Last Wednesday at 11:25 am in the ever-disputed territory of Shebaa Farms, 25 year old Captain Yochal Kalangel and 20 year old Sergeant Dor Chalm Nini were traveling in unarmored white vehicles along the Israeli side of their Lebanese neighboring border, when they were killed on impact by one of eight consecutive anti air missiles launched from 5,000 km away.
The shells were launched by the ‘Qunaitra Martyrs,’ a guerilla warfare unit of Lebanon’s Hezbollah (Arabic for “Party of God”), Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained.
Two hours after the attack on the military convoy of Tsavar Battalion of Givati Brigade, Israel fired over 50 artillery shells into the Shebaa Farms and around the South Lebanese border villages. In return fire, Israeli troops struck and killed a neutral party, a UN Spanish Peace Keeper. The army’s warplanes carried out mock air raids over head the location of the attack. Hezbollah launched motor shells against Israel positions on Mount Dov area in response.
Although fighting has ceased since Wednesday evening, Israeli U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor made it clear that tensions remain high, according to a DailyStar report.
“Israel will not stand by as Hezbollah targets Israelis,” Prosor stated in a letter to the Security council, noting that his country must respond both “harshly and disproportionately.”
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs offered similar sentiments.
“Hezbollah is a Lebanese Islamist terrorist organization with close ties to Iran and the Assad regime in Syria,” Israel’s MFA declared. “In its 30 year history of attacks, it has targeted Lebanese citizens and foreigners (up to 9/11, Hezbollah murdered more US nationals than any other terrorist organization), as well as Israelis and Jews around the world.”
“Israel will not allow Iran and Hezbollah to establish terrorist infrastructures, including on the Israel-Syria border, nor will it allow attacks to be launched on Israel. Israel will protect its citizens and security forces,” Israel’s MFA added.
Soon after the attack, Prime Minister Tammam Salam voiced concern from Lebanon’s side of the conflict, calling on the international community to restrain Israel from future attacks on his country. Salam stressed that his government is committed to the U.N. resolution 1701, which put an end to 2006 war with Israel.
“Lebanon places the international community in front of their responsibilities,” Salam said in a statement, “and urges them to restrain Israel’s tendency to gamble with the region’s security and stability.”
The Shebaa Farms, a 9 mile strip of territory to the south of the Lebanese Village of Shebaa has long been a flashpoint for violence. Since the 1920s, it has been a land of disputed ownership between the nations of Lebanon, Syria and eventually Israel. Both Lebanon and Israel maintain a relentless viewpoint justifying their hold on the small strip.
“Hizbullah [sic] has a strong belief in the necessity of achieving the security and peace that are based on right and justice in Lebanon, the region and the world,” a Lebanese cultural media source, Al Mashriq, The Levant, states. “Consequently, it rejects all forms of aggression and terrorism.”
The voice of The Levant makes clear that in Hezbollah’s eyes, Zionist Jew’s occupation of their land is displacing their people and establishing an entity on its usurped land as “the living materialization of the most hideous kinds of aggression and organized terrorism that is supported by the USA.”