2006 July War: A clinical blow to occupation aggression
2006 July War summed up: One Resistance infantry company with modest strength was enough to overwhelm about 5 Israeli infantry brigades, delivering a deathblow to militarization ambitions.
“Today, in Lebanon, the people doing the fighting cannot be camouflaged under another label. They are plain Muslims, and, more importantly, Muslims who refuse to submit to the Empire,” wrote Dr. Rami Zurayk in his book “War Diary – Lebanon 2006.”
17 years ago, the Israeli occupation suffered a clinical military and tactical defeat at the hands of the Lebanese Resistance during the 2006 July War. Grossly underestimating the sovereign defense and resolve of the Lebanese people, the Israeli occupation contributed to its own shock military disintegration on the field as the war displaced nearly a million Lebanese and cost scores of civilians their precious lives.
No amount of talked-up Israeli air attacks could hide the sheer humiliation and psychological jolt suffered by occupation soldiers on the ground. Key events in the course of the war, such as the Ayta Al-Shaab fighting, remind us that even a Resistance infantry company with modest strength was enough to overwhelm about 5 Israeli infantry brigades, delivering a deathblow to militarization ambitions. In a historic display of character and resolve, the essence of the Lebanese Resistance has only strengthened since.
The brutal events from the Israeli war on Lebanon demand reckoning for two key reasons at present. First, there was no truth to "Israel’s" expectation that its so-called air dominance would compel the Resistance to yield. Critical factors include retaliatory rockets from the Resistance that struck occupation installations and targets till the last day. Together, they signified absolute defense of the Lebanese people and territory against an invading force that touted falsehoods about neutralizing Resistance capabilities.
About 17 years later, the symbolism of the brutal July War is difficult to miss. First, the war succeeded in shattering "Israel’s" sense of superiority on the ground and served as an example of clinical "self-defense". The Resistance’s adroit maneuvers drilled a hole in the occupation’s assumptions about military domination, forcing Israeli troops to abandon one failed operation after another. Taking “Operation Change of Direction 8” into consideration, it can be clearly seen as a desperate attempt to surround the town of Ayta Al-Shaab, only to be met by ferocious power from Resistance fighters. They were destined to defend every inch of sovereign blood. As Israeli General Chaim Erez admitted in 2007, the outcome of the July War reflected “poor leadership and the poor decision-making of those involved” from its side.
The other symbolism was the astronomical human sacrifice of the Lebanese people and the occupation’s war on facts. As substantial reporting confirmed at the time, occupation forces deliberately targeted hundreds of innocent civilians, spread falsehoods about “human shields,” and violated “one of the most fundamental tenets of the laws of war.” And yet, the Lebanese Resistance moved from strength to strength, establishing a lasting deterrent against rapidly disintegrating Israeli troops to ensure that the occupation never dared to attempt war on the country. “[The Lebanese Resistance] is stronger than ever,” admitted former Israeli general Ehud Barak in 2008.
The events of the 2006 war are also a glaring reminder that the safety and security of Lebanon remain of paramount importance. Despite employing its Maglan unit (which is a so-called elite Israeli reconnaissance force), a skillful Resistance ambush in the Jal Al-Deir area cut into the invading force’s top brass, ensuring that every loss of life was accounted for. Such symbolism is corroborated in the book Prisoners in Lebanon, where Ofer Shelah and Yoav Limor confirm that the occupation’s full-scale aggression was nothing but a political and military disgrace.
It is these assessments that take the lid off "Israel’s" fictitious historic accounts of the war and its reluctance to admit the full-scale trauma dealt to invading troops. The enduring pains of hundreds of civilian lives in Lebanon and significant damage to the country’s economy have only consolidated the Resistance from within. "Israel’s" disgraceful exit from the war in itself was compelling evidence of a hard-won victory for Lebanon’s security and the promise of sustaining it for all times to come.
Lastly, "Israel’s" tactical and psychological obliteration during the war also carries a unique lesson for Lebanon and the Arab world at large: that nations should never tolerate violent, indiscriminate provocations from a regional bully on their sovereign soil. Look no further than the 17 years that followed since the July War. "Israel" couldn’t dare impose any war on Lebanon, testifying to the endurance of the Lebanese resistance and the weight of its security deterrence that holds on to this day.
Keeping in view such critical precedents of principled Lebanese defiance of "Israel’s" aggression, there is no doubt that the war’s aftermath signaled a “historic and strategic accomplishment” for the resistance. Despite attempts by numerous Israeli journalists to provide alternative narratives about the July 2006 debacle, retreating troops and battered Israeli battalions make it impossible to bend war realities and falsify history.