was not disarmed, in violation of the resolution.  The Lebanese government stated that it would not disarm Hezbollah, and UNIFIL stated that it is not within its jurisdiction to do so. The hostages have not been returned either. In violation of the international law, the Red Cross has not been permitted to visit them, and there is no evidence that they are alive.

The Lebanese army began deploying in southern Lebanon on August 17, 2006. The blockade was lifted on September 8, 2006. Intelligence reports indicate  that large quantities of arms continue to flow unhindered from Syria to the Hezbollah.  On 1 October 2006, all Israeli troops withdrew from Lebanon.

The War

At about 9:00 AM Israel time on  July 12, 2006, Hezbollah launched diversionary rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli military and civilian targets near the coast and near the border village of Zar'it as well as on the Israeli town of Shlomi and other villages. At the same time, a Hezbollah terror group crossed the border into Israeli territory and attacked two Israeli armored Humvees patrolling on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border, near Zar'it, killing three, injuring two, and seizing two Israeli soldiers (Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev). Five more Israeli soldiers were killed later and a tank was destroyed on the Lebanese side of the border during an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the two seized soldiers.

Hezbollah named the attack "Operation Truthful Promise" after leader Hassan Nasrallah's public pledges over the prior year and a half to seize Israeli soldiers and swap them for convicted murderer Samir Kuntar, convicted spy Nasim Nisr, and other prisoners who are not held by Israel apparently.  Nasrallah declared: "No military operation will return the Israeli captured soldiers…The prisoners will not be returned except through one way: indirect negotiations and a trade of prisoners."

Israel decided to retaliate in force, using only air attacks. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the seizure of the soldiers as an "act of war" by the sovereign country of Lebanon. He  stated that "Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions"[46] and promising a "very painful and far-reaching response." Israel blamed the Lebanese government for the raid, as it was carried out from Lebanese territory and Hezbollah had two ministers serving in the Lebanese cabinet. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora denied any knowledge of the raid and stated that he did not condone it, but shortly thereafter,  Lebanese President Emile Lahoud promised to stand by Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah. At the end of the war, on July 31, 2006, Lahoud declared his full support for Hezbollah. In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on August 11, he declared Hezbollah to be "complementary to the [Lebanese] army."  Throughout the war, the Lebanese government resisted any attempts to impose cease fire conditions that included disarming of Hezbollah. 

The Israel Defense Forces attacked targets within Lebanon with artillery and air strikes even before cabinet approval was obtained for an attack, in an attempt to cut off the escape route of the Hezbollah and prevent moving the hostages to Beirut.  Later that day, the Cabinet authorized the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and their deputies to pursue the plan which they had proposed for action within Lebanon. The decision also emphasized Prime Minister Olmert's demand that the Israeli Defense Force avoid civilian casualties whenever possible.

Israeli politicians and IDF officers made rather indiscreet statements which were both over-bellicose and over-optimistic. Israel's chief of staff Dan Halutz said, "if the soldiers are not returned, we will turn Lebanon's clock back 20 years." The head of Israel's Northern Command Udi Adam said, "this affair is between Israel and the state of Lebanon. Where to attack? Once it is inside Lebanon, everything is legitimate -- not just southern Lebanon, not  only the line of Hezbollah posts." Halutz had been an airforce general and over-estimated the effectiveness of aerial bombardment. Adam's father, Yekutiel Adam, had been killed in the first Lebanese war of 1982. Adam proved to be perhaps too hesitant in ordering troops into battle and was removed ahead of the major IDF assault that came at the war.

Israel had discarded a contingency plan that called for a ground attack by three divisions as well as an air attack. The concept was that Israel would pound strategic targets, and particular rocket storage and launching sites, until the Hezbollah was unable to retaliate. At first, this strategy appeared to work. Though the information was not immediately released to the public, Israeli Air Force attacks used accurate intelligence and pinpoint bombing to eliminate virtually the entire Hezbollah store of long range rockets and most of the medium range ones as well. It seemed reasonable that further attacks would eliminate the remaining medium range rockets and the shorter range katyusha rockets. However, Israel did not have the ability to find and strike at launching sites concealed in underground silos, or in innocent looking civilian installations. The rain of rocket fire continued unabated, while the IDF insisted it was making progress in destroying the rockets.  

Pressure from the United States forced Israel to act cautiously, and also to declare that it was not targeting the Lebanese state or the Lebanese government of US and EU client Fouad Seniora, On July 16, an Israeli Cabinet communique explained that, although Israel had engaged in military operations within Lebanon, its war was not against the Lebanese government. The communique stated: "Israel is not fighting Lebanon but the terrorist element there, led by Nasrallah and his cohorts, who have made Lebanon a hostage and created Syrian- and Iranian-sponsored terrorist enclaves of murder."

Hezbollah responded with savage rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns in the north, killing about 50 civilians and totally disrupting normal life. Each day, up to 210 ball-bearing filled rockets fell on more or less randomly chosen Israeli targets killing and wounding civilians with painful perforations caused by the steel balls. The rockets fell on Israeli Arabs and Jews alike. In an exceptional instance, Hezbollah did target military personnel, hitting a group of soldiers gathered in Kfar Giladi. Numerous Hezbollah rockets fell in a tightening target pattern near a large hospital in Nahariya, suggesting that they were targeting this structure purposely (see Are Hezbollah targeting hospitals? ). Israeli civilian casualties were relatively low thanks in part to moderately well organized civil defense, and tended to be ignored by international media.

During the war, Hezbollah fired about 4,000 rockets. Of these, most were 122 mm (4.8 in) Katyusha artillery rockets, which carried warheads up to 30 kg (66 lb) and had a range of up to 30 km (19 mi). About a quarter of the rockets hit built-up areas, primarily civilian targets. Cities hit included Haifa, Hadera, Nazareth, Tiberias, Nahariya, Safed, Shaghur, Afula, Kiryat Shmona, Beit She'an, Karmiel, and Maalot, and dozens of Kibbutzim, Moshavim, and Druze and Arab villages, as well as the northern West Bank. Hezbollah also engaged in guerrilla warfare with the IDF, attacking from well-fortified positions. These attacks by small, well-armed units caused serious problems for the IDF, especially through the use of sophisticated Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). According to Merkava tank program administration, 52 Merkava main battle tanks were damaged, mostly by anti-tank rockets. Missiles penetrated 22 tanks, but only 5 tanks were destroyed. IDF studies showed that Merkava III was particularly vulnerable to the rockets. Merkava IV tanks were relatively immune because of heavier armor, but cuts in the Israeli defense budget forced cancellation of orders for Merkava IV, so too few were available for use in the war. Hezbollah caused additional casualties using ATGMs to collapse buildings onto Israeli troops sheltering inside.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah had "started to act calmly, we focused on Israel military bases and we didn’t attack any settlement, however, since the first day, the enemy attacked Lebanese towns and murdered civilians -- Hezbollah militants had destroyed military bases, while the Israelis killed civilians and targeted Lebanon's infrastructure." Hezbollah apologized for shedding Muslim blood, and called on the Arabs of the Israeli city of Haifa to flee. Hezbollah continued to use unguided rockets to shell northern Israel.

The conflict was not officially declared a war until well after it had ended. The Olmert government had apparently tried to save money that it would have to pay out if the conflict was declared a war. In March of 2007, the conflict was declared a war, and a special committee named it the Second Lebanon War.

Lebanon War Timeline

July 12, 2006 Hezbollah launched rocket attacks on Zar'it, Shlomi, and other areas. Hezbollah terrorists entered Israel and attacked two military vehicles. Three Israeli soldiers were killed in the ground attack, two were wounded, seized, and taken to Lebanon. Israeli units began pursuit of the guerillas. A tank entered Lebanon and was blown up. Further casualties were sustained in attempts to rescue crew members. Hezbollah began indiscriminate rocket targeting of Israeli civilian targets.

July 13, 2006 Israel began air attacks on civilian infrastructure that could be used for arms replenishment from Iran and Syria by bombing the Rafik Hariri International Airport, forcing it to close and diverting incoming flights to Cyprus. Hezbollah launched rockets at Haifa for the first time, hitting a cable car station and other buildings.

July 14, 2006 Hezbollah fired a missile at the INS Hanit, an Israeli Sa'ar 5-class missile cruiser enforcing the naval blockade. The missile was apparently a radar guided C-802 anti-ship missile controlled by an Iranian crew. Four sailors were killed and the warship was severely damaged and towed back to port. Subsequent investigation showed that the ship's missile defense system had not been in operation. The IAF bombed Hassan Nasrallah's offices in Beirut. Nasrallah addressed Israel, saying “You wanted an open war, and we are heading for an open war. We are ready for it.”

The Lebanese Prime Minister's office issued a statement that called on U.S. President George W. Bush to exert all his efforts on Israel to stop its attacks in Lebanon and reach a comprehensive ceasefire. In a televised speech the next day, Siniora called for "an immediate ceasefire backed by the United Nations". He rejected a U.S.-France draft resolution that was influenced by the Lebanese Siniora Plan and which contained provisions for Israeli withdrawal, military actions, and mutual prisoner release. Many Lebanese accused the U.S. government of stalling the ceasefire resolution and support of Israel. In a poll conducted two weeks into the conflict, 8% of the respondents felt that the U.S. would support Lebanon, while 87% supported Hezbollah's fight against Israel. After the attack on Qana, Siniora snubbed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by cancelling a meeting with her and thanked Hezbollah for its "sacrifices for the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon."

July 17, 2006 Hezbollah rockets hit Haifa. One hit a railroad repair depot in Haifa, killing eight workers. Hezbollah claimed that this attack was aimed at a large Israeli fuel storage plant adjacent to the railway facility.

Second Lebanon War: Israeli Civilian Casualty
Haifa Rail Depot after rocket attack Israeli Civilian Casualty at Haifa Rail Depot
Second Lebanon War - Haifa Building after Hezbollah Rocket Attac
Haifa building after Hezbollah
 rocket attack, July 17

July 18, 2006 a Hezbollah rocket hit Ziv hospital in Safed in northern Galilee, wounding eight.

July 23, 2006 Israeli land forces crossed into Lebanon in the Maroun al-Ras area, which overlooks several other locations said to have been used as launch sites for Hezbollah rockets.

July 25, 2006 IDF engaged Hezbollah forces in the Battle of Bint Jbeil.

July 26, 2006 Israeli forces attacked and destroyed an UN observer post.  An e-mail sent earlier by one of the UN observers killed in the attack stated that there had been numerous occasions on a daily basis where the post had come under fire from both Israeli artillery and bombing. The UN observer reportedly wrote that previous Israeli bombing near the post had not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to "tactical necessity," military jargon which retired Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie later interpreted as indicating that Israeli strikes were aimed at Hezbollah targets extremely close to the post.

July 27, 2006 Hezbollah ambushed the Israeli forces in Bint Jbeil and killed eight soldiers. Israel said it also inflicted heavy losses on Hezbollah.[76] On 28 July 2006 Israeli paratroopers killed 26 of Hezbollah's commando elite in Bint Jbeil. In total, the IDF claimed that 80 Hezbollah guerillas were killed in the battles at Bint Jbeil. Hezbollah ambushed Israeli forces in Bint Jbeil and killed eight soldiers. Israel also inflicted heavy losses on Hezbollah.

July 30, 2006 Israeli airstrikes hit an apartment building in Qana, killing at least 28 civilians, of which 16 were children, with 13 more missing. The airstrike was widely condemned. Missiles were being fired from the roof of the building.

July 31, 2006 IDF battle Hezbollah in Ayta ash-Shab.

August 1, 2006 Israeli commandos launched Operation Sharp and Smooth. They landed in Baalbek and abducted five civilians including one bearing the same name as Hezbollah's leader, "Hassan Nasrallah". All of the civilians were released after the ceasefire. Troops landed near Dar al-Himkeh hospital west of Baalbeck as part of a wide scale operation in the area.

August 2, 2006 Hezbollah launched over 210 rockets into Israel in a single day, probably the highest total of the war. One of the rockets hit Beit Shean, about 68 kilometers from the border.Another rocket landed in the West Bank. One Israel was killed and 58 other people injured across the country. A series of Israeli air raids, including a strike near a hospital in Al Jamaliyeh, kills 15 Lebanese civilians. About 10,000 Israeli troops move into southern Lebanon, conducting house-to-house searches for Hezbollah fighters.

August 3, 2006 Nasrallah warned Israel against hitting Beirut and promised retaliation against Tel Aviv. He also stated that Hezbollah would stop its rocket campaign if Israel ceased aerial and artillery strikes of Lebanese towns and villages. Seven Israeli civilians were killed by rocket attacks in Acre and three near Tarshiha.

August 4, 2006 Hezbollah launched about 190 rockets into Israel. Israel targeted the southern outskirts of Beirut, and later in the day, Hezbollah launched rockets on the Hadera area. The IAF attacked a building in the area of al-Qaa around 10 kilometers (six miles) from Hermel in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Thirty-three farm workers, mostly Syrian and Lebanese Kurds, were killed during the air strike.

August 5, 2006 Israeli commandos carried out a night time raid in Tyre, source of rockets being launched at Haifa and Hadera. During the raid the Lebanese Army apparently fired surface-to-air missiles at Israeli helicopters, which returned fire and destroyed a Lebanese M113 Armored Personnel Carrier. 

August 6, 2006  Hezbollah fires about 80 rockets into Israel, killing at least 15, including 3 in Haifa. A Katyusha rocket fired by Hezbollah at Kfar Giladi kills 12 Israeli reservists who had been called there for briefing. The Hezbollah apparently heard the callup announcement on Israel radio. 60-year-old Fadia Jumaa and her two daughters, Samira, 31, and Sultana, 33, were killed by a Hezbollah rocket attack on their home in the Israeli-Bedouin village of Arab al-Aramshe,

August 7, 2006 IAF attacked the Shiayyh suburb in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, destroying three apartment buildings in the suburb, killing at least 50 people. Lebanese PM Seniora claims that Israel killed 40 persons in the town of Houla. Later, it turns out one person was killed. 

August 9, 2006 nine Israeli soldiers were killed when the building they were taking cover in was struck by a Hezbollah anti-tank missile and collapsed.

August 10, 2006 Hezbollah rockets killed 26 year old Miriam Assadi and her five ear old son Fathi in the Israeli Arab village of Dir al-Assad.

Lebanon war: Israeli Casualties- Assadi family mourns

August 11  2006 IAF attacked a convoy of approximately 750 vehicles containing Hezbollah fleeing south Lebanon, Lebanese police, army, civilians, and one Associated Press journalist, killing at least seven people and wounding at least 36. U.N. Security Council approves cease fire resolution, to go into effect August 14.

August 12, 2006  IDF launched a broad land offensive in South Lebanon aimed at reaching the Litani river. Over the weekend Israeli forces in southern Lebanon nearly tripled in size. 24 Israeli soldiers were killed; the worst Israeli loss in a single day. Five of these were killed when Hezbollah shot down an Israeli helicopter, a first for the militia. Hezbollah claimed the helicopter had been attacked with a Wa'ad missile.

August 14, 2006 the Israeli Air Force reported that they had killed the head of Hezbollah’s Special Forces, whom they identified as Sajed Dewayer, while Hezbollah denied this claim. 80 minutes before the cessation of hostilities, the IDF targeted a Palestinian faction in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon, killing a UNRWA staff member. Two refugees had been killed in an attack on this camp six days prior to the incident.

During the campaign Israel's Air Force flew more than 12,000 combat missions, its Navy fired 2,500 shells, and its Army fired over 100,000 shells. Large parts of the Lebanese civilian infrastructure were destroyed, including 400 miles (640 km) of roads, 73 bridges, and 31 other targets such as Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, ports, water and sewage treatment plants, electrical facilities, 25 fuel stations, 900 commercial structures, up to 350 schools and two hospitals, and 15,000 homes. Some 130,000 more homes were damaged. One million Israelis had to stay near or in bomb shelters or security rooms, with over 250,000 civilians evacuating the north and relocating to other areas of the country. The rockets caused billions in damage.

Following the hostilities there were calls for resignation of the Israeli government, but PM Ehud Olmert refused to resign. Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz resigned as did more junior officers. The Winograd commission was appointed to investigate the conflict, but did not have the judicial authority of a government committee of inquiry. An interim  Winograd report severely criticized Olmert, accusing him of a "severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and caution." Hezbolla admitted however that they were surprised by the extent of Israeli reaction, and in remarks on Iranian television that got passed the censor, Hassan Nasrallah admitted that the entire conflict was initiated and controlled by Iran.


Synonyms and alternate spellings:  Lebanon war of 2006

Further Information:

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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