Israel | Israel Criticised for Attacks on Lebanon
- Israel Main Page
- State of Israel Gives Jews a Homeland
- Israel Expands Its Territory Through War
- Peace Treaty with Egypt Brings Temporary Calm to Mideast
- Jewish Settlements Increase Tension Between Israelis and Palestinians
- Netanyahu Steps Back from Oslo Accord
- Progress Toward Peace Inconsistent
- Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians Reaches New Heights
- Israel Withdraws Settlers from Gaza
- Sharon Forms New Party
- Hamas Dominates Parliamentary Elections
- Israel Criticised for Attacks on Lebanon
- New Hope for Peace as Leaders Return to Bargaining Table
- Violence Flares in Gaza
- Netanyahu Returns to Power; Peace Talks Fall Apart
- Attack on Aid Flotilla Causes International Uproar
- Peace Talks Resume—Briefly
- Unaffordable Housing Costs Cause Mass Protests
- Terrorist Attacks Threaten Peace with Egypt
- The Palestinians Request Membership to UN, Give up on Talks with Israel
- Gilad Shalit Released After More Than Five Years
- Exploratory Talks with Palestine Stall while Tension with Iran Increases
- Report Confirms Suspicions over Iran's Nuclear Program
- Violence Erupts with Hamas in November 2012
- 2013 Election Shows a Slight Move to the Center for Israel
- Netanyahu Maintains Tough Stance against Iran and Peace Talks Resume with Palestine
- 2014 Brings New Military Legislation, Presidential Election, and More Conflict with Palestine
- Netanyahu Makes Controversial Speech to U.S. Congress, Wins 2015 Election, Faces Worst Violence in Years
Israel Criticised for Attacks on Lebanon
In early July, Israel was involved in war on a second front—which was soon to overshadow the fighting in Gaza—after Hezbollah fighters entered Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers. In response, Israel launched a major military attack, bombing the Lebanese airport and other major infrastructures, as well as parts of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah, led by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, retaliated by launching hundreds of rockets and missiles into Israel. After a week of fighting, Israel made it clear that its offensive in Lebanon would continue until Hezbollah was routed. Although much of the international community demanded a cease-fire, the United States supported Israel's plan to continue the fighting until Hezbollah was drained of its military power. Hezbollah was thought to have at least 12,000 rockets and missiles, most supplied by Iran, and proved a much more formidable foe than Israel anticipated.
An Israeli opinion poll after the first two weeks of fighting indicated that 81% of Israelis supported the continued attack on Lebanon, and 58% wanted the offensive to continue until Hezbollah was destroyed. The UN brokered a tenuous cease-fire on August 14. About 1,150 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 150 Israelis, the majority of them soldiers, died in the 34 days of fighting.
A commission that investigated 2006's war between Israel and Lebanon released a scathing report in April 2007, saying Prime Minister Olmert was responsible for "a severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility, and prudence." It also said that Olmert rushed to war without an adequate plan. Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former army chief Dan Halutz were also rebuked in the report. Olmert resisted calls for his resignation and survived a no-confidence vote in parliament.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak returned to politics in June, having been elected head of the Labor Party. He defeated Knesset member Ami Ayalon. In addition, Shimon Peres, of the Kadima Party, was elected president in June. The presidency is a mostly ceremonial post.
Israeli jets fired on targets deep inside Syria in Sept. 2007. American and Israeli intelligence analysts later said that Israel had attacked a partially built nuclear reactor. Several officials wondered aloud if North Korea had played a role in the development of the nuclear plant. Syria denied that any such facilities exist and protested to the United Nations, calling the attack a "violation of sovereignty."