U.N. peacekeepers stand guard on the Israel-Lebanon border (2007).
(photo credit: ELIANA APONTE/REUTERS)
Ten years ago, on July 12, 2006, eight IDF soldiers were killed and two were kidnapped on the border with Lebanon in an attack by Hezbollah. Hezbollah simultaneously launched Katyusha rockets against Israeli communities near the border. The next 34 days of military conflict in Lebanon and Northern Israel—which continued until the United Nations issued a cease-fire on August 14 that formally ended on September 8, 2006—later became known as the Second Lebanon War.
In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, The Jerusalem Post looks at the current thoughts, reflections and analyses of the war period, the situation today and what may await tomorrow.
1.The IDF is ready for another conflict with Hezbollah at a moment’s notice
A decade after the start of the Second Lebanon War, the IDF has undergone a radical transformation as it keeps close tabs on Hezbollah – its most formidable enemy over the northern border. This Iranian-backed Shi’ite terrorist army is gaining battlefield experience in Syria that IDF soldiers are not able to receive even in the most rigorous combat training programs. Today, Hezbollah is the most heavily armed, trained and capable fighting force threatening Israel.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/The-IDF-is-ready-for-another-conflict-with-Hezbollah-at-a-moments-notice-456585
2. Editor's Notes: From Entebbe to Lebanon
A decade though provides perspective: despite less than a handful of small border flare-ups, the Lebanese front today is quiet. For the most part, Hezbollah is not deployed along the border, definitely not in the open way it was before the 2006 war, when guerrilla fighters in army fatigues brandishing M-16s manned posts right up along the fence. This does not mean that Israel is in the clear. Quite the contrary. Today, Hezbollah is Israel’s primary threat, replacing the Syrian military which continues to disintegrate as a result of the country’s ongoing civil war. Israeli concerns stem from two dramatic upgrades Hezbollah has undergone in the decade since the last war.
3. As 10-year war anniversary nears, Israel to receive new stealth fighter jets
Ten years after Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah is armed with surface to air missiles and a vast rocket arsenal, and the fifth-generation aircraft will be key in helping the IAF tackle these threats. The Israeli defense establishment calls it a game changer, and views it as the plane that will provide the country with unparalleled aerial capabilities against its enemies.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Israel-News/The-F-35-is-about-to-transform-Israels-air-capabilities-457186
4. Analysis: Reflections on the Second Lebanon War, 10 years on
Looking back, it is clear that hesitant Israeli political leadership and a lack of an overall plan for the war were the reasons for its inconclusive results. Had the IDF, even the poorly prepared force that entered the war of 2006, been presented with clear orders at an early stage to move forward into Lebanon, according to one of the available plans for achieving this, a less ambiguous result could have been achieved. No such order was ever given. Much public anger followed the war and its inconclusive results, as Hezbollah and its friends in the West sought to build a narrative of “divine victory” from the events. From the perspective of a decade later, however, much of the euphoria of Hezbollah and the despair on parts of the Israeli side seem exaggerated. The results of the war from an Israeli perspective in 2016 are mixed.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Israel-News/ANALYSIS-Reflections-on-war-10-years-on-457527
5. Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsch sets the record straight
The general, who went on to found a company, returned in 2012 to serve in the reserves as deputy commander of Depth Corps, which oversees combined special operations. He warns that the public must be prepared for a third Lebanon war, and that Syria has become a tinderbox, with extremist groups now having a direct access to the border due to the chaos there.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Brig-Gen-Gal-Hirsch-sets-the-record-straight-458017
6. Peretz takes credit for 10 years of quiet
Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz has no regrets, 10 years after leading Israel into the Second Lebanon War as its minister of defense. In an interview at his office in the Knesset on the eve of another likely run for leadership of the Labor Party, he explained why what went right in the war was his doing and what went wrong was not.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Peretz-takes-credit-for-10-years-of-quiet-459213
7. How the Lebanon War led Bennett from hi-tech millions to politics
A start-up millionaire completely changed his life’s course after fighting in Lebanon in 2006; Naftali Bennett talks about how the war pushed him into politics.
Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Bringing-the-Second-Lebanon-Wars-lessons-to-the-Cabinet-459762
8. Analysis: 10 years after latest Lebanon War, next one will be far more brutal
Though Tony Badran, a Lebanon expert and research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, fears that "Hezbollah has effectively painted a target on the back of Lebanon," a Beirut resident responded to JPost
that "No one is thirsty for war [here]," so an imminent war does not seem likely, let alone threatening, for now.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Analysis-10-years-after-latest-Lebanon-War-next-one-will-be-far-more-brutal-460024
9. Assessing the covert war between the IDF and Hezbollah
A decade after the Second Lebanon War, Israel and Hezbollah have kept their guns silent, and the northern border has experienced an unprecedented period of mostly incident-free years. Hezbollah rebuilt southern Beirut and Lebanon and restocked its weapons depots, while the IDF began training and arming itself for the next potential phase of hostilities. Yet under the surface, it seems, a covert struggle could be raging right now between them, with neither side interested in escalating the ‘low-flame’ affair into an open conflict.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Assessing-the-covert-war-between-the-IDF-and-Hezbollah-460144
10. Analysis: Was the Second Lebanon War a success?
Ten years after the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, more and more Israelis are changing their perception and acknowledging that the Second Lebanon War was an impressive strategic success. The strategic goals set by the government led by then-prime minister Ehud Olmert – who is now serving time in prison after being convicted on corruption charges – were achieved by the IDF: deterrence of Hezbollah was deepened. The Shi’ite Lebanese movement, which still is Israel’s number one enemy, is deterred and fears entering into a new round of hostilities with Israel... And yet many Israelis and commentators continue to wrongly insist that the Second Lebanon War was a failure, and are engaged in a heated debate on its legacy.
Read more: www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Analysis-Was-the-Second-Lebanon-War-a-success-460129