Israel Fully Prepared for Third Lebanese War

The incident on the border between Lebanon and Israel, when two Lebanese soldiers, a journalist of Al-Akbar and Israel's Lieutenant Colonel Dov Harari were killed, can become a prelude to a large-scale military action as it happened in 2006.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered to respond to any attacks from Lebanon. Netanyahu also accused Lebanon of masterminding provocations against Israel with the use of violence.

Officials of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Lebanon would have to expect consequences in care the violence on the border does not stop. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned Israel's aggression and stated that the Israelis had infringed upon the sovereignty of his nation.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah released a more bellicose statement on Tuesday night. "The Israeli hand reaching out to the Lebanese military will be cut off by the opposition," said Nasrallah.

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In his speech devoted to the fourth anniversary since the end of the war between Israel and Hezbollah Nasrallah said that the opposition would not sit on its hands in case of more attacks from Israel. It is worthy of note that Hezbollah gunmen were in fierce battles against the Israeli army four years ago in the south of Lebanon for 34 days. Israel suffered considerable losses as a result of those battles.

The armed conflict, which Israel refers to as the Second Lebanese War, occurred after Hezbollah's mortar and missile attack of the fortified point of Nurit and a border settlement of Shlomi in the north of Israel on July 12, 2006. Eleven people were wounded in the attack.

Hezbollah gunmen almost simultaneously attacked an Israeli border patrol having killed three soldiers and taking two others prisoners.

Israel responded immediately. The country launched a large-scale military operation. Israeli troops moved 15-20 kilometers inside the territory of Lebanon and cleared the occupied territory from Hezbollah gunmen. The military action in the south of Lebanon was accompanied with bombardments of settlements and infrastructure objects on the entire territory of Lebanon.

Hezbollah gunmen in their turn were conducting massive missile attacks of Israel's northern towns and settlements. Combat action continued from July 12 till July 14 2006, before the ceasefire agreement was approved in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution. Lebanon lost 1,200 people, Israel lost 160.

The fragile peace on the border between the two countries has now been threatened again. It seems that someone has decided to mark the fourth anniversary since the Second Lebanese War with the beginning of the Third War.

Peacemakers examined the place, where Israeli Lieutenant Colonel Dov Harari had been killed and concluded that Israeli military men had not transgressed the Lebanese border. Therefore, Lebanon's attack was ungrounded and took place in violation of UN Security Council Resolution.

There are officials in Israel who already urge to retaliate. The UN Security Council gathered for a special session and urged the two sides to exercise restraint.

Spokespeople for the US administration stated that they were deeply concerned about the new outbreak of violence. Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the incident showed that the situation on the border between Israel and Lebanon was extremely intense and fragile.

Ivan Tulyakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov