August 20, 2006
Israeli Soldier Killed in Lebanon Raid
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hezbollah fighters battled Israeli commandos who landed near the militants' stronghold deep inside Lebanon early Saturday, killing one soldier, in the first large-scale violation of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between the sides.
Hezbollah said its guerrillas foiled the raid after a gunbattle, and the Israeli army said one officer was killed and two soldiers were wounded, one seriously.
Witnesses said Israeli missiles destroyed a bridge during the raid — the first major violation of the U.N.-imposed cease-fire that took effect Monday following 34 days of fighting.
The Israeli army said the special forces operation aimed "to prevent and interfere with terror activity against Israel, especially the smuggling of arms from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah." It said the commando team completed its mission.
The army said such operations would be carried out until "an effective monitoring unit" of Lebanese or multinational troops was in place to prevent Hezbollah from rebuilding its arsenal.
Hezbollah TV and Lebanese security officials said Israeli helicopters dropped off a commando team outside the village of Boudai west of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release information to the media, said the Israelis apparently were seeking a guerrilla target in a nearby school but had no other details. The officials also reported heavy overflights of Israeli jets.
Such a bold operation risked scuttling the fragile cease-fire and suggested Israel was going after a major target near Baalbek — perhaps to rescue two Israeli soldiers snatched by Hezbollah on July 12, or to try to capture a senior guerrilla official to trade for the soldiers.
Hezbollah has said it wants to exchange the two soldiers for Arab prisoners, but the U.N. cease-fire resolution demands Hezbollah unconditionally release the soldiers.
Local media said Sheik Mohammed Yazbeck, a senior Hezbollah official in the Bekaa and a member of the Shura council of the group, may have been the target. Yazbeck is a native of Boudai.
Israeli troops have killed several guerrillas who Israel said threatened its troops in south Lebanon since the cease-fire, and warplanes have flown over the country. But the cease-fire allows military action in self-defense, and the commando raid was by far the most serious incident since Monday.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said Lebanese authorities found blood at the scene of the raid, indicating Israeli casualties. Salloukh, speaking to reporters after meeting with U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen in Beirut, said he informed the U.N. team of the Israeli action in Baalbek and said the U.N. team would raise the issue with Israeli authorities.
"If Israel continues its violations, it is the responsibility of the (U.N.) Security Council to take action and ask Israel to stop these violations," he said.
A provincial government official, Bekaa Valley Gov. Antoine Suleiman, confirmed the Israeli troop landing. He told the privately owned Voice of Lebanon radio station that the landing party brought with it two vehicles that were later withdrawn after clashes.
Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said the Israeli commando force landed before dawn and was driving into Boudai when it was intercepted by guerrillas who forced it to retreat under the cover of warplanes, which staged mock raids.
Hezbollah officials on the scene said overflights from Israeli jet fighters drowned the clatter of helicopters as they flew into the foothills of the central Lebanese mountains, dropping commandos and two vehicles they used to drive into the village when the Hezbollah fighters intercepted them in a field.
The commandos identified themselves as the Lebanese army, but the guerrillas grew suspicious and gunfire erupted, the officials said.
Israeli helicopters fired missiles as the commandos withdrew and flew out of the area an hour later, they said.
Witnesses saw bandages and syringes at the site. The also saw a destroyed bridge about 500 yards from the area where the landing took place, after missiles were fired by Israeli aircraft.
Overflights were reported Friday night in the same area.
Israel said late Friday its warplanes have not attacked Lebanon since the cease-fire took effect.
Baalbek is the birthplace of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah. The area in the eastern Bekaa Valley, 60 miles north of the Israeli border, is a major guerrilla stronghold.
The U.N. Security Council cease-fire resolution calls for an immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations.
In letters to Lebanese and Israeli leaders, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned the two countries against occupying additional territory and told them to refrain from responding to any attacks "except where clearly required in immediate self-defense."
Annan also told Israel and Lebanon that once the cessation of hostilities took effect there must be no firing from the ground, sea or air into the other side's territory or at its forces.
Wild Thing's comment..................
“Such a bold operation risked scuttling the fragile cease-fire and suggested Israel was going after a major target near Baalbek”
Give me a break! Blaming Israel for this and making it sound like they were the ones to break the so called ceasefire is a lie. The Hezbollah never disarmed.
Israel gave up Gaza and South Lebanon and got rockets and Jihad in return.
Insane greed, jealousy and hate, destruction and death in the name of Allah, because the Jews in their little nation are productive and intelligent. Instead of contributing to the world, the Hezbollah and Hamas seek to destroy it.
We need to keep remembering this.....the Ceasefire was broken the minute the Hezbollah said they would not disarm and they never did, but we knew they wouldn't. The Hezbollah broke the cease fire within hours firing into Israel. Of course the article below does not say that, more typical BS agenda of the terrorist hugging Media.
The Hamaz, Hezbollah and Iran threaten Israel with destruction every week. This has stripped all pretensions from the Arab/Palestinian agenda. The Muslim goal is to destroy Israel. Not to get back "occupied lands" and then be content and make peace.
Hudna is integral to Jihad. Islam believes in permanent Jihad until the whole world is Muslim. There are such things as honest treaties and honest cease fires. This is never the case with Islam because Jihad is eternal, so the Muslim is commanded.
“Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists, well-versed in their history: The prophet Mohammad struck a legendary, ten-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.
In essence, this is religious license to renege on ones word, and to regroup, rearm, and reorganize to attack when ones enemy is lulled into thinking that one will be honest and fulfill ones side of a truce. This is tactic has been used over and over in Islam's history, and is used to great effect today by Yasser Arafat, Hamas, al-Aqsa, and other Islamic terrorists all over the world. Recent examples include Fallujah and Najaf. What Westerners need to do is to read Islamic scripture and learn that in Islam there is no concept of permanent submission to any other power than Allah. Treaties mean nothing. Beware the hudna.”....from Clarity and Resolve
Posted by Wild Thing at August 20, 2006 12:47 AM