On the 12th July 2006 two Israeli
soldiers were captured by Hezbollah fighters in the area of Aitaa al-Chaab.
Israel responded to this with what it described as a ‘proportionate
response’. This response included the destruction by airstrikes and
shelling of the airport, roads, bridges, factories and other
infrastructure throughout the country but particularly south of the
Litani River. More than one million people fled their homes; some moved
to temporary refugee camps whilst those that could left the country.
Hezbollah fired nearly 4000 rockets into
Northern Israel and in return Israel pounded villages in southern
Lebanon and the parts of the Dahaieh district of Beirut and moved
thousands of troops across the border.
The resulting deaths are estimated to
be upwards of 1200 Lebanese and more than 150 Israelis.
On the 14th August a ceasefire came
into place. In the days preceding this Israeli jets dropped cluster
bombs on Southern Lebanon. More than one million of these lay unexploded
amidst the destroyed villages and greeted the returning refugees.
Despite strict guidelines on their use the Israelis dropped many of them
near civilian and residential areas including hospitals and schools. The
time required to locate and defuse these bombs may delay by up to a year
the safe return of some of the displaced.
A political storm erupted in Israel
with criticism and recriminations all around regarding the handling of
the conflict. The resignation of the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff
were called for and a top General was fired.
In Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah the leader
of Hezbollah appeared at a rally claiming that his organisation still
had 20,000 rockets and were stronger than ever.
The destruction and carnage caused in
Lebanon and Israel, Hezbollah’s apparent ability to survive and grow
stronger beneath the staggering firepower of its neighbour and the fact
that the two captured soldiers were never recovered aside, both sides
Current work including General Reportage, Travel, Commercial, Advertising and Conflict Coverage can be found at the new website as well as tear sheets and print sales and all archived images.