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Monday, October 23, 2006

German Mr. Hezbullah trying to mediate 'prisoner exchange'

Der Spiegel is reporting that a German intelligence officer, who has mediated past exchanges between Israel and Hezbullah, is trying to mediate the return to Israel of kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.
The difference this time is that the new talks, technically, shouldn't be happening. Last year BND chief Ernst Uhrlau threatened Hezbollah that the German wouldn't be available if the militia tried to use kidnappings again as a negotiating tactic. The German government would rather not get involved in an endless cycle that could both harm the prospect of peace in the region and tarnish Germany's latter-day image as a peacemaker.

This is exactly the scenario that began to unfold, though, when elite members of Hezbollah kidnapped Goldwasser and Regev in July. The German government was then appropriately reserved when a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, openly asked for negotiating help. "Right now the same officials from Germany would be useful again," he said.

Both Uhrlau and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have long downplayed Germany's role as official mediator in this crisis. "We're not in that kind of situation," Steinmeier has said. At the same time Berlin would "not turn down" an official request, and after a number of indications from Annan's office that the Secretary General wanted to get involved personally, Berlin arranged a meeting between the BND officer and the UN leader.

Near the start of September, Annan and the German agent met in Madrid. It was cast as an introductory meeting, but Annan was impressed, and afterwards "Mr. Hezbollah" had a UN assignment.

Very few people have more experience than the German intelligence officer. "Mr. Hezbollah" has been present at almost every previous negotiation involving Hezbollah, and he's met Hassan Nasrallah personally. He enjoys a good reputation in the Hezbollah's Beirut headquarters as well as in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office.

Since he's been stationed in German embassies in Beirut as well as Damascus, the officer also knows how to deal with official Syrians. He was part of a delegation drawn from five German agencies which in November 2002 questioned the German- Syrian Islamist Mohammed Haydar Zammar in a torture- prison in Damascus.

For weeks the German emissary has been shuttling between Jerusalem, Beirut, and New York to probe the conditions for an exchange of prisoners. Whether he can succeed is another matter -- positions on both sides have hardened, and hatred between Israel and Hezbollah runs deep.
The demands from Hezbullah remain exactly where they started:
The Israelis, who have openly threatened Nasrallah with death, so far aren't prepared to release hundreds more of prisoners for the freedom of two soldiers. (Israel agreed to release over four hundred prisoners -- mostly Palestinians -- in a difficult German-brokered in January 2004.) Hezbollah, on the other hand, has placed at the top of their list of prisoners to be released is Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese man who's been jailed by Israelis for 27 years. Kuntar killed a four-year-old girl and her father in 1979; in Israel he's considered an enemy of the state who should never again be free.
Previously at Israel Matzav:

Nasrallah says no deal for hostages without Kuntar; Criticizes Siniora for meeting Blair

Israel not ruling out releasing Kuntar

Entire Lebanon war was precipitated by attempt to free Samir Kuntar

Al-Reuters sinks, keeps digging - Puff piece on Samir al-Kuntar

Hezbullah wants al-Kuntar released in exchange for kidnapped soldiers

3 Comments:

At 4:02 AM, Blogger unitedphoenician said...

Hezbollah and Amal a critical opportunity to reverse the damage done by their evil war.


Hezbollah and Amal leadership dumped millions of dollars from their campaign war chests into their coffers. They answered the call of Syria and Iran who are pressing them to pour tens of millions into a final push to gam the support of war criminals by toppling the Lebanese government.
The United Phoenician Party issued his own challenge asking you to help the government and Lebanese army in order to double the efforts in disarming all illegal arms of terrorists in Lebanon.
Thousands of Lebanese grassroots supporters have already responded. The momentum is on our side and we need to move forward toward regional peace.
Hezbollah and Amal are leading the dialogue as “a critical opportunity to reverse the damage done by Hezbollah evil war.
Nabih Berri-who is the speaker of the parliament repeatedly uses obstructionist tactics including his threat of street confrontations.
What that mean? More assassinations for our freedom and independence.
But we can tell you this: Hezbollah and Amal are wrong on every issue: from their war against Israel causing the destruction and the death of their own people.
UN and International forces coming into our country to securing our borders from terrorists operations, drug and arm smugglers.
As we have seen Hezbollah and Amal without doubt they have repeatedly proven to lack the credibility, nationality and ideas needed to lead the region to peace for the sake and future of their children.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hezbollah and Amal proudly talk about winning a war retreating in joining the Lebanese hope for peace, cutting and running from the fact of disarming as well refusing to join the nation in rebuilding from all wars.
We cannot let the Hijackers to succeed we are a nation trapped in between the evil regimes of the middle east like Syria and Iran who continues to plot against Lebanon.
The current government is the best way our country can continue to answer threats to our nation head on.
We have made the tough decisions on keeping our nation safe with little or no support from Hezbollah , Amal and their allies.

Thank you,

The United Phoenician Party
www.unitedphoenicianparty.org

 
At 2:44 AM, Blogger JeffMichell said...

"THE REAL REASON FOR THE 2006 SUMMER WAR
BETWEEN HEZBOLLAH AND ISRAEL."

Courtesy of: http://SamirKuntar.net/


Samir Kuntar
سمير القنطار‎
CONFESSED CHILD KILLER!

On July 12, 2006 Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists crossed the border with Israel in an operation dubbed "Operation Truthful Promise," which was aimed at nabbing Israeli soldiers in exchange for Lebanese prisoners. Hezbollah succeeded in the operation and successfully took hostage two Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. During the operation, eight Israeli soldiers were killed. This ignited the sequence of events which led to the Israel/Lebanon summer war.

The story goes further back than July of 2006. It really began in April 1979! On Sabbath day, April 22, 1979, Danny and Smadar Haran met up with a monster named Samir Kuntar.

Danny and Smadar were a loving Israeli couple. They had everything they could ever hope for... love, marriage and two precious daughters, Einat, 4 and Yael, 2. That day Smadar was home anticipating Danny's return from work and preparing for the Sabbath. She had just picked up their two toddlers from day care. Danny, on the other hand, was looking forward to nothing more than getting home and spending time with his wife and his two young daughters.

Traditionally, the Sabbath is the most special day of the week, the day the family gets to spend time together and celebrate their bond to Judaism. It was especially important for Danny who, as a young father, had to work extra hard in order to provide for his wife and young children. Little did Smadar know that this would be the last Sabbath she would celebrate with her family because of a man named Samir Kuntar. Around midnight the nightmare began!

Who is Samir Kuntar?

Samir Kuntar is one of three Lebanese prisoners still serving time in Israeli jails. Kuntar, a Lebanese Druze born on July 20, 1962 in the Lebanese mountain village of Aabey currently holds the dubious distinction of being the longest held Lebanese prisoner in Israeli jails! He was a member of Abu Abbas' notorious PLF (Palestine Liberation Front) which committed despicable acts of terror against Israeli, Jewish, and American targets worldwide throughout the 1970's and 1980's. Kuntar was convicted and sentenced to a 534 years prison sentence by the state of Israel. Israel even almost tried to pass a bill to have him executed! What did he do? What was his crime?

The Nasser Operation

The crime he committed was the most horrific crime ever committed on Israeli soil! On April 22, 1979 Samir Kuntar along with a gang of three other PLF terrorists (Abed Majeed Asslan, Ahmed Al-Abras, and Mhanna Salim Al- Muyaed) departed from the southern Lebanese seashore city of Tyre on a 55-horsepowered rubber motor boat. Their destination was the Israeli coastal city of Naharyia, about 10 km south of the Lebanese border, the target of their operation was a residential apartment building. This operation was dubbed "Nasser Operation" and its aim was the killing and terrorizing of Israel's Jewish civilians.


Kuntar shown at far left

The terrorists made landfall in the Israeli coastal city of Naharyia at around midnight, undetected under the cover of darkness. As they made their way along the shore, they were intercepted by an Israeli police officer whom they shot dead. In Naharya the terrorists broke into a building as other Israeli police officers arrived on the scene. The terrorists then broke into Danny and Smadar Haran's apartment, fired their weapons and threw grenades. Smadar managed to find a crawl space into which she, her younger daughter, 2 year old Yael, and a neighbor all hid. To prevent Yael from crying and giving away their hiding place, Smadar covered the child's mouth with her hand.

According to Smadar "They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. 'This is just like what happened to my mother,' I thought."



Sadly, Smadar's attempt to muffle her daughter's whimpering proved fatal. Yael was accidentally suffocated and died within the hiding space.

According to Smadar Haran, her last memories of Danny and Einat, that day, were when they were being led away at gun point by Kuntar. She could hear from her closet space Danny telling Einat, "Don't be scared, my baby, it will be alright" and Einat replied to him in her little voice, "Dad, where is Mommy? I want Mommy." Smadar's last memory of her 2-year-old daughter, Yael, was when her little daughter was taken to the apartment hiding space. Right before Yael had her mouth covered by her mother, she asked her mother "Where is my little pacifier." There was no time to search for the pacifier. Minutes later Smadar covered Yael's mouth to keep her from revealing the hiding space. Smadar soon felt her daughter's tiny tongue licks and lip sucking on the palm of her hand. She didn't know what to make of it at first but hours later was told by doctors and paramedics that the reason Yael was licking her palm while she covered her mouth was because she was gasping for air.

After taking Danny and four-year old Einat hostage, Kuntar and his group took them down to the beach. Samir Kuntar quickly shot Danny in the back and then drowned him in the Mediterranean Sea to ensure his death. While Kuntar drowned Danny, he forced terrified Einat to watch and cry. According to eyewitnesses, "Danny was murdered in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see." Little Einat would not have that horrible memory in her head for long. Kuntar, the brave Lebanese freedom fighter, crushed Einat's skull over and over upon the rocks with the butt of his rifle until she was dead.

Double click the play button to watch video


During the ensuing shootout between Kuntar's terror group and Israeli police, two policeman were killed along with two of the Arab terrorists. Kuntar and the fourth participant, Ahmed Al-Abrass, were captured. Ahmed Al-Abrass was later free by the Israeli authorities in the infamous May 1985 Ahmed Jibril prisoner exchange deal in which 1,150 Arab prisoners (some of whom had blood on their hands) were exchanged for three Israeli soldiers. Kuntar was not included in the deal.

The Israeli government determined at first to make a decision to execute Kuntar, for his horrific crime, especially for the fact that he tortured and beat to death the 4-year old toddler. Israeli Prime Minister at that time, Menachem Beagin , proposed a draft resolution to the Security and Foreign Affairs Committee in the Israeli Keenest on April 24, 1979. He demanded to eliminate a previous resolution stipulated by the Israeli cabinet, which said no execution should be implemented against terrorists as the international law prohibits it. The Israeli Foreign Minister Izer Weizman and Transportation Minister Hayeem Landau supported Beagin’s draft resolution. Abraham Sharer, who was the head of the Likude parliamentary bloc also, called for Kuntar’s execution. Isaac Shamir issued a statement on April 25, 1979 also calling for his execution.


Kuntar flashing the victory sign while being sentenced
by an Israeli court. File photo from Israeli newspaper

The Israelis tried to implement the execution sentence on Samir Kuntar and the whole parliament agreed on them. The only dilemma they were having was the Israeli law that doesn’t allow execution except for the Nazis of the World War II and to those found guilty of betrayal to their country. Furthermore, they did not want the international community on their backs; also, they wanted to improve their relationship with Egypt after the peace process. As a consequence, the Israeli central court in Haifa sentenced Kuntar to 5 life sentences plus 47 years to come up with the total of 542 years. During the trial, Kuntar was waving victory signs, and called himself a hero.

Samir Kuntar has confessed proudly to his murder of the little girl and never once showed one ounce of remorse for his crime. Even while serving his prison term, he has bragged repeatedly during interviews about how proud he was for murdering the 4-year-old Israeli child. While in prison Kuntar got married and even receives conjugal visits. Below he stands proudly alongside other convicted Arab murderer, Marwan Barghouti.


Samir Kuntar standing alongside murderer Marwan Barghouti

Several months later, the PLF seized the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship, and demanded that Israel release Kuntar along with a list of 50 other Palestinian prisoners. Ironically out of the 50 Arab Palestinian prisoners that were demanded, Kuntar was the ONLY one that was "actually" named on that list. The hijackers killed a wheelchair-bound American Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, and threw him overboard into the Mediterranean Sea. Kuntar was not released, but his supporters would not give up. In 2004 Israel release ALL Lebanese prisoners except for Kuntar and two other Lebanese (Nissim Nasser and Yehya Sakaf). In fact Kuntar, as well, was almost released by Israel during that infamous Israel Hezbollah Prisoner Exchange of 2004, BUT in the last second Hezbollah violated the agreement and Kuntar remained behind bars!

War: July 12, 2006

On July 12, 2006 per orders of Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hasssan Nasrallah, Hezbollah terrorists crossed the northern Israeli border. They attacked two Israeli military vehicles with anti tank missiles, killed four soldiers, kidnapped two others and demanded the immediate unconditional release of Samir Kuntar in exchange for the two abducted soldiers. Hezbollah originally named this operation "Operation Freedom for Samir Al-Kuntar," but on the days leading up to the July 12 attack it was shortened to "Operation Truthful Promise." The latter referred to the "true promise" Nasrallah had made to the Kuntar family that the cross-border kidnapping of IDF soldiers to force the release of Samir Kuntar.
In subsequent interviews on Al-Manar TV station Dr Mohamad Jawad Khalifeh, the Lebanese Minster of Health, congratulated Hezbollah for "its great actions" and said that "Lebanon has the right to regain its prisoners and liberate them." Ali Ammar, an Hezbollah member of the Lebanese Parliament, stated his opinion that "particularly at this basic stage in the history of the homeland and the nation, this government should have expressed solidarity with its people and let Samir Quntar feel that he is a Lebanese par excellence."

As expected, the Israeli government was not interested in negotiating with terrorists. They sent a small number of troops into southern Lebanon in an attempt to quickly find and free their two soldiers. Soon Hezbollah began shelling Israel's northern communities with Katuysha rockets in an attempt to kill as many innocent men, women and children as possible and to pressure the Israeli government to take the prisoner exchange demand. Israel had no choice but to escalate their response. Both Hezbollah, their supporters and Lebanon's civil infrastructure all suffered the consequences. Even though Israel defeated Hezbollah during this war, it still didn't manage to get its soldiers back.

During the fighting Israel captured a Hezbollah terrorist by the name of Ali Hassan Saliman. In the interviews/interrogations following his capture, Saliman said that the main objective of Hezbollah's corss-border kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers was to secure the release of Samir Kuntar. Also, that Nasrallah had made a promise to the Kuntar family that Samir would be released. The Hezbollah operation was first and foremost aimed at releasing Kuntar. Everything else was secondary.

Israel's track record of going against it's previous policy of not releasing Arab prisoners with blood on their hands in exchange for IDF soldiers has come home to roost. Arab terrorist groups have been encouraged to kidnap Israelis in the hope (and often the expectation) that these soldiers will become bargaining chips for the release of Arab prisoners. This softening of Israel's formerly strict policy of never negotiating with terrorists has merely added fuel to the fire. Israeli soldiers are supposed to protect the children of Israel, not to facilitate the release of child murderers, such as the monster, Samir Kuntar.

Neither Israelis individually nor their military intentionally targets children or any non-combatant, for that matter. When children die, it is nearly always because they are caught in the crossfire or when they are "set up" by their fellow Arab-terrorists to score propaganda points. But NEVER would manner of the killing be so pre-planned nor would the act itself be so glorified, such as that as Samir Kuntar.

Smadar Haran has since remarried and is raising a new family. She hopes that Samir Kuntar will stay behind bars until his dying day. "I don't believe that the terrorist will be released now, and I don't believe that the Israeli government will accept this request, after it promised not to release terrorists with blood on their hands."


Samir Kuntar bragging and justifying his heroic deed (of killing the little girl)
in an interview from his jail cell, on the Arabic news channel, Al-Arabya!

We at SamirKuntar.net concur with Smadar Haran. We will do whatever we can to see that Samir Kuntar rots in Israeli prisons. We would also urge the Israeli government and courts to reverse the long-standing policy of not allowing for the administration of the death sentence. After all, Samir Kuntar and other Samir Kuntars like him never thought twice about administrating the death sentence to little Einat Haran and other Einat Harans just like her!

CONCLUSION

Kuntar was not the reason Israel chose to go to war with Lebanon but he was the reason Hezbollah kidnapped the two soldiers which set the war process in motion.

POSTSCRIPT

Neither Israel nor Hezbollah doubt that Kuntar murdered Danny and Einat Haran. The only difference is that Israel sees him as the cold-blooded murderer he is. Hezbollah and their supporters glorify him as a freedom fighter and hero!

There is another point worth mentioning. Hezbollah has never claimed that Kuntar was innocent or that he may have been framed. They only demand his release as if he were being held unlawfully and that Israel had no right to imprison him. Once again it's all about Israel never doing any right and Arabs incapable of doing any wrong!

A Sad Gruesome Reality.....
After drowning Danny in the sea in front of little Einat, Kuntar, the brave Lebanese freedom fighter, then turned his attention towards the frightened little 4-year old. He took his rifle and then swung it across the little toddler's head, knocking her to the ground. As little Einat was knocked to the ground, she was screaming and crying hysterically "mommy daddy help me," while thrashing her little legs around in the sand. But unfortunately Einat was alone, and no one was there to save her. Kuntar then dragged the little toddler a couple of feet to the closest rock he could find, this was while she was begging him not to hurt her. Kuntar, then laid her head down on a rock, with the intention of crushing it with the butt of his rifle. Einat, instinctively covered her head with her little arms, Kuntar struggled with the little toddler until he finally managed to clear her arms out of the way so that he could aim for the head, and then he proceeded on beating her over and over with the butt of his rifle until blood rushed out of her ears and her little cries faded away as she was knocked into unconsciousness. Then, to ensure she was dead, Kuntar continued on beating her over the head, as hard as he could, several more times until her skull was crushed and she was dead.
ARTICLES AND REFERENCES

Israel moots Kuntar prisoner swap
(AL-JAZEERA 9/17/2006)
Free the monster Samir Kuntar
(Haaretz article 09/04/2006)
Plot to free terrorist (Kuntar) may have led to fight
(Washington Times 8/8/2006)
Nasrallah says no deal without Samir
(9/12/2006 BBC article "Nasrallah Demands Militant Free")
"Hizballah Wants Israel to Free Child-Killer"
(Cybercast News Service, 7/18/2006)
More than 25 years later, militant still atop Hezbollah's list for swap
(Seattle Times 8/16/2006)
Why Hezbollah Attacked Israel
(Mens News Daily 8/09/2006)
Samir Kuntar to be released very soon
The Jerusalem Post 1/6/2007

 
At 2:47 AM, Blogger JeffMichell said...

Why Hezbollah LOST the War in Lebanon!



On July 12, 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers that led to Israel's war with them and, by extension, Lebanon itself. Hezbollah has been on Israel's fence since the latter's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. Israel always requested from the international community and from the Lebanese government to deploy its Lebanese Army there instead of Hezbollah's terror troops. Hezbollah, quite naturally, refused! Hezbollah vowed to NEVER allow any other force other than itself to occupy southern Lebanon. Even during the conflict, Hezbollah said it would never agree to allow either the Lebanese army nor international monitors to patrol southern Lebanon.

Beirut On Fire

Then finally, when two IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers were kidnapped, Israel found the perfect excuse it was looking for to go into Lebanon and push Hezbollah well away from the Lebanese-Israel border. Israel pursued a limited invasion and killed over 500-600 Hezbollah members during the one month war. Additionally, Israel took over every single village in southern Lebanon. Yet when the hostilities ended, Hezbollah claimed victory! But did it really win?

Firstly, Israel agreed to a cessation of hostilities NOT because it surrendered, but because of international pressure from the European Union and the United States. During this conflict Israel endured more international pressure, than it ever did in the past 10 years. Israel put forth conditions and international agreements which the latter two accepted, such as the deployment of 15,000 Lebanese soldiers and 15,000 United Nations peace keepers into southern Lebanon. This cessation of hostilities, known as "The August Ceasefire", was initiated by the United Nations and International Community, and was put forward before both parties, Israel and Hezbollah, Hezbollah JUMPED right on the wagon to accept, because they saw it as the only way out of the mess they got themselves into. While at the same time, Israel was more stubborn on accept this ceasefire-agreement, since they were on a winning streak. Ever since then Hezbollah has not been seen or heard from in Southern Lebanon! at long last the frail Lebanese Government has finally had a degree of sovereignty over all of its state and is finally monitoring and guarding its own borders.

Not too long ago, nearly all television and print media images coming out of southern Lebanon were that of armed Hezbollah fighters with their guns, outposts, and banners. Not anymore! Hezbollah is now hiding under rocks in Southern Lebanon, its military might having received a substantial blow. In addition, Hezbollah is no longer enjoying the freedom and luxury of easily transferring Syrian/Iranian weaponry across the Lebanese-Syrian border or via the Beirut seaport. Much of this due to the combined efforts of a stronger Lebanese army and U.N. forces keeping a lid on such transferals.

But even though the International Troops and the Lebanese Army keep Hezbollah in check, isn't there still Hezbollah presence in Southern Lebanon, EVEN THOUGH they are hiding "under rocks?" The same could be said for Al Qaeda presence in the United States, who are also hiding under rocks.

Hezbollah may portray themselves as fearsome "militants" but they are in fact cowards cowering behind Lebanese civilians. Yet, through mostly pin-point targeting, the IDF dealt a heavy blow to Hezbollah. Five to six hundred Hezbollah terrorists were killed and nearly all of their bases, headquarters and tactical infrastructure destroyed.

Some might say, "But didn’t Hezbollah manage to shoot over one hundred rockets into Israel every single day? AND why, during the war, didn't the Israel army/air-force ever manage to stop the Katyusha fire?" Well the answer to that would be "What's so impressive about groups of one or two rag heads pointing and setting off an unguided Katyusha southward into Israel?" In addition to the fact that Hezbollah only needed 1% of their military might in order to shoot Katyushas from their scattered fields and caves, into Israel every day.

Israel 'BADLY' miscalculated Hezbollah, those past 6 years since it withdrew from Lebanon. Why? Because in 2004, it was estimated that if Israel was to engage in war with Hezbollah, their Katyusha arsenal would result in 100 deaths per day on the Israeli side, but instead only 2 people per day were killed by those rockets. But during the war, Israel came to the realization that 99.9% of all those rocket attacks, mostly result in a lot of noise and broken windows. Prior to the war it was also estimated that if Israel launches a ground invasion, it would result in the deaths of over 70 soldiers per day, which would have left 2000 dead on the Israeli side at the end of the 34 day conflict. But only 120 soldiers were killed in total, which makes it 3-4 soldiers per day.

The reason 120 soldiers were killed in the first place, is because what would someone expect if an army deployed 30,000 soldiers squashed together in a small, tight, open space (South Lebanon)! It was amazing that after the war, those soldier didn't all suffer from cluster phobia. But even though Israel deployed so many soldiers in the open, Hezbollah didn't manage to deliver that harsh blow as was estimated before the ground invasion. But after all Hezbollah didn't find as courageous as the Egyptians during the Suez Canal invasion, nor as the Syrians during the war in the Golan heights.

During and after the war, Hezbollah regretted starting the war in the first place, by kidnapped the two Israeli soldiers. But Israel on the other hand, didn’t regret going to war with Hezbollah, not even 1%. In fact Israel was ready to go for round two, but Hezbollah, will not dare even consider thinking about it.

During the fighting, many people (both inside and outside Lebanon) finally saw Hezbollah as they really are... a terrorist group. It's strategy had little or no military value. The rockets they launched were intended to cause terror among Israel's citizenry. They were not aimed at Israel military targets.

Israel never managed to destroy Hezbollah. As much as the IDF might have wanted to, the wiping out of Hezbollah was not Israel's goal. Now could it ever be its goal. It is against the laws of physics to destroy a guerilla/terrorist group (America is learning it the hard way with Al Qaeda) since their operatives and members are always blending in and out of the civilian populations from which they so cowardly operate. In fact NEVER in history has a guerilla group ever been destroyed.

Additionally, rescuing the kidnapped IDF soldiers without a strong intelligence as to exactly where they were hidden, would have been a nearly impossible mission.. assuming they had not already been secreted out of Lebanon into Syria or Iran!

We constantly hear phrases such "Hezbollah emerged stronger," "Hezbollah is now stronger than ever," or "Hezbollah is now seen stronger than before!" There is some truth to that. Since before the Israeli withdrawal of 2000, Hezbollah was seen as more of a small arms, home made explosive, cut and run group, but during this conflict they were able to show off their Iranian made weapons. But they were no match for the Israeli army, whom they bowed down to at the end, by feeling too threatened to attack and provoke ever again.

When the United Nations wanted to impose a 48-hour ceasefire, it was Hezbollah which rushed to accept while Israel had to be pressured. Obviously this was because Israel had the military momentum in her favor. And when the month-long conflict ended, Hezbollah leader, Nasrallah, remained in an underground buffer, no longer enjoying frequent visits to central Beirut, giving daily "Hate Israel" speeches, driving down to his home town of southern Lebanon or enjoying first class flights to Damascus and Tehran. Nasrallah even admitted that had he known that even one percent of this war would have gone as it had, he would have NEVER kidnapped the soldiers and thus started the war!

In February 2007, there was a skirmish between Israeli troops and the Lebanese army on the Israel/Lebanon border, even though this skirmish that resulted in a shoot out and was unfortunate, the ray of light from all this, was that Israel was confronted and attacked by the Lebanese army and not by Hezbollah. This was one of the first signs that showed that the Lebanese army was doing its job. This was mostly due to the fact that Hezbollah lost its kingdom in Southern Lebanon, and is NOW in constant check by UNIFL, Lebanese Army, and International Troops. At least the Lebanese army was able to stand its ground and take control, unlike BEFORE the August 11 ceasefire! At least Israel finally got its wish, after 40 years, to FINALLY have the Lebanese army in control of the border. Since August 11, 2007 when the Lebanese army began its deployment in Southern Lebanon, not a single Katuysha, let alone a singe bullet was fired toward the Israeli side of the fence by Hezbollah. Unlike after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, when Hezbollah would on average shoot Katyushas into Israel at least once every three months, but not anymore. No longer will the Israeli citizens of Northern Israel will ever live in fear once again!

People in the Lebanese Government now hate Hezbollah, for bringing destruction to Lebanon. All of Hezbollah's southern Beirut strong posts were destroyed by Israel. Even after the cease fire, Israel stayed in Lebanon for two more months in order to destroy all remaining Hezbollah outposts and bunkers while Hezbollah stood by and did nothing. During the conflict some of the Israel/Lebanon border fence was destroyed and torn down, and Israel was in no rush to fix it, since what's the point? Hezbollah will not want to mess with the IDF again! Even until today some of that fence has not been fixed yet, since the only threat of infiltration, now, is from drug dealers smuggling Hashish across that border.

But what about the Winograd Commission, "which is an independent Israeli government-appointed commission of inquiry, chaired by retired Israeli chief judge Eliyahu Winograd, which is set out to investigate and draw lessons from the failures experienced by Israel during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Which resulted in a war panel, and even the resignation of high figures such as the Israeli chief of staff Dan Halutz." The reason THIS is currently taking place in Israel, is it goes to show that Israel is a democratic country! If a "Lebanese-Winograd Commission" would be done to Hezbollah; for launching an illogical irresponsible attack on Israel, by kidnapping the two soldiers which led to the war and the destruction of Lebanon. And if a Lebanese Winograd Commission would be done to the Lebanese government; for not controlling its southern border by allowing thuggish armed militias (Hezbollah) to roam free there, allowing illegal weapon shipments via the Lebanese seaport, air port, and Syrian Lebanese border to those armed "non-governmental" militias, and allowing Syria and Iran to meddle in its politics, then Lebanon would crumble to dust! But after all, Lebanon is not a Democracy.

After the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, Israel continued its 'daily' over flights over Lebanese territory. But before the August 2006 ceasefire, Israel was confronted by Hezbollah artillery rounds and shoulder fired missile at them during their over flights. But since the August ceasefire Israel up until today continues its daily over flights, and Hezbollah hasn't dared shot at them once, since now, the UN peace keepers and Lebanese Army are now in control.

After the war, Hezbollah saw that it could no longer push around and bully Israel, and are therefore now trying to bully the "weak" Lebanese government by; their mass demonstration, camping out in front of the Lebanese Parliament, and political assassinations.

Israel did loose the war this summer, but not in Lebanon, but instead in Gaza. After Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, Israel began a massive military campaign in Gaza, destroying infrastructure, entering towns and cities, going after terrorists, and also trying to stop the Qassam rocket fire. But instead, all it achieved was nothing, in fact the Palestinians saw even more of a weakness in Israel. After the Israeli military campaign in Lebanon, deterrence was at least achieved, BUT unlike in Gaza, after the massive military campaign took place there (Gaza), the Israeli deterrence was lost for good. In-fact it led to an increase in rocket fire into Israel. In addition to the fact that as soon as Israel stopped its military campaign, Hamas and other groups said, "They are now even more determined than ever to kidnap another Israeli Soldier." In April of 2007, they acted on their promise, under the cover of intense rocket fire on the Israel town of Sderot, Hamas terrorists again attempted to infiltrate Israel in order to abduct another soldier, but failed. At least they weren't afraid to try!

After the war some Arab Governments claimed Hezbollah achieved a divine victory! But hey, lets not forget, that some of those Arab governments which claimed Hezbollah won that "divine victory," are some of those "same" Arab governments who "STILL" until today claim that the Syria and Egypt won the 1967 War and the 1973 War!


Conclusion:

People from around the world, before the August cease-fire, would have never believed nor imagined that the Lebanese army would EVER be in control of its southern border. Nor, people would have never believed Lebanon would EVER be able to establish control over "illegal" arms shipments across its Lebanese/Syrian border, sea ports, and airports, and, well, it finally is!

Hezbollah will most likely never dare kidnap IDF soldiers because they saw the might and strength of the Israeli army, and they now feel threatened. Sure, some Hezbollah sympathizers may throw rocks, wave Hezbollah flags or scream "Allah Akbar" at the Lebanese-Israeli border fence but Hezbollah rank and file are laying low. Very low! And Hezbollah is no longer the imminent threat at that very same border.

Since the 'moment' the two soldiers were kidnapped and even during the war, Israel knew, they would not succeed in getting them back, in addition to the fact that destroying a guerilla group is against the laws of physics! Once people will get those two facts into their heads, then THEY will realize that, the outcomes that was achieved as a result of this conflict, were the best "REALISTIC" outcomes that Israel could have achieved.

By, Gabriel al-Amin
Beirut, Lebanon



Articles and Refernces:

Again, Israeli gloom is misplaced (First Post - 4/17/2007)

Lebanese army, UNIFIL are keeping Hezbollah in check (Haaretz - 2/21/2007)

Hezbollah's 'Victory'? (Washington Post 9/1/2006)

The Lebanese Winnograd Commission (Thomas Friedman, New York Times 5/10/2007)

 

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