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July 12: War with Hezbollah

July 12, 2014
=hezbollah_rocket-1A 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah broke out on this date in 2006 when Hezbollah ambushed Israeli soldiers south of the Lebanese border, killing three and kidnapping two. A failed Israeli rescue brought death to five more Israeli soldiers. After Hezbollah demanded the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the release of the soldiers, Israel attacked targets in Lebanon, established an air and naval blockade, and launched a ground invasion. During the course of the war, Hezbollah fired some 4,000 rockets at Israel, causing a million Israelis to live for days at a time in bomb shelters and 250,000 to flee northern Israel. Fully a quarter of Lebanon’s population was also temporarily displaced. According to the U.S. State Department, an estimated 1,200 Lebanese civilians and hundreds of Hezbollah fighters were killed, along with 119 Israeli soldiers and 43 civilians. For Israel, this inconclusive war shook public confidence in the military’s preparedness and capability, and bred concern about the growing military capacity of Hezbollah, particularly about the expanding range of its rockets. To see what appears to be a Hezbollah propaganda film featuring testimonies of Israeli soldiers about Hezbollah ferocity, look below. “[I]f Lebanon concludes a peace agreement with Israel and brings that accord to the Parliament our deputies will reject it; Hezbollah refuses any conciliation with Israel in principle.” —Hassan Nasrallah