Israeli Soldier Killed in Lebanon Raid

An Israeli soldier has been killed in a commando raid against Hezbollah strongholds inside Lebanon.

Hezbollah fighters battled Israeli commandos who landed near the militants’ stronghold deep inside Lebanon early Saturday, killing one soldier, in the first apparent large-scale violation of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between the sides.

Israeli Commandos Raid Hezbollah Targets in Lebanon Photo Israeli soldiers, two of them displaying an Israeli flag, return from southern Lebanon into Israel near Kibbutz Malkiya early Saturday Aug. 19, 2006. Israeli special forces operated deep in Lebanon early Saturday, the army said, making it the broadest violation of a five-day-old U.N.-brokered cease-fire.(AP Photo/Baz Ratner) Hezbollah said its guerrillas foiled the raid after a gunbattle, and the Israeli army said one soldier was killed and two were wounded, one seriously. Witnesses said Israeli missiles destroyed a bridge during the raid, and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called the military action a “flagrant violation” of the cease-fire, which 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. “If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the (U.N. cease-fire) resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.

So much for the cease-fire. And, certainly, Israel is right here: they are under no obligation to adhere unilaterally to the conditions of the cease-fire.

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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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jKB says:

    Well, it appears Israel’s loss has been greatly exaggerated. Instead, they called the UN’s bluff. The UN likes to hold their press conferences on ceasefires but they are ineffective in meeting their obligations. They depend on the honorable party to stand by their word while doing nothing to enforce the agreement on the violating party. Historically, a ceasefire has meant nothing more than time for the losing side re-arm.

    Since the UN has not stepped up to their obligation to prevent Hezbollah from re-arming, Israel has been forced to fill the void. If the UN doesn’t want Israel to enforce the ceasefire, then all they have to do is put their forces where their press releases are. Of course, we’ve already seen the French buckle when faced with fulfilling their statements. For the UN it is now put up or shut up and they don’t seem to have more than a PR department to send into the breach.

  2. DC Loser says:

    Haaretz reports the casualty was a lieutenant colonel. Looks like Hezbollah got lucky and probably took out a senior member of the raiding party, perhaps even its commander.