Operation Change of Direction
Prior to the outbreak of hostilities across the Blue Line on 12 July 2006, the situation south Lebanon during 2006 was tense and volatile, although generally quiet. The ceasefire was breached and heavy exchanges across the Blue Line occurred at the beginning of February and at the end of May. One Lebanese civilian and one Hizbollah member were reportedly killed, and three Israeli soldiers, three Lebanese civilians and a number of Hizbollah members were wounded in the fighting. Tension along the Line was elevated, and IDF troops were on a high state of alert during the months of March, May, June and July. Israeli air violations decreased during the first half of the reporting period, but occurred again more frequently during the second half of May. Ground violations of the Line were attributable primarily to crossings by Lebanese shepherds and continued on an almost daily basis.
On 12 July 2006, 2006 eight IDF soldiers were killed and two kidnapped, following an attack of the Hizbullah terror organization on the border with Lebanon. Hizbullah simultaneously launched Katyusha attacks against Israel. The IDF responded with Operation Change of Direction, initially named Operation Just Reward.
On Wednesday, July 12, 2006, at approximately 9:00 a.m, the Hizbullah terror organization attacked a number of targets on the Israeli northern border. In this attack two soldiers were abducted, three soldiers were killed and two were wounded. The soldiers killed are Sergeant-Major Class Eyal Benin, 22, Sergeant-Major Shani Turgeman , 24, and Staff-Sergeant Wassim Nazal, 27. Throughout the day, Hizbullah terror organization fired Katyusha rockets and mortar shells at Israel's northern borders' communities and IDF posts. In response, the IDF carried out over 100 aerial attacks in Lebanon, targeting mainly Hizbullah bases. A vehicle, in which two Hizbullah terrorists were traveling, was targeted in the evening. A number of bridges and roads in Lebanon were also attacked, in order to prevent Hezbollah from transferring the abducted soldiers.
The IDF attacked from the ground, the sea, and the air, targets in southern Lebanon, among them three bridges on the Litani River, two bridges crossing the A-Zaharni River, and Hezbollah posts and headquarters along the sector. Additional targets that were attacked during the day are Hizbullah headquarters northwest of Ya'atar, Hezbollah base in the Davin area, Hizbullah base north of A-Sultania, Hizbullah base in Ayata-Shav, two Hizbullah bases in near Tzrifa, two Hizbullah bases east of Abel A-Saki, and a Hizbullah terrorist vehicle. The vehicle was hit while exiting a Hizbullah post.
Ground forces entered Lebanon in the area of the attack. During the operation, a large explosive device was detonated underneath an Israeli tank. Four soldiers manning the tank were hit in the explosion. IDF forces hadn't managed to reach the tank, in spite of continuous attempts to do so, since all rescue forces sent for the tank have met heavy fire. Assessments indicate the four soldiers are dead. An IDF soldier, Sergeant Cohen Nimrod, was killed and two were wounded from the fire during the rescue attempts.
Since 13 July the residents of northern Israel were requested to stay in safe rooms. During the first two days the Hizbullah terrorist organization had fired over 110 Katyusha rockets at Israel, wounding over 100 civilians; of these one was killed, one was critically wounded, four were severely wounded and five were moderately wounded. On July 13 Monica Seidman (Lehrer), 40, of Nahariya was killed in her home by a Katyusha rocket Thursday morning. In the evening, Nitzan Roseban, 33, was killed in Safed by a direct rocket hit. On Thursday evening Katyushas first landed in Haifa. On July 13, in accordance with government decisions, the Israeli Air Force attacked the following Hezbollah targets: Headquarters, bases, training camps, installations, posts and arms slicks throughout Lebanon. The building of Hizbollah's Al-Manar TV channel in south Beirut and transmission tower in Baalbek , were attacked ( although AL-Manar continued operating).
The IDF attacked targets in the southern Lebanon on July 13, 2006 using land, sea and aerial forces, in accordance with the decision of the political echelon to operate to protect the citizens of Israel against attacks emanating from Lebanese territory. Targets attacked by the IDF during July 13, 2006 include: A Hizbullah post in southern Lebanon. Several access routes used to transfer terrorists and weapons by and to the organization. Runways of two airbases in Central Lebanon used to transfer terrorists and weapons by and to the organization. Several bridges in southern Lebanon used to transfer terrorists and weapons by and to the organization. Several Hizbullah compounds in southern Lebanon.
The IDF carried out an aerial attack against Hizbullah's Al-Manar broadcast station in Beirut over the night. The Al-Manar station had for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hizbullah, and had also helped the organization recruit people into its ranks. The IDF targeted an operational command of the Hizbullah terror organization in southern Lebanon. The IDF carried out aerial attacks against facilities across Lebanon used by the Hizbullah terror organization to store rockets. Hizbullah held a large number of rockets hidden in different clusters, some adjacent to densely populated areas. In order to remove the threat facing the citizens in northern and central Israel, the IDF was attacking these rockets storage facilities.
IDF naval forces began enforcing this morning a full naval blockade on Lebanon, in accordance with the decision of the political echelon to operate to protect the citizens of Israel against attacks emanating from Lebanese territory. The ports and harbors of Lebanon are used to transfer terrorists and weapons by Hezbollah.
During the day IDF aerially attacked approximately 80 targets in Lebanon, including headquarters, bases, weapons depots, positions and outposts of the Hizbullah terrorist organization. Hizbullah routes, bridges and launch sites were also attacked. In the afternoon IDF carried out airstrikes against two military airfields in Kaliyat and Rayk in Lebanon, as well as Hezbollah headquarters.
On the night of July 13 the Israeli Air Force attacked Hezbollah targets in the Shiite neighborhoods of southern Beirut. Before the attack flyers were dropped advising the residents not to remain in the proximity of Hezbollah bases. Lebanese infrastructures: Airports: Two runways and fuel store were hit at the Beirut international airport, and airports in northern Lebanon and the Beka’a Valley were also attacked; Bridges: Bridges over the Litani, Zaharani and Awali Rivers connecting northern and southern Lebanon were attacked; The main road connecting Beirut and Damascus was attacked, according to a July 14 morning report.
During the night (July 13-14) IDF forces struck 18 targets in Lebanon from the air, sea, and land. An aerial attack was carried out against a structure at the Beirut headquarters of the Hizbullah. The IDF also attacked bridges and access routes at the site. The structure, located in Beirut's Shiite quarter, had been in use as Hizbullah's headquarters for directing, instructing, and managing terror activity. The site functions as the permanent base of the senior ranks of Hizbullah terrorists including Hasan Nasrallah, the organization's leader, and as such also as a weapons depot. Additionally, some of the buildings are used as housing for the Hizbullah organization's terrorist leaders. IDF also conducted an airstrike against a Hizbullah weapons depot in the area of Baal-Bak, east of Beirut, also striking a main Beirut-Damascus road in the area of Dahar Al-Bidar in southern Lebanon and an additional road south of Sidon. The roads in Lebanon are used to transport terrorists and weapons to the terror organizations operating from Lebanese territory against civilians in Israel. IDF air and naval forces attacked three gasoline stations in southern Lebanon as part of the effort to damage the Lebanese infrastructure that works to support terror activity. In addition to these targets, IDF carried out deterrence airstrikes during the night to disrupt and prevent the launching of rockets across the border into Israel, and launched a ground-based attack on Hizbullah positions along the Israel-Lebanon border.
On July 14, 2006, the IDF carried out an aerial attack against Hizbullah's broadcasting compound in Beirut. Earlier in the week the IDF targeted the Al Manar TV station. The compound has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hizbullah, and has also helped the organization recruit people into its ranks.
The IDF, using sea and aerial forces, had attacked more than 20 targets in Lebanon since the morning of July 14, 2006. The sites targeted are: Areas from which the Hizbullah terrorist organization launches Katyush rockets at Israel Runways and fuel tanks at the International Airport in Beirut and at the airport of Khalde. Bridges and access routes part of the Beirut-Damascus highway. Bridegs crossing the A-Zaharani River A Hizbullah warehouses, storing different weapons in southern Lebanon. Hizbullah headquarters in southern Lebanon. A Hizbullah post in southern Lebanon.
On July 14, more than 100 rockets were fired at Israel, killing two civilians (a grandmother and four-year-old grandson) and wounding more than 100. Omer Pesachov, 7, of Nahariya and his grandmother Yehudit Itzkovitch, 58, of Moshav Meron were killed by a Katyusha rocket in Meron. The family had fled the Katyushas in Nahariya to spend a quiet weekend with their grandparents. By July 14, in total, more than 300 rockets had been launched into Israel in the previous three days, killing two civilians and wounding more than 140.
On July 14, shortly after 8:30 p.m. Friday night an Israeli navy ship was severely damaged by an Iran-manufactured missile fired by Hizbullah. IDF missile ship, "Ahi Hanit", was hit by a missile that was launched from the Lebanese coast. As a result of the attack, fire erupted on board. The crew members on board managed to control the damage, but four crew members were killed. During the incident, Israeli navy ships identified an explosion on an Egyptian commercial ship while was sailing in international territorial waters. It is assured that the ship was struck by a similar missile that hit the Israeli boat. The Egyptian ship sank and its crew was rescued by another nearby commercial ship.
On July 14, 2006, the IDF carried out an aerial attack against the Lebanese International Airport in Beirut today. Beirut's airport is used as a central hub for the transfer of weapons and supplies to Hizbullah. That night IDF also struck a central fuel depot used by the aircraft at Lebanon's international airport in Beirut, continuing the morning's strikes against the airport, which had been serving as a way station for the transfer and shipping of weapons and infrastructure to Hizbullah.
On July 15 Katyusha rockets landed for the first time in Tiberias, located 35 kilometers from the Lebanese border on the Sea of Galilee, as well as in nearby communities. Hizbullah had launched more than 400 missiles into Israel over the previous three days, including more than 90 on July 15, 2006. As part of the ongoing operation to protect the citizens of Israel from attacks originating in Lebanon, the IAF targeted more than 130 targets in Lebanon in 24 hours, including more than 50 overnight. Among the sites targeted overnight: 10 radar stations of the Lebanese military along the Lebanese coast. This was following the cooperation between Hizbullah and the Lebanese military in the attack of an Israel Navy missile ship on July 14. On July 15, 2006, the IDF carried out an aerial attack against targets in the Hizbullah main headquarters in Beirut. The State of Israel warned the Lebanese population who are present at the compound or around it, using leaflets and different means of communication, to stay clear from the site for their own safety. IDF aerial attack of radar stations along the Lebanese coast. On July 15, 2006, the IAF attacked all of the radar stations along the Lebanese coast. The reason for the destruction of the radar stations along the coast is the cooperation between the Hizbullah and the Lebanese military in the attack yesterday, July 14, 2006, on an Israel Navy missile ship. As a result of the attack, a soldier was killed and an additional three soldiers are missing. Other targets included Hizbullah's main headquarters in Beirut. Hizbullah's broadcasting compound, which has for many years served as the main tool for propaganda and incitement by Hizbullah. Several access routes in Lebanon. Structures used to store weapons, including Katyusha rockets, and Katyusha launching grounds.
On the morning of July 16, 2006, the IDF had attacked approximately 80 terror targets in Lebanon. Targets include Hizbullah command centers in the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut, Hizbullah buildings and bases, Hizbullah infrastructure and Hizbullah communications facilities. This came in addition to the ongoing activity against the organization's weapons infrastructure, which included attacks on missile launchers, launching positions and weapons facilities. On July 16 rockets began falling on the Haifa area shortly after 9:00 a.m. Eight employees of Israel Railways at the Haifa train depot were killed in a direct hit by a Fajar missile made in Syria. A total of over 50 people were wounded in Haifa and the Haifa Bay area. The IDF continued to carry out dozens of aerial attacks throughout Lebanon, starting in the early hours of the morning. In total over 100 attacks were launched during the day. Targets included: A number of missile launch sites that were aimed at Israel. The headquarters of the Hezbollah terrorist organization in the Beirut neighborhood of Dahiya. Hizbullah bases and buildings. Headquarters of the organization in Tyre. Other infrastructure and communication targets, including the "Al Manar" station. The IDF carried out an additional aerial attack against Hizbullah's broadcasting compound in Beirut early on the morning of July 16, 2006, in accordance with the decision of the political echelon to operate to protect the citizens of Israel against attacks emanating from Lebanese territory. This was the third time the IDF attacked the compound. This was in addition to the ongoing operations against the fighting capacity of the organization, as well as Katyusha missile launching and storage sites.
On July 17 over 50 rockets were fired towards the eastern and upper Galilee on Monday night. A Katyusha rocket hit the Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed, causing damage to infrastructure; five patients, two doctors and two other hospital employees were injured. Earlier, 11 people were wounded in Haifa when a 3-story apartment building was hit by missile. The Israel Air Force destroyed at least ten long-range Iranian-made missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv, targeting a Hizbullah truck carrying the missiles before they could be launched. To date, missiles had been fired up to 40 kilometers into Israel.
By 18 July 2006 over 700 Katyusha rockets had been fired by Hizbullah at Israel since July 13, 2006, killing 12 Israeli civilians and wounding over 300. Andrei Zelinksy, 36, was killed Tuesday evening in Nahariya outside a bomb shelter. Some 130 rockets were fired at the north on Tuesday, 100 of them within one hour and a half - also landing in the Haifa area, Karmiel, Tiberias, Safed, Maalot and Rosh Pina. About 60 people injured were evacuated to hospitals in Safed and Nahariya. Since the beginning of Operation Change of Direction, IDF aircraft have flown over 1,600 sorties, the IAF's unmanned aerial vehicles have logged approximately 250 hours of flight time in the skies over Lebanon and over 130 missile launch sites in Lebanon have been attacked.
During the night IDF forces thwarted two infiltration attempts by Hizbullah armed terrorists, who were attempting to cross the border between Lebanon and Israel in order to carry out an attack inside Israel. The two terrorist cells were identified inside Lebanese territory moving towards the fence, near an Israeli community located in the middle of the Israeli-Lebanese border. IDF forces targeted the two cells and identified hitting them.
During the night the IDF continued to carry out attacks on targets in Lebanon. Around 50 aerial attacks took place during the night. Among the targets attacked from the air: Structures and bunkers belonging to Hizbullah headquarters in the Dahia neighborhood in Beirut; Weapons depot in Ba'al Beck and Bint Jebal; Trucks used to transfer weaponry and launch rockets, in Ba'al Beck and Um-a-Tahta; Bridges and access routes in southern Lebanon; Rocket launching areas from which Hizbullah launched rockets at Israel.
A Lebanese army radar installation in A-Nazriya, in southern Lebanon, was targeted, this in light of the use of such installations by the terrorist organization Hizbullah against IDF forces - for example the incident last Friday, in which four soldiers on a naval vessel were killed - and in order to prevent incidents like these from reoccurring in the future. In addition, the IDF continued to fire artillery at the rocket launching sites along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Over the previous few nights IDF engineering and infantry forces have carried out a pinpoint operation in the area of the village of Rajar, in the eastern sector of the Lebanese border. During the operation, which included exchanges of fire with terrorists, IDF forces destroyed Hizbullah positions north of the village, the northern part of which is under Lebanese sovereignty. The Hizbullah positions there posed a continuing threat to IDF forces in the southern part of the village, which is under Israeli sovereignty. IDF forces also erected barriers to prevent infiltration into Israeli territory from Lebanon. The aim of this operation was to reestablish the security of Rajar and to correct the existing breach in the border, which endangered the lives of Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.
The IDF carried out aerial attacks against more than 100 targets in Lebanon since the morning of July 18, 2006. Among the targets attacked: Trucks carrying weaponry, including four trucks in the Beka valley area carrying weaponry from Syria to Lebanon. 12 access routes connecting between Syria and Lebanon. 75 sites used by Hezbollah to launch missiles at Israel. Terror cells attempting to launch missiles at Israel; Tunnels used by terrorists; Structures used by Hizbullah terrorists; 10 Hizbullah weapons warehouses. Four bridges, targeted in order to prevent the movement of terrorists. 6 missile launchers; Since the Hizbullah attack on Israel on July 13th, over 180 missile launching sites have been targeted.
On July 19 two soldiers were killed and nine wounded in exchanges of fire between IDF and Hizbullah in Maroun al-Ras, in southern Lebanon, near Moshav Avivim. The Israeli force had crossed the border to destroy the Hizbullah rocket-launching position at the former IDF outpost of Shaked. During the evacuation of the injured soldiers, a mortar bomb was fired at the tank that had entered the area in order to evacuate the injured. During this event seven soldiers were injured. In these 24 hours the Hizbullah terror organization launched over 140 missiles into Israel, killing two children and wounding dozens of civilians. Rabia Abed Taluzi (3) and his brother Mahmoud (7) who were playing soccer outside their house were killed and dozens were wounded in two Katyusha rocket attacks on the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth. Also in these 24 hours, the IDF carried out aerial attacks against over 200 terror targets in Lebanon. Among the targets attacked: 14 Hizbullah structures and command posts across Lebanon. 10 Hizbullah vehicles transporting weapons. 8 rocket launchers and suspected rocket launching pads. Hizbullah communications infrastructure. 14 Hizbullah weapons depots. 46 access routes and two bridges, targeted to prevent Hizbullahh terrorists from reaching rocket launching sites. IDF naval ships attacked a Hizbullah structure and rocket launching locations in southern Lebanon. The IDF continued to fire artillery at launch sites in Lebanon. Since July 13, the IDF had targeted over 200 Katyusha rocket launching sites in Lebanon.
Throughout July 20th, more than 50 rockets launched by the Hizbullah terror organization landed in Israel. A total of more than 900 rockets landed in Israel in the past week, since last Thursday, July 13th. On July 20th, the IDF carried out more than 150 aerial attacks. Among the locations targeted were: 16 structures, bases and headquarters of Hizbullah; 3 ammunition warehouses belonging to Hizbullah; 6 rocket launchers used to fire at Israel; More than 100 access routes, used by the Hizbullah; 21 vehicles which served Hizbullah terrorists for the launching of rockets at Israel, including a vehicle suspected of being used as a Fajer 3 launcher. On July 20 five IDF soldiers were killed and five wounded in continuing exchanges of fire in the Lebanese village of Maroun al-Ras, where two soldiers were killed on Wednesday. The body of the fifth soldier, St.-Sgt. Yonatan (Sergei) Vlasyuk, 21, of Kibbutz Lahav was retrieved on July 22. An IDF officer was killed and three soldiers were wounded as two Apache (Cobra) combat helicopters on their way to Lebanon to assist IDF forces operating against Hizbullah terrorists near Avivim collided and then crashed south of Kiryat Shmona. PM Olmert, DM Peretz and FMLivni approved the establishment of a "humanitarian corridor" between Lebanon and Cyprus.
During the of the 21st night the IDF attacked more than 40 targets. Among them: Five Hizbullah structures and headquarters across Lebanon. Eight vehicles suspected to have been used by Hizbullah to transfer weaponry. Five rocket launchers. Tens of access routes, targeted to prevent Hizbullah terrorists from reaching rocket launching sites. Sites used to launch rockets at Israel. In addition the IDF was firing artillery at missile launching sites along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
July 22 IDF forces destroyed a vehicle in the village of Mervachin, in southern Lebanon, containing anti-tank missiles. A missile stockpile was found in the basement of the village mosque. Targets include a launcher used to fire missiles at Haifa In the past 24 hours the IDF attacked over 150 targets across Lebanon. Among them: Structures used by Hizbullah for storing weaponry, including a bunker located near a launching ground. 11 rocket launchers, including the one Hizbullah used yesterday to launch rockets at Haifa, including a four-tube launcher. Dozens of Hizbullah structures and command posts. A rocket launching cell, as it was preparing to launch missiles into Israel. Twelve roads connecting between Lebanon and Syria. Communication lines used by Hizbullah. A number of vehicles which are part of the Hizbullah missile launching infrastructure, including a camouflaged vehicle at one of the launching sites. Sites used to launch rockets at Israel, and roads and bridges that lead to them. In addition the IDF fired artillery at missile launching sites along the Israeli- Lebanese border.
On Sunday July 23, more than 90 Katyusha missiles were launched at Israel, resulting in the death of two civilians and the wounding of dozens more. Shimon Glicklich, 60, of Haifa was killed Sunday morning (11:00) while driving his car in Haifa. Habib Isa Awad, 48, of Iblin, was killed while working in the carpentry shop in Kiryat Ata. Another 12 were wounded in the morning barrage in Haifa, and more later in the day as over 90 rockets were fired at Haifa, Akko, Kiryat Shmona, and elsewhere in northern Israel. World diplomats came to Israel for talks: French FM Douste-Blazy, German FM Steinmeier, British Minister of State Howells.
The IDF continued to operate in order to defend the citizens of Israel from the barrage of missiles fired by Hizbullah, which operates from within Lebanese villages, using the local population as human shields. The IDF carried out during the day more than 120 aerial attacks in Lebanon, to targets such as the following: More than 80 missiles-launching areas. The Al Manar television station in Beirut that serves the Hizbullah terror organization. App. 20 vehicles suspected of serving the terror organization in the launching of missiles at Israel, and were recognized fleeing from or staying at missile-launching areas. Missiles launchers used to fire missiles at Israel. Structures serving Hizbullah terrorists for hideout and storage of Hizbullah weaponry.
On July 24 an IDF officer and soldier were killed and 14 soldiers were wounded in heavy exchanges of fire between IDF forces and Hizbullah terrorists near the town of Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon, which had become Hizbullah's main base of terror operations since Israel's withdrawal in 2000. Two Hizbullah terrorists were taken captive. Two pilots were killed Monday afternoon when their Apache helicopter crashed north of Safed while assisting ground troops in Lebanon. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Israel for talks.
During these 24 hours IDF conducted airstrikes against approximately 270 targets in Lebanon. Among the targets were: More than 35 suspect vehicles used by terrorists to support their launching of rockets against Israel, either found parked at or seen fleeing from launch sites. 21 launchers used to send rockets against Israel. More than 50 buildings and headquarters used as terrorist hideouts and weapons storage by the Hizbullah terror organization. Communications arrays used by the Hizbullah terror organization to facilitate communication between its members. A bridge and access routes to disrupt the terrorists' abilities to reach rocket launch sites. Sites from which rockets are launched against Israel.
July 25: Doua Abbas, a 15-year-old girl, was killed when a rocket struck her home near the mosque in the Galilee village of Maghar, home to Israeli Druze and Moslems. PM Olmert met with Secy of State Rice. The IDF recovered in the village of Bint Jbeil electronic surveillance equipment, weapons and communication devices made in Iran. As part of its ongoing operations against the Hizbullah terrorist organization, the IDF operated on Tuesday (25 July) in the area of Al Khiyam, from which Hizbullah has been launching missile attacks against Israel. Following an initial inquiry, it appears that during the operation a UN post was unintentionally hit, killing four UN soldiers. The IDF expressed deep regret over the incident, stressing that it would never intentionally target any UN facility or personnel.
IDF aerial activity in Lebanon in 24 hours (8:00 July 25 - 8:00 July 26) included close to 180 aerial attacks in the past 24 hours , among them: 87 Hizbullah structures and posts. 10 Katyusha launchers (including one used to fire missiles at Haifa). 6 weapons storage facilities. 3 vehicles that form part of the Hizbullah missile-launching infrastructure. Over this period of 24 hours, more than 100 missiles landed inside Israel. Since July 12, approximately 1,300 missiles have landed in Israel. IDF forces continue their focused operations against Hizbullah terrorists in several areas close to the border in southern Lebanon, meant to destroy Hezbollah's terror infrastructure, weapons facilities and missile stores, in order to reshape the security situation along the border. IDF forces engaged Hizbullah terrorists in the area of Maroun A-Ras, in which a number of terrorists were killed. In addition, IDF forces managed to locate and damage Hizbullah terrorist infrastructure, including weapons facilities, Katyusha stores and communication facilities.
On July 26 IDF forces moved into the town of Bint Jbeil, encountering heavy attacks by Hizbullah gunmen. Nine IDF soldiers were killed and 25 wounded in fighting with Hizbullah terrorists in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil, which IDF infantry and armored corps had surrounded a day earlier, and later in fighting near Maroun al-Ras. An International Conference for Lebanon was convened in Rome, co-chaired by Italy and the United States, and attended by the foreign ministers and top representatives of the Lebanon Core Group and other invitees. Since the fighting on the northern border began, 1,402 rockets had been launched at Israel, wounding 1,262 civilians, 46 of whom are still hospitalized. Many of the injured suffered from shock.
IDF forces continue to focus operations against Hizbullah terrorists in several areas close to the border in southern Lebanon, with the aim of destroying Hezbollah's terror infrastructure, weapons facilities and missile stores, in order to reshape the security situation along the border. Fighting continued in the area. In Maroun A-Ras a Hizbullah cell fired an anti-tank rocket at a structure in which IDF soldiers were present, killing one officer and wounding three soldiers, two of them severely.
Over the past 24 hours (8:00 July 26 8:00 July 27), more than 150 missiles landed inside Israel. Since July 12, approximately 1,400 missiles have landed in Israel. The IDF carried out over a 120 aerial attacks over 24 hours , among them: Hizbullah structures, posts and head quarters, including some used for storage of weaponry. A number of rocket launchers, including a vehicle assembled with a launcher south-east of Tyre. Three vehicles carrying weaponry on the Beirut- Damascus road. A Radar used by the Lebanese army, stationed north of Beirut. The targeting of this radar follows the cooperation between the Hizbullah and the Lebanese military, demonstrated in the attack on the Israeli missile ship on July 14 in which four IDF soldiers were killed. Several rocket launching sites in southern Lebanon and routes used by Hizbullah to reach these sites. During the day, the IDF also continued firing artillery into southern Lebanon, targeting terror infrastructure in southern Lebanon along the border.
On July 27, 2006, Nur Shalhoub, a senior Hizbullah terrorist, was killed in an aerial attack of his vehicle. Shalhoub was responsible for the smuggling of strategic weapons for the Hizbullah terrorist organization including long range missiles, which can reach deep into Israel. The IAF targeted the vehicle in the area of Bekaa during a smuggling attempt. In addition to Shalhub, several additional terrorists who were in the vehicle were killed. The vehicle was loaded with missiles at the time of the attack.
On July 28 Long-range missiles hit Afula. Over the past 24 hours, more than 110 missiles landed inside Israel including one which landed in a hospital in Nahariya. Since July 12, more than 1,500 missiles have landed in Israel. IDF forces continued to focus operations against Hizbullah terrorists in several areas close to the border in southern Lebanon, with the aim of destroying Hizbullah's terror infrastructure, weapons facilities and missile stores, in order to reshape the security situation along the border. During IDF activity in Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon, on July 28, 2006, IDF forces uncovered 5 anti-tank missiles, 30 hand grenades, 41 ammunition clips, 10 battle vests, 20 assault rifles, 15 handguns, 4 shotguns, a mine detector and equipment used to manufacture and detonate explosive devices. During the activity 26 Hizbullah combatants were killed by IDF forces. The IDF carried out over a 60 aerial attacks in the past 24 hours among them: Hizbullah structures, posts and head quarters, including some used for storage of weaponry A number of rocket launchers, including a launcher that was used by the Hizbullah to launch rockets at Afula. Trucks and containers that carried weaponry. Several Hizbullah weapon storage facilities. Several rocket launching sites in southern Lebanon and routes used by Hizbullah to reach these sites. During the day, the IDF also continued firing artillery into southern Lebanon, targeting terror infrastructure in southern Lebanon along the border.
On July 29, 2006, the IDF carried out aerial attacks against more than 60 targets in Lebanon. Among them: 4 launchers used to launch rockets at Israel. Tens of structures, headquarters and weapon storage facilities used by Hizbullah terrorist organization. Several vehicles, which were identified as carrying weapons. Several bridges and routes leading to missile launch sites. Since this morning, more than 90 missiles fired by the Hizbullah landed inside Israel. Since July 12, approximately 1,600 missiles have landed in Israel.
On 30 July 2006, during the 17th day of fighting, IDF forces struck upwards of 60 targets including weapons stores and rocket launchers. IDF carried out airstrikes against upwards of 60 targets including four rocket launchers that had fired rockets against Israel over the past few days, dozens of Hezbollah storage and headquarters buildings, bridges and access roads leading to rocket launch sites, and a number of vehicles carrying weapons. IDF forces also withdrew from the village of Binat Jbeil, having completed operations there. IDF forces withdrew from the village of Bint Jbeil, having completed operations there. It was in Bint Jbeil that heavy fighting erupted last week between IDF forces and Hezbollah, resulting in IDF casualties of eight soldiers dead and 22 wounded, some seriously.
On 30 July 2006 an Israeli airstrike on the village of Qana killed over 50 people, more than half of them children, with other bodies believed buried in rubble. In 1996, Israel bombed a UN position here, killing more than 100 civilians who were sheltering there. Israel says the Qana area is being used by Hezbollah to launch rockets against Israel, and civilians living in and around the town had been repeatedly warned to leave. Israeli officials say Hezbollah is intentionally using women and children as shields in areas from which it launches attacks against Israeli civilians.
On 31 July 2006 Israel announced a halt to air strikes 48 hours depending on "operational developments" in Lebanon. Israeli planes later hit targets in southern Lebanon after Hezbollah guerrillas blasted an Israeli tank and injured three Israeli soldiers, breaking a brief respite in 18 days of fighting. Secretary of State Rice was supposed to go to both Israel and Lebanon during this latest round of Middle East diplomacy. But after the incident in Qana, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora made clear there was no reason for her to travel to Beirut unless she was willing to talk about an immediate ceasefire.
On 1 August 2006, heavy exchanges of fire developed between IDF forces and Hezbollah gunmen, who used light weapons fire, anti-tank missiles and "Sager" missiles against the IDF. The IDF returned fire and identified hitting dozens of Hezbollah gunmen. An IDF officer and two IDF soldiers were killed, and 25 soldiers were lightly injured during exchanges of fire with Hezbollah in Ayta A-Shab in southern Lebanon, north of Biranit.
On 3 August 2006, four IDF soldiers were killed and one is severely wounded, from an anti-tank missile strike to the tank they were operating in, in the village of Rajmin in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah fired missiles into Israel, killing eight civilians in communities in the north. So far, rocket strikes have been reported in Tiberias, Acco, Karmiel, and Kiryat Shmonah. Sirens sounded in many communities across the north including areas in valleys, in Haifa and in Kiryot. From the morning hours and during the day on Thursday approximately 160 Hezbollah missiles struck Israel. 2,300 missiles have been fired into Israel from Lebanon since the fighting began.
On 4 August 2006, IDF aircraft struck a number of targets throughout Lebanon, among them the neighborhood of Dahiya and neighborhoods nearit, in Beirut. In Beirut, nine targets used by Hezbollah were struck, as were the house of a senior Hezbollah official and the office of the Hamas in Dahiya.In addition, a Beirut bunker situated underneath a soccer stadium and used by Hezbollah for weapons storage was hit, as were buildings used by Hezbollah at the port of Uzei in Beirut. Thirty additional targets in southern Lebanon were hit to disrupt the launching of missiles into Israel, including a rocket launcher and an anti-tank missile launcher. Two IDF soldiers and an IDF officer were killed, and an additional soldier was lightly wounded from anti-tank missiles fired at an IDF infantry force operating in the village of Markabeh in the eastern sector of southern Lebanon. During the night Armor Brigade forces and Golani Brigade battalion 13 forces operated in the area of the village. During combat the forces injured over seven terrorists. Additionally, a terrorist reinforcement vehicle was destroyed. Since IDF forces entered the village of Markabeh, the forces uncovered weapon storages containing a large amount of weaponry including anti-tank missiles, and intelligence information.
On 5 August 2006, an IDF soldier was killed and another was lightly injured by mortar shells fired at forces operating in Nabi Al Awadi, west of Metullah. Mortar shells hit two IDF forces' engineering vehicles operating in the village. IDF forces are operating in the village of Nabi Al Awadi to destroy Hezbollah's infrastructure and prevent rocket firings at Israel. An IDF reserve soldier was killed, another was severely injured and twenty additional soldiers were lightly injured yesterday in the village of Ayta A-Shab, by an anti-tank missile fired at the building in which they were located, and subsequent exchanges of fire with Hezbollah. In the village of Hula, forces exchanged fire with a number of armed gunmen, as a result of which at least four gunmen were killed and a number were injured. In Bint Jbeil, eight Hezbollah gunmen were killed in exchanges of fire with IDF forces. In Shama and Ayta A-Shab, forces exchanged fire with Hezbollah cells, some of them carrying anti-tank missiles. During the night forces arrested three Hezbollah terrorists and transferred them to Israel.
Also on 5 August 2006, IAF attacked over 80 Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including Katyusha rocket launchers, bridges used by Hezbollah, structures used by Hezbollah, rocket launching areas and roads leading to them, and three Hezbollah tunnel entrances in the Bekaa valley.
On 6 August 2006, as the 26th day of fighting dawned, an IDF soldier was seriously wounded and another lightly wounded in a firefight that broke out during IDF operations in the village of Ras Al-Bayida, in the western sector of southern Lebanon, with terrorists firing an anti-tank missile at the force, which returned fire and confirmed hits. In the villages of Beit Leif, in the western sector, and Yaron, north of Avivim, IDF reserve forces eliminated four Hezbollah terrorists. Near Markabeh, in the eastern sector, an IDF force destroyed a building serving as a Hezbollah command post for the area of Manara, in the Finger of the Galilee. West of Manara, an IDF force destroyed another Hezbollah position, and an IDF reserve force eliminated two trucks south of Bint Jbeil carrying missiles intended for launch against Israel. An IDF soldier was severely injured and four additional soldiers were lightly injured in the village of Mahbib in southern Lebanon, during IDF forces' operations to locate weapon facilities.
Also on 6 August 2006, the IDF uncovered and destructed eight rocket launchers in the villages of Konin, Tzdikin, Al-Mantzori, and Mahbib. The forces also destroyed two trucks carrying rockets south of Bint Jbeil. During the activities the forces located weapon stores containing mortar shells, missile launchers, and different types of shells, as well as other weaponry. The IDF killed about thirty Hezbollah organization terrorists and injured additional terrorists in the villages of Mahbib, Ras Al-Beidah, Beit Lif, Yaron, and Atiri. 12 IDF reserve soldiers were killed from a Katyusha missile strike close to Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee. The soldiers were undergoing preparations at the site as part of essential activities to prepare IDF forces for operations in Lebanon. 12 additional soldiers were injured in the incident.
On 7 August 2006, during operations in Mahbib IDF forces killed 16 Hezbollah organization terrorists. The forces destructed two trucks loaded with rockets, and uncovered a 120 mm mortar launcher and about one hundred mortar bombs laid next to it. IDF forces operate in Mahbib in order to hurt Hezbollah organization infrastructures and to prevent Katyusha rocket firings at Israel. The IDF attacked from the air over 150 terror targets in Lebanon.
Among the sites targeted:
- About fifty structures and bunkers used by the Hezbollah organization.
- About ten tunnels and caves used by the Hezbollah organization.
- Five suspicious vehicles, among them a truck loaded with weapons in the area of Bint Jbeil.
- Seven rocket launchers, among them two launchers that fired missiles at Haifa, one northeast of the city of Tzor and the second in Kfar Qana.
- Over sixty rocket launching sites and access routes leading to launchers, as well as several bridges used by Hezbollah organization terrorists in the transfer of weapons.
Israeli strikes hit south Beirut, near the Christian district. The strike killed ten people and wounded about 24 others. IDF engineer and infantry forces utterly destroyed a Hezbollah headquarters in the western sector of southern Lebanon, at what until 2000 was the site of the Israeli Karkum position. Prior to demolishing the structure, the forces identified and destroyed a number of missile launchers, a cache of anti-tank missiles, and a motorcycle used by Hezbollah terrorists to reach and then flee from the sites from which they launch missiles into Israel.
Also on 7 August 2006, the Israel Air Force shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launched from Lebanon. IAF's northern air control unit identified the craft before it crossed the border and dispatched aircraft to intercept it. The UAV was shot down at a low altitude over the Mediterranean Sea, and Israeli naval vessels collected its pieces. An IDF soldier was killed yesterday by a Hezbollah anti-tank missile that struck an engineering vehicle and an infantry force advancing with it in the village of Debel, in the western sector of southern Lebanon. Five additional soldiers were lightly wounded by the missile. IDF forces eliminated at least 15 Hezbollah terrorists during operations in the same village.
On 8 August 2006, IDF carried out air raids on 82 targets in Lebanon, among them 42 Hezbollah structures, upwards of 30 access roads, and six rocket launchers. Since fighting in southern Lebanon began, IDF aircraft have struck over 5,000 targets and flown more than 9,300 sorties in the skies over Lebanon. IDF last night imposed a prohibition on all travel of any kind in parts of Lebanon south of the Litani River. The stoppage took effect yesterday at 22:00. It was announced via local various media, leaflets and other means. Travel for humanitarian purposes is permitted solely and exclusively if coordinated with IDF. At present, in light of the intention to expand anti-terror operations against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and after some Lebanese citizens decided to stay in their houses, IDF decided to prohibit travel of any kind south of the Litani in order to prevent harm to innocent civilians. The prohibition is in effect until further notice.
On 9 August, two IDF soldiers died in the village of Bint Jbeil after the IDF located a Hizballah headquarters in the village and engaged in a firefight. According to the IDF, 20 Hizballah fighters were killed in the operation. In addition to operations in Bint Jbeil, IDF forces engaged Hizballah in Ramya, Itrun, and Ayara Al-Mantzuri. Including the Hizballah fighters killed in Bint Jbeil, IDF forces killed a total of more than 30 Hizballah fighters. The IDF reported that it conducted aerial attacks on over 150 targets. The IDF reported that these attacks struck about seventy structures serving as Hizballah organization headquarters, six launchers used in launching rockets at Israel, two bridges across the Litani River, and three gas stations east of Tzor. IDF reported that artillery struck 25 structures and 30 targets in order to disrupt rocket launches in southern Lebanon. Israel reported that Hizballah launched 150 rockets into Israel.
On 10 August, one IDF soldier was killed during operations against Hizballah in southern Lebanon. The IDF conducted operations in the villages of Levona, Markaba, and the area around Marj-iun. Hizballah fired 110 rockets into Israel over the course of the day.
On 11 August, the UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1701, in an effort to bring a cessation to all hostilities. The resolution called for
- a full cessation to all hostilities
- Lebanese and UNIFIL forces to exert control over the area of Lebanon south of the Litani river
- an Israeli withdrawal as other forces begin to occupy southern Lebanon
- the removal of Hizballah from southern Lebanon
Also on 11 August, the IDF carried out over 80 aerial attacks in southern Lebanon against Hizballah headquarters, weaponry storage facilities, a bunker near the village of A-Khiam, a Hizballah command center south of Tyre, three structures used by Hizballah south of the village of Qana, 9 bridges and access routes and 10 launch sites in the area of Nabatiya. The IDF reported that over 40 Hizballah fighters were killed. The IDF reported that Hizballah fired 120 rockets into Israel.
On 12 August, the Lebanese government and Hizballah accepted the UN Resolution and agreed that it would take effect on the morning of August 14. The IDF reported that it carried out over 100 aerial attacks, targeting over 50 Hizballah command stations and structures. The IDF reported that it struck two missile launchers (including a 302mm launcher, located near Adasheit), two vehicles transporting weaponry from Syria to Baalbek, 6 Hizballah gasoline reserves, a weaponry storage facility and bunkers, bridges and access routes. The IDF reported that it killed 14 Hizballah fighters in the areas of Beit Yahun, Shema, Ghandouriyeh and Aita A-Shaeb. The IDF reported that it uncovered and destroyed a ready-to-launch Fagot missile and an 8-barrel missile launcher in Ayta A-Shaab. The IDF reported that it destroyed a structure from which Hizballah was firing mortar shells at IDF forces in the area. The IDF reported that 24 soldiers were killed during the day's operations. Over the course of the day, Hizballah launched 65 rockets into Israel.
On 13 August, the Israeli government accepted the cease-fire and agreed that it would take effect on the morning of August 14. The IDF reported that it carried out 178 attacks. The IDF reported that it struck 11 rocket launchers, 122 Hizballah organization structures, Hizballah headquarters, houses belonging to Hizballah in the areas of Nebatya and Marjayoun, a bridge on the A-Zaharni River, an aluminum factory in the area of Nebatya, eight gas stations, four tunnels used by Hizballah, and sites used for transportation and Hizballah organization operations. The IDF reported that 7 soldiers were killed during operations. Israeli media reported that 246 rockets landed in Israel, eight of which were reported to be long-range rockets made in Syria.
On 14 August at 8:00AM (local time) the cease-fire took effect and major combat operations ceased. The IDF pledged to stop offensive operations in Lebanon and not initiate attacks against Hizballah although the IDF stated that it would defend its forces and the citizens of Israel. Israeli media reported that 3,970 rockets were launched against Israel during the conflict (beginning on July 12). IDF forces killed six Hizballah fighters after being engaged but the cease-fire held.
On 15 August media reports noted that while the cease-fire was generally holding, IDF soldiers killed three Hizballah fighters after being engaged. Additionally, Fox News reported Hizballah firing rockets into southern Lebanon, ostensibly at Israeli positions. Israel began to withdraw some of its 30,000-strong force in southern Lebanon in anticipation of international forces and Lebanese Army forces moving into the area.
On 16 August, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, military chief-of-staff, was quoted in media reports as saying that Israeli troops would remain in Lebanon until a multinational force was deployed to the area, even if such a deployment took months.