By Jordan Zaitchik
B’nai Brith Canada
Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, a 34-day-long conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The conflict took place in Northern Israel, the Golan Heights, and Lebanon. It ended in a UN-led ceasefire on August 14, 2006.
Hezbollah, backed by the Iranian and Syrian regimes, started the conflict attacking the Israeli Defence Force on July 12, 2006. The terrorists ambushed two Israeli High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles patrolling the Israeli border. Hezbollah fired approximately 4000 rockets on Israel, and abducted Israeli soldiers in the ambush. Countless towns and cities such as Haifa, Hadera, and Nazareth were hit. As a result of the attacks, one million Israelis had to take refuge in bomb shelters, along with 250,000 civilians who evacuated the north and relocated. Israel defended itself in response to this with precise artillery and airstrikes, which resulted in the destruction of stockpiles of rockets intended to bomb Israel.
The war resulted in the death of 134 Israelis, 44 of which were civilians, and up to 500,000 displaced. On August 11 there was a unanimous United Nations Security Council Resolution to end the terrorist attacks by deploying the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a multinational peacekeeping force, to help the incapacitated Lebanese army maintain control since it failed to contain Hezbollah. The resolution also managed to partially disarm Hezbollah and stop cross-border arms smuggling.
At the time Hezbollah described the war as a “divine victory” despite their failure to fulfill their ideological goal of eradicating the Jewish state. Unlike the First Lebanon War, Hezbollah was a well trained, effective military force equipped with up-to-date weaponry from Iran, Syria, Russia, and China, as reported by Haaretz. There were 20,000 terrorist-infantry, over 13,000 rockets ready-to-fire and 14, 000 in reserve, explosive-carrying attack drones, surface to sea missiles, hundreds of anti-tank missiles, and anti-aircraft missiles.
In response to the war, the IDF initiated the Iron Dome project, an air defence system, to prevent future missile attacks on Israel. The system was approved for development in February 2007 and was put into service in early 2011. Since then Hezbollah has increased its terrorist fighting force. All of the mentioned equipment has been updated and increased significantly.