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Thu Jul 13 2006 (Updated 07/18/06)
Israel Goes to War with Lebanon as Violence Spreads
First Week Of War In Lebanon
On Wednesday July 12th, Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers on the Israel-Lebanon border. While the Lebanese government claimed it was unaware of the Hezbollah raid, Israel responded with the heaviest bombing of Lebanon in 24 years and the imposition of a naval blockade. In southern Lebanon, at least 22 civilians were reported killed in overnight Israeli attacks, including a family of 12 in the village of Dweir. By Thursday morning the death toll among Lebanese civilians had already reached 52. On Friday Israel Air Force planes struck neighborhoods in Beirut. Air raids also severed the main road between Beirut and Damascus, leaving tourists and civilians stranded with no air service and a limited ability to drive out of the country.

While much of the world reacted in horror to Israel's actions against the people of Lebanon, Bush immediately came to Israel's defense. At the UN, John R. Bolton used the US veto to stop a Security Council resolution on violence in the region. On Saturday July 15th, The United Nations Security Council again rejected pleas that it call for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon after the United States objected. The Bush administration has given Israel a carte blanche to wage war against Lebanon, bombing and killing as it sees fit. American diplomacy in the crisis is concentrated on blocking any move for a ceasefire and concocting a pretext for future military action against Syria and Iran. The Democratic Party in the US has taken a similar stance to that of Bush with Hillary Clinton appearing at a rally in support of Israel July 17th as the civilian death toll in Lebanon increased passed 200 and more than 100,000 people have been forced to flee Lebanon through Syria with many left unable to leave or with no place to go.

The World Health Organization expects the number of Lebanese residents displaced by the assault to reach 900,000 by the end of Tuesday (July 18th).

On Thursday July 13th, a protest against Israel's actions was held in front of the Israeli consulate in San Francisco. Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | imc_video.gif Video
On July 14th, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Israeli consulate in Chicago. Photos There was also a demonstration in Dearborn, Michigan.
Around the world, thousands of protesters have rallied in Cairo, Amman, Gaza City, and Baghdad, as well as throughout Turkey, to protest massive Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon. Read More | Indonesians protest in solidarity | More than 500 protest in Tel Aviv against IDF raids in Lebanon, Gaza | Montreal Lebanese protest government's stand on attacks | Protesters worldwide condemn Israeli onslaughts | Antiwar protests in Israel | International Action Center statement

Wednesday July 12th
At 9:05 AM, Hezbollah's military wing launched a barrage of rockets and mortars on Israeli towns and military positions along the Lebanese border. A force of infiltrators then moved 200 meters into Israel, attacked two armoured IDF Humvees with anti-tank rockets, killing three soldiers and taking the remaining two in captivity to Lebanon's territory. An Israeli tank attempted to pursue Hezbollah into Lebanon but was damaged by a explosive device and all four of the crew members were killed. In all, 8 soldiers were killed, 2 captured and 5 wounded. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said that a prisoner exchange was the only way to secure the release of the soldiers. Read More On Wikipedia | IDF Caught with its pants down | Parents of kidnapped soldiers demand answers
Israel responded to the capture of two of its soldiers by Hezbollah by opening up a second front in its military operations, launching missile and bomb attacks from the air and sea and sending troops into southern Lebanon. Read More From the World Socialist Website

Thursday July 13th
Early on July 13, 2006, Israel sent jets to bomb Lebanon's international airport near Beirut, forcing its closure. Israel also targeted Hezbollah's al-Manar television station, but Hezbollah continued transmission from another location. Hezbollah retaliated by bombarding the Israeli towns of Nahariya and Safed, as well as villages nearby.
Israeli war planes are bombing Beirut | Israel Kills 47, Hits Lebanon Infrastructure | Pace and scale of bloody blitz strand families in danger zones | IAF warplanes bomb two Lebanese military bases | Lebanese Death Toll Continues to Rise: 52 civilian deaths so far | Scenes from the Lebanese Front | Hezbollah: We'll strike Haifa if IAF attacks Beirut

Friday July 14th
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Hezbollah group, has pledged open war on Israel after it bombed his Beirut home on Friday. "You wanted an open war. You will get an open war," Nasrallah said in a telephone message broadcast live on Hezbollah television after the attack. He said an Israeli navy ship was ablaze off the coast of Beirut. The Israeli military confirmed that the vessel had been badly damaged and that four Israeli troops were missing at sea.
Lebanese Daily Star: Israel's campaign continues | Refugees Speak of Catastrophy After Israeli Air Attacks | Israel's military says 4 servicemen missing after vessel struck by drone | Israel bombs Beirut airport again | Ground invasion of Lebanon looms

Saturday July 15th
Israeli gunships attacked central Beirut for the first time in Israel's four-day-old assault on Lebanon as the civilian death toll neared 100. The latest Israeli strikes hit the lighthouse, radar installation and grain silos at the port in Beirut, in the first attack so close to the centre of the Lebanese capital. more
An Israeli air raid in Southern Lebanon killed at least 17 Lebanese civilians who were fleeing border area. Women and children were among those killed when the convoy was hit. "Bodies litter the road," an eyewitness said. Read More
Foreign ministers of 18 Arab countries passed a unanimous resolution yesterday calling on the UN Security Council to intervene to stop escalating Mideast fighting. “The Middle East peace process has failed. The whole process should now be sent back to the Security Council for a complete overhaul,” said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa. “We are going to the Security Council — this is a unanimous position — to discuss the whole situation from scratch,” he said. more
Israel raids Syria-Lebanon border, claims Iranian troops involved in fighting | IDF officer denies report Israel planning to attack Syria | U.S., European countries work to vacate nationals from Lebanon | American college students hole up in Beirut | US military may "rescue" Americans in Lebanon | Children die in convoy attack

Sunday July 16th
Israel continued to bomb Beirut's southern suburb on Sunday, the fifth successive day of an offensive on Lebanon. Air strikes in the early hours of Sunday damaged a flyover linking the southern suburb with the eastern part of Beirut, Hezbollah's al-Manar television reported, and the loud blasts were heard throughout the capital. Israeli aircraft have already flattened Hezbollah's nine-storey headquarters.
Later on Sunday, rockets fired by Hezbollah militants in Lebanon killed at least eight people and wounded many others in the coastal Israeli city of Haifa. more
Lebanon's Daily Star: Sunday Roundup | Al Jazeera in Israel says Reshet Bet inciting against the network | Four days of counting explosions in Beirut | IAF strike kills 5 Lebanese-Canadians in south Lebanon | More die in fresh Lebanon strikes | Israel Kills Children in Convoy Bombing; Hizbullah bombs Haifa; Wounds, Kills Civilians | IDF finds bodies of missing sailors aboard damaged Navy ship

Monday July 17th
The UN secretary-general called on Monday for a "cessation of hostilities" between Israel and Hezbollah to enable a well-armed international "stabilisation force" to be put together. Speaking from the G8 summit in Russia, Annan had said: "I appeal to the parties to focus their targets narrowly and to bear in mind that they have an obligation under international humanitarian law to spare civilian lives [and] to spare civilian infrastructure." But Israel rejected the offer since it would make it harder to keep up the bombing campaign of Lebanese cities. Additionally, Defense Minister (and former Labour Party leader) Amir Peretz said that Israel intends to create an unmanned buffer zone in south Lebanon, levelling any civilian houses or businesses that may happen to be in the way.
Eight Lebanese soldiers were among 13 people killed in a spate of Israeli raids on Lebanon early Monday. Lebanon's army has largely remained on the sidelines of the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel so far, and it was unclear why one of its positions at the far north of the country should be hit. more
100,000 people have been forced to flee Lebanon | Ten die as Israel hits vehicles | Israel Widens Airstrikes; 140 Civilians Dead since Weds | French PM, FM to Beirut Monday | Israel Bombardment of Lebanon Enters Sixth Day, Hizbollah Strikes Haifa | Last-minute talks in Lebanon amid fears of ground invasion | ME Violence Batters Stock Markets | As the bombs rain down, a refugee crisis unfolds on the streets of Beirut | 'If our Prime Minister is crying, what are we to do?'

Tuesday July 18th
At least 23 people have been killed in the latest air strikes by Israeli warplanes in Lebanon, raising the toll there to more than 220.
WHO: Lebanese Residents Displaced by Israeli Bombardment Expected to Top 900,000 | Israel hits Lebanese army barracks, kills 9 | Slow U.S. evacuation plans leave thousands stranded | Military campaign turning Lebanese against Israel | 'It is madness. Why is no one doing anything to stop this?' |

The World Reacts:
G8 powers sanction Israeli aggression in Lebanon | Humanitarian groups rush to Lebanon's aid amid blockade | Protesters worldwide condemn Israeli onslaughts | World moves slowly to defuse crisis | Hillary Clinton: All Americans are standing behind Israel | Iraqi PM, Parliament Condemn Israel | Arab Perspective on the war | The UN must broker peace … the US and Britain have failed | G8 unites to blame 'extremists' and calls for end of violence | Iraq’s divided parliament stands united over Israel | UN rejects Lebanese call to intervene in conflict with Israel | ME Peace Process Is Dead: Moussa | Silence on Palestinian Issue Sends a Loud Message | Global Protests at Indiscriminate Israeli Bombings of Lebanon | Arab Regimes Back Israel's Attacks on Islamist Groups | Arabs rally against Israeli attacks | Lebanon asks Security Council to impose cease-fire with Israel | White House: Bush won't press Israel to halt military operation | Iran warns of 'fierce response' should Israel strike at Syria | Chancellor Merkel joins with Bush in backing Israeli

What Does It All Mean?:
Questions and Answers on Hostilities Between Israel and Hezbollah | Today's war in Lebanon: The latest chapter of the original 1948 conflict | Hizbollah, the United States and the Context Behind Israel's Offensive on Lebanon | Changing the rules of the game | Israel, the US and key Arab regimes are now determined to crush widely popular Hizbullah | Israel's action threatens to reopen moral vacuum of war years | Let's face it, it's WWIII, Gingrich says | The west must recognise that Israel's agenda is in conflict with its own | Tikkun: War and Peace in the Mideast | What Does Israel Want? | A Family in Baghdad: Sadness | Robert Fisk: Is Damascus the Key? | Noam Chomsky On Israel, Palestine and Hezbollah | Israeli attack on Lebanon threatens to engulf entire Middle East in war | Can conflict be contained or will it spread throughout region? | The Beginning of a New War? - Will it Spill over on Iraq? | Is the Arab Spring turning to Dust under Israeli Bombardment? | Racism Plagues Western Media Coverage | Israel Can Win All the Wars, but That Doesn’t Settle Anything | The Army Wants Action: The great fiasco | Gilbert Achcar: Israel's Dual Onslaught On Lebanon And Palestine

Lebanon Reflects On The Last Israeli Invasion:
Today's Mideast crisis not just a replay of past battles | Letter from Beirut: Return to the Dark Ages | Trapped in Beirut | Nervous and angry, Beirut is trapped in the middle | Israeli Terror Bombing Revives Painful Memories | 'If our Prime Minister is crying, what are we to do?'

While the world focuses most of its attention on the new war between Israel and Lebanon, Israel is also at war in Gaza. On Wednesday, Israeli aircraft bombed the Palestinian foreign ministry in Gaza and "shortly before dawn, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at a three-storey building in the densely populated Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in central Gaza, killing nine members of a single family. Israel said the bombing targeted Mohamed Dheif, one of Hamas's prominent resistance leaders. Dheif was reportedly injured moderately in the bombing. Fatalities include a professor at the Islamic University of Gaza, his wife and their seven children."
On July 16th, Israel Air Force planes bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry building in Gaza City, the second attack on the ministry in a week.
Rafah Mosque Rugs Become Beds for Palestinians | IOF Occupy & Isolate Beit Hanoun, and Destroy the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Al-Aqsa claims it abducted Border Policeman in West Bank | Israeli War Crimes Continue in Gaza: 4 Palestinians killed and 10 injured | West Bank: Israeli soldier killed | Israeli tanks enter northern Gaza Strip | 2 Palestinians killed in separate IAF strikes in Gaza Strip | Israel hits another Gaza ministry | Palestinians forcibly open Egypt-Gaza border gate | Israeli shelling kills Palestinian in Gaza | Beirut in solidarity with besieged Gazans | Only sanctions will stop this brutal campaign | Human rights groups to Israeli High Court: Stop the harm to the Gazan civilian population | Ghost World, Palestine aggression
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