Israel war 2006
40 images Created 30 Aug 2009
The conflict began when Hezbollah militants fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. The ambush left three soldiers dead. Two additional soldiers, believed to have been killed outright or mortally wounded, were snatched by Hezbollah to Lebanon. Five more were killed in a failed rescue attempt. Israel responded with massive airstrikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon that damaged Lebanese civilian infrastructure, including Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport (which Israel said that Hezbollah used to import weapons and supplies), an air and naval blockade, and a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah then launched more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in guerrilla warfare from hardened positions.
The conflict killed at least 1,500 people, mostly Lebanese civilians, severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure, and displaced approximately one million Lebanese and 300,000-500,000 Israelis, although most of the latter were able to return to their homes. After the ceasefire, some parts of southern Lebanon remained uninhabitable due to Israeli unexploded cluster bomblets.