Second Lebanon War. 'It's July 12 yet again'
Photo: David Rubinger
UNIFIL forces in Lebanon
Photo: AFP

Lebanon Press: Israel war far from over

Beitur-based al-Akhbar newspaper says both parties 'look ready to leap back into action and are prepared both in terms of capacities and incentives'

Lebanon's conflict with Israel is still far from over, Beirut-based dailies warned on Monday, four years to the day since the first bombs fell in the last war between Hezbollah and the Jewish state.


"The July War is not over," declared the front-page headline in the Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper.

"Four years after the end of the war... both parties look ready to leap back into action and are prepared both in terms of capacities and incentives," read the article in al-Akhbar, which is close to the Shiite militant party.


The month-long war was triggered by the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid on July 12, 2006.


The fighting that ensued destroyed much of Lebanon's major infrastructure and killed about 1,200 Lebanese, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.


Security Council Resolution 1701 ended the conflict and beefed up the UNIFIL peacekeeping force deployed in southern Lebanon since 1978.


But tensions between the two foes have risen again after Israel accused Syria of smuggling Scud missiles to its ally Hezbollah, a charge Damascus denies.


Israel's military says the Shiite group has a stock of some 40,000 rockets and this month published aerial photographs showing what it says is evidence of Hezbollah stockpiling weapons in towns and villages near the border.


"Israel... argues that Hezbollah took the state hostage, revamped and reinforced its arsenal and now is attacking UN peacekeepers via the people of southern Lebanon, who are at their beck and call," read the editorial in the French-language daily L'Orient Le Jour.


'War on Muslims in Turkey'

After decades of smooth ties with southern Lebanese, UNIFIL this month became the target of villagers who took to the streets to protest a maximum deployment exercise by the blue-helmeted troops.


In the most notable confrontation, residents of the southern town of Tulin disarmed a French patrol and attacked them with sticks, rocks and eggs before the Lebanese army intervened.


One prominent daily on Monday tied the war anniversary to Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31, in which nine Turks were killed.


"It is July 12 yet again and here we are, entering the fifth year of Israel's open war on Lebanon, but rather on all Arabs and on Muslims in Turkey," read a column by Talal Salman, owner of the daily as-Safir which is also close to Hezbollah.


"There is one lesson to be learned: steadfastness is the shortest route to victory, along with... unity and awareness of the nature of the enemy," Salman wrote.


פרסום ראשון: 07.12.10, 14:49
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