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

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

 

 The Second Lebanon War (2006)
 Kiryat Shmona home hit by Katyusha rocket, August 2006 (Photo: Reuters)

 

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

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

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

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

Approximate area of northern Israel subject to Hizbullah rocket attack

 The Second Lebanon War (2006)

© Carta Jerusalem

 The Second Lebanon War (2006)

 

 

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

 

 The Second Lebanon War (2006)

Hizbullah supporters in Beirut celebrate Israeli border attack (Reuters)

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

 

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

Axis of Terror: Syria and Iran

 The Second Lebanon War (2006)

Students burn Israeli flag at demonstration in Tehran, July 14
(Reuters)

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

RPG found in Lebanon, bearing emblem of the Iranian army

 The Second Lebanon War (2006)

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

  • Transcript of joint press conference: FM Livni and EU envoy Javier Solana (July 19): “Israel is fighting to eliminate the threat posed by the axis of terror and hate: Hizbullah, Hamas, Syria and Iran. Specifically, Israel is fighting to end the control of the Hizbullah over the lives of both Lebanese and Israelis.”
  • Press briefing with FM Livni (July 23): “The situation that has been created in Lebanon over the years required us to establish objectives in order to remove the threat and to establish long-term stability – through both military and diplomatic means.”
  • PM Olmert addresses mayors (July 31) : “Since the war in Lebanon began, we have reached substantial and important achievements. Hizbullah suffered a major blow. We succeeded in damaging the organization’s long-range missile system. Hizbullah and its leader are isolated in both the Lebanese and Arab arenas. This is almost a one time opportunity to change the rules of the game in Lebanon.”
  • Excerpts from statement by Defense Minister Peretz to the Knesset (July 31): The entire world must know that we did not choose the military option. The world must remember that we have no territorial conflict on the northern border with Lebanon or on the southern border with the Palestinian Authority. This is a war that was forced on us after we did everything to prevent it.”
  • Address by Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (July 31)
  • Statement by FM Livni to the Knesset (Aug 8): “Changing the situation in Lebanon does not depend only on a military campaign, it does not depend only on Israel. It depends mainly on what happens the day after the military campaign, on what the Lebanese government does, on what the international community does.”
  • FM Livni after meeting with German FM Steinmeier (Aug 9): “It is very important that the Lebanese army also be accompanied by international forces that will enable it to reach the south in an organized fashion and guard the area once the Hizbullah are gone.”
  • FM Livni interviewed on Israel television (Aug 12:) “UN Security Council Resolution 1701 reflects the interests of the State of Israel.”
  • Joint press conference with FM Livni and EU Envoy Solana (Aug 13) – Transcript and Video
  • Address to the Knesset by PM Ehud Olmert (Aug 14)
  • Addressing the heads of local authorities (Aug 28), PM Olmert reviewed the outcome of the war in Lebanon and announced the appointment of a committee of inquiry.
  • Statements by FM Livni and UN Secy-Gen Annan after meeting (Aug 30)

Behind the Headlines

  • Behind the Headlines: Legal and operational aspects of the use of cluster bombs
  • Behind the Headlines: UN Security Council Resolution 1701
  • Behind the Headlines: Israel’s Operation against Hizbullah – the Diplomatic Effort
  • Behind the Headlines: A measured response to Hizbullah missiles
  • Behind the Headlines: Rescuing Gilad Shalit from his Hamas kidnappers

Government Communiques

  • Special Cabinet Communique (July 12): “Israel views the sovereign Lebanese Government as responsible for the action that originated on its soil and for the return of the abducted soldiers to Israel. Israel demands that the Lebanese Government implement UN Security Council Resolution #1559.”
  • Cabinet Communique (July 16): “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.”
  • Statement by Cabinet Secretary (July 17): “The Cabinet decided today to extend Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s 15 July 2006 declaration of a special situation on the home front for five days starting from 15 July 2006.”
  • Political-Security Cabinet defines principles of a diplomatic solution to the Lebanese crisis (July 19):
    – unconditional release of abducted soldiers
    – halt to the firing of rockets against Israel
    – full implementation of UNSC res 1559.
  • Cabinet Communique (July 23)
  • National Management Center opens in the north (July 25)
  • Political-Security Cabinet Meeting (July 27)
  • Cabinet Communique (July 30): “The State of Israel deeply and sincerely regrets the killing of civilians during operations to halt firing intended to murder Israelis.”
  • Cabinet Communique (Aug 6)
  • Decision of the Political-Security Cabinet (Aug 9)
  • MFA Spokesman: IDF Bekaa operation in response to violation of cease-fire (Aug 20)
  • PM Olmert speaks with Italian PM Prodi (Aug 20)
  • Cabinet Communique (Aug 20)
  • Assessing the environmental costs of the war in the north – Ministry for Environmental Protection (Aug 27)
  • PM Olmert convenes Cabinet for Strengthening Haifa and the North (Aug 30)
  • Lifting of the air and sea blockade of Lebanon (Sept 6)
  • Inquiry committee regarding the campaign in the north (Sept 11)
  • Establishment of the Winograd Committee (Sept 14)
  • Detailed plan for strengthening Haifa and the north approved (Sept 14)
  • Cabinet approves Governmental Investigative Committee headed by Dr. Winograd (Sept 27)
  • IDF completes transfer of areas in southern Lebanon to UNIFIL (Oct 1)

Diplomacy

  • Statement by Group of Eight Leaders – G-8 Summit 2006 (July 16)
  • Statement by the Council of the European Union on the Middle East (July 17)
  • FM Livni meets with UN team (July 18): “While we continue to act to defend our citizens, we intend to cooperation with the international community, with a view to ensuring a successful and effective resolution of the crisis.”
  • PM Olmert senior advisers meet with UN delegation (July 18)
  • PM Olmert meets with Senior EU Envoy Solana (July 19)
  • Vice PM Peres meets with EU Envoy Solana (July 19)
  • PM Olmert speaks with Canadian PM Harper (July 19)
  • US House of Representatives condemns recent attacks against the State of Israel (July 20)
  • US Secy of State Rice on visit to Middle East and Rome (July 21): “At next week’s meeting of the Lebanon Core Group, we will continue working to provide immediate humanitarian relief to the people of Lebanon. We urgently seek an end to the current violence. We also seek to address the root causes of that violence so that a real and endurable peace can be established… A ceasefire would be a false promise if it simply returns us to the status quo.”
  • US President Bush sends Secy of State Rice to the Middle East (July 22)
  • PM Olmert meets with German FM Steinmeier (July 23): “Hizbullah is operated by Iran and Syria. The Iranian issue is one that will preoccupy the world in the coming months and what is happening now is a preparation.”
  • Vice PM Peres meets with German FM Steinmeier (July 23)
  • Statement issued by FM Livni on arrival of Secy of State Rice (July 24): “This is a moment of truth for the government of Lebanon and for the international community. A cease-fire alone will create a vacuum that Hizbullah will fill with more terrorism.”
  • Video: PM Olmert addresses supporters of Israel (July 24)
  • PM Olmert meets with Secy Rice (July 25): “For over 12 days, more than 15% of the population of Israel has been forced to live in shelters because of the continuous rocket and missile attacks coming from Lebanon into the major cities of Israel.”
  • FM Livni meets with Emergency Relief Coordinator Egeland (July 26)
  • International Conference for Lebanon: co-Chairman Statement (July 26)
  • Israel’s response to statement of International Conference for Lebanon (July 26): “Israel joins the international community in its demand to bring about the full and immediate implementation of UN Resolution 1559 and the G-8 statement.”
  • Joint press conference: US President Bush and British PM Blair (July 28): “Secretary Rice will return to the region. She will work with the leaders of Israel and Lebanon to seize this opportunity to achieve lasting peace and stability for both of their countries.”
  • US State Dept (July 30): Israel agrees to 48-hour suspension of aerial activity in south Lebanon
  • US Secy of State Rice (July 31): Statement on Three-Part Comprehensive Settlement
  • PM Olmert to PM Blair (July 31): Israel is interested that an effective multi-national force come to Lebanon in order to deploy along Blue Line and at the border crossings between Syria and Lebanon.
  • US Pres Bush and Secy Rice discuss the Middle East crisis (Aug 7): “The first resolution, which the Security Council is now considering, calls for a stop of all hostilities. In addition, the resolution calls for an embargo on the shipment of any arms into Lebanon, except as authorized by the Lebanese government. A second resolution will help establish a sustainable and enduring cease-fire and provide a mandate for a robust international force that will help the legitimate government of Lebanon extend its authority over all of Lebanon’s territory.”
  • FM Livni meets with German FM Steinmeier (Aug 9): “The Cabinet decision relates to both military and diplomatic moves. Israel has to act on these two planes.”
  • UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (Aug 11)
  • PM Olmert speaks with world leaders (Aug 13)
  • Joint press conference with FM Livni and EU Envoy Solana (Aug 13) – Transcript and Video
  • Statement by US President Bush (Aug 14): “Friday’s U.N. Security Council resolution on Lebanon is an important step forward that will help bring an end to the violence.”
  • Q & A with Assistant Secretary David Welch, Principal Negotiator in Lebanese Peace Process (Aug 15)
  • FM Livni meets with UN Secy-Gen Annan (Aug 16)
  • Joint press conference by FM Livni and French FM Douste-Blazy (Aug 23)
  • PM Olmert meets with UN Secy-Gen Annan (Aug 30)
  • Statements by FM Livni and UN Secy-Gen Annan after meeting (Aug 30)
  • PM Olmert meets Russian FM Lavrov (Sept 7)

Israel at the UN

  • Israel informs UN Secretary General of Hizbullah attack (July 12)
    – UN Secy Gen Annan condemns Hizbullah attack (July 12)
  • Statement by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Security Council (July 13): “Terror is the ‘occupying power’ of the Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese people”
  • Video stakeout with Amb Gillerman (July 13)
  • Statement by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Security Council (July 14): “The Lebanese Government must seize the opportunity to wrest their country from the grips of terror.”
  • Statement by Amb Gillerman to the UN Security Council (July 21): “In spite of the very difficult situation on the ground, Israel is acutely aware of the humanitarian situation. I have received official confirmation from Israel that a two-way ‘humanitarian corridor,’ to meet the needs of those affected on the Lebanese side, has been established.”
  • Statement by Couns Eilon Shahar to UN Flash Appeal for Lebanon (July 24): “Israel announced on July 21 that it has created a safe corridor that enabled the maritime evacuation of thousands of foreign residents and tourists from Lebanon to Cyprus. This same corridor will now be used as a humanitarian corridor that will allow the flow of humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people.”
  • Statement by Amb Gillerman to the UN Security Council (July 30): “Those people, including women and children, who were killed in this horrible tragic incident may have been killed by Israeli fire but they are the victims of the Hizbullah. They are the victims of terror. If there were no Hizbullah this would never have happened.”
  • Statement by Amb. Gillerman to the UN Security Council (July 31): “Is it not time that Lebanon took its fate into its own hands, rather than keep crying out to the Security Council and to the international community? Is it not time that the Lebanese army, which is there, acted in order to rid itself of the very beast which is bringing this horror and this destruction upon its people?”
  • Statement by Israeli Amb Gillerman to the UN Security Council (Aug 8): “The critical test this Council faces is not whether it can adopt a resolution. The question is whether this Council and the international community can adopt a course of action, a blueprint for change, which will end the threat that Hizbullah and its sponsors pose to the people of Israel and Lebanon, and to the region as a whole. Both the forces of terror and the forces of moderation in the Middle East are looking to the Council to see if it us up to that challenge.”
  • UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (Aug 11)
  • Address by Amb Gillerman to the Security Council (Aug 11): “The resolution adopted today is an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past and to create a genuine new reality in our region.”
  • Israel expresses satisfaciton at adoption of UNSC Resolution 1701 (Aug 12)
  • Behind the Headlines: UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (Aug 12)
  • FM Livni meets with UN Secy-Gen Annan (Aug 16)
  • Amb Gillerman addresses UN Security Council (Aug 22): “A clear and unequivocal mandate needs to be outlined for UNIFIL. A weak UNIFIL does not fulfill the interests of Lebanon or the region, and it writes Hizbullah a blank check to continue to do as it pleases.”

Humanitarian efforts

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

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

Some 57 planes have been allowed to land at Beirut International Airport to unload humanitarian goods for residents of southern Lebanon.
Israel strikes back – Operation Change of Direction

 The Second Lebanon War (2006)

Israel Air Force strikes back in Lebanon (Reuters)

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

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

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

  • IDF Spokesman: Hizbullah attack on northern border and IDF response (July 12)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 13)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 14)
  • Summary of attack on IDF missile ship (July 14)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 15)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 16)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 18)
  • IDF drops leaflets to warn Lebanese civilians (IDF Spokesman, July 19)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 19)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 21)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 22)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 23)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 24)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 26)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 27)
  • Chief of Staff Halutz: “We have no intention of hurting Syria or the citizens of Lebanon” (July 27)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDf Spokesman, July 28)
  • IDF response regarding convoy in southern Lebanon (July 28)
  • Summary of IDF aerial activity in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 29)
  • Incident in Kafr Qana (IDF Spokesman, July 30)
  • IDF press conference following the Kafr Qana incident (July 30)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 30)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, July 31)
  • Three IDF soldiers killed, 25 wounded in IDF operation in Ayta a-Shab (IDF Spokesman, Aug 2)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 2)
  • Completion of inquiry into July 30th incident in Qana (IDF Spokesman, Aug 2)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 3)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 4)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 5)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 6)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 7)
  • IDF apprehends Hizbullah terrorist involved in July 12 kidnapping (Aug 8)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 8)
  • IDF response on convoy hit in south Lebanon (Aug 12)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 12)
  • Summary of IDF operations against Hizbullah in Lebanon (IDF Spokesman, Aug 13)
  • Implementation of the ceasefire (IDF Spokesman, Aug 14)
  • IDF completes transfer of areas in southern Lebanon to UNIFIL (Oct 1)

Video clips

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

    Background

    • Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    • Background information about Hizbullah and its involvement in terrorism
    • Hizbullah indoctrination for the younger generation (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    • Iranian complicity in the present Lebanese crisis
    • Exporting the radical ideology of the Islamic revolution in Iran
    • Hizbullah attacks along Israel’s northern border May 2000 – June 2006
    • Main events on the Israel-Lebanese border 24 May 2000 – 10 Aug 2003
    • The Sheba’a Farms: Background information (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    • Hizballah’s military buildup and the need for effective disarmament (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    • Terrorism from Lebanon
    • Three soldiers abducted by Hizbullah and killed (Oct 2000)
    • Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon (May 2000)
    • Lebanon-Israel: Background, data, lessons and conclusions (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)

    Documents

    • UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (Aug 11, 2006)
    • Statement by Group of Eight Leaders – G-8 Summit 2006 (July 16, 2006)
    • Statement by the Council of the European Union on the Middle East (July 17, 2006)
    • UN Security Council Resolution 1680 (May 17, 2006)
    • UN Security Council Resolution 1559 (Sept 2, 2004)
    • Taif Accord (Oct 22, 1989)
    • U.N. Security Council Resolution 425 (March 19, 1978)