Israel Bombs Hezbollah Leader’s Beirut Home

Israel has bombed the home and office of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah without, unfortunately, actually making sure he was inside first.

Israel destroyed the home and office of Hezbollah’s leader Friday and tightened its seal on Lebanon, blasting its air and road links to the outside world to punish the guerrilla group — and with it, the country — for the capture of two Israeli soldiers.

Hezbollah’s Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said “You wanted an open war and we are ready for an open war,” addressing Israelis in an audiotape played on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television. The speech apparently was prerecorded and did not refer to the missile attack. Nasrallah and his family were safe after the Israeli missiles demolished the two buildings in Beirut’s crowded southern neighborhoods, the militant group said.

Because, you know, Hezbollah was playing nice before.

Hezbollah hit an Israeli warship in Lebanese waters that had been firing missiles into southern Beirut. Al-Jazeera reported the Israeli military was searching for four missing troops. Israeli officials would not immediately comment; an army spokesman said earlier the ship had apparently been struck by a rocket but that the damage was minor and no one was hurt.

Israel’s attack on Nasrallah underlined its determination to take the fight directly to Hezbollah’s leadership, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed the massive campaign would continue until the guerrillas were neutralized. Warplanes again smashed runways at Beirut’s airport with hours of airstrikes, trying to render it unusable, and destroyed mountain bridges on the main highway to
Syria. Warships blockaded Lebanon’s ports for a second day. Smoke drifted over the capital after strikes exploded fuel tanks at one of Beirut’s two main power stations, gradually escalating the damage to Lebanon’s key infrastructure. Apartment buildings were shattered by strikes in south Beirut.

In response, Lebanese guerrillas fired at least 50 Katyusha rockets throughout the day, hitting more than a dozen communities across northern Israel.

The death toll in three days of fighting rose to 73 killed in Lebanon — almost all civilians, including five killed Friday — and 12 in Israel, including four killed in rocket attacks. The violence sent shock waves through a region already traumatized by the ongoing battles in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas.

There’s not much Israel can do to get international support for their actions here but precision strikes on terrorist leadership are more likely to be seen as legitimate than indiscriminate killing of civilians.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Imagine carpet bombing, napalm, fuel/air explosives or cluster bombs being used on ‘precincts’ that supported the Hezbollah in the Lebanese elections or in Gaza. Israel is definitely pulling their punches here. They hit the fuel tanks for the electrical generating plant, not the harder to replace turbines. They hit the approached to the bridge on the highway to Syria, not the bridge itself. For Israel, the international community has been ‘muted’ in their response (compared to the past). I think Israel is pulling their punches to keep this and more importantly the rest of the Lebanese government from going ape shit.

  2. henry says:

    I am dismayed that this is even news. WE have no stake in Israel. There is no oil there, yet we are responsible for 1/10 of their GDP every year. How can this be? We need to simply pull all of our funding for Israel and let them duke it out on their own. I’d rather not see my tax dollars wasted on such an insignificant and corrupt state. Let’s take care of our own financial woes. Last time I checked we owe around 8.5 trillion.

  3. dr. jeff says:

    We need to back Israel 100%! They are the only other nation besides the US with the Guts to take on the terrorists.

  4. Henry, take a look at what percentage of the Palestinian authority GDP and Egyptian GDP we are responsible for (or were before Hamas). Saying Israel is “corrupt” and comparing them to their neighbors shows a keen lack of reasoning power.

  5. henry says:

    Jeff,
    Israel is the breeding ground for terrorists. Let’s not forget the King David Hotel bombing by Hebrew nationalists when Palestine was occupied by the British. Or the crusades by Europeans in the Middle-ages. That entire region has no significance for us other than a number of historical shrines, which I might add are as significant to Muslims as they are to Christians or Jews. And Israel can’t even call itself a democracy in modern terms. Did you know that under the Israeli constitution it is illegal for a Jew to marry a non-Jew. That is merely one example of the apartheid state they are running.

  6. Herb says:

    Obviously Henry, you are completely out of touch with World events.

    By the way henry, what are you really smoking ?

  7. Herb says:

    henry, I see from your last comment that you are really a BIGOT

  8. henry says:

    Herb,
    With your namesake I don’t think you should be slinging that arrow.

  9. henry says:

    Herb,
    Yeah, I’m the bigot. Because I don’t support the separation of ethnicities by law. Nice one HERB.

  10. henry says:

    john,

    I agree. I see no reason any of them should get another dime. Its time we cut the cord and let them grow up on their ow without foregn meddling.

  11. Fersboo says:

    James, the ‘civilians’ are armed to the death (see front page print copy of USA Today), the ‘civilians’ allow the terrorists to set their rocket launchers up amongst them, the ‘civilians’ join in, how can the Israelis not kill ‘civilians’? And after so many of theirs have died in buses and pizza palors, why should they care?

  12. Herb says:

    Poor ole henry, The local weed finally got him.

    Better switch to something else henry, the stuff you’re smoking is distorting whats left of your mind.

    Henry is not prejudiced, HE HATES EVERYONE

  13. Bithead says:

    Did you know that under the Israeli beheaded.constitution it is illegal for a Jew to marry a non-Jew. That is merely one example of the apartheid state they are running.

    `

    Perhaps you’re unaware that in neighboring states, much the same thing happens, with the exception of the fact that there are no laws on the subject per se’.. and when violators on this unwritten law are found, they re simply BEHEADED.

    Now…
    Perhaps you’d like to try it again, with feeling this time, Henry?

  14. henry says:

    Oh Herb,

    You are the classic low-brow. Archie Bunker would be proud. When anyone disagrees with you they are simply pot-heads or “liberals”. Yeah, those are solid arguments. You are part of the reason the Republican party is under siege. You represent the old wing of conservatives who refuses to see the reality on the ground and act accordingly. It’s folks like you who are going to drive the party to ruin this Fall.

  15. McGehee says:

    WE have no stake in Israel. There is no oil there

    So, are you saying U.S. mideast policy should be “all about the oooooooooiiiiiiiiiillllllllllll”…?

  16. Jimmy Smith says:

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    Hezbollah needed to be destroyed with more
    powerful weapons.
    Completely destroyed their basic infrastructure-
    everything -weapons, buildings, and communication.
    Nothing is standing.
    Thank you