The Second Lebanon War (2006)

The Second Lebanon War (2006)


On July 12, 2006 eight IDF soldiers were killed and two kidnapped on the border with Lebanon, in an attack by the Hizbullah terror organization.

The remains of Sgt.-Maj.(res.) Ehud Goldwasser and 1st Sgt.(res.) Eldad Regev, abducted in the attack on the IDF patrol jeep, were returned to Israel on July 16, 2008.

 Kiryat Shmona home hit by Katyusha rocket, August 2006 (Photo: Reuters)

On July 12, 2006 eight IDF soldiers were killed and two kidnapped on the border with Lebanon, in an attack by the Hizbullah terror organization. Hizbullah simultaneously launched Katyusha rockets against Israeli communities near the border.

From July 12 until August 14, when the cease-fire went into effect, 43 Israeli civilians and 117 IDF soldiers were killed.
Two more soldiers were killed in south Lebanon shortly after the August 14 cease-fire.
After spending over a year fighting for his life in a Haifa hospital, Mohammed (Don) Salum succumbed to his wounds on August 29, 2007.

Israel Police: Since the beginning of the fighting on July 12, 3,970 rockets landed on Israel, 901 of them in urban areas. More than a thousand rockets landed in the Kiryat Shmona area, 808 rockets landed near Nahariya, 471 near Safed, 176 near Carmiel, 106 near Akko, 93 in the Haifa vicinity and 81 near Tiberias.
Health Ministry: Since July 12, 4,262 civilians were treated in hospitals for injuries. Of these, 33 were seriously wounded, 68 moderately and 1,388 lightly. Another 2,773 were treated for shock and anxiety.
During Hizbullah's month-long bombardment of Israel's civilian population, 6,000 homes were hit, 300,000 residents displaced and more than a million were forced to live in shelters. Almost a third of Israel's population - over two million people - were directly exosed to the missile threat.
Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce: Businesses in the north lost revenues of NIS 5.9 billion (USD 1.4 billion) as a result of the war.

* Israel's counter terrorist campaign - FAQ
Hizbullah's exploitation of Lebanese population centers and civilians: Photographic evidence
* IDF uses leaflets to warn Lebanese civilians to leave danger zones
Responding to Hizbullah attacks from Lebanon: Issues of proportionality
* Behind the Headlines: UN Security Council Resolution 1701

Approximate area of northern Israel subject to Hizbullah rocket attack

© Carta Jerusalem  Click to enlarge

- Summary of events
- Israel places blame on Lebanon: Policy statements
- Behind the Headlines
- Government Communiques
- Diplomacy
- Israel at the UN
- Humanitarian efforts
- Israel strikes back: Operation Change of Direction
- Video clips
- Background
- Casualties

Policy statements

Hizbullah supporters in Beirut celebrate Israeli border attack (Reuters)
Prime Minister Olmert (July 12): "This morning's events were not a terrorist attack, but the action of a sovereign state that attacked Israel for no reason and without provocation. The Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah is a member, is trying to undermine regional stability. Lebanon is responsible and Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions."

• Foreign Minister Livni (July 12): "Hizbullah is a terrorist organization, which is part of the Lebanese government. The international community, including the Security Council, has demanded, repeatedly, that the government of Lebanon dismantle Hizbullah. Lebanon has failed to act and today’s aggression is the result."

Axis of Terror: Syria and Iran

Students burn Israeli flag at demonstration in Tehran, July 14

  • Statement by Foreign Ministry Deputy DG Gideon Meir at press conference (July 13): "Lebanon is not the only responsible party. Hizbullah would not be able to operate in Lebanon without clear Syrian sponsorship. Iran is the main benefactor of the Hizbullah. It provides funding, weapons and directives for this terrorist organization. For all practical purposes, Hizbullah is merely an arm of the Teheran Jihadist regime. Israel views Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran as primary elements in the Axis of Terror and Hate threatening not only Israel but the entire world."
  • Statement by Group of Eight Leaders - G-8 Summit 2006 (July 16): "The immediate crisis results from efforts by extremist forces to destabilize the region and to frustrate the aspirations of the Palestinian, Israeli and Lebanese people for democracy and peace."
  • Response of FM Livni (July 16): "Israel believes along with the international community that these extremist elements are responsible for the conflict."
  • Address to the Knesset by PM Ehud Olmert (July 17): "On the Palestinian front, we will conduct a tireless battle until terror ceases, Gilad Shalit is returned home safely and the shooting of Qassam missiles stops. And in Lebanon, we will insist on compliance with the terms stipulated by the international community."
  • FM Livni meets with UN team (July 18): "While we continue to act to defend our citizens, we intend to cooperation with the international community, with a view to ensuring a successful and effective resolution of the crisis."
  • PM Olmert meets with new Israeli ambassadors (July 18): "The timing of the action in the north was coordinated with Iran to divert international attention from the Iranian issue."

RPG found in Lebanon, bearing emblem of the Iranian army

IDF Spokesman
July 25: Brig. General Gal Hirsch: The IDF has recovered in the village of Bint Jbeil electronic surveillance equipment, weapons and communication devices made in Iran.

Behind the Headlines

Government Communiques


Israel at the UN

Humanitarian efforts

Aug 8: Following the escalation in violence last month, an operations room was set up in an IDF base in northern Tel Aviv to coordinate international efforts to provide aid to Lebanon, headed by Lt.-Col. Yigal Haccoun and manned by representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the United Nations and the Red Cross.

Since July 12, the IDF has helped coordinate the evacuation of at least 70,000 foreign nationals from Lebanon. A total of 213 passenger ships, 123 land convoys and 196 helicopters have been allowed to dock in or travel through Lebanon to evacuate the expatriates and tourists. The convoys were able to travel on approved routes, without fear that they would get caught in the middle of IDF-Hizbullah gunbattles or in the sights of IAF jets.

Some 57 planes have been allowed to land at Beirut International Airport to unload humanitarian goods for residents of southern Lebanon.

Israel strikes back - Operation Change of Direction

Israel Air Force strikes back in Lebanon (Reuters)

In response to the July 12 attack, the IDF immediately carried out over 100 aerial attacks in Lebanon, targeting mainly Hizbullah bases. A vehicle, in which two Hizbullah terrorists were traveling, was targeted in the evening. A number of bridges and roads in Lebanon were also attacked, in order to prevent Hizbullah from transferring the abducted soldiers. The Israel Air Force also targeted Hizbullah batteries of rockets aimed at Israel, stationed along the northern border.

On July 13, Israel widened its offensive against Hizbullah, imposing a full air, ground and naval blockade on Lebanon. The IAF fired rockets into the Hizbullah's al-Manar TV station and headquarters in Beirut, as well as the Beirut airport, forcing its closure. 

July 18: Over 700 Katyusha rockets were fired by Hizbullah at Israel since July 13, 2006, killing 12 Israeli civilians and wounding over 300.
Since the beginning of Operation Change of Direction, IDF aircraft have flown over 1,600 sorties, the IAF's unmanned aerial vehicles have logged approximately 250 hours of flight time in the skies over Lebanon and over 130 missile launch sites in Lebanon have been attacked.

Video clips

The film "Hizbullah - Attacks by Proxy," produced by the Israel Foreign Ministry (6 min), describes the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and the subsequent terror attacks against Israel, with the support of Syria and Iran.
Click to download (19.4MB) film or view online.



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