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Here is an article from The Guardian (U.K.) reprinted by The Palestine Chronicle, written by George Monbiot that gives a very insightful view into the causes of the current Lebanon conflict. As most of you may recall, the Israelis invaded Lebanon back in 1982 under Ariel Sharon's direction. Sharon went far beyond the directive that Menachem Begin had given, and this eventually caused Begin to leave office in disgust.
But during that long occupation from 1982-2000 of southern Lebanon, the Israelis had taken many Lebanese prisoners of war. As part of the peace deal, they were to release these prisoners. However, they did not do so. So finally, on July 12 Hezbollah took action and took two Israeli soldiers captive, in order to force a prisoner-of-war exchange with the Israelis. Stupid? Perhaps. But that was their thinking. So George Monbiot writes:
"But there is no serious debate about why the two soldiers were captured: Hizbullah was seeking to exchange them for the 15 prisoners of war taken by the Israelis during the occupation of Lebanon and (in breach of article 118 of the third Geneva convention) never released. It seems clear that if Israel had handed over the prisoners, it would - without the spillage of any more blood - have retrieved its men and reduced the likelihood of further kidnappings. But the Israeli government refused to negotiate. Instead - well, we all know what happened instead. Almost 1,000 Lebanese and 33 Israeli civilians have been killed so far, and a million Lebanese displaced from their homes." [End of quote]
Monbiot also gives a short history of the regular border incursions that have taken place over the past 6 years. The Israelis have sent planes into Lebanon almost daily, and many local skirmishes have occurred regularly--none of which were considered to be justification for a large-scale invasion.
What makes the July 12 incident unique? Nothing, other than the fact that the Israelis have been planning such an invasion for some years now and were finally ready to implement it. Thus, the July 12 incident became the excuse for a pre-planned war. Read George Monbiot's article to see the details and evidence of this premeditated war.