Political Geography of the Middle East
April 13, 2011
The 2006 Lebanon War
The Lebanon War of 2006 began on July 12th, when Hezbollah launched a rocket attack on Israeli military positions stationed near the border between Lebanon and Israel. In the minutes during the ensuing chaos, Hezbollah militants crossed the border into Israel, and kidnapped two Israeli soldiers who they intended to use as collateral in a prisoner exchange with Israel. The war lasted until August 13, 2006, at which point the United Nations intervened. During the war, both sides targeted civilian areas, resulting in the deaths of over one thousand civilians and the displacement of thousands more.
In an account of the 2006 Lebanese War published by the Anti-Defamation League, Hezbollah militants are accused of launching rockets into Israel with the intention of harming civilians. Conversely, it is explained that the Israeli military targeted Lebanese civilian areas because Hezbollah has been known to operate out and live amongst civilian homes and stores. In addition, it appears that the author of the account places the blame upon Hezbollah for igniting the war against Israel by launching rockets across the border in the years following the departure of Israeli forces from Lebanon, after the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli siege on Beirut. The ADL reports that there were over twenty occurrences of attacks launched by Hezbollah militants on Israel between 2000 and 2006.
The ADL, however, does not conclude its account of the events without addressing errors made by Israel. Many Israelis allegedly held their own government accountable for the destruction of parts of the country, not because the government retaliated against Hezbollah’s attack, but because “the military and country had been ill-prepared for the conflict and its soldiers ill-equipped” (ADL). Such accusations prompted the Israeli Prime Minister to order a commission of inquiry to address the...