Story for Al Arabiya English
James Haines-Young, Special to Al Arabiya English Friday, 15 July 2016
Beirut – On the morning of July 12, 2006 Hezbollah commandos launched a cross-border raid on an Israeli armored patrol, killing two soldiers and taking two hostages.
The act would, over the next few days, escalate into the devastating 34-day conflict between Israel and Lebanon’s powerful Shiite military-political force. While many would see it as a win for the force, Hezbollah’s expensive victory in the 2006 war cost Lebanon dearly.
The 2006 war came at a huge price, especially for Lebanon. Some 1,200 Lebanese died, the vast majority of them civilians and an estimated one third of them children. It also caused the displacement of a third of the country’s 4.5 million people. Almost every bridge in the country and thousands of buildings, vital infrastructure, transport hubs, and industrial buildings were damaged or destroyed. Indeed, the Lebanese government estimated the bill for reconstruction was $2.8 billion.
Meanwhile, 43 Israeli civilians died – mostly in indiscriminate rocket fire from Hezbollah –and 117 IDF soldiers were killed in the conflict.