Hezbollah, under the leadership of Sheik Nasralla, the Lebanese Shiite self-styled demagogue, decided to attack an Israeli Army patrol in the north of Israel near the Lebanese border. On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah carried out the most serious terrorist attack against IDF forces and Israeli communities along the Israeli-Lebanese border since the IDF withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000. During the attack two Israeli soldiers were abducted, eight soldiers and one civilian woman were killed and approximately 54 soldiers and civilians were wounded (as of noon on July 13). Hezbollah did this in order to relieve Hamas from Israeli Army pressure in Gaza. There is cooperation between Hezbollah and Hamas. As a result, Israel is now fighting an enemy on two fronts. Both organizations have much in common. Both organizations are terror organizations who wish to destroy Israel.
Examination of Hezbollah’s goals leaves one in no doubt that this terrorist organization is stronger than Hamas and will be a problem to destroy. Their hate for Israel, Jews and the West is irreconcilable.
Renewal of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon with Hezbollah as the main player and the provoker was a matter of time. This evil man, Sheik Nasrallah, is a gifted rabble-rouser who has great charisma. He has formed a terrorist apparatus in Lebanon that the formal Lebanese Government does not dare to hinder. In this respect, Hezbollah is similar to Hamas with one big difference – the Palestinians elected Hamas to rule them. The Lebanese People did not elect Hezbollah.
Hezbollah made an unprovoked attack on Israel’s sovereign territory. There was no reason for them to do this. They behaved in a barbaric fashion by making demands on Israel to release prisoners in exchange for kidnapped soldiers. This is unaccetable! Israel has every right to react. What country would allow itself to be blackmailed by a group of armed terrorists in this manner? The terrorist Hezbollah organization is the responsibility of the Lebanese Government who has turned a blind eye on their terrorist activities against Israel. Israel is correct in holding Lebanon responsible for Hezbollah’s activities.
UN Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1680, call for disarming and cessation of support for Hezbollah. The Lebanese Government had done nothing to disarm Hezbollah. Today Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese Government, which is further proof that while they are not in the majority they add a measure of responsibility to the Lebanese Government for the act of war against Israel - a neighboring sovereign state.
Remember what Prime Minister Olmert said in answer to a question: "How do you measure “justified response”, especially when your own civilian infrastructure is under constant threat?” A “justified response” is in the eye of the beholder. This response should be severe enough to prevent terrorist groups from carrying out their bloody acts. If it does not succeed in its goal then the response is a failure. If it succeeds then it is justified.
Syria, Iran and Lebanon (because of the latter’s indifference to Hezbollah which gets its financial support from Iran) can now be viewed as “the axis of evil.”
Israel’s attitude and response to Hezbollah terror can best be summed up by Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Public Affairs Ambassador Gideon Meir's opening statement from his press conference on Thursday 13th July 2006 with Brig,-Gen. Ido Nehushtan:
"Israel has suffered an unprovoked cross-border attack from Lebanese territory. The Hezbollah carried out the attack, which is a party to the Government of Lebanon. They attacked Israelis, soldiers and civilians, while on sovereign Israeli soil. In these circumstances, Israel has no alternative but to defend itself and its citizens.
For this reason, Israel is now reacting to an act of war by a neighboring sovereign state. Israel views Lebanon as responsible for the present situation, and it shall bear the consequences for this act.
However, Lebanon is not the only responsible party. Syria hosts in its capital, Damascus, the headquarters of a number of Palestinian Jihadist terrorist groups, including Hamas. They provide shelter and logistical support for Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who has been living there for a number of years. From Damascus, Mashaal commands terrorists within the Palestinian territories who carry out ongoing attacks against Israel and its citizens, including the bombardment of southern Israel with Kassam missiles and the recent terrorist infiltration and kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Syria also provides support to the Hizbullah, including the transfer of arms, munitions and operatives through the Damascus airport and border crossings into Lebanon. The Hezbollah would not be able to operate in Lebanon without clear Syrian sponsorship.
Iran is the main benefactor of the Hezbollah. It provides funding, weapons and directives for this terrorist organization. For all practical purposes, Hezbollah is merely an arm of the Teheran Jihadist regime. Iran has also made considerable inroads of influence into Palestinian terrorist organization, including Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigade and Hamas’ Iz a-Din al-Kassam group. It provides their terror cells with funding, technical instruction and operational directives.
Hamas and Hezbollah are driven by an extremist Jihadist ideology that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel – as part of an international effort to wage ‘Holy War’ against the ‘infidel’.
Syria and Iran support these groups, not only because they support their ideology, but also because they provide Damascus and Teheran with a tool to strengthen the influence of their own regimes and to divert attention from other issues which have exposed them lately to international pressure. We also have specific information that Hezbollah is planning to transfer the kidnapped soldiers to Iran.
Consequently, Israel views Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran as primary elements in the Axis of Terror and Hate threatening not only Israel but also the entire world.
There is a widening consensus in the international arena that Jihadist terror is a global threat that must be confronted with determination and resolve. Israel has been in intensive contact with foreign governments and world organizations, in order to coordinate pressure on these regimes, ensuring they understand that the price that they will pay internationally for their support of terrorism will be unbearably high.
With regard to our expectations from Lebanon, it is the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon to fulfill its obligations as a sovereign state to extend its control over its own territory, as called for by Security Council resolutions 425 and 1559. Through our operations, Israel expects both to pressure the Beirut government to take action, and to facilitate this action by providing the international encouragement and the operational conditions favorable to the disarming of Hezbollah and the effective deployment of the Lebanese army southward to the Israel-Lebanon border. This is not only Israel's interest, but that of the Lebanese people and the region as a whole."
Hezbollah is leading the Lebanese People down the path of destruction. Naturally, the “evil axis” goes screaming to the United Nations to condemn Israel for its “aggression”. The United States who has also bared the brunt of terror in the Trade Centre Tragedy of 11 September 2001 used the veto to prevent the passing of one-sided resolutions against Israel. There are even signs that Arab States such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are not supporting Hezbollah.
Lebanon, who had experienced a “boom” economically, will now suffer a very severe set back. She will have to do more to disarm the terrorist Hezbollah who will re-arm within a few months once this campaign is completed.