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2006 Lebanon War

The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah


2006 Lebanon War
War[52] and known in Lebanon as the July War[2] (Arabic:
‫ﺣﺮب ﺗﻤﻮز‬, Ḥarb Tammūz) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon Part of the Israeli–Lebanese conflict and the Iran–
War (Hebrew: ‫מלחמת לבנון השנייה‬, Milhemet Levanon Israel proxy conflict[5]
HaShniya),[53] was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon,
Northern Israel and theGolan Heights. The principal parties were
Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF). The conflict started on 12 July 2006, and continued until a
United Nations-brokered ceasefire went into effect in the
morning on 14 August 2006, though it formally ended on 8
September 2006 when Israel lifted its naval blockade of
Lebanon. Due to unprecedented Iranian military support to
Hezbollah before and during the war, some consider it the first
round of the Iran–Israel proxy conflict, rather than a continuation
Bombed-out buildings in Lebanon, 2006
of the Arab–Israeli conflict.[5]
Date 12 July – 14 August 2006
The conflict was precipitated by the2006 Hezbollah cross-border (Israeli blockade of Lebanon ended on 8
raid. On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets at Israeli September 2006)
border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two
Location Lebanon, Northern Israel and the Golan
armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border
Heights[7]
fence.[54] The ambush left three soldiers dead. Two Israeli
soldiers were abducted and taken by Hezbollah to
Result Stalemate,[8] both sides claim victory[9][10]
Lebanon.[54][55] Five more were killed in Lebanon, in a failed
Ceasefire through UNSC
rescue attempt. Hezbollah demanded the release of Lebanese
Resolution 1701
prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the release of the
abducted soldiers.[56] Israel refused and responded withairstrikes The Lebanese Army is introduced
and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon. Israel attacked both into South Lebanon and UNIFIL
Hezbollah military targets and Lebanese civilian infrastructure, deployments reinforced
including Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport.[57] The IDF
Belligerents
launched a ground invasion of Southern Lebanon. Israel also
Israel Hezbollah
imposed an air and naval blockade.[58] Hezbollah then launched
Supported by: Amal[2]
more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the IDF in
guerrilla warfare from hardened positions.[59] LCP[3]
PFLP-GC[4]
The conflict is believed to have killed between 1,191 and 1,300
Lebanese people,[60][61][62][63] and 165 Israelis.[64] It severely Supported by:
damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure, and displaced Commanders and leaders
approximately one million Lebanese[65] and 300,000–500,000
Ehud Olmert (Prime Hassan Nasrallah
Israelis.[66][67][68]
Minister of Israel) (Secretary-General of

On 11 August 2006, the United Nations Security Council Amir Peretz Hezbollah)

unanimously approved United Nations Security Council Dan Halutz Imad Mughniyeh
Resolution 1701 (UNSCR 1701) in an effort to end the Moshe Kaplinsky Nabih Berri
hostilities. The resolution, which was approved by both the Udi Adam Khaled Hadadi
Lebanese and Israeli governments the following days, called for Eliezer Shkedi
Ahmed Jibril
disarmament of Hezbollah, for withdrawal of the IDF from
Lebanon, and for the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces David Ben Ba'ashat
and an enlarged United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Strength
(UNIFIL) in the south. UNIFIL was given an expanded mandate,
Up to 10,000 soldiers by Several hundred
including the ability to use force to ensure that their area of
August 2;[11] 30,000 (south of the Litani
operations was not used for hostile activities, and to resist
soldiers in the last few River)[13][14]
attempts by force to prevent them from discharging their
days.[12]
duties.[69] The Lebanese Army began deploying in Southern
Lebanon on 17 August 2006. The blockade was lifted on 8 Casualties and losses
September 2006.[70] On 1 October 2006, most Israeli troops Israel Defense Forces: Hezbollah Fighters:
withdrew from Lebanon, although the last of the troops Killed: 121 killed Killed: 250 (Hezbollah
continued to occupy the border-straddling village of Ghajar.[71] Wounded: 1,244 [15] claim)[31]
In the time since the enactment of UNSCR 1701 both the ≤500 (Lebanese officials'
Lebanese government and UNIFIL have stated that they will not Equipment losses:
est.)[32]
disarm Hezbollah.[72][73][74] The remains of the two captured 5** tanks damaged beyond
500 (UN officials' est.)[33]
soldiers, whose fates were unknown, were returned to Israel on repair (from ATGMs and
600–800 (IDF claim)[34][35]
16 July 2008 as part of aprisoner exchange. IEDs)[16][17][18]
Captured: 4 fighters[36]
2 Apache helicopters lost
(due to accidents, Amal militia: 17 dead
malfunctions)[19][20]
1 transport helicopter lost LCP militia: 12 dead
Contents
(due to a Hezbollah
PFLP-GC militia: 2 dead
Background missile)[21]
Abduction efforts in the year prior to conflict
1 Cobra helicopter lost (due IRGC: ≈6–9 dead
Summary of the war to accident)[22] (Lebanese officials'
Hezbollah cross-border raid
1 aircraft crashed [23][24] est.)[37][38]
Israeli response
1 warship damaged (by a
Israeli air and artillery attacks
C-802 missile).[25][26] Lebanese Armed Forces
Hezbollah rocket attacks
Israeli civilians: and Internal Security
Ground war
Killed: 44 [27] [28] Forces: 43 dead[2]
Position of Lebanon
Ceasefire Wounded:1,384 [29]
Lebanese civilians
Techniques
Cluster and phosphorus munitions
Foreign civilians: (combatants included)
Psychological warfare 2 dead [30] and foreign civilians:
Dead:*
Casualties and damage
Lebanese civilians and combatants 1,191 (Amnesty

Hezbollah and other militias International)[39]


Hezbollah commanders 1,109 (including 250 Hezbollah
Lebanese Armed Forces fighters)(Human Rights
Israeli civilians
Watch)[40][41]
Israel Defense Forces
1,191 (Lebanese government
Environmental and archeological damage
Industrial damage est.)[42][43][44][45][46]
Wounded:
Reactions
International action and reaction 4,409
Allegations, accusations and reports of war crimes
Foreign civilians:
Media coverage
51 dead[30]
Reviews of the conflict
25 wounded
Lebanon
Israel
United Nations:
Winograd Commission report
5 dead
International
Financial and political repercussions 12 wounded[47]
Aftermath
*It was widely reported that most of those killed were
Post-ceasefire events
civilians.[48][49][50] The Lebanese government does not
Prisoner swap
In film differentiate between civilians and combatants in death
toll figures.[35]
See also
For total casualty figures, see: Casualties of the 2006
References
Lebanon War
Sources
External links **5 tanks were damaged beyond repair ('lasting vehicle
kills'), 22 tanks received armor penetrations, and 52
tanks suffered some form of damage. [16][17][18] other
[51]
Background sources claim 20 main battle tanks destroyed.

Cross-border attacks from southern Lebanon into Israel by the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) dated as far back as 1968, and followed the Six-Day War; the
area became a significant base for attacks following the arrival of the PLO
leadership and its Fatah brigade following their 1971 expulsion from Jordan.
Starting about this time, increasing demographic tensions related to the Lebanese
National Pact, which had divided governmental powers among religious groups
throughout the country 30 years previously, began running high and led in part to the
Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990).
Smoke over Haifa, Israel, after a
Concurrently, Syria began a 29-year military occupation in 1976. Israel's 1978 rocket launched by Hezbollah hit the
invasion of Lebanon failed to stem the Palestinian attacks in the long run, but Israel city near Bnei-Zion hospital
invaded Lebanon again in 1982 and forcibly expelled the PLO.[75] Israel withdrew
to a borderland buffer zone in southern Lebanon, held with the aid of proxy militants
in the South Lebanon Army (SLA).[76]

The invasion also led to the conception of a new Shi'a militant group, which in 1985, established itself politically under the name
Hezbollah, and declared an armed struggle to end the Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory.[77][78] When the Lebanese Civil War
ended and other warring factions agreed to disarm, both Hezbollah and the SLA refused. Ten years later, Israel withdrew from South
Lebanon to the UN-designated and internationally recognizedBlue Line border in 2000.[79]

The withdrawal also led to the immediate collapse of the SLA, and Hezbollah quickly took control of the area. Later, citing continued
Israeli control of the Shebaa farms region and the internment of Lebanese prisoners in Israel, Hezbollah intensified its cross-border
attacks, and used the tactic of seizing soldiers from Israel as leverage for a prisoner exchange in 2004.[80][81] All told, from summer
2000, after the Israeli withdrawal, until summer 2006, Hezbollah conducted approximately 200 attacks on Israel – most of them
artillery fire, some raids and some via proxies inside Israel. In these attacks, including the attack that precipitated the Israeli response
that developed into the war, 31 Israelis were killed and 104 were wounded.

In August 2006, in an article in The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh claimed that the White House gave the green light for the Israeli
government to execute an attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon. Supposedly, communication between the Israeli government and the US
government about this came as early as two months in advance of the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others by
Hezbollah prior to the conflict in July 2006.[82] The US government denied these claims.[83]

According to Conal Urquhart in The Guardian, the Winograd Committee leaked a testimony from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert suggesting that Olmert "had been preparing for such a war at least four months before the official casus belli: the capture by
[84]
Hezbollah of two Israeli soldiers from a border post on 12 July 2006."

Abduction efforts in the year prior to conflict


In June 2005, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) paratroop unit operating near the Shebaa Farms engaged three Lebanese it identified as
Hezbollah special force members, killing one. Videotapes recovered by the paratroopers contained footage of the three recording
detailed accounts of the area.[85]

Over the following 12 months, Hezbollah made three unsuccessful attempts to abduct Israeli soldiers. On 21 November 2005, a
number of Hezbollah special forces attempted to attack an Israeli outpost in Ghajar, a village straddling the border between Lebanon
and the Golan Heights. The outpost had been deserted following an intelligence warning, and three of the Hezbollah militants were
killed when Israeli sniper David Markovich shot a rocket-propelled grenade they were carrying, causing it to explode. From his
.[85][86]
sniper position, Markovich shot and killed a fourth gunman shortly thereafter

Summary of the war

Hezbollah cross-border raid


At around 9 AM local time on 12 July 2006, Hezbollah
launched diversionary rocket attacks toward Israeli military
positions near the coast and near the border village of
Zar'it[87] as well as on the Israeli town of Shlomi and other
villages.[88] Five civilians were injured.[89] Six Israeli
military positions were fired on, and the surveillance
cameras knocked out.[90]

At the same time, a Hezbollah ground contingent infiltrated


the border into Israel through a "dead zone" in the border
fence, hiding in an overgrown wadi. They attacked a patrol
The cross-border raid map
of two Israeli Humvees patrolling the border near Zar'it,
using pre-positioned explosives and anti-tank missiles,
killing three soldiers, injuring two, and capturing two soldiers (First Sergeant Ehud Goldwasser and Sergeant First Class Eldad
Regev).[87][91]

In response to the Hezbollah feint attacks, the IDF conducted a routine check of its positions and patrols, and found that contact with
two jeeps was lost. A rescue force was immediately dispatched to the area, and confirmed that two soldiers were missing after 20
minutes. A Merkava Mk III tank, an Armored personnel carrier, and a helicopter were immediately dispatched into Lebanon. The
tank hit a large land mine, killing its crew of four. Another soldier was killed and two lightly injured by mortar fire as they attempted
to recover the bodies.[87][90]

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 forfour Lebanese held by Israel:

Samir Kuntar (a Lebanese citizen captured during an attack in 1979, convicted of murdering civilians and a police
officer);
Nasim Nisr (an Israeli-Lebanese citizen whom Israel tried and convicted for spying
);
Yahya Skaf (a Lebanese citizen whom Hezbollah claims was arrested in Israel; Israel states that he was killed in
action);[92][93]
Ali Faratan (another Lebanese citizen whom Hezbollah claimed to be held in Israel, believed to have been shot at
sea.).[94]
Nasrallah claimed that Israel had broken a previous deal to release these prisoners, and since diplomacy had failed, violence was the
only remaining option.[92] Nasrallah declared that "no military operation will result in rescuing these prisoners... The only method, as
[92]
I indicated, is that of indirect negotiations and a swap [of prisoners]".

Israeli response
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the seizure of the soldiers as an "act of war" by the sovereign state of Lebanon,[95][96]
stating that "Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions"[97] and promising a "very painful and far-reaching response."[98]
Israel blamed the Lebanese government for the raid, as it was carried out from Lebanese territory.[99] Hezbollah had two ministers
serving in the Lebanese cabinet at that time.

In response, Lebanese Prime MinisterFouad Siniora denied any knowledge of the raid and stated that he did not condone it.[100][101]
An emergency meeting of the Lebanese government reaffirmed this position.[102]

The Israel Defense Forces attacked targets within Lebanon with artillery and airstrikes hours before the Israeli Cabinet met to discuss
a response. The targets consisted of bridges and roads in Lebanon, which were hit to prevent Hezbollah from transporting the
abductees. An Israeli airstrike also destroyed the runways of Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.[103] 44 civilians were killed.[2]
The Israeli Air Force also targeted Hezbollah's long range rocket and missile stockpiles destroying many of them on the ground in the
first days of the war.[104][105] Many of Hezbollah's longer-range rocket launchers were destroyed within the first hours of the Israeli
attack.[90]

Later that same day (12 July 2006), the Cabinet decided to authorize the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and their deputies to
pursue the plan which they had proposed for action within Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert officially demanded that the Israel
Defense Forces avoid civilian casualties whenever possible.[106] Israel's chief of staff Dan Halutz said, "if the soldiers are not
returned, we will turn Lebanon's clock back 20 years"[107] while 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 just the line ofHezbollah posts."[107]

On 12 July 2006, the Israeli Cabinet promised that Israel would "respond aggressively and harshly to those who carried out, and are
responsible for, today's action".[108] The Cabinet's communiqué stated, in part, that the "Lebanese Government [was] responsible for
the action that originated on its soil."[108] A retired Israeli Army Colonel explained that the rationale behind the attack was to create a
rift between the Lebanese population and Hezbollah supporters by exacting a heavy price from the elite Beirut.
in [109]

On 16 July, the Israeli Cabinet released a communiqué explaining that, although Israel had engaged in military operations within
Lebanon, its war was not against the Lebanese government. The communiqué 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."[110]

When asked in August about the proportionality of the response, Prime Minister Olmert stated that the "war started not only by
killing eight Israeli soldiers and abducting two but by shooting Katyusha and other rockets on the northern cities of Israel on that
same morning. Indiscriminately." He added "no country in Europe would have responded in such a restrained manner as Israel
did."[111]

Israeli air and artillery attacks


During the first day of the war the Israeli Air Force, artillery and navy conducted more than 100 attacks mainly against Hezbollah
bases in south Lebanon, among them the regional headquarters in Ya'tar. Five bridges across the Litani and Zahrani rivers were also
[112]
destroyed, reportedly to prevent Hezbollah from transferring the abducted soldiers to the north.

Attacks from land, sea and air continued in the following days. Among the targets hit were the Hezbollah headquarters in the
southern suburbs of Beirut as well as the offices and homes of the leadership, the compounds of al-Manar TV station and al-Nour
radio station, and the runways and fuel depots of the Rafic Hariri International Airportin Beirut. Also targeted were Hezbollah bases,
weapons depots and outposts as well as bridges, roads and petrol stations in south Lebanon.[113][114] 44 civilians were killed
throughout the day.[2]

It was later reported that the Israel Air Force after midnight, 13 July, attacked and destroyed 59 stationary medium range Fajr rocket
launchers positioned throughout southern Lebanon.Operation Density allegedly only took 34 minutes to carry out but was the result
of six years of intelligence gathering and planning. Between half and two-thirds of Hezbollah medium range rocket capability was
estimated by the IDF to have been wiped out. According to Israeli journalists Amos
Harel and Avi Issacharoff the operation was "Israel's most impressive military
action" and a "devastating blow for Hezbollah". In the coming days IAF allegedly
also attacked and destroyed a large proportion of Hezbollah's long range Zelzal-2
missiles.[115]

"All the long-range rockets have been destroyed," Chief of Staff Halutz allegedly
."[116]
told the Israeli government, "we've won the war

According to military analyst William Arkin there is "little evidence" that the Israeli
Air Force even attempted, much less succeeded in, wiping out the medium and long
range rocket capability in the first days of the war. He dismissed the whole claim as
an "absurdity" and a "tale".[117] Benjamin Lambeth, however, insisted that it was
far-fetched to suggest that the "authoritative Israeli leadership pronouncements"
were not based on facts. He admitted however that there was "persistent uncertainty"
surrounding the "few known facts and figures" concerning the alleged attacks.[118]
Anthony Cordesman believed that IAF probably destroyed most long and medium Satellite photographs of theHaret
range missiles in the first two days of the war but acknowledged that these claims Hreik, a Hezbollah-dominated
"have never been validated or described in detail."[119] neighborhood Dahieh district of
southern Beirut, Lebanon, before and
Hezbollah long remained silent on this episode of the war. On the sixth anniversary after 22 July 2006. The
of the Lebanon war Hezbollah chairman Hassan Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah neighborhood is home to Hezbollah's
headquarters. See also high
had known that the Israelis were collecting information on the rocket platforms and
resolution photographsbefore and
launchers and managed to move them without being detected. Most of the locations "after". Archived from the original on
.[120]
attacked by the Israeli air force were therefore empty 21 August 2007.

American officials claimed that the Israelis overstated the effectiveness of the air
war against Hezbollah and cited the failure to hit any of the Hezbollah leaders in
spite of dropping 23 tons of bombs on its alleged headquarters bunker.[121] Al-
Manar TV station only went dark for two minutes after the strike before it was back
into the air. The TV station was bombed 15 times during the war but never faltered
after the first hiccup.[122]

During the war the Israeli Air Force flew 11,897 combat missions, which was more
than the number of sorties during the 1973 October War (11,223) and almost double
the number during the 1982First Lebanon War (6,052).[123] A building in Ghazieh, near Sidon,
bombed by the Israeli Air Force (IAF)
The Israeli artillery fired 170,000 shells, more than twice the number fired in the
1973 October War.[124] A senior officer in the IDF Armored Corps told Haaretz that
[125]
he would be surprised if it turned out that even five Hezbollah fighters had been killed by the 170,000 shells fired.

The Israeli Navy fired 2,500 shells.[126]

The combined effect of the massive air and artillery bombardment on Hezbollah capacity to fire short-range Katyusha rockets on
northern Israel was very meager. According to the findings of the post-war military investigations the IDF shelling succeeded only in
destroying about 100 out of 12,000 Katyusha launchers. The massive fire led to a severe shortage of ammunition towards the end of
the war.[127]

Northern command had prepared a list before the war on potential Hezbollah tar
gets, identified by the Israeli intelligence, to be struck
in case of renewed hostilities. By the fourth day of the war the IDF ran out of targets, as all the 83 targets on the list had already been
hit.[128] A high-ranking IDF officer told reporters off the record that the Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz had ordered the air force to
destroy ten 12-story buildings in the Southern suburbs of Beirut for every rocket that fell on Haifa. The statement was denied by the
IDF spokesperson.[129]
Large parts of the Lebanese civilian infrastructure, however, were destroyed,
including 400 miles (640 km) of roads, 73 bridges, and 31 other targets such as
Beirut's Rafic 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.[130][131][132][133]

Hezbollah rocket attacks


On 16 July, eight employees of the Israel Railways were killed by direct rocket hits
on the Haifa train depot.[66] Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah defended the
attacks, saying that Hezbollah initially had aimed its rockets on "military sites only".
But since Israel, he said, had systematically bombed civilian targets he felt that
get Israeli cities.[134]
Hezbollah had no choice but to answer in kind and tar

The attack on the Haifa depot was not the first civilian target to be hit by Hezbollah.
Civilians in the border communities were hurt in the initial cover fire on IDF
positions for the cross-border raid. Two Israeli civilians were killed in an attack near Areas in Lebanon targeted by Israeli
the air force base at Mount Meron on July, 14. Since Hezbollah rockets were not bombing, 12 July to 13 August 2006

very accurate it is unclear whether civilians were intentionally targeted in these


attacks. After the attack on Haifa, however, Hezbollah made no attempt to cover this
fact. According to a Human Rights Watch study civilian Israeli targets were
mentioned four times as often in official Hezbollah war time communiques as was
military targets.[135]

Hezbollah TV station al-Manar warned both in Arabic and Hebrew specific Israeli
communities for future rocket attacks.[136] Similarly Hezbollah sent text messages
to warn Israeli residents to evacuate their homes to avoid being targeted by rocket
attacks.[137]

Israel published an alleged range card for upgraded Grad rocket launcher placed
outside the village of Shihin in the Western sector of South Lebanon, issued by the Map showing some of the localities in
Artillery Department of the elite Nasr Unit of Hezbollah. This list included 91 Israel and the Golan Heights hit by
targets, 56 of whom were civilian and 27 were IDF posts or bases. The military rockets fired from Lebanese soil as
targets had three-digit reference numbers while civilian targets had double-digit of Monday 7 August.

numbers.[138]

During the war, the Hezbollah rocket force fired between 3,970 and 4,228 rockets at a rate of more than 100 per day, unprecedented
since the Iran–Iraq War.[139][140] About 95% of these 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).[140][141] An estimated 23% of these rockets hit cities and built-up areas across
[126][139][140]
northern Israel, while the remainder hit open areas.

Cities hit were Haifa, Hadera, Nazareth, Tiberias, Nahariya, Safed, Shaghur, Afula, Kiryat Shmona, Beit She'an, Karmiel, Acre, and
Ma'alot-Tarshiha, as well as dozens of towns, kibbutzim, moshavim, and Druze and Israeli-Arab villages. The northern West Bank
was also hit.[126][139][140][142][143][144][145]

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered commanders to prepare civil defense plans. One million Israelis had to stay near or in
.[140]
bomb shelters or security rooms, with some 250,000 civilians evacuating the north and relocating to other areas of the country

After the high number of Lebanese civilian casualties in the Qana airstrike, Israel announced a unilateral freeze in its air attacks on
Lebanon. Hezbollah then halted its own rocket attacks on Israel. When Israel resumed its air attacks on Lebanon, Hezbollah followed
gets.[146]
suit and recommenced rocket attacks on Israeli tar
Hezbollah rocket attacks also targeted and succeeded in hitting military targets in Israel. The
Israeli military censorship was, however, very strict and explicitly forbade Israel-based media
from reporting such incidents. The war time instruction to media stated that "The Military
Censor will not approve reports on missile hits at IDF bases and/or strategic facilities."[147] A
notable exception was the rocket attack 6 August, on a company of IDF reservists assembling
in the border community of Kfar Giladi, which killed 12 soldiers and wounded several others.
Initially Israel did not confirm that the victims were military but eventually relented.

6 August, two elderly Arab women in Haifa were killed, and an Arab man was mortally
wounded, by Hezbollah rocket fire.[66] The day after Hezbollah leader Nasrallah appealed to
[148]
Haifa's Arab community to leave the city so as not be hurt.

After the initial Israeli response, Hezbollah declared an all-out military alert. Hezbollah was Structural damage of a
estimated to have 13,000 missiles at the beginning of the conflict.[149] Israeli newspaper residential building in Kiryat
Haaretz described Hezbollah as a trained, skilled, well-organized, and highly motivated Shmona after being hit by a
infantry that was equipped with the cream of modern weaponry from the arsenals of Syria, rocket
Iran, Russia, and China.[150] Hezbollah's satellite TV station Al-Manar reported that the
attacks had included a Fajr-3 and a Ra'ad 1, both liquid-fuel missiles developed by
Iran.[151][152][153]

Ground war
Hezbollah engaged in guerrilla warfare with IDF ground forces, fighting from well-
fortified positions, often in urban areas, and attacking with small, well-armed units.
Hezbollah fighters were highly trained, and were equipped with flak jackets, night-
vision goggles, communications equipment, and sometimes with Israeli uniforms
and equipment. An Israeli soldier who participated in the war said that Hezbollah Hezbollah fighters preparing to
launch Multiple Rocket Volley from a
fighters were "nothing like Hamas or the Palestinians. They are trained and highly
mobile platform
qualified. All of us were kind of surprised."[154]

During engagements with the IDF, Hezbollah concentrated on inflicting losses on


the IDF, believing an unwillingness to absorb steady losses to be Israel's strategic
weakness.[155]

Hezbollah countered IDF armor 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 (45 of them by different kinds of
ATGM), missiles penetrated 22 tanks, but only 5 tanks were destroyed, one of them
by an improvised explosive device (IED). The Merkava tanks that were penetrated An Israeli soldier tosses a grenade
were predominantly Mark II and Mark III models, but five Mark IVs were also into a Hezbollah bunker
[126]
penetrated. All but two of these tanks were rebuilt and returned to service.

The IDF declared itself satisfied with the Merkava Mark IV's performance during
the war. Hezbollah caused additional casualties using ATGMs to collapse buildings
onto Israeli troops sheltering inside.[126] As a result, IDF units did not linger in any
one area for an extended period of time.[154] Hezbollah fighters often used tunnels
to emerge quickly, fire an anti-tank missile, and then disappear again.[154]
IDF Caterpillar D9N armored
On 14 July 2006, INS Hanit a Sa'ar 5-class corvette of the Israeli Navy, suffered bulldozers destroy a Hezbollah
damage after being struck by a Hezbollah C-802 (or C-701) anti-ship missile. Four bunker.
crew members were killed during the attack but INS Hanit stayed afloat, extricated
itself and made the rest of the journey back to Ashdod port for repairs on its own
power. On July 19 a force from the Maglan special forces unit seized a fortified
Hezbollah dugout adjacent to the Shaked post; two IDF soldiers and five Hezbollah
operatives were killed in the battle.[156]

Position of Lebanon
While the Israeli government initially held the Lebanese government responsible for
War map, "Hezbollah Defensive
the Hezbollah attacks due to Lebanon's failure to implementUnited Nations Security
System in Southern Lebanon", 2006
Council Resolution 1559 and disarm Hezbollah, Lebanon disavowed the raids,
stating that the government of Lebanon did not condone them, and pointing out that
[101]
Israel had a long history of disregarding UN resolutions.

In interviews, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud criticized Israel's attacks and was supportive
of Hezbollah, noting Hezbollah's role in ending Israel's previous occupation of southern
Lebanon.[157][158] On 12 July 2006, PBS interviewed the Lebanese ambassador Farid
Abboud to the United States and his Israeli counterpart. The interview discussed Hezbollah's
connection to the Lebanese government.[159]

Israel never declared war on Lebanon,[160][161] and said it only attacked Lebanese
governmental institutions which it suspected of being used by Hezbollah.[162] The Lebanese
government played a role in shaping the conflict. On 14 July 2006, the office of Lebanese
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora issued a statement that called on US President George W. Bush
to exert all his efforts on Israel to stop its attacks in Lebanon and reach a comprehensive
ceasefire.[163] In a televised speech the next day, Siniora called for "an immediate ceasefire
backed by the United Nations."
Lebanon's Prime Minister
Fouad Siniora
A US-French draft resolution that was influenced by the Lebanese Siniora Plan and which
contained provisions for Israeli withdrawal, military actions, and mutual prisoner release was
rejected by the US and Israel. Many Lebanese accused the US government of stalling the ceasefire resolution and of support of
Israel's attacks. In a poll conducted two weeks into the conflict, only 8% of the respondents felt that the US would support Lebanon,
while 87% supported Hezbollah's fight against Israel.[164] After the attack on Qana, Siniora snubbed US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice by cancelling a meeting with her and thanked Hezbollah for its "sacrifices for the independence and sovereignty of
Lebanon."[165]

During the war, the Lebanese Armed Forcesdid not engage in direct hostilities, but threatened retaliation if IDF troops pushed too far
northward into Lebanon. In several instances, Lebanese troops fired anti-aircraft weapons at Israeli aircraft and attempted to disrupt
landing operations.[166] During the first days of the war, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr said that "the Lebanese army will
resist and defend the country. If there is an invasion of Lebanon, we are waiting for them." However, the Lebanese Army mostly
stayed out of the fighting. According to aTime editorial, "to have stood up to the advancing Israeli armored columns would have been
suicidal."[167] On 7 August 2006, the 7-point plan was extended to include the deployment of 15,000 Lebanese Army troops to fill
[168]
the void between an Israeli withdrawal and UNIFIL deployment.

Ceasefire
Terms for a ceasefire had been drawn and revised several times over the course of the conflict, yet successful agreement between the
two sides took several weeks. Hezbollah maintained the desire for an unconditional ceasefire,[169] while Israel insisted upon a
[170] Lebanon frequently pleaded for the United Nations Security
conditional ceasefire, including the return of the two seized soldiers.
Council to call for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. John Bolton confirmed that the US and UK,
with support from several Arab leaders, delayed the ceasefire process. Outsider efforts to interfere with a ceasefire only ended when
[171]
it became apparent Hezbollah would not be easily defeated.
On 11 August 2006 the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved UN
Security Council Resolution 1701, in an effort to end the hostilities. It was accepted
by the Lebanese government and Hezbollah on 12 August 2006, and by the Israeli
government on 13 August 2006. The ceasefire took effect at 8:00 AM (5:00 AM
GMT) on 14 August 2006.[172]

Before the ceasefire, the two Hezbollah members of cabinet said that their militia
would not disarm south of the Litani River, according to another senior member of
the Lebanese cabinet,[173] while a top Hezbollah official similarly denied any
intention of disarming in the south. Israel said it would stop withdrawing from
Southern Lebanon if Lebanese troops were not deployed there within a matter of
days.[174] Israeli soldiers of the Nahal Brigade
leaving Lebanon

Techniques

Cluster and phosphorus munitions


Both sides used cluster bombs during the conflict. Israel fired 4.6 million submunitions into dozens of towns and villages in southern
Lebanon in 962 separate strikes, circa 90% within the final 72 hours of the war, when the conflict already had been largely resolved
by UN Security Council Resolution 1701.[175] Entire towns were covered in cluster bombs. The unguided and imprecise rockets
were fired from mobile rocket launching platforms. To compensate for the inaccuracy of the rockets, the areas were flooded with
munitions.[176] Israel claimed to have warned civilians prior to a strike, and that firing was limited to open areas or military targets
inside urban areas.[177] Israel used advanced cluster munitions produced by Israel Military Industries, and large numbers of older
cluster bombs, some produced in the 1970s, purchased from aging American stockpiles. These were fired by multiple rocket
launchers, 155mm artillery guns, and dropped by aircraft. As many as 1 million submunitions failed to explode on impact, lingering
as land mines that killed or maimed almost 200 people since the war ended.[178] As of 2011, munitions were still causing casualties
and being cleared by volunteers.[179]

Hezbollah fired 4,407 submunitions into civilian-populated areas of northern Israel in 113 separate strikes, using Chinese made Type-
.[180]
81 122mm rockets, and Type-90 submunitions. These attacks killed one civilian and wounded twelve

According to Human Rights Watch, in the last 72 hours of the war, the Israeli army flooded the region with cluster bombs.[175]
Human Rights Watch "found that the IDF's use of cluster munitions was both indiscriminate and disproportionate, in violation of
IHL, and in some locations possibly a war crime" because "the vast majority [were dropped] over the final three days when Israel
knew a settlement was imminent."[175] After the ceasefire, parts of southern Lebanon remained uninhabitable due to Israeli
unexploded cluster bomblets.[181]

Also phosphorus shells were used by the IDF to attack civilian areas in Lebanon.[182] The shells were originally designed to generate
a smoke screen in a battlefield situation, but white phosphor is also especially harmful to humans because its burning will continue
inside the flesh. The shelling was investigated as a violation ofinternational law.[183]

Psychological warfare
During the war, the IAF dropped 17,000 leaflets over Lebanon in 47 missions, and sent more than 700,000 computerized voice
messages. Many of them contained caricatures of Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah leading Lebanon to ruin and making civilians
suffer, showing them as puppets of Iran and Syria, and calling on civilians to help remove Hezbollah. Another leaflet addressing
Hezbollah fighters told them that they were lied to by their leaders, that they were "sent like sheep to be butchered, lacking military
training and without proper combat gear", that they could not hope to face "highly trained soldiers that fight to protect their
homeland, their people, and their home", referring to them as "mercenaries" without the support of the Lebanese public, and urging
them to run and save their lives. On 26 July, Israel dropped leaflets containing illustrations of nine tombstones with the name of a
dead Hezbollah fighter on each one, in response to Nasrallah "deceiving" people on the amount of Hezbollah casualties. Another
leaflet urged Hezbollah fighters to stop bleeding and fighting for Nasrallah, who sat safe in a bunker, to stop fighting against
Lebanese national interests, and to return to their homes and families. On 11 August, Israel dropped leaflets accusing Hezbollah of
hiding its "great losses", and containing the names of 90–100 Hezbollah fighters killed. Israeli technicians also hacked into Al-Manar
and broadcast clips, criticizing Nasrallah, showing the bodies of Hezbollah fighters, footage from Israeli raids and airstrikes, and
captured Hezbollah equipment.[184]

Casualties and damage

Lebanese civilians and combatants


The Lebanese civilian death toll is difficult to pinpoint as most published figures,
including those released by the Lebanese government, do not distinguish between
civilians and Hezbollah combatants.[35] In addition, Hezbollah fighters can be
difficult to identify as many do not wear military uniforms.[35] However, it has been
widely reported that the majority of the Lebanese killed were civilians, and UNICEF
estimated that 30% of Lebanese killed were children under the age of 13.[185] The
Lebanese top police office and the Lebanon Ministry of Health, citing hospitals,
death certificates, local authorities, and eye witnesses, put the death toll at 1,123—
Lebanese IDPs in south Lebanon,
37 soldiers and police officers, 894 identified victims, and 192 unidentified ones.[35] 2006
The Lebanon Higher Relief Council (HRC) put the Lebanese death toll at 1,191,[65]
citing the health ministry and police, as well as other state agencies.[35] The
Associated Press estimated the figure at 1,035.[35] In February 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that at least 800 Lebanese had
died during fighting,[186] and other articles have estimated the figure to be at least 850.[187][188] Encarta states that "estimates ...
varied from about 850 to 1,200" in its entry on Israel,[189] while giving a figure of "more than 1,200" in its entry on Lebanon.[190]
The Lebanon Higher Relief Council estimated the number of Lebanese injured to be 4,409,[65] 15% of whom were permanently
disabled.[191]

The death toll estimates do not include Lebanese killed since the end of fighting by land mines or unexploded Israeli cluster
bombs.[35] Between the end of the war and November 2008, approximately 40 people were killed and over 270 injured by cluster
bombs.[192]

Hezbollah and other militias


During the war Hezbollah kept a firm lid on its casualties. Although it did announce casualty numbers in some of the clashes, the
party did not publish a comprehensive estimate for the duration of the war. A tally made by Associated Press counted to 70 dead
Hezbollah fighters officially acknowledged by party during the war.[31]

On 6 August Haaretz reported the IDF placing the number of Hezbollah fighters killed at 400, but added that "armies fighting
guerrilla forces tend to exaggerate the fatalities of the enemy".[193] Matt M. Matthews military historian at United States Army
Combined Arms Center, also described these figures as "highly exaggerated" because he asserts that Hezbollah suffered only 187
casualties.[194]

A 4 August 2006 Daily Telegraph article by Con Coughlin, referring to estimates by Lebanese officials, said that up to 500 Hezbollah
fighters had been killed and 1,500 wounded. According to the article, many of Hezbollah's wounded were secretly evacuated to
hospitals in Syria through the Al-Arissa Border Crossing. A later article by the Daily Telegraph said that funerals of fallen Hezbollah
fighters were "staggered" and were interred without ceremony for re-burial later. Coughlin quoted a senior Lebanese security official
as saying that "Hizbollah is desperate to conceal its casualties because it wants to give the impression that it is winning its war.
People might reach a very different conclusion if they knew the true extent of Hizbollah's casualties." According to the article,
Hezbollah's operational council had drawn up casualty lists to be sent to Iran, as the Iranian government compensated the families of
Hezbollah's dead, and that Hezbollah had pressured Lebanese newspapers that had obtained copies not to publish them.[195][196]
Historian John Keegan wrote in an op-ed that "perhaps as many as 1,000" Hezbollah fighters were killed.[197] A Stratfor report cited
"sources in Lebanon" as estimating the Hezbollah death toll at "more than 700 fighters with many more to go",[198] Intelligence
analysts Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry reported a few months after the war a total of 184 "Shiite martyr funerals" having been held
in Lebanon since the war. They considered this number an indication of Hezbollah fatalities but warned that it could be revised
upward in the future.[199]

IDF Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror said that IDF had identified the names of 440 members of Hezbollah who were killed in the
[200] Later, Israel claimed to
war. Based on this number he estimated that the total amounted killed in the war to between 500 and 700.
[201]
have identified 532 dead Hezbollah fighters and estimated that an additional 200 were killed.

Four months after the end of the war the deputy chairman of the Hezbollah Political Council Mahmoud Qomati substantially raised
the official estimate of the number of Hezbollah fatalities. He now claimed that 250 fighters had been killed in the war.[31][202] Israel
meanwhile also backed down from its war-time estimates. Instead of the 800 Hezbollah fatalities said during the war, Israeli
government spokesperson Miri Eisin in December revised that estimate, saying, "We think that it's closer to 600."[202] Three years
after the outbreak of war the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a summary of the war which concluded that over 600
Hezbollah fighters were killed in the war.[203]

Hezbollah claimed that many of Hezbollah's dead were local village fighters rather than regulars. However, according to one analyst,
who noted that general estimates place Hezbollah's losses at around 500–600 fighters out of a regular fighting force of 2,000, "this
was mainly party propaganda attempting to put a brave face on what was by any measure a major blow to the resistance," and
[204]
claimed that Hezbollah subsequently went on a recruitment drive to replace its losses.

According to the Yedioth Ahronoth "Encyclopedia" of the Second Lebanon War, the main reason for the discrepancy between
Lebanese and Israeli estimates of the number of Hezbollah fatalities during the war (700 and 300 respectively) was that the former
included only Hezbollah combatants while the latter also included civilian members of Hezbollah.[205] The NGO Human Rights
Watch argued that in 94 IDF air, artillery, and ground attacks during the war that claimed the lives of 561 persons, that only 51 of
these were combatants and about half of them were women or children.[206] HRW said it documented the identities of another 548
fatalities, bringing the total of identified Lebanese deaths in the war to 1109. It argued (as an extrapolation from those 94 attacks) that
[207]
an estimated 250 of these were Hezbollah combatants and the remaining 860 were civilians.

The Amal movement, a Shiite militia that fought alongside Hezbollah, suffered 17 dead. Armed elements of the Lebanese
Communist Party suffered 12 dead. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, a Palestinian militia, lost
two fighters in an Israeli air raid.[2] There are also unconfirmed reports that a number of Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers were
killed in the fighting.[37][38][208] A statement issued by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the war detailed what it termed
[209]
"Iranian complicity" in the Lebanese crisis, which included training and supplying Hezbollah forces.

Hezbollah commanders
Hezbollah General-Secretary Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with New TV August shortly after the war that between 10 and
12 Hezbollah commanders were killed in the war. None of the first or second levels of the leadership were harmed. Three
commanders of the third level however were killed; an operations officer in the Bint Jbeil axis, a logistics officer and a third
commander involved in the military side of the party
. In addition three or four town commanders and four or five village commanders
were killed in the war.[210]

Nasrallah did not mention any names but some of these were subsequently identified. Squad leader Muhammad Dimashq (nome de
guerre: Jawad Ayta) was shot 21 July, by an Israeli sniper in the battle of Maroun ar-Ras.[211] Two Hezbollah commanders were
killed in an Israeli air strike in the Old City of Bint Jbeil July, 29. Khalid Bazzi (nome de guerre: al-Hajj Qasim) was chief of
operations in the Bint Jbeil area, including Maroun al-Ras, Aynata, Aytaroun and Bint Jbeil, while Muhammad Abu Ta'am was
commander of the forces in the town itself. Both had taken part in the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers that had started the
war.[212] On the last day of the war, Muhammad Qansuh (nome de guerre: Sajid ad-Duwayr), a special force commander and Bazzi’s
successor as Bint Jbeil commander, was killed in another air raid on Bint Jbeil.[213][214] According to the IDF, he was in fact killed
in an airstrike on the Dahiya district of Beirut.[215]

Two Hezbollah commanders were killed in battles around Wadi Hujeir/Wadi Sulouqi. Rani Adnan Bazzi died in hand-to-hand
combat, together with seven of his men, in the strategic town of al-Ghandouriya, controlling the strategic wadi crossing. A further
three fighters were wounded in the battle and one of them were taken prisoner by the IDF.[216] Commander Ali Mahmoud Salih
(nome de guerre: Bilal) fought singlehandedly further up the wadi, firing ATGM rockets at the advancing Israeli tanks. In the end he
[217]
was severely wounded by a drone strike and died some time later from his wounds.

Lebanese Armed Forces


Though rarely engaged in combat, 43Lebanese soldiers and policemen were killed.[2]

Israeli civilians
Hezbollah rockets and mortars killed 44 Israeli Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah rocket attacks, 12 July – 13
civilians during the conflict, including a severely August 2006 (black)
wounded Haifa resident who died from his wounds vs. the ethnic composition at the North of Israel (pink).[218]
more than a year after the war. In addition four
elderly died of heart attacks during rocket
attacks.[219] At least 19 of the 46 Israeli civilians
killed by Hezbollah rockets and mortars were
Israeli Arabs (mainly Sunni Muslims).[220][221]
The last civilian victim was an Israeli-Arab man
who died on 30 August 2007, from injuries
sustained in a rocket attack on Haifa.[222] In
addition, 4,262 civilians were injured–33 seriously
wounded, 68 moderately, 1,388 lightly, and 2,773
suffered from shock and anxiety.[66] According to
Human Rights Watch, "These bombs may have
killed 'only' 43 civilians, but that says more about
the availability of warning systems and bomb
shelters throughout most of Northern Israel and the
evacuation of more than 350,000 people than it
does about Hezbollah's intentions."[223]

Israel Defense Forces


A total of 121 IDF soldiers were killedin the war, including the two soldiers who were seized in the cross-border raid that started the
war. Their fates were not confirmed until their bodies were exchanged for Lebanese prisoners in 2008.[66][219]

Environmental and archeological damage


On 13 July 2006, and again on 15 July 2006, the Israeli Air Force bombed the Jiyeh power station, 30 km (19 mi) south of Beirut,
resulting in the largest ever oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea.[224] The plant's damaged storage tanks leaked an estimated 12,000 to
15,000 tonnes (more than 4 million gallons) of oil into the eastern Mediterranean.[224][225] A 10 km (6 mi) wide oil slick covered
170 km (105 statute miles) of coastline,[226][227] and threatened Turkey and Cyprus. The slick killed fish including the Atlantic
bluefin tuna, a species already nearing extinction in the Mediterranean, and threatened the habitat of the endangered green sea
turtle.[228] It also potentially increased the risk of cancer in humans. An additional 25,000 tons of oil burned at the power station,

[224]
creating a "toxic cloud" that rained oil downwind.[224] The Lebanese government estimated it
would take 10 years to recover from the damage of the strike. The UN estimated the cost for
the initial clean-up at $64 million.[67]

Hezbollah rocket attacks caused numerous forest fires inside northern Israel, particularly on
the Naftali mountain range near Kiryat Shmona.[229] As many as 16,500 acres (67 km²) of
land, including forests and grazing fields, were destroyed by Hezbollah rockets.[230] The
Jewish National Fund estimated that it would take 50 to 60 years to rehabilitate the
forests.[231]

Israeli bombing also caused significant damage to the world heritage sites of Tyre and Byblos.
In Tyre a Roman tomb was damaged and a fresco near the centre of the site collapsed. In
Byblos, a medieval tower was damaged and Venetian period remains near the harbour were Image from space showing
dramatically stained by the oil slick and were considered to be difficult to clean. Damage was Jiyyeh oil slick in darkest
also caused to remains at Bint Jbeil and Chamaa, and to the Temple of Bacchus in blue, picture centered on
Baalbek.[232][233][234][235] Beirut. The largest oil spill in
the history of the
Mediterranean, it was
Industrial damage caused by an Israeli air
strike on Jiyeh power
Damage to various industries occurred during the war
. This includes the country's largest dairy station[224] 10 August 2006
farm Liban Lait in the Bekka area, the Maliban Glassworks in Tannayel, Dalal Industries (a
factory which produces prefabricated homes),[236] a dealership for Procter &
Gamble,[237] two electricity transformers in south Lebanon cutting off power to the
city of Tyre[238] and fuel tanks of an oil-fired power station in Jiyeh.[239] A report
from the Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) said that the
IDF bombing campaign had destroyed more than 900 small and medium enterprises
with damage to Lebanon's civilian infrastructure estimated close to $2.5 billion US.
The material damage to the private sector was estimated at $200 million with an
[240]
anticipated increase in that figure due to cancelled contracts.

Other repair and rebuilding costs resulting from the bombing include power supplies
A burnt forest in northern Israel
($208m), telecoms ($99m), water ($74m) and military installations ($16m). The caused by Hezbollah rockets
Lebanese national airline, MEA, had also been grounded for the duration of the
conflict. Agricultural activity, particularly in south Lebanon, was abandoned due to
the fighting and bombing of the irrigation system.[241] Tourism, which accounts for 15% of Lebanon's GDP, has been severely
disrupted by the conflict. Damage to communal and business infrastructure, the Israeli-imposed sea and air blockade and continued
[241]
instability is preventing and deterring tourists. Foreign visitors had been expected to bring in $2.5 to $3 billion US during 2006.

IDF bombing has damaged irrigation canals, open water channels, and underground water diversion pipes which run Litani River
water to more than 10,000 acres (40 km²) of farmland, villages in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. These attacks have been
criticised as an attempt to "lay claim to Lebanon's prime watersheds". Attacks on the Litani Dam were also criticised. Israeli officials
explained the damage to the water infrastructures was unintentional and collateral to attacks on roads and bridges used by
Hezbollah.[242]

The international journalists' representative body, Reporters without Borders, reported that, to its knowledge, the IDF had damaged
transmitting equipment in the Satka area of Beirut and reduced the premises of Al Manar to ruins.[243] The IDF contend that the Al-
Manar TV facilities which they bombed represent the propaganda arm of Hezbollah and were a legitimate target for the IDF military.
Reporters Without Borders disputes this saying that the station "cannot be viewed as [a] military" target.[244] A statement issued by
the Israeli Foreign Ministry read: "The Al-Manar station has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement
by Hezbollah, and has also helped the organization recruit people into its ranks.”[243] The Committee to Protect Journalists
responded by saying: "While Al-Manar may serve a propaganda function for Hezbollah, it does not appear based on a monitoring of
[243]
its broadcasts today to be serving any discernible military function".

Reactions

International action and reaction


The governments of the United States,[245] United Kingdom, Germany,[246] Australia, and
Canada asserted Israel's right toself-defense. The United States government further responded
by authorizing Israel's request for expedited shipment of precision-guided bombs, but did not
announce the decision publicly.[247] United States President George W. Bush said he thought
the conflict was part of the "War on Terrorism".[248][249] On 20 July 2006, the United States
[250]
Congress voted overwhelmingly to support Israel's "right to defend itself".

Among neighboring Middle Eastern nations, Iran, Syria, and Yemen voiced strong support for Israel Solidarity Rally in Los
Hezbollah, while the Arab League, Egypt, and Jordan issued statements criticizing Angeles
Hezbollah's actions[251] and declaring support for Lebanon.[252] Saudi Arabia found
Hezbollah entirely responsible.[253] Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority,
the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed with the Saudi stance that Hezbollah's actions
[252]
were "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts."

Many worldwide protests and demonstrations appealed for an immediate ceasefire on both
sides and expressed concern for the heavy loss of civilian life on all sides. Other
demonstrations were held exclusively in favor of Lebanon or Israel. Numerous newspaper
[254][255]
advertising campaigns,SMS and email appeals, and online petitions also occurred.

Various foreign governments assisted the evacuation of their citizens from Lebanon.[256]

Allegations, accusations and reports of war crimes


A Lebanese protest in
Under international humanitarian law, warring parties are obliged to distinguish between Sydney
combatants and civilians, ensure that attacks on legitimate military targets are proportional,
and guarantee that the military advantage of such attacks outweigh the possible harm done to
civilians.[257] Violations of these laws are considered war crimes. Various groups and individuals accused both Israel and Hezbollah
of violations of these laws during the conflict, and warned of possible war crimes.[258] These allegations included intentional attacks
on civilian populations or infrastructure, disproportionate or indiscriminate attacks, the use of human shields, and the use of
prohibited weapons. No formal charges have been filed against either group.[259]

Amnesty International called on both Hezbollah and Israel to end attacks on civilian areas during the conflict,[260] and criticized
attacks against civilian villages and infrastructure by Israel.[261] They also highlighted IDF use of white phosphorus shells in
Lebanon.[176][262][263] Human Rights Watch accused both parties of failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants,
violating the principle of distinction, and committing war crimes.[257][264][265] Peter Bouckaert, a senior emergencies researcher for
Human Rights Watch, stated that Hezbollah was "directly targeting civilians ... their aim is to kill Israeli civilians" and that Israel had
not taken "the necessary precautions to distinguish between civilian and military targets."[266][267] They criticized Hezbollah's use of
unguided Katyusha rockets, and Israel's use of unreliable cluster bombs – both too close to civilians areas – suggesting that they may
have deliberately targeted civilians.[257][268] UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said Israel's response violated international
humanitarian law, and criticized Hezbollah for "cowardly blending... among women and children."[269] He also called Israel's use of
over 100,000 cluster bombs "immoral". According to Egeland, 90% of such bombs were launched by Israel in the last 3 days of
.[270]
combat, when it was known that a UN resolution was on its way
Israel said that it tried to avoid civilians, and had distributed leaflets calling on
civilian residents to evacuate,[271] but that Hezbollah stored weapons in and fired
from civilian areas, making those areas legitimate targets,[272] and used civilians as
human shields.[273][274][275][276] Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
found cases where Hezbollah did fire rockets from, and store weapons in, populated
areas and deploy its forces among the civilian population; however, both say that is
not conclusive evidence of the intent to use civilians as human shields.[272][277][278]
HRW stated that "the IDF struck a large number of private homes of civilian
Hezbollah members during the war, as well as various civilian Hezbollah-run
IAF targeting a Katyusha rocket
institutions such as schools, welfare agencies, banks, shops and political
launcher
offices."[279][280] Although Israel maintained that the civilian infrastructure was
"hijacked" by Hezbollah and used for military purposes,[281] but Amnesty
International identified the destruction of entire civilian neighbourhoods and villages by Israeli forces, attacks on bridges with no
apparent strategic value, and attacks on infrastructure indispensable to the survival of the civilian population,[261] and questioned
whether the "military advantage anticipated from destroying" civilian infrastructure had been "measured against the likely effect on
civilians."[282] They also stated that the Israeli actions suggested a "policy of punishing both the Lebanese government and the
civilian population."[282]

Al-Jazeera reported at the time: "Foreign journalists based in Lebanon also reported that the Shia militia chose to fight from civilian
areas and had on occasion prevented Lebanese civilians from fleeing conflict-hit areas of south Lebanon. Al-Manar, Hezbollah's
satellite channel, also showed footage of Hezbollah firing rockets from civilian areas and produced animated graphics showing how
Hezbollah fired rockets at Israeli cities from inside villages in southern Lebanon."

Images obtained by theSunday Herald Sun show that "Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia. The images ... show Hezbollah using
high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons. Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly
."[283]
disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon

Amnesty International stated, however, that the volume of civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure suggested that
Israel was not just trying to target Hezbollah fighters. An AI spokesperson, Kate Gilmore, said that "[t]he pattern, scope and scale of
the attacks makes Israel's claim that this was 'collateral damage', simply not credible".[284] "The evidence strongly suggests that the
extensive destruction of power and water plants, as well as the transport infrastructure vital for food and other humanitarian relief,
was deliberate and an integral part of a military strategy
," Gilmore said.

On 24 July 2007, Haaretz reported that the official Israeli inquiry into the war "is to include the examination of claims that the IDF
[285]
committed war crimes during last summer's fighting."

A 6 September 2007 Human Rights Watch report found that most of the civilian deaths in Lebanon resulted from "indiscriminate
Israeli airstrikes", and found that Israeli aircraft targeted vehicles carrying fleeing civilians.[286] In a statement issued before the
report's release, the human rights organization said there was no basis to the Israeli government's claim that civilian casualties
resulted from Hezbollah guerrillas using civilians as shields. Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch executive director, said there were
only "rare" cases of Hezbollah operating in civilian villages. "To the contrary, once the war started, most Hizbollah(sic) military
officials and even many political officials left the villages," he said. "Most Hizbollah(sic) military activity was conducted from
prepared positions outside Lebanese villages in the hills and valleys around." Roth also noted that "Hezbollah fighters often didn't
carry their weapons in the open or regularly wear military uniforms, which made them a hard target to identify. But this doesn't
justify the IDF's failure to distinguish between civilians and combatants, and if in doubt to treat a person as a civilian, as the laws of
war require."[287]

On its final report, issued on 30 January 2008, the Israeli government's Winograd Commission concluded that the Israel Defense
Forces did not commit violations or war crimes, as alleged by theHuman Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other NGOs. The
Commission claimed that the evidence shows that the Israel Defense Forces did not target civilians, in contrast to Hezbollah and to
denunciations by NGOs, and explained that terms like "war crimes" are without basis.[288] This report also acknowledged that Israel
used cluster bombs illegally, stating that "Israel must consider whether it wants to continue using cluster bombs in the future, because
."[289]
its current manner of employing them does not conform to international law

Media coverage
The 2007 report "'War to the Last Moment': The Israeli Media in the Second Lebanon War" by the Israeli media monitoring NGO
Keshev (trans. "Awareness")[290] stated that the Israeli media "except for a few exceptional instances ... covered the war in an almost
entirely mobilized manner" serving more to support the goals of the Israeli government and IDF than to objectively report the news.
"The media created a general atmosphere of complete and absolute support and justification of the war
, and systematically suppressed
questions that arose as early as the first day of fighting. ... The criticism gradually increased toward the end of the war-as it became
clearer that the IDF was not managing to win. But the general spirit of the war coverage, in the broad strategic sense, as utterly
uncritical." Keshev's report documents a post-war memo from the Deputy CEO of Marketing for the Hebrew newspaper Maariv to
Maariv employees which states, in part, that

“ Even when we had problematic material related to the management of the war ... we
restrained ourselves. In a certain sense, we betrayed our role as journalists, but we
did so because we took national, patriotic considerations into account and decided
that in the event of war, and certainly a war which was not progressing as it should
and was going awry, we were part of the Country; that it was permissible, and even
required of us, to postpone disputes and criticism; and that we did not have to
apologize, or to feel abashed, for our support and backing of the Army and the
Government.[290] ”
According to the report, "significant coverage of the decision-making process was almost entirely absent in Israel's media" at the
beginning of the war and reports on the status of Israelis living in the North who did not receive proper governmental support were
marginalized. Further, the report states that the media unreasonably centered on the question of the loyalties of Arab-Israelis in the
North instead of focusing on inadequate provision of services by the state. The report acknowledges that the Israeli media reported on
Lebanese suffering, But states that it divorced the suffering from the IDF operations causing it. Finally, with regard to diplomacy,
[290]
Israeli media buried the stories on negotiations to reflect the derision held by decision-makers toward a diplomatic solution.

On 18 July 2006 Hezbollah Press Officer Hussein Nabulsi took CNN's Nic Robertson on an exclusive tour of southern Beirut.
Robertson noted that despite his minder's anxiety about explosions in the area, it was clear that Hezbollah had sophisticated media
relations and were in control of the situation. Hezbollah designated the places that they went to, and the journalists "certainly didn't
have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath." According to his reports, there was no doubt that the
bombs were hitting Hezbollah facilities, and while there appeared to be "a lot of civilian damage, a lot of civilian properties," he
[291]
reiterated that he could not verify the civilian nature of the destroyed buildings.

Several media commentators and journalists have alleged an intentionally distorted coverage of the events, in favour of Hezbollah, by
means of photo manipulation, staging by Hezbollah or by journalists, and false or misleading captioning.[292] For example, CNN's
Charlie Moore described a Hezbollah press tour of a bombed-out area in southern Beirut on 23 July 2006 as a "dog-and-pony show"
due to perceived staging, misrepresentation of the nature of the destroyed areas, and strict directives about when and with whom
interviews could take place.[293] In the same interview CNN's John Roberts, reporting from an Israeli artillery battery on the
Lebanese border, stated that he had to take everything he was told – either by the IDF or Hezbollah – "with a grain of salt," citing
mutual recriminations of civilian targeting which he was unable to verify independently.[291] As another example, Reuters withdrew
over 900 photographs by Adnan Hajj, a Lebanese freelance photographer, after he admitted to digitally adding and darkening smoke
spirals in photographs of an attack on Beirut.[294] Photographs submitted to Reuters and Associated Press showed one Lebanese
woman mourning on two different pictures taken by two photographers, allegedly taken two weeks apart.[295] It is "common practice
[296]
to send more than one photographer to an incident".
Social and online media were important for providing alternate means of creating and disseminating accounts and political
commentary. For example, Lebanese blogger Fink Ployd maintained the blog BloggingBeirut.com, posting images, audio files, and
[297]
testimony from Lebanon, particularly from Lebanese Arab youth.

Swedish politician Lars Adaktusson, who worked as a journalist in Israel for national news outlet Sveriges Television (SVT) at the
time of the war, stated in a 2017 presentation that he was ordered by SVT management to report that armed hostilities had been
[298]
started by Israel irrespective of the facts. Also he was ordered not to report Hizbollah rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.

Reviews of the conflict


Following the UN-brokered ceasefire, there were mixed responses on who had gained or lost the most in the war. Iran and Syria
proclaimed a victory for Hezbollah[299] while Olmert declared that the war was a success for Israel.
[300]

Lebanon
At the outbreak of hostilities, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora promised to rein in
Hezbollah in an effort to stop Israel's offensive. Saniora said that there could be no
sovereign state of Lebanon without the group's disarming. The former President of
Lebanon Amin Gemayel, a longtime critic of Hezbollah said, "Hezbollah took a
unilateral action, but its repercussions will affect the entire country."[301] The war
deepened the longtime divide in Lebanon over Hezbollah's role. Many admired the
organization for being the sole group to fight against Israel. Others considered it to
be a dangerous militia that executes Iran and Syria policies in Lebanon. The divide
A sign erected after the 2006
over Hezbollah followed mostly sectarian lines, with Shias largely supporting the Lebanon war in South Lebanon
group and Sunnis, Christians and Druse mostly opposing it.[301] which displays rockets and
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
On 27 August 2006, Nasrallah said in an interview with New TV that the abduction
of the two soldiers did not cause the war. It only advanced a long planned war for a
few months. But he added: "If there was even a 1 percent chance that the July 11 capturing operation would have led to a war like the
one that happened, would you have done it? I would say no, absolutely not, for humanitarian, moral, social, security, military, and
political reasons. […] What happened is not an issue of a reaction to a capturing operation… what happened was already planned for.
."[302]
The fact that it happened in July has averted a situation that would have been a lot worse, had the war been launched in October

On 22 September 2006, some eight hundred thousand Hezbollah supporters gathered in Beirut for a rally at which Nasrallah stated
."[303]
that Hezbollah had achieved a "divine and strategic victory

Israel
Tel Aviv to oppose the war.[304] On
Within hours of Israeli's bombing of Lebanon on 13 July 2006, hundreds of protesters gathered in
22 July, about 2,000 people, including many Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, demanded an end to the offensive during a protest
march in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square.[305] On 5 August, some Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv, including former Knesset members of
the Meretz party, Mossi Raz, Naomi Hazan and Yael Dayan.

Initially, in a poll by an Israeli radio station, Israelis were split on the outcome with the majority believing that no one won.[306] By
25 August 63% of Israelis polled wanted Olmert to resign due to his handling of the war.[307] The Jerusalem Post said that " if you
."[308]
fail to win, you lose" and that as "Hezbollah survived, it won the war

Olmert admitted to the Knesset that there were mistakes in the war in Lebanon,[309] though he framed UN Security Council
resolution 1701 as an accomplishment for Israel that would bring home the captured soldiers, and said that the operations had altered
the regional strategic balance vis-à-vis Hezbollah.[310] The Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz admitted to failings in the conflict.[311]
On 15 August, Israeli government and defense officials called for Halutz's resignation following a stock scandal in which he admitted
fensive.[312] Halutz subsequently resigned on 17 January 2007.
selling stocks hours before the start of the Israeli of

On 21 August, a group of demobilized Israel reserve soldiers and parents of soldiers killed in the fighting started a movement calling
for the resignation of Olmert and the establishment of a state commission of inquiry. They set up a protest tent opposite the Knesset
and grew to over 2,000 supporters by 25 August, including the influential Movement for Quality Government.[313] On 28 August,
Olmert announced that there would be no independent state or governmental commission of inquiry, but two internal inspection
probes, one to investigate the political echelon and one to examine the IDF, and likely a third commission to examine the Home
Front, to be announced at a later date. These would have a more limited mandate and less authority than a single inquiry commission
headed by a retired judge.[314] The political and military committees were to be headed by former director of Mossad Nahum
Admoni and former Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, respectively. Critics argued that these committees amount to a whitewash,
due to their limited authority, limited investigatory scope, their self-appointed basis, and that neither would be headed by a retired
judge.

Due to these pressures, on 11 October, Admoni was replaced by retired justice Eliyahu Winograd as chair of the political probe, and
the probe itself was elevated to the status of governmental commission with near-state commission mandate: the Winograd
Commission. On 12 September, former defense minister Moshe Arens spoke of "the defeat of Israel" in calling for a state committee
of inquiry. He said that Israel had lost "to a very small group of people, 5,000 Hezbollah fighters, which should have been no match
at all for the IDF", and stated that the conflict could have "some very fateful consequences for the future."[315] Disclosing his intent
to shortly resign, Ilan Harari, the IDF's chief education officer, stated at a conference of senior IDF officers that Israel lost the war,
becoming the first senior active duty officer to publicly state such an opinion.[316] IDF Major General Yiftah Ron Tal, on 4 October
2006 became the second and highest ranking serving officer to express his opinion that the IDF failed "to win the day in the battle
against Hezbollah" as well as calling for Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz' resignation.[317] Ron-Tal was subsequently fired for making those and
other critical comments.[318]

However, Eyal Zisser, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, took a
contrary position and expressed the view that the war was in fact a strategic success for Israel and a Hezbollah defeat. He noted that
Hezbollah had "lost about a third of its elite fighting force" and that "despite mistakes made by the IDF in conducting the military
campaign, Israeli soldiers triumphed in every face-to-face battle with Hezbollah." He concluded that "as time passes, the severity of
the blow suffered by Lebanon and its people fromthe 2006 war becomes clear."[319]

In March 2007, the Committee decided to name the war the "Second Lebanon War", a decision that was subsequently approved by
the Israeli cabinet.[320]

In 2008, Ehud Barak, the replacement defense minister for Peretz, stated that the conflict failed to disarm Hezbollah, and that the
group is increasingly entrenched in South Lebanon, further stating that "Hezbollah is stronger than ever and has more rockets than at
the outbreak of the Lebanon war in the summer of 2006"[321] but he later noted that "[Israeli] deterrence still exists."[322] The IDF's
Northern Command cited this deterrence as one reason Hezbollah did not fire any rockets into Israel during Operation Cast
Lead.[323]

Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld stated that Israel's war against Hezbollah was indeed "marked by a long series of
failures" but he criticized the Winograd Commission for its failure to take into account the substantial achievements of the war. He
noted that hundreds of Hezbollah fighters were killed in the war, and that the organization had "the fight knocked out of it", since
following the war, Israel experienced a level of calm on its Lebanon border not seen since the mid-1960s. He also noted that
Hezbollah was "thrown out of South Lebanon", and was replaced by "a fairly robust United Nations peacekeeping force" to prevent
its return.[324]

IDF Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror highlighted the number of Hezbollah militants killed, the quick military response to
Hezbollah's long-range rocket attacks, the post-war replacement of Hezbollah by the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL in southern
.[325] Thomas Friedman concurred,
Lebanon, and Iran's loss of Hezbollah as a deterrent against an Israeli first strike following the war
stating that the war was a "huge strategic loss for Hezbollah", and contrasted the billions in damage suffered by Hezbollah and
Lebanon with the "relatively minor damage" suffered by Israel, which enjoyed an economic "growth spurt" immediately following
the war.[326]

Winograd Commission report


According to the Winograd Commission report, the Second Lebanon War was regarded as a "missed opportunity" and that "Israel
initiated a long war, which ended without a defined military victory". The report continued to state that "a semi-military organization
of a few thousand men resisted, for a few weeks, the strongest army in the Middle East, which enjoyed full air superiority and size
and technology advantages." Furthermore, Hezbollah's rocket attacks continued throughout the war and the IDF did not provide an
effective response to it. Following a long period of using standoff firepower and limited ground activities, the IDF launched a large-
scale ground offensive close to the UN Security Council's resolution which imposed a cease-fire. "This offensive did not result in
military gains and was not completed."

Later in the Report, the Commission stated that "[a] decision [was] made in the night of 12 July to react (to the capturing) with
immediate and substantive military action and to set ... ambitious goals." This decision had immediate repercussions in that
subsequent decisions were limited mainly to a choice between a) "a short, painful and unexpected blow on Hezbollah" and b) "to
bring about a significant change of the reality in the South of Lebanon with a large ground operation,[occupying] ... the South of
Lebanon and 'cleaning' it of Hezbollah." "The fact Israel went to war before it decided which option to select and without an exit
strategy, all these constituted serious failures of the decision making process." As for achievements, the Commission reported that
, were an achievement for Israel."[327]
"SC resolution 1701, and the fact that it was adopted unanimously

International
In the aftermath of the conflict US President George Bush said that Hezbollah was
responsible for starting the war, and that the group suffered a defeat at the hands of
Israel.[329] He dismissed claims of victory by Hezbollah leaders, asking: "how can
you claim victory when at one time you were a state within a state, safe within
southern Lebanon, and now you're going to be replaced by a Lebanese Army and an
international force?"[329] In his 2010 memoir, Decision Points, Bush wrote that
Israel had weakened Hezbollah and secured its northern border, but that Israel's
"shaky military performance" cost it international credibility. He also said that Israel
"mishandled its opportunity", and that some of the sites it attacked were of George W. Bush declared that
"questionable military value".[330] Hezbollah lost the war and that
"There's going to be a new power in
In a speech given on 15 August 2006, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed that the south of Lebanon".[328]
the Arab resistance against Israel would continue to grow stronger, saying, "Your
weapons, warplanes, rockets and even your atomic bomb will not protect you in the
future."[331]

The Economist magazine concluded that by surviving this asymmetrical military conflict with Israel, Hezbollah effectively emerged
with a military and political victory from this conflict. They cite the facts that Hezbollah was able to sustain defenses on Lebanese
.[332]
soil and inflict unmitigated rocket attacks on Israeli civilians in the face of a punishing air and land campaign by the IDF

Matt M. Matthews, a military historian at the Combat Studies Institute of the U.S. Army
Command and General Staff College praised
Hezbollah paramilitaries and reflected on what he described as "the lackluster performance of the IDF." He attributed this to several
factors including (Lieutenant-General and Chief of the IDF General Staff) Halutz's steadfast confidence in air power coupled with
[333]
continuing COIN operations against the Palestinians at the expense of training for major combat operations.

The US Congressional Research Service found that although Hezbollah's military capabilities may have been substantially reduced,
its long-term potential as a guerrilla movement appeared to remain intact: "Observers note that Hezbollah's leaders have been able to
[334]
claim a level of 'victory' simply by virtue of not having decisively 'lost'."
Military analyst and former IDF general Giora Eiland concluded that, though outgunned and outnumbered, Hezbollah managed to
hold off Israel's advanced armed forces and proved its ability to damage Israel by launching rockets at its territory until the end of the
war. He estimates that Hezbollah's destructive capabilities have increased in the years after the war and that the group is capable to
inflict "far worse damage on the Israeli homefront" than in 2006.[335] An Israeli official warned that combat with Hezbollah will be
.[336]
very bloody and Lebanon would sustain heavy damage in any future war

In the 2007 BBC documentary, Hunting for Hezbollah, BBC This World reporter Emeka Onono referred to Israel's inability to
eliminate Hezbollah as a "humiliation for Israel's supposedly all-powerful army," and he went on to claim that Hezbollah's survival
[337]
propelled it to hero status throughout many Muslim nations.

British military historianJohn Keegan stated that the outcome of the war was "misreported as an Israeli defeat" due to anti-Israel bias
in the international media. He concluded that Hezbollah had suffered heavy losses, and that a cease-fire came into effect before Israel
could completely dislodge Hezbollah from its positions. He also stated that the casualties sustained by Israel during the war had
[197]
alarmed the Israeli Government and High Command because Israel's small population is acutely vulnerable to losses in battle.

Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and political commentator, citing an interview by which Nasrallah admitted that he
would not have captured the soldiers had he known that it would lead to war, wrote, "Nasrallah's admission, vastly underplayed in the
West, makes clear what Lebanese already knew. Hezbollah may have won the propaganda war, but on the ground it lost. Badly." He
noted that Hezbollah's entrenched infrastructure along Israel's border was shattered and would not be easily rebuilt due to the
presence of the Lebanese Army and a robust UNIFIL force, hundreds of Hezbollah's best fighters were killed in the war, and that
gely devastated the country.[338]
many Lebanese were angry with Hezbollah for provoking a war which lar

The Washington Post stated that the war had been "widely seen as a disaster for the Israeli military". It further reported that the US
Defense Department had sent as many as a dozen teams to interview Israeli officers who had fought in the war, to learn the lessons of
the Israeli army's failures during the conflict.[339][340]

Michael Young, opinion page editor at the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper, stated that Hezbollah turned "the stench of defeat into the
smell of victory", through clever use of its propaganda machine. He suggested that Hezbollah had "hoodwinked" pundits who
believed that Hezbollah was victorious, and opined that "one dreads to imagine what Hezbollah would recognize as a military
loss."[341]

American military strategist and historian Edward Luttwak drew comparisons with the 1973 Yom Kippur War, where what initially
looked like an Israeli setback later turned out to be an IDF victory and an Arab defeat. He stated that although some IDF tanks were
penetrated by missiles, they also largely limited IDF casualties, and that Hezbollah had failed to inflict massive losses on the IDF and
to kill large numbers of Israelis in rocket attacks.[342] Cambridge professor and Peterhouse Fellow Brendan Simms summed up the
war this way; "Hezbollah have suffered a setback (but are too clever to admit it) and the Israelis have scored a long-term success (but
are too narrow-minded to realize it)."[343]

Journalist Michael Totten wrote that "Hezbollah lost and Hezbollah knows it." He questioned why Hezbollah did not attack Israel
when the IDF attacked Hamas in Gaza in 2008, and noted that most of Nasrallah's supporters "want Hezbollah to deter Israeli
invasions, not to invite Israeli invasions". Totten concluded that Nasrallah's boasts "play well in much of the Arab world", but that the
2006 "victory" seemed "empty at home."[344]

Armin Rosen, Defense and military advisor wrote at Business Insider that the 2006 Lebanon War was "widely remembered as one of
[345]
the worst debacles in the history of the Israeli military", but remarked that it established Israeli deterrence against Hezbollah.

Financial and political repercussions


The fighting resulted in a huge financial setback for Lebanon, with an official estimate of a fall in growth from +6% to 2% and
US$5 Billion (22% of GDP)[346] in direct and indirect costs, while the cost for Israel was estimated at US$3.5 billion.[347] Indirect
costs to Israel include a cut in growth by 0.9%.[348] and the cost to tourism was estimated at 0.4% of Israel's GDP in the following
year.[349] According to Imad Salamey in The Government and Politics of Lebanon, the main casualty was the fragile unity between
Lebanon's sectarian and political groups.[350]

Aftermath

Post-ceasefire events
In the days following 14 August 2006 ceasefire, Hezbollah launched dozens of
rockets and mortars inside southern Lebanon, which Israel did not respond to,
though there were several instances where Israeli troops killed armed Hezbollah
members approaching their positions.[351][352][353] Israeli warplanes continued
conducting numerous flyovers and maneuvers above southern Lebanon, which Israel
said did not violate the ceasefire.[354][355] On 19 August 2006, Israel launched a
raid in Lebanon's eastern Beqaa Valley it says was aimed at disrupting Hezbollah's
weapons supply from Syria and Iran.[356] Lebanese officials "said the Israelis were
apparently seeking a guerrilla target in a school."[357][358][359][360][361] Israel's
aerial and commando operations were criticised by Kofi Annan as violations of the
ceasefire, which he said they had conducted the majority of, and he also protested
the continued embargo. France, then leading UNIFIL, also issued criticism of the
flyovers, which it interpreted as aggressive.[362] Israel argued that "[t]he cease-fire
is based on (UN resolution) 1701 which calls for an international arms embargo
against Hezbollah," and said the embargo could be lifted after full implementation of
the cease-fire[356] but Annan said that UNIFIL would only interdict arms at
Lebanon's request.[363][364] On 7 September 2006 and 8 September 2006
respectively, aviation and naval blockades were lifted.[365] In the second half of
September Hezbollah claimed victory and asserted an improvement in their position,
and they redeployed to some positions on the border[366][367] as Israel completed its
withdrawal from Lebanon save border-straddling Ghajar.[71][368][369][370][371][372]
On 3 October, an Israeli fighter penetrated the 2-nautical-mile (4 km) defence
perimeter of the French frigate Courbet without answering radio calls, triggering a
diplomatic incident.[373]
An infographic produced by the Israel
Defence Force criticizing Hezbollah’s
On 24 October, six Israeli F-16s flew over a German Navy vessel patrolling off
violations of United Nations Security
Israel's coast just south of the Lebanese border. The German Defence Ministry said Council Resolution 1701. The
that the planes had given off infrared decoys and one of the aircraft had fired two resolution calls for Hezbollah to
shots into the air, which had not been specifically aimed. The Israeli military said remain disarmed and bans
that a German helicopter took off from the vessel without having coordinated this paramilitary activity south of the
with Israel, and denied vehemently having fired any shots at the vessel and said "as Litani River.

of now" it also had no knowledge of the jets launching flares over it. Israeli Defence
Minister Amir Peretz telephoned his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung to clarify
that 'Israel has no intention to carry out any aggressive actions' against the German peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, who are there as
part of UNIFIL to enforce an arms embargo against Hezbollah. Germany confirmed the consultations, and that both sides were
interested in maintaining good cooperation.[374][375]

On 1 December 2006, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan submitted a report to the Security Council president maintaining "there
were no serious incidents or confrontations" since the cease-fire in August 2006. He did, however, note that peacekeepers reported air
violations by Israel "almost on a daily basis," which Israel maintained were a security measure related to continuing Syrian and
Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah, and evidence of the presence of unauthorized armed personnel, assets, and weapons in
Lebanon.[6] In one case, a UNIFIL demining team was challenged by two Hezbollah members in combat uniforms armed with AK-
47 rifles; UNIFIL notified the Lebanese army, who arrested three suspects the next day.[6] There were also "13 instances where
UNIFIL came across unauthorized arms or related material in its area of operation", including the discovery of 17 katyusha rockets
and several improvised explosive devices in Rachaiya El-Foukhar, and the discovery of a weapons cache containing seven missiles,
three rocket launchers, and a substantial amount of ammunition in the area of Bourhoz.[6][376] Annan also reported that as of 20
November 2006, 822 Israeli cluster bomb strike sites had been recorded,[376] with 60,000 cluster bomblets having been cleared by
the UN Mine Action Coordination Center.[377]

The months after the hostilities saw major upheaval in the Israeli military and political echelon, with the spate of high-ranking
resignations including Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz,[378] and calls for resignations of many cabinet-members including Prime-
Minister Ehud Olmert following publication of the Winograd Commission's findings.[379] The Winograd report severely criticized
Olmert, accusing him of a "severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and caution." Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora
b July War of 2006.[380]
criticized the Winograd report for failing to report on the full destruction dealt to Lebanon by therief

After the war, the Lebanese Army deployed 15,000 soldiers, backed by a UNIFIL force of 12,000, deployed South of the Litani River
to replace Hezbollah, although the Lebanese government said that it cannot and will not disarm Hezbollah by force. On 7 February
2010, the Lebanese Army fired at an Israeli bulldozer on the border, and Israeli forces returned fire. There were no reported
casualties. Lebanon claimed that the bulldozer had crossed the border and entered Lebanese territory
. On 21 February 2007,Lebanese
Army troops fired at an Israeli UAV over Tyre with small arms, causing no damage.[381]

On 30 June 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's fourth report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701
fingered Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah for violating the ceasefire, but called the firing of rockets into Israel by unknown elements
"the most serious breach of the cessation of hostilities since the end of the war." The report commended Israel on its restraint
following this attack, and commended Lebanon for its continued efforts to disarm armed groups. It further stated that in spite of
"flexibility by Israel beyond the framework of UNSC-Resolution 1701, implementation of the resolution's humanitarian aspects has
not yet been possible."[382]

On 12 February 2008,Imad Mugniyah, the head of Hezbollah's military wing, was assassinated by a car bomb in Damascus.[383] The
Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, was widely believed to be behind the assassination. Although Israel officially denied
involvement, Mugniyah had been the target of previous Mossad assassination attempts.[384] Israel considered Mugniyah a
"significant force behind actions against Israel".[385]

On 14 July 2009, an explosion in Khirbat Silim, a Lebanese village near the Lebanon-Israel border, killed eight Hezbollah militants.
Israel and the United Nations stated that the explosion was a hidden Hezbollah weapons cache, and condemned Hezbollah for
violating Resolution 1701. The Lebanese government stated that the explosion was caused by IDF munitions left following the 2006
war.[386][387] Hezbollah blamed the explosion on leftover shells that had been collected following Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon
in 2000.[388] A Kuwaiti newspaper, al-Seyassah, reported that the ammunition warehouse storedchemical weapons.[389]

On 23 August 2009, the IDF published a video it said showed villagers from Marwakhin, a village in Southern Lebanon, "forcefully
resisting" efforts by Hezbollah militants to store weapons in their village.[390]

On 4 November 2009 Israeli navy commandos of Shayetet 13 boarded the ship MV Francop in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and
seized 500 tons of Iranian armaments disguised as civilian cargo. Israel said the weapons were bound for Hezbollah and originated
from Iran.[391] Hezbollah disavowed any connection to the contraband and accused Israel of "piracy
."[392]

According to Lebanese Army in May 2010 it firedanti-aircraft artillery at two Israeli jets over Lebanon.[393]

In 2010, French UNIFIL forces warned that they could in the future attack Israeli jets with anti-aircraft batteries if Israel continued its
overflights of Lebanese airspace.[394]

On 4 August 2010, a clash on the border occurred when the Israel military tried to remove a tree from between the border and the
border fence on Israeli territory. According to the Israelis, the tree was blocking the view of one of their video cameras at the border.
The Lebanese army fired at the Israeli forces and there was a clash for a few hours. In the ensuing clash, one Israeli soldier died as
well as two Lebanese soldiers and one Lebanese journalist. There were also a number of injured military soldiers and civilians on
both sides including Lebanese journalists.[395]
Prisoner swap
On Wednesday 16 July 2008, in accordance with the mandates of Resolution 1701, Hezbollah transferred the coffins of captured
Israeli soldiers,[396] Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, in exchange for incarcerated Palestine Liberation Front militant Samir
Kuntar, four Hezbollah militants captured by Israel during the war, and bodies of about 200 other Lebanese and Palestinian militants
held by Israel.[397] Until that time, Hezbollah had provide no information on Goldwasser and Regev's condition and disallowed the
Red Cross from visiting them.[397]

In film
The 2006 Lebanon War is the subject of two feature length films, both of which were screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
They are Philippe Aractingi's Under the Bombs (2007) and Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmor's Strangers (2007).[398] Israeli soldier and
documentary filmmaker Yariv Mozer also wrote, directed and filmed the autobiographical "My First War" based on his experiences
in the conflict.[399] The conflict was also the subject of an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, which was nominated for
an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Programming in 2007.[400]

A collective of Lebanese filmmakers produced during and in the immediate aftermath of the war some twenty short videos that were
released as Videos Under Siege and presented in numerous festivals including the Dubai International Film Festival. The directors
involved included Akram Zaatari, Khalil Joreige, Joana Hadjithomas, Danielle Arbid, Tina Baz, Gregory Buchakjian, Ghassan
Salhab, Rania Stephan and others.[401]

The conflict was the setting of the Israeli film Lebanon (2009), which depicts warfare as witnessed exclusively from the inside of a
tank. The film was widely lauded and won theGolden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.[402][403]

See also
Asymmetric warfare
History of the Arab–Israeli conflict
List of modern conflicts in the Middle East
List of proxy wars
List of wars 2003–10
List of wars involving Israel
List of wars involving Lebanon
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1697

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External links
Security Council Resolution 1701. United Nations
Winograd Committee submits final report. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Second Lebanon War. Israel Defense Forces
Timeline: Lebanon conflict. Aljazeera.com
The 2006 Lebanon War: Hezbollah’s expensive ‘victory’ ten years on. Al Arabiya
10 Years After the Lebanon War: The Photos That Moved Them Most. Time
Middle East crisis: Facts and figures. BBC News
Second Lebanon War. Jewish Virtual Library

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