2006 Lebanon War
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War (Arabic: حرب تموز, Ḥarb Tammūz) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War (Hebrew: מלחמת לבנון השנייה, Milhemet Levanon HaShniya), was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, Northern Israel and the Golan 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 of the Arab–Israeli conflict.
|2006 Lebanon War|
|Part of the Israeli–Lebanese conflict and the Iran–Israel proxy conflict|
Dust rises after the impact of two bombs dropped during an IAF airstrike on Tyre, Lebanon.
|Commanders and leaders|
|David Ben Ba'ashat||Ahmed Jibril|
|Up to 10,000 soldiers by 2 August; 30,000 soldiers in the last few days.||
(south of the Litani River)
|Casualties and losses|
Israel Defense Forces:
Amal militia: 17 dead
LCP militia: 12 dead
PFLP-GC militia: 2 dead
IRGC: ≈6–9 dead (Lebanese officials' est., denied by Iran)
Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces: 43 dead
* The Lebanese government does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in death toll figures.|
For total casualty figures, see: Casualties of the 2006 Lebanon War
The conflict was precipitated by the 2006 Hezbollah cross-border raid. On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah fighters fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. The ambush left three soldiers dead. Two Israeli soldiers were abducted and taken by Hezbollah to Lebanon. Five more were killed in Lebanon, in a failed rescue attempt. Hezbollah demanded the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the release of the abducted soldiers. Israel refused and responded with airstrikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon. Israel attacked both Hezbollah military targets and Lebanese civilian infrastructure, including Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport. The IDF launched a ground invasion of Southern Lebanon. Israel also imposed an air and naval blockade. Hezbollah then launched more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the IDF in guerrilla warfare from hardened positions.
The conflict is believed to have killed between 1,191 and 1,300 Lebanese people, and 165 Israelis. It severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure, and displaced approximately one million Lebanese and 300,000–500,000 Israelis.
On 11 August 2006, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 (UNSCR 1701) in an effort to end the hostilities. The resolution, which was approved by both the Lebanese and Israeli governments the following days, called for disarmament of Hezbollah, for withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon, and for the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces and an enlarged United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the south. UNIFIL was given an expanded mandate, including the ability to use force to ensure that their area of operations was not used for hostile activities, and to resist attempts by force to prevent them from discharging their duties. The Lebanese Army began deploying in Southern Lebanon on 17 August 2006. The blockade was lifted on 8 September 2006. On 1 October 2006, most Israeli troops withdrew from Lebanon, although the last of the troops continued to occupy the border-straddling village of Ghajar. In the time since the enactment of UNSCR 1701 both the Lebanese government and UNIFIL have stated that they will not disarm Hezbollah. The remains of the two captured soldiers, whose fates were unknown, were returned to Israel on 16 July 2008 as part of a prisoner exchange.