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Lebanon: The Israel-Hamas-Hezbollah Conflict

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Congressional rept.

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This report analyzes the conflict between Israel and two U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations FTOs the Lebanese Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah and the radical Palestinian Hamas organization. On July 12, 2006, what had been a localized conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip instantly became a regional conflagration after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a surprise attack along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Israel responded by carrying out air strikes against suspected Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, and Hezbollah countered with rocket attacks against cities and towns in northern Israel. To push Hezbollah back from its border, Israel launched a full-scale ground operation in Lebanon with the hopes of establishing a security zone free of Hezbollah militants. Meanwhile, Israeli clashes with Hamas and other Palestinian militants have continued in the Gaza Strip. A United Nations-brokered cease-fire came into effect on August 14, 2006. Based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 passed a few days earlier, the cease-fire is intended to be monitored by the Lebanese Armed Forces in conjunction with an expanded U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon. The international community initially hesitated to contribute troops, though it appears now that enough countries have stepped forward to significantly expand the existing U.N. force UNIFIL. On July 18, 2006, the Senate passed S.Res. 534, which condemns the governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas, urges all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure, and strongly supports the use of all diplomatic means available to free the captured Israeli soldiers. On July 20, 2006, the House passed H.Res. 921, which also condemns Hezbollahs attack on Israel and urges the President to bring sanctions against the governments of Syria and Iran for their alleged sponsorship of Hezbollah.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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