Adonis Diaries

Why Israel begged for an immediate cease fire in its preemptive July War of 2006?

Posted on: August 26, 2013

Why Israel begged for an immediate cease fire in its preemptive July War of 2006?

If you want to know the context of the July War that lasted 33 days, you may read the Note first.

Hassan Nasr Allah, Hezbollah Secretary General, gave an extensive interview to Ghassan Ben Jeddo on the channel Al Mayadeen, a day before the car bombing of Bir Al Abed that harvested 26 killed and over 270 injured.
In that interview, corresponding to the anniversary of the cease fire of Israel preemptive war on Lebanon in 2006, Nasr Allah explained:
“In the first 29 days of the war, Bush Jr. and his administration vouched that this war will not end until Hezbollah is wiped out or decide to turn over all its weapons…”
On day 30, Israel sent messages that it is ready to consider a cease fire, but preferred to play coy and insisted on the preconditions:
1. The UN peace keeping forces should be increased to 15,000 instead of the present 2,000 soldiers
2. No Lebanese southern refugees (about 400,000) will be denied the right to return until the 15,000 UN force has arrived. It was estimated that this UN force to assemble will take 5 months to be ready to be deployed.
3. Hezbollah military forces will vacate behind the Litany River and be substituted with the Lebanese regular army…
Hezbollah refused, and its missiles kept showering the Israeli settlements and reaching far inside Israel. About over 600,000 Israelis fled their settlements.
On day 31, Israel ambassador to the UN woke up Qatar ambassador Hamad at 3 am and begged him to do his best to arrange for an immediate cease fire.
US ambassador George Bolton insisted on Hamad to do his best effort for this most urgent demand, claiming that their friend Israel have begged Bush Jr. to desist and accept a cease fire.
(Mind you that Bolton is the one who ironically asked the Arab ambassadors to the UN to take their yearly vacation since this war is going to last…)
At the first meeting of Hamad with Nasr Allah, the main question on his mind was:
What happened for Israel to drop all its preconditions and beg for a cease fire?”
Nasr Allah gave his own interpretation:
Israel has used up all its tactical and strategic means to conduct successful operations within Lebanon.
1. Israel air force bombed everything and even all Lebanon infrastructure, electrical power centers, bridges and production facilities… and yet, Hezbollah missiles increased in numbers, in reach and in accuracy within Israel…
2. Israel navy suffered direct hits and casualty and was taken out of further coordinating operations
3. The many land operations were disastrous and the most modern Merkava tanks were not match to the Cornet missiles
4. Israel failed to hold on any small village during the previous days, even those on the borders. Israeli troops would show up in the morning and retreat in the evening…
5. The last major incursion to reach the Litany River, 6 km away from Israel, the supposed dividing line for a cease fire, was a total fiasco: Over 150 tanks were destroyed and hundred officers and soldiers were left on the field of operation…
Israel thought out one last shot, a night operation: Israel realized that Hezbollah never tried to shoot down any helicopter at night and assumed that Hezbollah lacks night facilities and gears.
And consequently, on the 30th night, Israel dispatch a helicopter carrying 5 officers to prepare the ground for the night operation and landing.
A Cornet missile shot down the helicopter and the 5 officers died. (Cornet missiles are meant to target tanks)
And Israel lost every hope for any meaningful operation in this war. Israel was to be on the receiving end of Hezbollah missiles for any additional day that this war last. Hezbollah was launching over 300 missiles every day and reaching far away strategic installations within Israel.
Nasr Allah confirmed that Hezbollah had missiles that could reach Tel Aviv if Israel refused to take his warning seriously by bombing Beirut.  And Israel refrained from bombing the Capital Beirut because it believed the words of Nasr Allah.
On the last minutes before the cease fire took effect, Hezbollah had the last word and showered Israel with hundreds of missiles.
And why the Lebanese government delayed its response to the Resolution 1701 with devastating consequences?
Note: War in context.
On July 12, Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers on the borders. Hezbollah has been Warning Israel and the Lebanese authorities that it will kidnap soldiers to swap with Lebanese prisoners in Israel.
Israel had already conducted prisoner swaps before with Hezbollah under German hospices, and it was to be business as usual this time around. Two difficulties emerged:
1. A tank arrived on the scene and was destroyed by a land mine, killing all its crew
2. Bush Jr. and Saudi Arabia were totally upset with Hezbollah successes, and pressured Israel to launch a total preemptive war.
A preemptive war was already programmed and planned for late September, and Israel was not ready for an earlier war.  Israel Chief of Staff Halutz promised his government a swift air strike that would put Hezbollah on its knees within two days.
Three days and nights of intensive airstrikes didn’t prevent Hezbollah from delivering hundreds of missiles within Israel.
Israel Foreign Minister Livni asked the government to stop the war since the Jews in the settlements were fleeing en mass and Israel had no experience with these internal problems due to Israelis taking refuge elsewhere. And the settlement had no underground refuge or bunkers for these kinds of wars.
Bush Jr. and his administration would not listen to Israeli dilemma and insisted on the resumption of total war until Hezbollah is wiped out…

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